Williamson College of Business Administration welcomes new dean

Kelly Wilkinson joins the YSU community Feb. 1 as the next dean to serve the Williamson College of Business Administration. Photo by Elizabeth Coss / The Jambar

By Elizabeth Coss

Kelly Wilkinson has been named the new dean of Williamson College of Business Administration following the retirement of Betty Jo Licata last semester. Licata served as the dean of Williamson for 26 years.  

Wilkinson has previously worked as a professor, chair and associate dean at Indiana State University. 

She said part of the reason she chose Youngstown State University is because she enjoys helping students find their future occupations. 

“I enjoy helping students find their passion and their career choices, and that was one of the things that led me here,” Wilkinson said. 

One of the first things she plans to work on is communication and economics in the college, as well as adapting it to the changing environments students have been facing. 

“[There are] gaps in learning from students who haven’t been in the classroom that are coming into college,” Wilkinson said. “There are going to be things we haven’t even thought of yet, and we’re going to have to be ready to pivot to those needs.”

Wilkinson also plans on working with students and making sure their needs are met by helping them figure out what their purpose in the Mahoning Valley is in terms of industry.  

“There [are] entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as making sure we’re meeting the needs for the traditional students as well,” Wilkinson said.

Provost Brien Smith was pleased with the decision to hire Wilkinson as dean and looks forward to the expertise she can offer the university.

“Kelly brings with her years of experience in higher education and business school administration,” Smith said. “Her accomplishments align well with YSU’s Plan for Strategic Actions to Take Charge of Our Future, particularly in student success and life-long learning. I believe she will demonstrate her ability to work well with others, both at YSU and within the Youngstown community.” 

Wilkinson will officially be at the university starting Feb. 1.