On May 26, 2022, Michael Johnson-Cramer was appointed new dean from Ithaca College School of Business and assumed his new role on July 1, 2022.
Before coming to Ithaca College, Johnson-Cramer was a professor of management at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Additionally, he served as Dean of bbusiness at the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley University from 2019 to 2020.
Writer Jadyn Davis spoke with Johnson-Cramer on what he hopes to accomplish as dean of Ithaca College School of Business and how his past leadership experiences have prepared him for his role.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Jadyn Davis: How does it feel to be named the new Dean of Ithaca College School of Business?
Michael Johnson Cramer: It’s really exciting. I have admired Ithaca College for a long time, and I especially admire the faculty…you look at them from afar and see how engaged they are with the students. I spent 14 years of my career at a very similar institution that was so student-centric and so coming to Ithaca is like coming home to a place where students are the reason you get up the morning.
JD: What initially attracted you to Ithaca College?
CM: The student-centered character and culture of real engagement with students. The other thing that I think really drew me here was the history and background of the college… [There’s] a kind of rich learning environment to be a part of and be a dean, and so that’s a big part of what I’ve admired and what, as I understood, are the underlying principles. IIt fits perfectly with my idea of how students and teachers learn together.
JD: How do you think your past experiences in multiple leadership roles will help you as Dean?
CM: I have had a number of past experiences, even as a faculty member leading a curriculum review, to being in the dean’s office at two different institutions. So I have a bit of a bifurcated experience that I think is going to serve me well because of some of the things that we deal with at the college level. I hope I can be a good voice in some of these conversations and support them in their vision for college. … It’s important to think about how a dean can be part of the educational conversation and support individual teachers and mentor individual teachers and engage with the students who will come from this little school experience.
JD: What do you think you will bring to the School of Business as Dean?
CM: Interdisciplinarity is one of my main passions. It’s to cross what were once silos in business. I think the passion I have for interdisciplinarity also tells me that the business issues facing private for-profit companies could benefit from an understanding of well-being or Health care politics could benefit from a little more creativity or an appreciation of the differences between people and cultures.
JD: How will you defend the interests of the students of the school?
CM: [Ithaca College] the students seem to be powerful defenders of themselves. Student leaders find their voice, … bBut what I can do is work with students and faculty to co-create a great learning community. A key element will be to hear [from] and engaging [with] students. The best way to advocate for students is to provide them with a platform, both formal and informal channels, to advocate for themselves. I can’t wait to see what we will create together.