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Professor and alumnus Mark Mulder appointed dean of the PLU School of Business

Professor and alumnus Mark Mulder appointed dean of the PLU School of Business

Posted by:
August 6, 2020
By Zach Powers '10
PLU Marketing and Communications

Pacific Lutheran University has selected award-winning scholar, longtime business professor, and alumnus Mark Mulder to lead its business school.

Mulder will serve as the dean of the PLU School of Business, a nationally recognized program offering a major and minor in business and graduate programs in business administration, finance, and marketing analytics.

“Dr. Mulder is a dynamic, forward-thinking and thoughtful leader who is dedicated to the success of PLU business students,” said PLU President Allan Belton. “As a distinguished scholar who is highly involved in our local business community, Dr. Mulder exemplifies PLU’s commitment to inquiry, service, leadership and care.”

Mulder, who has taught at PLU for eight years, is a graduate of the undergraduate business and MBA programs at PLU. He says he’ll bring his perspective as an alumnus—and a current PLU parent—to his role as dean.

“PLU was absolutely transformational for me, and to this day I still have connections with faculty and friends that were created at PLU,” Mulder says. “I want this generation of Lutes to have transformational experiences at PLU as well, and I’m excited to work with students, staff, faculty, campus colleagues and external stakeholders to help make that happen.”

Mulder’s areas of academic focus include marketing strategy and planning, consumer behavior and decision making, branding, and transformative change—all lenses he plans to apply in his new role. 

A researcher at heart, one of his first projects as dean will be spending time listening and researching. “I’ll be speaking with more than 100 people from businesses and nonprofits to understand some of the things they see as needs in business and in the world, as well as what they would like to see from a business school,” he says. “This insight will help us as we consider future collaboration, areas of emphasis, and how to engage our students.”

PLU Provost Joanna Gregson says Mulder is a faculty member that PLU community members gravitate towards. “Dr. Mulder is beloved by his students and colleagues for his passion and enthusiasm, collaborative spirit, and generosity as a mentor,” said Gregson. 

“He’s also been a catalyst for some really exciting partnerships and projects connecting students with local businesses and agencies. I’m excited about the plans he has as dean to continue to grow opportunities for students to build invaluable connections with the Tacoma/Seattle community.”

Mulder is a former Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce board member and has received more than 15 awards for teaching, research, and service, including the Emerald Insights Citations of Excellence Research Award for Impactful Research, the Excellence in Teaching Award from the PLU School of Business, Presidential (U.S.) Service Award, Quigg Excellence and Innovation Award (PLU), and the LIVE UNITED Service & Leadership Award from the Tacoma/Pierce County United Way.

In addition to earning a BBA and MBA from PLU, Mulder holds a Ph.D. in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from Washington State University and has completed Harvard University’s Management Development program.