Bowman named dean of CUA business school

byMark Labbe Pilot Staff

Bill Bowman Courtesy photo

BRAINTREE -- Entrepreneur, businessman, and Arlington resident Bill Bowman has been named the dean of the School of Business and Economics at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

"Bill Bowman has achieved great success while living out his faith in the business world. We look forward to working with him as he brings his talents, experience, and values into his new role as dean of the School of Business and Economics," the university's president John Garvey said in announcing the hire, April 5.

Bowman, who is currently acting as the CEO and president of Core Values Group LLC in Boston, told The Pilot April 22 that he's excited about his new position, which he will begin on Aug. 20, after he spends a few months on the campus shadowing the interim dean.

"It's just a wonderful opportunity. Three or four months of really being able to learn that way is rare," he said.

Over the years, Bowman has taken on a number of roles, including serving as president and CEO of US Inspect in Chantilly, Va., serving as president of ChildrenFirst Inc. (now Bright Horizons), and working for the Boston Consulting Group and for the United States Public Health Service.

Additionally, he co-founded Spinnaker Software Corp., and the Montrose School in Medfield, an independent day school for girls, of which he is still a trustee of.

He said his business background is what led Catholic University to bring him onboard.

"It's a bit of an unusual hire, in that I'm not an academic, I don't have a PhD. My background is all business -- I've run companies for over 25 years now, and I have a Harvard MBA," Bowman said.

"But, because of the rapid growth of the business school, Catholic University felt that they should open it up a bit to go beyond just the pure academics to appeal to business people that have had some experience in managing higher growth enterprises, which is what I've been doing since I've been in the software business... And also somebody, who, like me, has been very influenced by Catholic social teaching (on business)," he continued.

The School of Business and Economics is only three years old, and was founded through the efforts of Andrew Abela, who served as dean of the school until he was recently promoted to provost.

"It was a tough assignment to find somebody who would bring similar results to CUA -- I think we found that in Bill," Andreas Widmer, director of Entrepreneurship Programs at CUA's business school, told The Pilot, April 22.

He said he has known Bowman for around 15 years.

"I'm very elated that he's coming down here, which is the move that I just made two years ago," he continued, noting he used to live in Boston.

Catholic University recently announced that the business school received six donations totaling $47 million, with the lead gift being $15 million from Busch Family Foundation. In recognition of the donations, the school is going to be renamed the Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics.

"These gifts will support the Maloney Hall renovation, academic programs in the business and economics school, and the new Institute for Human Ecology, which will take up Pope Francis's call in "Laudato Si'" to systematically study the relationships of human beings to one another and the world around them," an April 19 Catholic University of America press release notes.

Bowman noted that CUA is the only national university of the Catholic Church in the country.

"We will always defend the Church, we will always help the Church, we're in business to serve the Church, and everybody that I've met on campus has that same dedication," he said.

Speaking with The Pilot, Montrose Head of School Dr. Karen Bohlin noted her admiration of Bowman, and said that as of now, he plans to stay on as a trustee of the school.

"(Bowman is) incredibly accessible, even-keeled, thoughtful and wise, and I think CUA is really blessed to have him. It's a fitting position for him," she said.