Business professor gets endowed chair

Deborah Olson, professor of management, has been named the Richard G. and Beth T. Landis Endowed Professor of Business Ethics in the College of Business and Public Management. Olson teaches leadership and management, and has written several books and articles on the subject. / photo by Kaylie Ennis

Michael Hill
Staff Writer

Deborah Olson, professor of business at the University, was selected to receive the newly created Richard G. and Beth T. Landis Endowed Professor in Business Leadership and Ethics.

“Getting the Landis Award as a professor gives me the time and opportunity to build accessible information,” Olson said.

The Landis endowed professorship was named in honor of University alumni,  the late Richard and Beth Landis, class of 1942 and 1944 respectively. 

This endowed position was created to honor business professors who go above and beyond in their field.

The selection was made by the college deans, who reviewed faculty candidate applications.

“(Olson’s) plans were really good,” said Emmeline de Pillis, dean of the College of Business and Public Management. She added that Olson’s vision and clear plan for what she intended to do going forward stood out. Other applicants focused more on their previous accomplishments, de Pillis added. 

Olson is already a published author having written “Success: The Psychology of Achievement,” her book published in 2017.  

Olson is currently working on an interactive leadership teaching website. 

De Pillis said receiving the endowed professorship is a special honor. 

At one point in her career, Olson ran her own business, for which she made and sold jewelry. 

Olson said the endowment would give her the resources to expand her learning beyond the basics. She said she hopes to motivate her students to enjoy the learning process, not because they have to but because they want to.

She said she believes that understanding the practical application of business concepts is key to gaining that student motivation. 

Her College of Business colleagues believe the award is a tribute to her passion for teaching, and well-deserved.

“She is very focused and hardworking in her profession,” Issam Ghazzawi, professor of business management, said. 

“When I hear her name, I think ‘excellent and very hands-on teacher.’” said Keeok Park, associate dean and professor of decision sciences.  

Michael Hill can be reached at

Michael Hill is a sophomore journalism major with a concentration in broadcast journalism. He loves to talk anything and everything sports.

Kaylie Ennis is a senior photography major and a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine. Originally from Washington state, she enjoys cars and nature photography.


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