Rockhurst chooses business dean

Cheryl A. McConnell, who has been serving as interim dean of the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University, now has the dean title.

McConnell had been holding the interim job since January 2012.

Rockhurst officials credited McConnell with helping advance the school’s MBA program to a No. 21 ranking on the U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 list of best graduate schools.

The Rev. Thomas B. Curran, president of Rockhurst University, said McConnell’s “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.”

Before holding the interim position, McConnell was a professor of accounting for 24 years.

The school said she has served on many university leadership committees and programs, both in the business school and schoolwide.

McConnell said she intends to lead the business school to “more purposefully engage with regional businesses and organizations to meet their needs.”

McConnell’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting were earned at Wichita State University. She is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner. She is pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration at Saint Louis University.

Her research specialties involve methods of teaching, learning and testing.