Dr. Diane G. Bruce has been named the new dean of the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business
at Bellarmine University. Bruce, inaugural dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., will begin her new duties this summer.
Bruce, a Louisville native, was chosen following a national search. Dr. Daniel Petree had served as interim dean of the Rubel School for the 2022-23 academic year following the departure of Dean Natasha Munshi in July 2022.
“Dr. Bruce was the clear choice as Rubel School dean based on her enthusiasm and experience with entrepreneurship, her development of new programs, and her close work with faculty,” said Bellarmine President Susan M. Donovan. “I know that she will empower our faculty to continue the Rubel School’s successful trajectory. I want to thank the search committee for their work, and to thank Dr. Petree for his capable leadership during the past academic year.”
Bruce said she was attracted to Bellarmine by the Rubel School’s national reputation; the school is accredited by the AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), a distinction held by fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide.
Bellarmine, she said, “offers a quality business education grounded in the liberal arts, which produces future business leaders who can think critically, communicate effectively and contribute collaboratively, while adapting and evolving in our rapidly changing world.”
She was also drawn by the values shared by Bellarmine and North Central College, an independent college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1861, the college currently serves nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
“Both schools seek to provide a high-quality education that values every member of the community, creating leaders who are principled, ethical, and contribute to society in positive ways after leaving our institutions,” she said. “Both create community through an emphasis on the relationships formed both in and out of the classroom.”
Bruce has worked at North Central College since 1997, serving at various times as chair of the Division of Economics and Business; chair of the Department of Economics and Finance; professor of Economics; and Faculty Athletic Representative.
As the first dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship, a position she accepted in 2016, she was responsible for developing the school’s mission, vision and values, as well as its first strategic plan.
She oversaw curriculum redesign of all majors and minors, the creation of new minors, and the creation of a new business degree, with the Bachelor of Business Administration replacing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Business.
She led the shift of all graduate programs from in-person to fully online and launched new graduate concentrations in human resource management, international business, and financial management within a newly designed MBA.
She created an Advisory Board of community leaders to support business school activities with assistance from a new Executive-in-Residence program.
Bruce also supported the renovation of the college’s business building, including the creation of the Bloomberg Finance Lab, which features 10 workstations equipped with Bloomberg Terminal software, dual monitors and Bloomberg’s unique keyboards.
“Our driving factor for change was to ensure we were providing the highest quality education for our students, in tune with current trends in the marketplace for graduates, and as part of our work toward AACSB accreditation,” she said. “Bellarmine already is AACSB-accredited, an important indicator of quality for students, but one of the values of AACSB is continuous improvement. I know the Bellarmine faculty is continually evaluating their coursework to ensure they are serving students well, and we will continue to do this moving forward.”
Her immediate priorities at Bellarmine, she said, are “to get to know the faculty, staff, and curriculum and to position the Rubel School prominently in the Louisville business community as a partner and collaborator seeking to provide the skills desired in the local workforce.”
Bruce holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has two children, both of whom will be students at UK in the fall.
“I’m excited about coming home and reconnecting with the community that I love so much,” she said. “I really cannot wait to get back to reconnect with some of my old friends and to meet new ones.”