Get to Know Dean Troyer

Friday, August 21, 2020
Learn more about Jennifer Troyer, Belk College's new dean

This summer, Jennifer Troyer became dean of UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business. Only the seventh dean in the college’s 50th-year history, Troyer, a professor of economics and health economics researcher, has shown interdisciplinary leadership in a variety of roles at UNC Charlotte over her 20-year career. As dean of the Belk College, Troyer is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and is responsible for leading strategy and vision, championing its fundraising efforts, and managing its budget and more than 160 full-time faculty and staff. 

As the college prepares for the start of the academic year on Monday, Sept. 7, here are eight questions to help you get to know Dean Troyer. 

What are three goals you have for the upcoming academic year?  
My overarching goal for the upcoming academic year is a safe return of students, faculty, and staff to campus and providing support for students, staff, and faculty as we make adjustments to how we accomplish the goals of the college while in the midst of the pandemic. 
That said, we have some big things to accomplish this year, including celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Belk College of Business and the MBA program, and developing our new five-year strategic plan.

What’s something that people may not know about you? 
I was a first-generation college student, like many of our undergraduate students. Without the generosity of donors, I would not have been able to attend school full-time and engage in the many personal and professional development opportunities that helped shape me as a young adult.

What message do you have for students as they prepare for the start of classes next month?
You are joining the Belk College as future leaders. With leadership comes responsibility. Our ability to keep the physical doors of the University open depends on you leading in wearing a mask and social distancing. 

Remember that we are in this together. Many of you have faced loss, uncertainty, and frustration since the Spring. Remember that we are here to support you, and we are excited to have you back!

With over 4,600 graduate and undergraduate students, Belk College is bigger than many colleges and universities. What advice do you have for students who are looking to stand out? 
Our size creates countless opportunities for students to get involved. I would encourage students to step out of their comfort zone, network, and get to know other students, their faculty, and the staff that are there to support them. 
Approximately 70% of our students do one or more internships. Charlotte is a very vibrant business community, and there are many opportunities to get practical experience and engage with our alumni network of 33,000+ individuals.  

Where is your Zen zone? When do you feel most at peace? 
I love being in nature, hiking in particular. At home, my yoga mat is the place where I am most at peace.

Something that stands out so far with the pandemic is the inequality in America. As a health economist, what would it take to change this trajectory? Is it good that policy leaders are taking note? 
There are many dimensions of inequality that are interrelated – differences in educational attainment, wealth, access to health care and many more. As we wrestle with the pandemic, these inequalities are staring all of us in the face, and many of them are related to our systems.  It’s up to each of us to determine what is ours to do in the face of such inequality, but there is certainly room for policymakers to take note and consider change.

To you, what is a Business Niner? 
Business Niners are doers. They aren’t afraid of hard work. They are resilient and persevere in the face of difficult circumstances.   

What would you most like to be known for as dean?   
I would like to be known for my commitment to the success of all of our students, for continuing to increase the research profile of the college, and for getting the word out to our community about all that we are doing to produce new knowledge and provide an excellent educational experience for our students.