Dean of Business to retire


The Plaster School of Business and Entrepreneurship is housed in Harmon Hall.
Photo by Lauren Pennock.

Alexis Montgomery


Dr. P. Roger Ellis, the dean of the Plaster School of Business and Entrepreneurship, will retire from his position at the end of the school year.

Ellis became dean in 2011 and has been working at Lindenwood since 1997.  During his 23 years here, he has experienced a lot of change, including rapid growth Lindenwood experienced when Dennis Spellmann was its president.

“For 15 years in a row we had something new every year come out of the ground,” Ellis said. “When I came, the dorms were trailer parks. The Hyland Arena opened in 1997. While I was here, we doubled the size of the business building. We also more than doubled in size as a school.”

With all the changes both in the university and in his own job, Ellis said what he misses the most is teaching students.

“When I first started, I was still teaching. The job of being dean has evolved since the campus has gotten bigger. I was the very first associate dean. Now I have four assistants,” Ellis said. “I miss the classroom and being around students.”

Ellis was also previously the coach for the men’s and women’s golf teams, which he said is an experience he also misses.

Roger Ellis, who has been the dean of the Business School since 2011.
Image from

“You might not remember who your English teacher was but you’ll always remember your coaches,” he said.

He led the men’s team to the NAIA National Championship for 13 seasons.

Ellis has simple plans for retirement, but may not completely leave Lindenwood just yet.

“I may do absolutely nothing but play golf; I may also teach as an adjunct for a while,” he said. “I won’t totally retire because I’m always used to doing something but I might adjunct for a little while. I will probably take a few days and do absolutely nothing.”

Ellis practiced law for 18 years.  He holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a J.D. from the University of Arkansas.

For the next dean, Ellis said there will be a lot of plans for the future of the Business School.

“Everything now is moving to laptops, textbooks are going away; it’s all electronic. The next generation coming up will be more career-focused than degree-focused. What we teach and how we teach will be a big challenge for the next dean,” Ellis said.

Mira Ezvan, a professor in the Business School, said she has expectations for the new dean to build relationships within Lindenwood and in the community.

“The new dean should be someone who won’t micromanage, someone who’s open to suggestions, someone who will build bridges to other schools. It shouldn’t be a competition between all the different schools, but we should build relationships with them,” Ezvan said. “They should be someone who should have experience and embrace learning. They should make connections with St. Charles business leaders and bring a level of innovation.”

Dr. Deb Ayres, vice president for human resources, said the search for Ellis’s replacement will be conducted based on feedback from faculty and staff in the School of Business about what they expect from the next dean.