The Southeast community suffered a loss this week when Dr. Gerald McDougall, dean of Southeast Missouri State University’s Harrison College of Business and associate provost for Extended Learning, passed away Sunday, March 5.
Visitation is planned for 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at Ford and Sons Mt. Auburn Chapel, 1001 N. Mt. Auburn Road, in Cape Girardeau. The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, March 10, at Ford and Sons Mt. Auburn Chapel. A University Celebration of Life will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, March 10, in the Dempster Hall Atrium.
McDougall, who had planned to retire from the University in June, joined the University as Dean of the Harrison College of Business in 1993, and over the next 24 years dedicated himself to the growth and successes of the College of Business, its faculty, staff and students.
“Dr. McDougall was truly an innovator in higher education and will be remembered for his dedication to his colleagues, faculty, staff and especially to the thousands of students he nurtured and mentored,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of the University.
During his tenure as dean, the Harrison College of Business achieved its business accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International in 1996 and maintains that prestigious designation to this day – a feat McDougall attributed to the faculty’s commitment to excellence. That same year, after tirelessly helping to secure funding for the construction of modern, professional facilities, he managed the College’s move into Robert A. Dempster Hall.
McDougall also oversaw the establishment of a nationally recognized Master of Business Administration program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary; the Master of Science in Organizational Management program; the expansion of undergraduate program offerings to include a number of new majors, and international programming, including the establishment of dual-degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level; as well as the adoption of new technologies to provide a wide variety of online courses and undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
His commitment to creativity and innovation helped lay the foundation for programs focused on student and community success including the Center for Business and Economic Research; the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and the Catapult Creative House, which was recently named an AACSB Innovation That Inspires.
His devotion was boundless, and he dutifully and faithfully served the University in a multitude of administrative positions throughout the years.
He twice served as interim Provost and chief academic officer, most recently from June 1, 2015, until Feb. 15, 2016, and twice served as interim vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. He also supervised, in the interim, Extended Learning, the Missouri Innovation Corporation, International Programs and Online Learning.
The University expresses its deepest condolences to Dr. McDougall’s wife, Karen, who was a long-time University staff member and retired from the Childcare Resource and Referral Office, their two daughters, grandchildren and extended family.