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Wednesday April 11, 2001

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Business college begins search for interim director

By Michelle McCollum

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dean says staff can handle the workload in the meantime

The business college won't say why John Buckingham suddenly resigned from his position as MBA Director three weeks ago, but they aren't worried about his resignation either.

Mark Zupan, dean of the Eller College of Business and Public Administration, said yesterday that the college has a good admissions staff to carry out the recruiting and placement of master's students, both of which had been previously overseen by Buckingham.

"A lot of good people work here so things aren't falling apart without him," said Pamela Slaten, assistant department head of Management Information Systems.

Buckingham resigned March 19 from his positions without explanation. He was also an associate dean of the business college .

Zupan said he wouldn't talk about it because it's Buckingham's business. Several business professors declined to comment as well.

No formal explanation has been offered from Buckingham. His office number has been redirected to another number that has been disconnected.

Buckingham had taken 10 days of administrative leave before faxing over his resignation.

"[Buckingham] added a lot of innovation to the program," Zupan said. "It's unfortunate that we have to go through this transition, but we have to focus on the goal ahead. We have to recruit next year's class."

Last Tuesday, Toni Massaro, dean of the Rogers College of Law, officially began the search for an interim director, a position that is only available to UA employees.

The interim director must oversee full-time, part-time, and weekend MBA programs, and be able to entice new students and staff to enroll in the Eller Graduate School of Management.

Faculty or administrative experience and a Master's of Business Administration (or similar degree) are required for the position.

Buckingham's reasons for leaving the nationally-ranked graduate program are still a mystery to the public, but Zupan hinted that Buckingham had a bright future ahead.

"This is a time of transition," Zupan said. "The director who had the job before [Buckingham] is now the president at Colorado, and the one before that is now the president of Georgetown Business School. [Buckingham] is going through a transition. I wish I could say more."