Press Release for Thursday, July 1, 2010

UNF Appoints New Coggin College of Business Dean

Joanna Norris, Assistant Director

Department of Media Relations and Events

(904) 620-2102

The Board of Trustees at the University of North Florida affirmed the appointment of Dr. Ajay Samant as the new dean of the Coggin College of Business and his tenure as a professor of Finance. He starts his new position today.


“I am looking forward to being a part of the UNF team. I know that UNF has students who are motivated, faculty and staff who are fully dedicated to the University mission, and leadership that is wise,” said Samant. “It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of this fine University.”


Samant succeeds Dr. John McAllister, who served as dean of the Coggin College for five years. He will take professional leave in the fall and will return to the University as a professor in the Department of Accounting and Finance in the spring of 2011.


He has established an impressive record of academic accomplishment, including five years of service as chair of the Department of Finance and Commercial Law at Western Michigan University as well as two years as associate dean and then interim dean of the Haworth College of Business at WMU.


“Dr. Samant is an experienced academic leader and a scholar of distinction,” said Dr. Mark Workman, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at UNF. “I have every confidence in his ability to advance the quality, reach and stature of the Coggin College of Business and look forward to working with him as well as the chairs, faculty and staff of the college to achieve these ends.”


Samant was awarded the rank of full professor at WMU in 2003 and based on his distinguished scholarly achievement, he was awarded the National City Endowed Chair in Finance at WMU in 2007.


He had several administrative accomplishments while he served at WMU, including the establishment of a Global Business Center, Center for Sustainable Business Practices and an Entrepreneurship Center. Additionally, he raised $2.5 million for the establishment of a Career Services Center for the Haworth College of Business.


Samant has received numerous awards for teaching and research such as the 2002 Zang Professor of the Year by the Department of Finance and Commercial Law at WMU, the Emerald Literati Network Highly Commended Award in 2008 and the Citation of Excellence and Highest Quality Rating by the editorial advisory board of ANBAR, United Kingdom.


He has served as a visiting professor at Massey University and the University of Waikato, both in New Zealand, as well as an administrator and teacher in the Singapore WMU MBA program for nine years. He received his doctorate degree from Indiana University, earning both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Bombay in India.


With more than 3,800 students, the Coggin College’s mission is to educate and develop business professionals through rigorous, relevant accredited degree programs offered by faculty devoted to student learning and engaged in scholarly activities.



Since 1976, the Coggin College of Business has been accredited by AACSB—only one in five business schools are awarded the accreditation—which honors the best business schools in the world. The AACSB is the world leader in accreditation for business education.