Dr. Ed Bashaw will leave his role as dean of the College of Business at the end of May, six years after taking the helm of the college. Bashaw will begin his new role as dean of the School of Business at Emporia State University in Kansas soon afterward.
Bashaw has been the dean of two business schools, but the path he took to become a leader in business education started with a degree in physical education.
He began his academic career at Baylor University and worked on oil rigs for several summers to finance his bachelor’s degree in physical education. His mother was a school teacher and graduate of Baylor and his father was a blue collar worker with familial roots in Montgomery County, Arkansas.
“I don’t take for granted the opportunities that my parents gave me,” Bashaw said. “My dad did not have an education. My dad wanted us to have what he didn’t have the opportunity to have.”
Bashaw served as a team manager for the Baylor football team during his undergrad years, and hoped to move on to coaching after earning his master’s, also from Baylor, in physical education.
However, life had a different plan for Bashaw.
The company that sold jerseys to the football team he managed had a job opening for a salesperson and Bashaw decided to apply.
“I thought ‘this might be fun to do [for] a year or two, something like that,” Bashaw said. “I did that for a year and a half and I really liked it.”
Bashaw married his wife, Sara, during that time period and didn’t like the amount of traveling that he had to do, so he went to work for General Mills, where he stayed for five and a half years.
Bashaw earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Baylor; his professors encouraged him to continue school and get a doctorate degree.
After earning his doctorate in marketing from the University of Missouri, Bashaw got his first full-time faculty position at University of Arkansas, Little Rock (UALR). At UALR, he climbed the ranks from untenured, assistant professor to professor with responsibility for supervising the executive MBA program.
It would be 12 years before Bashaw made another move, this time into administration as the dean of the College of Business at Texas A&M University at Texarkana.
New opportunities would soon bring him back to Arkansas, though.
“I’ve either lived in Arkansas or lived in a town that is on the state line,” Bashaw said. “I’m breaking the chain here soon.”
Bashaw said that even though it might look like a lateral move on the surface, the move to Emporia will present him with several opportunities for personal growth.
“It’s an opportunity to work at a little larger business school, with a little higher pay, and a lot more resources,” Bashaw said.
The college will feel the effects of Bashaw’s student-focused leadership long after he departs.
According to the Department of Institutional Research, enrollment in the college of business has grown from 649 students in fall semester of 2010 to 909 in the fall semester of 2015.
When Bashaw looks back on the years he spent at Tech, he said he will remember the relationships he built more than anything else.
“See that picture right there? And that football?” Bashaw said, motioning towards a shelf of personal mementos. “Those are the things that I’ll remember – the relationships I’ve had with faculty, students and staff here.”