Get to KNow Jennifer Troyer
The Belk College of Business dean brings a business mindset and an entrepreneurial approach to leadership
Get to know Jennifer Troyer
The Belk College of Business dean brings a business mindset and an entrepreneurial approach to her leadership
A leading national researcher on health economics, Jennifer Troyer became dean of UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business in July 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic. Her immediate concern was to ensure the health and safety of the college’s students, faculty and staff.
The pandemic has not deterred Troyer from her goal to connect the greater Charlotte business community with the college’s alumni network. Novel approaches for those connections include a podcast series, an e-newsletter and virtual events. She is guiding Belk College’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration, which continues through April 2021 with events such as the Dean’s Leadership Series. And she is focused on the college’s future, with the development of a new strategic plan, which will be informed by ongoing discussions with Charlotte’s business leaders and Belk College faculty, students and alumni.
“Our constituents agree that Charlotte needs a business college focused on creating new knowledge, offering research expertise and related graduate programming and providing a high-quality, accessible educational experience for students in the region,” Troyer noted.
The seventh dean of UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business, Troyer actually is a veteran faculty member, joining the University two decades ago after completing rigorous master’s and Ph.D. programs at Florida State University. Her desire to join UNC Charlotte was rooted in the University’s history as a pioneering institution that affords students and faculty opportunities to excel.
“For five decades, the Belk College of Business has been a leader in Charlotte, offering innovative programs that have provided the talent pipeline vital for business and industry growth, not only in the Queen City but across the greater Charlotte region,” said Troyer. “We’re among the largest and most diverse business schools in the Carolinas — and poised to become one of the nation’s top urban research business schools. We’ll do so by building on the college’s deep partnerships with Charlotte’s corporate and business communities.”
Interdisciplinary leadership is a hallmark of Troyer’s career, which started with a joint appointment between the Economics Department and the Master of Health Administration program. An award-winning health economist, she has initiated policy-relevant studies on the quality of U.S. nursing homes, investigated the cost-effectiveness of medical interventions and analyzed strategic behaviors in the pharmaceutical industry. Her research has received funding from a number of state and federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health.
Prior to serving the Belk College as interim dean, Troyer was interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services, where she raised more than $500,000 in private funding and helped foster and grow an annual commitment from Mecklenburg Public Health. As Belk College associate dean, she was instrumental in the creation of three graduate certificates and the Master of Science in Management (MSM) program. She also helped launch the first Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program in the Carolinas in 2017.
“Business Niners are doers. We aren’t afraid of hard work or to take calculated risks. We are resilient and persevere in the face of difficult circumstances.”
A first-generation college student who attended the University of Memphis, Troyer knows from experience the challenges that many Belk College undergraduates face. As student enrollment has increased more than 30 percent during the past decade, the college has focused efforts on helping students succeed.
“The Niblock Student Center offers a one-stop support hub for our students,” said Troyer of the supportive programming made possible by a generous gift from alumnus and retired CEO and chairman of Lowe’s Companies Robert Niblock Jr. “During this past academic year, more than 2,800 students attended professional development programs, support that led to 90 percent of 2019 graduates landing full-time employment or pursuing graduate studies.”
Partnerships with Charlotte’s business leaders help drive the college’s industry-relevant curriculum. Students benefit from internships and networking opportunities in Charlotte, the 15th largest U.S. city, and home of the nation’s second-largest banking hub and, according to Business Insider, America’s top-ranked city attracting millennials.
“The Belk College of Business has a cadre of talented teachers and researchers from around the world, who are at the forefront of addressing pressing problems in business and society. We work across disciplines and colleges to provide our graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed in an ever-changing workplace.”
BELK COLLEGE POINTS OF PRIDE
- U.S. News & World Report ranked the part-time Master of Business Administration as no. 1 among North Carolina public universities and in the top 20% nationally. The program is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
- The Master of Mathematical Finance, designed to prepare students for careers in finance, from financial institutions to investment banks to commodities firms, is ranked 13th in the nation.
- Belk College is among the colleges partnering to offer programs in the School of Data Science, an interdisciplinary initiative devoted to equipping graduates for jobs in data-intensive industries.
- The Childress Klein Real Estate Center is providing valuable research related to residential and commercial real estate to aid business, industry and government leaders in decisions related to housing and development. The center is ranked among the 20 most active real estate institutions for the past decade.
- Since 2015, the college has added two distinctive graduate programs — the state’s first and only AACSB-accredited Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) and the only Master of Science in Management in the UNC System. Both build upon the legacy of the Belk College’s establishment of the first graduate program for Charlotte’s working professionals in 1970.