Loyola College Of Business Dean Capella: New Job A ‘Dream Come True’
It was 24 degrees and snowing in Philadelphia on Friday, March 8, when it was announced that Villanova University School of Business Associate Dean Dr. Michael L. Capella was going to become the new Dean of the Loyola University New Orleans Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business.
The temperature in New Orleans that day? A balmy 77.
You don’t need an MBA to figure out this snow to sun ratio and some Mother Nature marketing probably tipped the analytics in the Crescent City’s favor. Capella was moving back down South.
Capella spent nearly 14 years at Villanova, as a professor of marketing and an associate dean of the business school’s graduate and executive programs, and his research interests focused on the intersection of marketing and public policy issues, comprising topics related to advertising effects including the gamification of advertising, consumer consumption of harmful products and retail pricing strategies.
His work has been published in the Journal of Service Research, the International Journal of Research in Marketing and the Journal of Retailing.
Capella also serves on the Editorial Review Board at the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, the Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Consumer Affairs and the International Journal of Advertising.
Capitalizing on his well rounded resume, Capella said the strong academic reputation of Loyola and its mission to educate ‘the whole person’ are just some of the reasons why he wanted to helm the business school.
Capella officially joined the Loyola community on Saturday, June 1, and shared his prospectus with Biz:
Leslie Snadowsky: As the new Dean of the Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business at Loyola University New Orleans, you’ve officially been on the job for about two weeks. You were an Associate Dean at the Villanova University School of Business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. What are your first impressions of New Orleans, Loyola and the business climate in the Crescent City?
Dr. Michael L. Capella: New Orleans is a unique multicultural environment, unlike anywhere else in the world, that breeds tremendous innovation and creativity. In addition, the strong attachment of New Orleanians to this city is readily apparent. And as an important member of that community, Loyola is dedicated to service to others. Throughout Loyola and the College of Business, there is a firm grounding in ethics, applied education and global citizenship. Based on the Jesuit values of educating the whole person, caring and leading through service, the College of Business remains committed to developing outstanding leaders who can thrive in the ever-changing, complex and fast-paced world of business.
L.S.: It seems everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days, and many are getting results in unconventional, disruptive ways. Is going to business school still worth your while, and is getting a degree from a business school still an important asset to have in the marketplace?
M.C.: Of course! Rooted in the 500-year-old Jesuit tradition, students in the College of Business become part of a distinguished learning community created to cultivate the next generation of ethical business leaders. This accessible and innovative business degree is for forward-thinking and responsible innovators who want to thrive in the global economy and serve the common good. Additionally, the Loyola network of students, alumni, parents, supporters and friends runs wide and deep. Loyola graduates consistently support each other – academically, professionally and personally.
L.S.: What specifically does Loyola offer business students that can help lead to their future successes?
M.C.: The College of Business provides a personalized, individual approach to education – small class sizes, the opportunity to develop strong relationships with peers and faculty, and a very responsive support staff. Led by a world-class faculty with significant business experience, each program within the College of Business incorporates industry expertise into the classroom, with a focus on current events that are shaping the business world. Deeply committed to mentoring students, faculty members encourage active participation and provide individual support and feedback. In addition, the College of Business has dedicated staff and a robust internship program in place to ensure student success.
L.S.: During your tenure as Associate Dean at Villanova, you created and launched an online MBA and Master of Science in Analytics program, both of which are ranked in the top 15 of the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Loyola has several online MBA programs, including a dual Master of Pastoral Studies and Master of Business Administration. Why should a student choose to pursue an online business degree at Loyola?
M.C.: The Loyola online business programs are designed for professionals and undergraduates who want the flexibility and convenience of an online program combined with the community, peer learning, robust curriculum and quality of an established on-campus program. In fact, the online programs at Loyola offer the same advanced business education as the campus-based programs. It features the same rigorous admissions standards, same innovative curriculum and same great faculty. It’s a versatile business curriculum focused on developing innovative and responsible leaders who can make a difference in the business world and in the world around them.
L.S.: Every business owner has their own “special” relationship with social media – the good, the bad and the ugly. How does Loyola help future captains of industry capitalize on social media?
M.C.: Loyola College of Business faculty fully understand what it takes to be effective communicators, both in-person and in cyberspace. Through direct engagement with faculty and peers, our students explore new social media concepts, tackle complex digital media problems and create innovative solutions. This collaborative approach allows our students to develop a strong business acumen and the necessary communication skills essential for success in the digital age.
L.S.: Your new bosses Provost Maria Calzada and Tania Tetlow, J.D., the 17th university president of Loyola University New Orleans, the first woman and the first layperson to lead Loyola since the Society of Jesus founded the university in 1912, are both women. What trends are you seeing for women in the business world, and how does Loyola support women as future business owners and leaders?
M.C.: Clearly, many more women are assuming leadership roles within higher education and that trend is consistent with the overall rise in female matriculation. One of the aspects of Loyola that attracted me was the strong commitment to gender and ethnic diversity. And I was immediately impressed with the significant number of international students on campus. The mission of the University, as well as the principles of social justice and equity, allow our female students to flourish. I feel very fortunate to be joining Loyola at this time and the ability to learn from both President Tetlow and Provost Calzada is a wonderful opportunity.
L.S.: You received an MBA at Georgia State University and a PhD in Marketing at Mississippi State University. After spending nearly 14 years up North at Villanova, I can only imagine you’re looking forward to coming back down to the sunny South. What are you looking forward to the most, and what are you hoping to discover personally and professionally here in New Orleans and at Loyola?
M.C.: Coming to Loyola feels like coming home, including the humidity! In particular, my family lives in Mississippi and my wife’s family is from Florida so we eagerly anticipate hosting many guests in our Uptown residence. Personally and professionally I am very excited to be the Dean of the Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business. Prior to academia, I had a career in outside sales, and I very much look forward to the alumni engagement aspects of the role. Indeed, the opportunity to serve as Dean at a University with such a strong academic reputation and sense of purpose is literally a dream come true.