Randy Gibb named dean of College of Business
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Dr. Randy Gibb, a 26-year veteran of operational U.S. Air Force leadership and academic administration as well as various entrepreneurial endeavors, has been named dean of Grand Canyon University’s College of Business.
Gibb, 50, brings to his new role a background that includes extensive experience in leadership development and strategic change. His goal is to make the COB diverse and give every student access to entrepreneurial classes and skills.
“This is not your parents’ business school. This is going to be tomorrow’s business school,” he said.
Gibb led the Air Force Academy’s Behavioral Science and Leadership department, used his role as a senior military professor to help establish a Human Systems Integration degree program at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio, and served as an associate professor and chair of the Human & Environmental Systems Department at Arizona State University. He was a colonel and command pilot (he taught students how to fly) when he completed his Air Force career in 2012.
He also has his own consulting practice and is co-founder of a start-up technology company.
Gibb plans to emphasize leadership, ethics and entrepreneurship in his new role and present a unique business curriculum that includes multi-disciplinary education and innovation. One of his ideas is to create something akin to a “start-up garage” in which students can learn the latest technological skills. He also wants to create an internship program in which students can work with entrepreneurs in a win-win environment – the students gain valuable experience and the entrepreneurs get some sorely needed help.
Originally from Stevens Point, Wis., Gibb was named a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Academy in 1986 and has a Ph.D. and master’s degree in engineering from Arizona State in Industrial Engineering – Human Factors. He also has a master’s from the College of Naval Command and Staff at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
He and his wife, Jill, a Phoenix native, have four children.
“The plan was always to come back to Phoenix when the Air Force was over,” he said. “She’d moved 11 times when we were in the Air Force, so that was enough.”
Gibb has family ties to GCU – his sister-in-law, Abby Brown, is an assistant professor in the College of Education. Another GCU link for him is Greg Harman, executive director, academic alliances in the Strategic Educational Alliances department. Harman was the principal at Gibb’s kids’ school, Christ Lutheran in Phoenix.
Gibb is excited about joining them at GCU and having a positive impact on students.
“It starts with a respect for the organization you’re involved with,” he said. “GCU has been here a long time and will be here long after we’re gone. I see my role as a steward for the business school.
“I want to set up students to succeed, but it’s not like I have a hard-core philosophy. Trust is important. Respect is important. And that leads to a more open connection.”
Contact Rick Vacek at 602.639.8203 or [email protected].