New dean named for Kennesaw State’s Michael J. Coles College of Business

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Kathy Schwaig brings more than 20 years of experience to one of Georgia’s and the Southeast…

Georgia (May 10, 2012) —  

Kathy Schwaig brings more than 20 years of experience to one of Georgia’s and the Southeast’s top business schools
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KENNESAW, Ga. (May 10, 2012)— Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp has named Kathy “Kat” Schwaig dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business, effective immediately. Schwaig has been serving as interim dean of the college since July 2010.
Schwaig served as associate dean for academic affairs for the Coles College of Business prior to her appointment as interim dean. A professor of information systems, Schwaig has held several other positions within the college, including interim chair for the Department of Accounting and interim dean during the 2008-2009 academic year. She also served as interim chair for the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Kennesaw State’s College of Science and Mathematics. Prior to joining Kennesaw State, she held faculty positions at Georgia State University, the University of South Carolina and Baylor University.
During Schwaig’s tenure as interim dean, the college’s national reputation has risen: Coles’ Executive MBA (EMBA) and part-time MBA programs were ranked among the best in the nation in 2011 by Bloomberg Businessweek. Its EMBA program also has been recognized by CEO magazine as one of the best in the U.S. The Coles College is home to the world-renowned Cox Family Enterprise Center, the Corporate Governance Center and the Center for Professional Selling.
Schwaig also led the strategic planning process for the Coles College of Business and facilitated the creation of the college’s Department of Information Systems. She also was instrumental in the college’s reaccreditation efforts. In addition, under her leadership, the Coles College of Business enrolled and graduated the inaugural class in the Doctor of Business Administration program.
Schwaig was among a pool of 40 candidates who vied for the position in a national search chaired by Arlinda Eaton, dean of Kennesaw State’s Bagwell College of Education.
“Kat has been an outstanding contributor and leader for KSU and the Coles College of Business since joining the university in 2002,” said W. Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “In addition to her wealth of knowledge and experience, she also is well-respected and liked among faculty, staff and students. I look forward to her continued support and enthusiasm and I know that her vision, dedication and leadership will catapult the Coles College further into the national arena.”
The Coles College of Business is the second-largest business school in Georgia and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
“The moment I joined the Coles College of Business, I knew that it was unique,” Schwaig stated. “It is one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial colleges of business in the nation. The staff and faculty care deeply about our programs, are committed to excellence in business education and — quite frankly — amaze me with their level of commitment and energy. I am excited about being a member of the team and I am grateful, honored and humbled to be selected as dean.”
Schwaig is an expert on information privacy and her research has been published in leading journals, including Information Systems Research, Communications of the ACM and Journal of Management Information Systems.  Currently, she serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Information Security and Privacy.
She is currently on the board of The Edge Connection, a nonprofit that provides business education to micro-entrepreneurs and is also chair of the board of Partnership in Academics and Development, a nonprofit focused on education initiatives in central Asia. Schwaig holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in information systems from Baylor University. She earned a Ph.D. in management information systems from the University of South Carolina.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.


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