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College of Business

From the Dean's Desk


College of Business Dean Terence Lau

September 25, 2020

Dear friends and alumni,

I hope you’re doing well. These past few months have been trying for all of us. In spite of these challenges, I’m incredibly proud of the way that our faculty and staff in the College of Business have responded as we switched to a virtual format. This fall, we are proud to launch @COB, our Digital College of Business. Our Seufferlein Sales Program is offering virtual workshops on presentations, high-performance habits, and emotional intelligence. Tom Villa and his team will also be bringing the first-ever CSU-wide sales competition together this fall. At the Center for Entrepreneurship, we are bringing an incredible group of guest speakers to our students, from Olympian Daron Rahlves to local alumni and entrepreneur John Aylworth. The Center will also host our annual elevator pitch competition this fall. I invite you to explore all the events our College is offering.

As I reflect on the journey of our College, it occurs to me that there are three things we have to solve as a society, and specifically in higher education, in the coming months.

  • We live in a Zoom world. We know we can do everything by Zoom. Thus far, we have done admissions, testing, orientation, welcomes, graduation, classes, recruitment, social events, and more by Zoom. The question is, should it be done by Zoom? What classes should be online, what shouldn’t? If you take “Chico” out of “Chico State,” as we’ve been asked to do, what’s left that we should capitalize on and grow?
  • A body of academic research indicates that office workers are miserable and burned out. Is “work from home” or “live at work” a lasting phenomenon that will change tomorrow’s American workplace? Why do we have to be in the office? For decades, managers and business professionals have clung to the idea that face-to-face interactions are best, and that workers can’t be trusted to work away from the office. What if those assumptions are no longer valid?
  • Although our economy produces incredible companies that solve complicated challenges, there are some problems that companies can’t solve. In my lifetime, I have seen climate change and systemic injustice and oppression emerge as problems that threaten our march towards a more perfect union. Business can’t solve these problems, but they can lead the way.

In the coming months, we will explore these themes in the College so that we can make more sense of what is happening, and turn some of these challenges into opportunities. With the support of alumni and supporters like you, we can seize this moment to create a new College of Business in the post-Covid era. I hope you’ll join us.


Terence Lau
Dean, College of Business
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0145

Glenn Hall

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