LAWRENCE — When Capitol Federal Hall opened in May 2016, it was quickly followed with news of a leadership transition for the University of Kansas School of Business. Now the hall will have a new executive occupying the corner office.
L. Paige Fields, professor and dean of the School of Business at Trinity University, has been named Henry D. Price professor and dean of the KU School of Business. She will begin her tenure July 1.
“I am truly excited to have Paige joining our faculty,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi. “Dr. Fields has proven leadership skills that will continue the upward trajectory of the school and build important partnerships within the university as well as the across the state of Kansas and in the Kansas City region.”
The KU School of Business is home to more than 110 faculty and staff and over 2,200 students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level. The school is one of only 185 schools with AACSB accreditation and has an operating budget of $25 million. In May 2016, the school opened Capitol Federal Hall, a state-of-the-art $70.5 million facility funded primarily by private donations that provides leading-edge technology and education resources for its faculty, staff and students.
“I am honored to be joining the KU family as the new dean of the School of Business,” Fields said. “With Capitol Federal Hall as our home, outstanding opportunities for the School of Business abound. I am absolutely thrilled to begin the process of working with the KU community to develop strategies, new ideas and cutting-edge programs that will enhance the school’s already outstanding reputation. We should look to invest, innovate and grow, and I am eager to help KU’s incredible group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and business community members do just that.”
Fields joined Trinity in 2012 as the Dick and Peggy Prassel Professor of Business Administration. She served as chair of the Department of Finance and Decision Sciences from 2013 to 2015 and also served as internal affairs coordinator for research, budget and placement. Fields was named dean of the School of Business in 2015. Fields’ husband, Michael Wilkins, the Jesse H. Jones Professor of Business at Trinity, will be joining her at KU.
Before joining Trinity, Fields was at Texas A&M University, where she held a variety of academic and leadership roles from 1994 to 2012. She was a visiting professor at the University of Arizona from 1991 to 1994 and has also taught at the University of Kentucky.
Her research expertise includes corporate governance, banking, insurance and capital structure. She has more than 20 refereed journal articles to her credit and has won a number of teaching awards at the school, university and national level.
She holds a doctorate in business administration (finance) from the University of South Carolina and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in finance from Louisiana State University.
Fields fills the vacancy created when Bendapudi, the previous dean of the School of Business, was selected to be KU's provost and executive vice chancellor. Bendapudi voiced appreciation for those involved in leading the school and orchestrating the search process for the next dean.
“I’m grateful for the service and leadership of Associate Dean of Business Jim Guthrie, who served as interim dean during the past year,” Bendapudi said. “I also want to acknowledge all who took part in the search process, and expressly mention the hard work of the search committee, led by Dean of Engineering Michael Branicky. They did an outstanding job.”