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The Power of Personal personified

A transformational figure in the history of the Spears School of Business, Dr. Ken Eastman will retire following the 2022-23 school year after nearly 34 years on the Oklahoma State University campus.
Sporting his signature orange bowtie, Dr. Eastman became the third-longest serving dean in the history of the school, and oversaw a period of monumental growth that included the construction of the new Business Building in 2018, strategic updates to curriculum, as well as groundbreaking initiatives and new centers.
But perhaps Dr. Eastman’s biggest contribution to Spears Business will live on through the school’s motto developed under his leadership ­– The Power of Personal.

Let's Celebrate!

A party 34-years in the making
The entire Oklahoma State and Stillwater families are invited to celebrate the many achievements of Dean Ken Eastman during his three-decade career at the Spears School of Business.

27thOf April • 1:30-3 pm

Students, alumni, faculty, staff and Stillwater residents are encouraged to join us in the Keystone Lobby of the Business Building for a reception in Dean Eastman's honor.

🎉🎉Can't make the party?

Click here to leave the Dean a message about how much he's meant to you and Spears Business.

Leaving his mark

After 34 years on campus, Dr. Ken Eastman has made a lasting impression on OSU and its alums
“Ken emulates The Power of Personal. His connection with people is real. It’s genuine. It’s from the heart. People can sense that. They can feel that. They know that he cares about them. He’s the best example of a leader that we can think of.” 
- Tyler Hewitt, OSU Foundation

Quite a careerProfessional timeline

  • Dean, Spears School of Business • July 2014
  • Norman and Suzanne Myers Chair • June 2014
  • Richard W. Poole Professor • June 2014
  • Professor, Department of Management • 2014
  • Associate Professor, Department of Management • 1995-2014
  • Interim Dean, Spears School of Business • July 2013 - June 2014
  • Head, Department of Management • 2003-2013
  • Director, MBA Program • 1999-2003
  • Acting Dept. Head, Department of Management • Dec. 2002 - March 2003
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Management • Aug. 1989 - July 1995

Behind the bow tie

Dr. Ken Eastman, tells his students careers aren’t linear, and he speaks from experience. He was a pig farmer turned first generation college student. He has worked many odd jobs, including being a radio DJ and warehouse supervisor, before finding his way to academia and Oklahoma State – the place he has called home for the last 30 years.



Dazzling decadeSpears Business has seen monumental growth under Dr. Eastman's guidance

  • Faculty tracks

    Spears Business created a track system for tenured and tenure-track faculty to align their research interests and capabilities with their teaching responsibilities. Under this track system, faculty producing high levels of quality research can be assigned to lower teaching loads, while those with lower research output can move into more teaching-focused tracks. High performance within any chosen track is rewarded. In addition, Spears created a college-wide journal list that bases assessment of journal quality on ABS, ABDC, and FT-50 lists, in addition to the journal lists of peer institutions. Spears Business also increased the hiring of full-time professors of practice from 12 to 35 with the express intent of bringing a practice perspective and more practice interaction into its classrooms.

  • Preparing new leaders

    Under Dr. Eastman’s guidance, Spears Business added multiple Centers that have greatly enhanced the student experience and prepared the next generation of leaders for our state.


    • The Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement, better known as CAGLE, offers a once-in-a-lifetime study abroad experience while also coordinating all global activities.
    • The Eastin Center for Career Readiness guides and supports students as they pursue their professional aspirations.
    • The Center for Sales and Service Excellence instills valuable sales, leadership and customer retention skills.
    • The Center for Health Systems Innovation leverages the power of Spears Business and the OSU Center for Health Sciences to focus on business and clinical advancements.
  • World class facility
    Opened in the spring of 2018, the $72 million Business Building changed the game for Spears Business and was the crowning accomplishment for Dr. Ken Eastman. The 147,450-square-foot facility houses 13 classrooms, four labs, 150 offices, 12 team rooms and 11 conference rooms while featuring the latest in technology.
  • The business of hospitality

    Established in 1937, the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management joined the Spears Business family in 2019 with a goal of educating students and conducting research for the food and beverage, lodging, event planning and tourism management industries. Under the leadership of Dr. Brij Thapa, the school has a heavy emphasis on experiential learning geared toward producing industry leaders.

  • What's the big idea?

    Always an innovator, Dr. Eastman encouraged Spears Business faculty and staff to submit their “Big Ideas” to the Spears Business leadership. Multiple initiatives are currently in action thanks to the project.


    • The Center for Financial Health and Wellness works with students, faculty and staff to raise the level of financial literacy for the OSU community.
    • The Institute for Predictive Medicine has a goal of expanding OSU’s research capacity in data science and artificial intelligence to further develop the technology and software that powers the medical industry.
  • Core curriculum refresh

    Spears Business revised its undergraduate core curriculum to better respond to the needs of business and to set up students for long-term success. This endeavor moved the core curriculum away from a collection of introductory classes for the various majors to a set of classes that provide the content and skills likely to be needed by all majors. The curriculum changes were a response to requests from recruiters for a heavy emphasis on interpersonal and career-readiness skills, better technology skills, more applied accounting and finance skills, and problem-solving rather than memorization. New developments continue as there is work in progress to expand coverage of data analytics in the core.

  • Diversity & inclusion

    A Senior Inclusion Officer position was created at Spears Business, and Dr. Alexis Smith Washington was named to the job. She will work with academic units and faculty to help ensure inclusive hiring practices and workplace culture. Dr. Washington has formed a Spears Diversity and Inclusion Council to promote the council’s mission within the college. Safe Zone training for faculty and staff is offered each year to create a culture of inclusion for LGBTQ+ students. A “We’re First Generation" initiative involving scholarships, bridge activities during Welcome Week, mentoring and student success activities is also being piloted.



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