The University of West Florida recently recognized Dr. Tim O’Keefe as Dean Emeritus in honor of his service to the UWF College of Business. During the past 23 years, as a professor of accounting, he has also served in the roles of dean, interim dean, associate dean and MBA program director.
“It’s been an honor to follow a consummate professional like Tim O’Keefe,” College of Business Dean Richard Fountain said. “While there are many things I could point to as part of his legacy, I believe his vision in growing the MBA program is the most important.”
O’Keefe led the College of Business as interim dean and then dean from August 2013 until May 2019. As head of the college, he was responsible for oversight and management of four academic departments and five centers, four of which he established during his time as dean. Under his leadership, the college expanded the footprint and influence of the Florida Small Business Development Center at UWF and established the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship, the UWF Center for Supply Chain Management Excellence, the UWF Louis Maygarden Center for Financial Literacy and the UWF Student Engagement and Advising Center. His goal in promoting these centers focused on creating engaging, real-world learning opportunities for students and fostering value-added connections between the college and the Northwest Florida community.
As dean, O’Keefe led the college through the rigorous Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business reaffirmation of accreditation, which was successfully awarded in 2018. His leadership in creating an online presence for the MBA program, along with six specialty areas, resulted in a four-fold increase in MBA enrollment. He initiated efforts to return the Master of Accountancy Program to an online format including the prerequisite undergraduate courses. Faculty efforts and commitment to the online initiative have led to increased enrollment and a broader, growing state-wide and southeastern regional reach for the MAcc program.
An undergirding theme to O’Keefe’s tenure as dean included the fostering and promoting of high-impact learning experiences through “live cases” wherein student teams develop real-world business experience by providing analysis and solutions to real-world problems of regional and national business partners. Participating in “live case” experiences and engaging in activities through the entrepreneurship, supply chain management and financial literacy centers creates out-of-the-classroom learning experiences building “first-day-ready” skills for students as they enter the working world after graduation.
“During my tenure as dean, our College expanded significantly and continued the mission to launch our students into successful careers,” O’Keefe said. “I deeply appreciated working with the dedicated faculty and caring staff who provided our students with high-impact learning experiences. They connected our students to real business situations, included them in meaningful research, encouraged high performance on career-building licensure exams and propelled us into new educational delivery modes while preserving the quality and integrity of our degree programs. Their efforts were and continue to be unmatched in business education. It was truly rewarding to have a part in such a worthy endeavor.”
Prior to joining the faculty at UWF in 1998, O’Keefe spent five years at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands, where he was professor of accounting and director of the Rochester-Nyenrode Executive MBA Program. He also spent nine years on the business faculty at Emory University and served as director of the BBA Program. O’Keefe is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Florida.
O’Keefe received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stetson University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in business administration from Florida State University.
For more information about the UWF College of Business, visit uwf.edu/cob.