The former senior executive associate dean of Rawls College of Business Administration at Texas Tech University has been named the Milan Puskar Dean of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.

R. Stephen Sears is replacing Dean Jay H. Coats, who is retiring at the end of June. Sears was selected following a national search and will begin his new duties in August.

He plans to be on campus in early July to begin his transition to WVU , Provost Gerald Lang announced today.

Sears comes to WVU from Lubbock, Texas, where he taught at Texas Techs business school as the Lubbock BankersAssociation Professor of Finance. After serving as the interim dean during the spring and summer of 2001, he was appointed as the senior executive associate dean and maintained this position until the summer of 2003. Prior to his deanship, he was the department chair of the Area of Finance and the professor and director of the Institute for Banking and Financial Studies.

I am excited about the background and experiences Dr. Sears brings to WVU and the college,Dr. Lang said.He is well prepared to provide the leadership needed to take the college to the next level.

I was very impressed by the professionalism and high integrity of everyone I met in West Virginia, and Im very excited an honored to be chosen to be dean of the College of Business and Economics,said Dr. Sears.Youll get the best that Ive got.

In 1970, Sears earned his associates degree at Odessa Junior College. He then obtained his bachelors and masters degrees in business administration from Texas Tech in 1973 and 1976, respectively. In 1980, he received his doctorate in business administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sears held professor and lecturer positions.

His teaching interests include investments and corporate finance for undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, executive MBA and executive development programs.

He was the recipient of many teaching and other academic achievement awards at both the University of Illinois and Texas Tech.

Sears has served on more than 50 departmental, college and university committees at these two schools. He has also made more than 30 presentations of research papers and acted as a chair or discussant for numerous sessions at regional, national and international conferences.

Additionally, Sears has received research awards from Cameron-Brown Mortgage Co., University of Illinois Research Board and Investors in Business Education. He has 10 research projects in market anomalies, financial securities, asset allocation, portfolio management, mortgage markets, dividend policy, compensation structure and agency costs.

Sears has written two books,Investment ManagementandInvestment ManagementInstructors Manual and Testbank,and a chapter for another book. Several of his articles have been published in journals such as The Financial Review, Global Finance Journal, The Journal of Financial Research and The Journal of Futures Markets.

He is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Finance Association, Eastern Finance Association and Southwestern Finance Association. He previously served as director of the Southwestern Finance

Association and associate editor of The International Journal of Business, The Journal of Financial Research and The Review of Business Studies.

He was also inducted into honorary societies such as Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board, Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Theta Kappa.

Sears is married with two children and likes to go golfing, fly-fishing, deep-sea fishing and hunting in his spare time.