New business dean named

Robin Fjelstad, Designer

The new dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business at Missouri Southern, Dr. John Groesbeck, brings a wide base of experience to the position, but at the same time, is on familiar ground.

Groesbeck, who was selected from a field of 17 applicants, will officially take over as dean on June 1.

Southern is Groesbeck’s third stop as dean of a business school. His résumé includes five years at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business at Westminster College, Salt Lake City, and one year before that at the College of Business at Eastern New Mexico University.

Groesbeck said his former schools were of almost the same demographic as Southern in relative size of the student body and the nature and mission of the University.

“All of those things match my experience nicely,” he said.

Missouri Southern administrators agree that Groesbeck is a good fit for the position.

“We were incredibly impressed with his experience and accomplishments of being the dean of two different institutions,” Dr. A.J. Anglin, vice president of academic affairs, said.

Groesbeck and his wife Janette also share a family connection to the southwest Missouri area.

His mother was born in Independence and his grandmother was born in Buffalo.

Groesbeck’s father-in-law lives in Pineville, and the new dean said that was an added incentive to applying for the position at Southern.

The Groesbecks have two adult children who will not be moving with them.

Groesbeck believes that the University plays a wonderful role in higher education for the people in southwest Missouri.

He said he looks forward to working with the businesses, students and government entities as well as with his colleagues at the other schools that make up the Southern campus. I enjoy being involved, working to help solve problems and move things along in a positive direction,” he said.

“I am a believer that education is the hope of America … Joplin is the regional hub for a number of smaller communities and I would imagine that Missouri Southern pulls students in from those communities. Many of them are first generation; many of them are looking for a way to improve their lives.That’s why I got into higher education, is for exactly people like that and that’s why I am very much interested in being there.”

Groesbeck brings with him more than a decade of experience in regional economic modeling, so he has an exceptional understanding of the dynamic of this region.

“We feel that [Groesbeck] brings in experience from other places that would fit who we are,” Anglin said. “We felt like he understood the type of institution that MSSU is … that he had a grasp.”

Groesbeck, in a mission statement, described his desire to facilitate the transforming of students into enlightened individuals possessing a hunger for lifelong development along with the intellectual, social, cultural, technological, professional and ethical tools needed to do so.

He said, “I believe that outstanding achievements are most often driven by high expectations, but also through social interaction, clear communications and effective motivations, and so my job is to create an environment to facilitate that process … we are the hope of America, we are the hope that people have for a better life through education. I firmly believe that and I take that very seriously.”

He said he looks forward to long bike rides with his wife through the surrounding country, including the Mark Twain National Forest, on one of his five motorcycles.

He is a self-admitted adrenaline junkie who enjoys motocross and autocross. He also enjoys playing the guitar.

When the day finally comes to retire, the thing Groesbeck would most like to have accomplished is best summed up by an inscription he recalls from a tombstone he saw while he was still in graduate school: “His was a life that enriched the life of others.”

“If people can say that about me, then I will have accomplished something,” he said.