Rockhurst University Names New Dean of Helzberg School of ManagementApril 24, 2013

Following a nationwide search, Rockhurst University has named Cheryl A. McConnell dean of the Helzberg School of Management. McConnell has served as interim dean of the Helzberg School since January 2012.

As interim dean, McConnell has helped advance strategic initiatives of both the Helzberg School of Management and the University as a whole. She also helped lead the Helzberg School’s Management MBA to a No. 21 ranking within the U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 Best Graduate Schools list.

“The Helzberg School of Management is well positioned, under the leadership of Cheryl McConnell, to make an even greater impact in financial and professional development in our community and region,” said the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, president of Rockhurst University. “Her sharp mind, keen insights, ethical DNA, and collaborative spirit will be sought and revered by the University’s partners and collaborators, both current and future.”

Prior to her position as interim dean, McConnell was a professor of accounting for 24 years, in addition to serving in numerous University leadership positions, including academic chair of the Master of Business Administration program, program director for the undergraduate business program, chair of the division of decision sciences, chair of the Faculty Senate, and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.

“I am honored to lead the Helzberg School of Management,” said McConnell. “We will build upon our strong undergraduate business programs and nationally ranked Management MBA to more purposefully engage with regional businesses and organizations to meet their needs.”

McConnell’s academic discipline is accounting. She received an MPA in accounting and a BBA in accounting from Wichita State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner. Currently, McConnell is in the Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration program at Saint Louis University.

Her research interests relate to teaching, learning and assessment. She has published or presented more than 70 articles, paper or workshops on areas such as course design, student reading strategies, accreditation and assessment, contextualized critical thinking, and research methodologies for examining student learning.

To learn more about the Helzberg School of Management, visit

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