Getting schooled: Kat Schwaig is first female dean of KSU’s business school

KENNESAW — Kathy “Kat” Schwaig, the first female dean of the Michael J. Coles…

Georgia (May 18, 2012) — KENNESAW — Kathy “Kat” Schwaig, the first female dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, says her focus will be to develop more certificate programs for executives. Schwaig had been the school’s interim dean since July 2010, and bested 40 other candidates in a nationwide search to get the job permanently. That was her second stint as the interim dean. Schwaig says her focus is to build on the entrepreneurial spirit of her department and develop more executive education programs that are certificate-based, rather than diploma-based. “It is one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial colleges of business in the nation,” Schwaig said. “We will continue to see how we can serve the business community with customized programs, particularly in health care.” Schwaig, a professor of information systems, has chaired several departments within the school and was associate dean for academic affairs. She was previously on the faculty at the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Ph.D. in management information systems; Baylor University in Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and her MBA in information systems; and at Georgia State University. The latter, she said, offers the strongest competition for KSU’s master’s of business administration programs. As interim dean of Coles, she led the school’s strategic planning process and helped create the college’s Department of Information Systems. Also during her tenure as interim dean, the Executive MBA and part-time MBA programs were ranked among the best in the nation in 2011 by Bloomberg Businessweek and recognized by CEO magazine. In addition, under her leadership, Coles enrolled and graduated the inaugural class in the doctor of business administration program earlier this month. Last week, the business school graduated 547 students, slightly up from 519 a year ago. “Kat has been an outstanding contributor and leader for KSU and the Coles College of Business,” said W. Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who was dean before Schwaig. “She is well-respected and liked among faculty, staff and students. … I know that her vision, dedication and leadership will catapult the Coles College further into the national arena.” Schwaig serves on the board of The Edge Connection, a nonprofit that provides business education to micro-entrepreneurs, and she is chairman of the board of Partnership in Academics and Development, a nonprofit focused on education initiatives in central Asia.


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. 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. For more information, visit