Dr. Roxanne Stevens Named Dean of the Augustana School of Business

By Keeley Meier '20 | September 06, 2023
Dr. Roxanne Stevens

When Dr. Roxanne Stevens arrived at Augustana to interview for the dean of the School of Business position, there was a blizzard. This was her first time in South Dakota. 

A longtime California resident, Stevens was delighted. Yes, delighted. 

“On my last night there, I was just going to walk downtown and go to dinner,” said Stevens. “You couldn't see with the snow and the wind. I went home and told my husband, ‘I really like it.’”

The snowstorm made the list of things that Stevens loved about Sioux Falls. Other things on the list included the city's growth and abundance of opportunities.

“It’s a great place with nice people,” Stevens said. “You walk into Bagel Boy and people talk to you!”

Augustana, though, was at the top of her list. From her first interview, she was sold. Stevens was inspired by the passion and commitment of the university’s leadership team. The students she met endeared themselves to her, she said, and she was impressed by their questions and dedication to Augustana. It was the people of Augustana and Sioux Falls community that made Stevens believe this was the right move.

Now, the Maryland native, who has a corporate background, is stepping into the role of dean of the School of Business with a deep love of higher education and excitement for a new challenge. 

“When I transitioned to higher education, it was very rewarding to me,” said Stevens, who began her role as dean in mid-August. “It was never on my radar. It was never something I thought I was going to do, but I ended up really enjoying it, and I've never regretted it.”

Building Strong Partnerships

Prior to Augustana, Stevens served as an undergraduate and graduate faculty member, program chair and, most recently, interim dean at Azusa Pacific University in California. Previously, she worked in both the public and private sector for 20 years, holding management positions in various industries. Stevens earned an undergraduate degree from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, as well as a B.S. in business administration and B.A. in business management from the University of Phoenix in Arizona. She also holds an MBA from Azusa Pacific University and DBA from Alliant International University in California.

Stevens said she hopes to help move Augustana forward in regard to its Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 strategic goals and is most looking forward to further connecting the School of Business to the Sioux Falls business community. During her first year, Stevens will be exploring the expansion of “the innovative and impactful programs offered by the School of Business while identifying new programs that meet the needs of students and community.” 

“I want students to graduate with a degree and a full resume,” said Stevens.

She is working on both a short- and long-term plan for the School of Business that includes growth initiatives, community partnerships and student engagement opportunities — such as additional internships, student organizations and honor societies.

“I want to build strong partnerships and programs that, in the end, are going to help the students, community and university,” Stevens said. “My goal will be win-win, and, when possible, win-win-win. If you produce great students, it's going to benefit the community and society.”

In her free time, Stevens enjoys partaking in outdoor activities with her husband, Fred, including tennis, hiking, walking, biking and canoeing. Now that she lives in South Dakota, she hopes to add some winter sports to her list of hobbies. Stevens is also a “serious animal lover” and has a dog and two cats with an ultimate dream of owning goats, chickens and rabbits, too.

Stevens is succeeding Dr. Marcia Entwistle ‘83, who served for two years as the School of Business’ inaugural dean. Entwistle will continue her role as a faculty member within the School of Business.

To learn more about the Augustana School of Business, visit augie.edu/SchoolOfBusiness.

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