When Karen Newman joined Daniels in 2005 as dean, she had truly come home. The Denver native had left Colorado for college and started her career at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania after earning both her PhD and MBA at the University of Chicago. Newman spent four years at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio before joining Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1984.
At Georgetown, Newman taught management courses and served as associate dean for graduate programs and academic director of the management development program for central and eastern European executives. She gained deep international experience as a visiting professor at the University of Melbourne and the Czech Management Center, and was an ardent researcher on topics ranging from multinational management to organizational change.
The end of the century marked a turning point in Newman’s career when she was named dean of the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business in 1999. “I thrive on change and I was excited for a new challenge,” she said. Six years later, she embraced yet another opportunity for growth: joining Daniels as dean. “Dan Ritchie had transformed DU, and there were many exciting things on the horizon. With my parents still in Denver, it was perfect timing.”
And so, after 37 years away, Newman returned to Denver in 2005 and became the College’s 15th dean. During her tenure, enrollment increased significantly, and the College introduced the Daniels Compass curriculum, which integrated fundamental business disciplines with areas such as values-based leadership, innovation, ethics and teamwork. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal ranked Daniels third in the world for producing graduates with high ethical standards.
In 2007, Newman joined the Department of Management faculty. She taught organizational behavior and organizational dynamics and threw herself into research, which she had largely set aside during her time in administration. “It was like coming full circle,” said Newman, the author of the “Handbook of Cross-Cultural Management” and “Managing Radical Organizational Change.” Her most recent research focuses on sustainable organizational careers and has been published in “Organizational Dynamics and Case Research Journal.”
A passion for supporting the professional development of women led Newman to get involved with organizations like the Women’s Forum of Colorado. “To work with such accomplished, interesting women just nurtured my soul,” she said. Today, Newman is vice chair of the board for Colorado Public Radio. She retired from Daniels in June 2015.
“It’s rewarding to see your students go on and be successful,” she said. “I got into academia because of a love of research and the teaching I learned on the job. So, to know that I had a positive impact on many students means so much. I’ll cherish that forever.”