Fall semester brings renewed excitement for CBPP Dean John Nofsinger

by Catalina Myers  |   

John Nofsinger was selected as dean of the UAA College of Business and Public Policy. He served as interim dean of CBPP starting in spring 2020. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

 In March 2020, in the middle of his sabbatical, then professor of finance in the College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP), John Nofsinger signed on as interim dean. Little did he know a few short weeks later, the entire university — along with the rest of the world — would drastically pivot from life as we knew it.

But in the year-and-a-half, since Nofsinger agreed to lead CBPP, he’s learned a lot. He successfully transitioned the college to online learning and finalized the business school’s accreditation process. Despite the challenging year and steep learning curve, Nofsinger said the students and faculty inspired him to apply for and accept the permanent position of dean. He’s looking forward to the fall semester and continuing the work he started. He hopes to expand student learning experiences through hands-on education and career opportunities through community and industry partnerships.

“I am looking forward to students coming back to campus,” Nofsinger said. “That’s what the university is all about.”

Nofsinger said that he and CBPP leadership will work on creating more experiential learning opportunities for students in the coming semester. They will continue to grow the college's programs and presence in the community.

“The college just received a $1 million gift to create a student investment fund,” said Nofsinger. He said the exciting part of the fund is the hands-on experience students will receive from the gift and the courses that will center around it. “One of the best ways to learn finance and investment is to actually practice it on a large scale.”

He said they are planning on installing a stock ticker in Rasmuson Hall, so students will have a real-world experience of how their investments are performing in the market. In addition to the stock ticker, Nofsinger said there are exciting projects in the works like developing artificial intelligence labs and finance trading rooms where students can put their classroom work into action. He said these projects have not yet been fully funded but is grateful for CBBP’s connection to the industry and alumni community, who support the college's efforts to provide students with hands-on learning experiences.

“We’ve been very fortunate and are feeling optimistic about what’s coming up ahead,” Nofsinger said. “We have people who want to support the university, care about our college and students, and so we’re finding ways to partner with them. These partnerships are creating a lot of excitement within the college.”

Nofsinger is an Alaska transplant, originally from Washington state, but relocated to Anchorage when he and his wife became empty nesters and she wanted to move back to her home state. Nofsinger holds an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in finance from Washington State University and has authored and co-authored 12 finance trade, text and scholarly books that have been translated into eight languages. His book, The Psychology of Investing, is popular amongst finance advisors. Nofsinger has published over 70 scholarly articles in prestigious and practitioner journals. 

In his free time, Nofsinger said he enjoys recreating in the outdoors and taking advantage of Alaska’s summer season to catch fish on the Kenai Peninsula or spend time zipping around Anchorage’s trail system on his bicycle.

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