Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Arno Rethans, PhD


Department of Finance and Marketing
College of Business
Planning, Resource Allocation, and Evaluations
Academic Affairs

Arno Rethans’ abiding commitment to Chico State and its students has brought achievements that extend well beyond the classroom and impact the University’s standing in the United States and the world. 

Rethans came to Chico State from Pennsylvania State University in 1987. After three years as a professor of marketing, he became dean of the College of Business. During his tenure, the college founded the Business Resource Center, which assisted low-income students and continues to this day as a campuswide program. It also became the first of an elite group of schools around the world to partner with SAP to bring special enterprise software training to students through its University Alliances Program. 

Rethans also oversaw a successful reaccreditation of the College of Business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This experience presaged a vital role he was yet to play: leading the campus through Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) reaccreditation. This crucial and time-consuming task led to very positive feedback from visiting WASC teams and, most importantly, a lengthy reaccreditation for the University. In 2009, when Chico State received the maximum, 10-year reaccreditation, less than 5 percent of other schools received this honor. This distinction enhanced the University’s prestige in the eyes of higher education organizations and publications.

During this time, Rethans also served as vice provost for planning, resource allocation and evaluation, and then as senior vice provost for Academic Affairs and executive assistant to the president for Institutional Effectiveness. Over a 16-year span, his accomplishments included helping develop the 2007–2012 Academic Plan, institute a new resource allocation model for Academic Affairs, and create an assessment and program review model for Chico State. He served as a mentor and advocate for many faculty, staff, and administrators.

When he returned to the classroom, Rethans resumed his enthusiasm for business and marketing, redesigning an entry level course in global business incorporating e-learning tools and interactive, hands-on lessons. When, in 2016, he was asked to return to academic administration on an interim basis following President Gayle Hutchinson’s appointment, he once again agreed to share his great knowledge and experience in service to the University.

Rethans did his undergraduate work at University of Oregon and earned his master’s degree from the University of Portland. His PhD in marketing is from the University of Oregon.

Portrait of Arno Rethans, PhD