Alumna Tracy Harrell Dunn (‘96 MBA, ‘03 Ph.D., business administration) was promoted in 2021 to dean of the Benedict College Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. Dunn is the first woman to hold this position at their business school.
Before becoming the dean of the business school, Dunn held various positions at Benedict College, a historically black college and university in Columbia, South Carolina. Dunn began in 2003 as a business assistant professor and then became in 2008 the school’s assistant dean. However, in 2013, Dunn took a step back and returned to the classroom as an associate professor.
“When both of my parents experienced a significant decline in their health, I simply needed more flexibility in my schedule and less responsibility,” Dunn said. “I have always held the mindset that if you are going to do something, do it well. I knew that I could not remain an effective administrator while balancing the care of my parents and young children.”
In 2017, Dunn returned to administration when she was named interim dean of the business department. In 2021, she was named the permanent dean and the first woman in the role.
“I am honored to hold this place in Benedict’s history,” she said. “The responsibility of this honor is not lost on me. I recognize that I have the opportunity to influence how others may think about female leadership at a business school.”
In each position she has held, Dunn said she has utilized the skills she gained at the Moore School to best perform her duties and responsibilities.
“My experiences at the Darla Moore School of Business have certainly influenced my career focus,” she said. “They have served as important sources of inspiration for me as an administrator. It was at the Moore School that I learned the power of curriculum innovation.”
Dunn said she uses these skills to further develop Benedict College’s business school.
“A business student at Benedict today benefits from the major curriculum update that we completed two years ago under my leadership,” she said. “The updates addressed the feedback that we were receiving from our corporate partners; employers want our graduates to have well-developed hard skills and soft skills.”
She said Benedict also emphasizes service learning in their curriculum so their students can be “powers for good” in their communities.
As Dunn continues to enhance Benedict College’s business school curriculum as their dean, she said the Moore School made her career trajectory possible.
“I am so appreciative of my time at the University of South Carolina, and I want to applaud my alma mater for being a forward-looking institution committed to diversity before many others were,” she said. “The university’s support of the Grace Jordan McFadden Professor Program, [formerly the African American Professor Program], was critical to my development as an academician but, more importantly, to the successful completion of my doctoral studies.”