Harris named interim dean of ECU College of Business

GREENVILLE, N.C. (6/1/2022) — Dr. Michael L. Harris has been appointed interim dean of the East Carolina University College of Business, effective July 1, following Dr. Paul Schwager, who will begin a new role as dean of the College of Charleston School of Business this summer.

“It has been gratifying to see the College of Business pull together and adjust as needed during these challenging times,” Schwager said. “Mike’s positivity, energy and passion for eastern North Carolina is a real benefit to the college and the university. His 20-plus years of institutional knowledge will enable him to build on the outstanding existing and emerging initiatives. I know the COB will continue to thrive under his leadership.”

Harris is a leader within the College of Business and is an ECU alumnus having earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration and Master of Business degrees at ECU. He earned his doctorate in higher education administration at N.C. State University before returning to the ECU College of Business as an assistant professor in 2004. He was named associate professor in 2010 and professor in 2015, and served as chair of the Department of Management from 2014 until 2017, when he was named director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. He also holds the title of J. Fielding Miller Distinguished Professor.

As director of the COB’s Small Business Institute from 2000-2019, Harris worked with student teams to complete consulting projects for small business clients, and he has served as editor of the Small Business Institute Journal and as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Small Business Strategy. The Miller School has launched the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, the Bachelor of Science in entrepreneurship degree, the Crisp Small Business Resource Center and the Isley Innovation Hub.

Schwager was dean in 2019 after serving one year as interim dean. Under his leadership, the college has made noteworthy progress in support of ECU’s mission of student success, public service and regional transformation. It established the Thomas D. Arthur Graduate School of Business, the Cunanan Center for Professional Success and the Copeland Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship program.

“I am confident that Mike is the right choice to work with the faculty, staff and leadership team of the College of Business to continue to build on the college’s record of success,” said Dr. Grant Hayes, interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. “I also thank Dean Schwager for his service to ECU and wish him the best in his new role.”

Harris said he looks forward to building on the foundation laid by Schwager and former deans like Dr. Stanley Eakins. “I’m focused on being authentic to our mission and action-oriented in our approach to serving our students, the regional business community and our passionate Pirate alumni base,” he said.


East Carolina University News Services
Contact: Michael Rudd, ECU College of Business

Dr. Michael L. Harris (ECU Photo)