Interim dean of PNW's College of Business will keep leadership role • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Rachel Clapp-Smith

Interim dean of PNW’s College of Business will keep leadership role

Rachel Clapp-Smith
Rachel Clapp-Smith

A national search has found that Rachel Clapp-Smith is the leader Purdue University Northwest's College of Business needs.

She has been serving as the interim dean since February and will officially become the Teddy Jacobi Dean of the College of Business on Jan. 3, 2023.

“Dr. Clapp-Smith is a recognized authority in leadership development who has been instrumental in building community among her fellow faculty members, integrating a cohesive recruiting and retention plan, and facilitating promising increases in enrollment in the freshman class,” said Kenneth Holford, PNW provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, in a press release.

She oversees academic programs, faculty and operations in managerial studies, quantitative business studies, the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, the White Lodging Professional Selling Center, the Center for Business and Economic Development, and hosts the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center.

“Her enthusiasm and leadership will bring great advances to our students, faculty and staff as our College of Business completes its upcoming reaccreditation process with (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and continues to grow,” Holford said.

Clapp-Smith also is academic director of the Leadership Institute at Purdue Northwest. She started her career in academia in 2004.

“I could not be more excited about the meaningful work my College of Business colleagues and I have ahead of us,” Clapp-Smith said. “We believe in ‘business for good’ — the positive effects our programs have in preparing our students to make a difference in their businesses and communities.”

Before focusing on education in her career, Clapp-Smith worked with multicultural teams in the software industry. She collaborated on sales, marketing and consulting in Germany and the Netherlands.

Clapp-Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in history and German from Bowdoin College in Maine, an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, and a doctorate degree in organizational behavior and leadership from the University of Nebraska.


  • Heather Pfundstein

    Heather Pfundstein is the managing editor of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine and She is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience in Northwest Indiana and northern Illinois newsrooms. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University. She has worked for the magazine since 2018.

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