This week, Dr. Jennifer Troyer, who has served at UNC Charlotte in various interdisciplinary roles for two decades, was appointed dean of UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business. Later this summer, Troyer, a professor of economics whose expertise is health care, will become the seventh dean in the college’s nearly 50-year history and the first female dean. Troyer is one of three academic leaders named at UNC Charlotte this week.
Since October, she has served as interim dean for the college, one of the largest business schools in the Carolinas with more than 4,600 graduate and undergraduate students, more than 100 full-time faculty, and a growing alumni network of over 33,000. She started her educational journey as a first-generation college student at the University of Memphis, where she earned a bachelor’s in business administration. She also holds a master’s and doctorate in economics from Florida State University. Previously at UNC Charlotte, she served as interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services and in administrative roles within the Belk College. Troyer has taught courses in health economics and econometrics and conducted research on the quality of U.S. nursing homes, the cost-effectiveness of medical interventions, and strategic behavior in the pharmaceutical industry. Her research has earned several awards and been funded by the National Institutes of Health.
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What are you most excited about with the new gig?
In my 20 years working at UNC Charlotte, I have seen an incredible amount of growth and change, with the Belk College of Business growing our research capabilities and graduate programs while continuing to maintain our strong tradition of teaching excellence. With support from the University, committed alumni and our business partners in Charlotte, we are on a trajectory to become one of the top urban research business schools in the country and a driving force for economic development in our region. I’m excited to keep our college moving ahead and to share the exciting work being done in our college.
What inspires you?
Anyone who works hard to get something challenging and meaningful accomplished. Recent examples include our faculty, who pivoted on a dime to move their courses online and worked to help students have a successful spring semester. Also our students, many of whom are first-generation college students who hold part-time – and sometimes full-time – jobs while excelling in the classroom and growing their professional skills at the same time.
Who or what should we be paying attention to?
In the short run, we all need to pay attention to the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the advice from experts around how to safely reopen our economy while making sure our hospital systems are not overwhelmed. In the long run, keep your eye on UNC Charlotte and the Belk College of Business. We have a deep pool of talented faculty and staff who are researching business problems that are directly relevant to industry. We also have a large, talented, and growing alumni base in the region, exceptional teaching faculty, and a passion for working with our business partners to make great things happen in our community.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
My biggest challenge was working with colleagues at UNC Charlotte on planning for our fall semester. We are all ready to be back together to continue educating students in person, engaging with the business community, and producing new knowledge. However, we need to do that with the safety of our students, faculty and staff top of mind.
Eastern or Western barbecue?
Having graduated high school near Memphis, Tenn., which is known for its own style of barbecue, I have an affinity for any pork that is tender and juicy. So, either kind will work for me, but my favorite slaw is definitely the mayo-based.