Kennesaw State names new dean for Coles College of Business

KSU accounting professor Ken Harmon brings leadership‚ wealth of administrative experience to one…

Georgia (Mar 23, 2009) — Kennesaw State names new dean for Coles College of Business

Aixa Pascual

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Frances Weyand Harrison
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Contact: Aixa M. Pascual‚ 678−797−2549‚ or apascual@kennesaw.edu
Kennesaw State names new dean for Coles College of Business
KSU accounting professor Ken Harmon brings leadership‚ wealth of administrative experience to one of Georgia’s top business schools

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (March 20‚ 2009)
— Kennesaw State University has appointed longtime accounting professor and business school administrator Ken Harmon as dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business. Harmon‚ who has held top administrative posts at several business schools in the Southeast for the past 10 years‚ is director of the School of Accountancy at the Coles College. Harmon will start his new job on July 1.

Harmon was selected to head the Coles College‚ one of the top business schools in the state‚ after a national search. He replaces Tim Mescon‚ who as dean of the Coles College from 1990 until 2008 made a name for KSU’s business school.

Before arriving at KSU in 2006 to chair the accounting department‚ Harmon served from 2004 to 2006 as dean of the Else School of Management at Millsaps College in Jackson‚ Miss.‚ where he led successful branding and strategic planning initiatives that raised its profile. Harmon became director of the School of Accountancy at the Coles College when the school was created in 2008.

Lendley Black‚ provost and vice president for academic affairs at KSU‚ said that Harmon’s leadership abilities in spearheading strategic planning efforts at the Coles College and his extensive administrative experience made him stand out among other candidates.

“He’s been an outstanding leader and contributed much to the Coles College and Kennesaw State. His experience is very distinctive‚” Black said. “He also brings strong connections with the Atlanta business community and has a track record of building bridges.”

Kennesaw State University’s Coles College‚ the second−largest business school in the state of Georgia‚ enrolls more than 5‚000 students and offers 12 undergraduate and graduate degrees‚ including an internationally ranked Executive M.B.A. program. Some of its academic programs and centers –– including the Cox Family Enterprise Center and the Center for Professional Selling –– are nationally recognized.

This spring‚ KSU’s Coles College will start offering a new Doctorate of Business Administration (D.B.A.) in response to the national shortage of business doctorates. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Harmon‚ a former auditor with Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and president of his own software company‚ has broad administrative and teaching experience at business schools. Before he was dean of the Else School of Management‚ he served as chair of the department of accountancy and business law at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington‚ N.C. Previously‚ he chaired the department of accounting at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro‚ Tenn. and directed the accountancy program at Arizona State University West in Phoenix. Harmon has led strategic planning‚ fundraising and accreditation initiatives at these business schools.

At the Coles College‚ Harmon led the accounting program as it reshaped its mission and strategy‚ leading to the creation of the School of Accountancy last year. He has also worked with Kathy Schwaig‚ interim dean of the Coles College‚ in preparing the college as it works to maintain its accreditation. Harmon created the Internal Audit Center‚ which has earned a reputation for providing internal audit education to undergraduate students. He serves on the Coles College’s strategic planning committee and has assisted in the college’s fundraising efforts.

Harmon praised the can−do culture of the Coles College and said he is eager to leverage its brand in the academic and business communities.

“Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business is one of the most exciting business colleges in the country right now. The Coles College has a culture and a mission that are enviable among its peers‚” Harmon said. “My vision is to create a business college that is top−of−mind in metro Atlanta and that is internationally renowned for some of its strategic programs.”

Harmon‚ a native of Memphis‚ earned a B.S. in Accounting‚ a Master of Accountancy‚ and a Doctorate in Accounting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville‚ Tenn.


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Kennesaw State University is the third−largest university in Georgia‚ offering more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including new doctorates in education and business. A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21‚000 from 142 countries.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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