University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

CoBPA’s Denny Elbert to assume faculty role in Entrepreneurship

Denny Elbert

Denny Elbert

After 16 years as head of the College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA), Denny Elbert, the school’s longest-serving current Dean, has announced that he will return to the faculty in 2014.

“I would like to thank Dr. Elbert for his many years of service as Dean of business and public administration,” said President Robert Kelley. “During Denny’s years of leadership, academic programs in his College have grown in strength and in number. He has bolstered the reputation of the College and the University as a leader in the education of our future business professionals, entrepreneurs and public administrators.

“I should mention just a handful of achievements and events that have taken place under Dennis’ leadership: a historic $20 million fund-raising campaign for students and faculty, elite accreditation among the world’s business schools, a successful student and faculty exchange relationship with the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, establishment of a state-of-the-art investment education center, thanks to a generous gift from  A. Kirk Lanterman; the launch of new degree programs such as a master’s in applied economics, and entrepreneurship education that has put UND atop several national lists.”

Elbert’s last official day as Dean will be June 30, 2014.  At that time, he will take a faculty role in the Department of Entrepreneurship as the Eugene Dahl Chair of Leadership and Innovation. The endowed chair position was established by Howard and Brian Dahl of Amity Technologies, in honor of their father Gene Dahl, a longtime supporter of UND, the Entrepreneurship program and the Center for Innovation.

According to Elbert, the average Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)  business dean serves 3.75 years.

“It will be my privilege to have served  UND for 17 years after the 2013-2014 academic year,” he said. “ After that, I look forward to serving as the Eugene Dahl Chair in Leadership and Innovation to further build the program, assist with continued development and work with the entrepreneurship faculty and students to enhance the reputation of the department.”

A search for Elbert’s replacement as Dean will be conducted during the 2013-2014 academic year, and will be initiated by UND’s incoming provost, Thomas. M. DiLorenzo, according to current Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul LeBel.

“Dean Elbert is the senior Dean on our campus,” LeBel said. “His judgment and institutional knowledge have been very helpful not only to me as Provost but to his Dean colleagues as well.  Under his leadership, the College has seen significant advances in academic programs and in philanthropic support.  I have great respect for Denny, and am pleased that he has agreed to remain as Dean through the next academic year while a search to fill the position is conducted.”

About Denny Elbert:

Dennis J. Elbert, a native of Grafton, N.D., was appointed Dean of CoBPA in July, 1997. A longtime faculty member, Elbert served as professor of marketing, the MBA director for CoBPA, and as director of the Small Business Institute (SBI), where he worked with 20 to 25 businesses each year.

Elbert holds two degrees from UND, a Bachelor of Science in business administration in 1968 and a Master of Science in marketing, earned in 1972. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1976. Elbert started his career as a CoBPA marketing faculty member in 1980. He earned the rank of full professor in 1986. A UND Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) graduate and veteran of Vietnam and Cambodia, Elbert retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel in 1996.

Elbert has been active in University and community service, consulting, research and seminar work. He serves on a number of boards including Gate City Bank, Noridian Health Services, YMCA Foundation Trustee, Northern Lights Boy Scouts of America Executive Council, Edgewood REIT and ROTARY. Past board memberships and affiliations include Noridain Mutual Insurance Company, Altru Health System, United Health Resources, Simmons Advertising, YMCA Board of Grand Forks, Newman Parish Council, Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Bank Advisory Board and Cirrus Industries. In addition, Elbert serves on the Board of Governor’s for Beta Gamma Sigma, the international business education honorary group affiliated with AACSB International.

Elbert is known as an enthusiastic and highly motivating speaker and facilitator who has offered hundreds of seminars throughout the Midwest and Canada. He also has authored or co-authored multiple papers, monographs, textbook cases and articles.

Dennis and his wife, Dora, have three grown children, Jason, Christina and Danielle, who are all graduates of UND. They are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.

-- David L. Dodds, media relations/writer and editor, University and Public Affairs writer, 777.5529,

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