Kent State Names New Dean of College of Business Administration

Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., will join Kent State on Jan. 1, 2013

Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., will join Kent State University as the new dean of the College of Business Administration.Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., has been named the new dean of Kent State University’s College of Business Administration. Spake currently serves as associate dean and professor of marketing at the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama. Todd Diacon, Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, made the announcement today.

Spake will join Kent State on Jan. 1, 2013. She replaces Kathryn S. Wilson, Ph.D., who has served as interim dean of the College of Business Administration since Oct. 1, 2011. Wilson will return to her faculty position in the college’s Department of Economics.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Spake as part of our Kent State family,” Diacon says. “Her successful career in private industry, combined with her considerable talents and success as a fundraiser, will help propel our College of Business Administration to new heights.”

As dean of the college, Spake will be responsible for such matters as the development and supervision of the program budget, recommendations regarding the appointment and retention of all staff, recommending and implementing program and course offerings, establishing course assignments and workloads, assisting in the administration of the university’s personnel and affirmative action policies, and enforcing all university regulations, policies and procedures.

Prior to her current position, Spake was assistant dean for assessment at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business. She has taught marketing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.; Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich.; Fachhochschule Worms (University of Applied Sciences) in Worms, Germany; and the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. In addition to her academic experience, Spake has worked in the marketing research industry in Atlanta with clients including Amoco, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Virginia, Georgia Pacific, Select Labs, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and the YMCA.

Spake’s research interests include services marketing, healthcare marketing, advertising and business ethics. Her research has appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Journal of Medical Marketing, Health Marketing Quarterly, International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, and Marketing Education Review.

She is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Business Research and an ad hoc reviewer for several journals and conferences. Spake has been an American Marketing Association Doctoral Consortium Fellow and has won many teaching and research awards. She is active in the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the international accreditation body for schools and colleges of business. Currently, she co-facilitates training symposia for new associate deans of business.

Spake received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama, and she received both her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Business Administration, visit

POSTED: Monday, November 12, 2012 12:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 09:06 PM
University Communications and Marketing