As Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne wraps up her career at Northwestern State University, her objective is clear. She still wants to keep doing all she can to help the College of Business and Technology and NSU continue to grow.
Kilcoyne, the dean of the College of Business and Technology, is retiring in August after a successful 34-year career. In her honor, the Dean Margaret S. Kilcoyne Endowed Professorship in Business has been established through the NSU Foundation. Donations totaling $80,000 will be matched with $20,000 from the Board of Regents to create a permanent $100,000 endowment that will support the work of a faculty member in the College of Business and Technology. A fundraising drive begins on Friday, June 12, which is Kilcoyne’s birthday.
“I hope that someone will be able to use the funds to enhance themselves academically or professionally, and to create or expand their research,” said Kilcoyne. “All of these things bring recognition to NSU and the College of Business and Technology. I have received so much during my time at NSU, and, I naturally want others to reap the same rewards I did.”
Kilcoyne said it is personally important that she give back to the College of Business and Technology and School of Business.
“Giving back helps increase the stature of the college, making it a better place,” she said. “Helping improve the stature of our alma mater can have a second- and third-order effect on our own lives and the perceived value of our own college diploma. It helps to continue my legacy and helps retain professors.”
Kilcoyne was interim dean from July of 2015 until she was appointed dean in July of 2017. Throughout her time at NSU, she has had a reputation as a faculty member who would take extra time to assist students as they worked toward a degree.
“Dr. Kilcoyne has long been considered the matriarch of the College of Business,” said alumnus Rob Robertson, a senior executive in the Washington D.C. metro area who has worked for JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. “Working with purpose and passion, she truly embodies the true north that all great leaders embody.”
Robertson likens her impact on the College of Business to the acronym CPR.
“’C’ stands for culture. She has created a culture of caring amongst the team of professors and students,” said Robertson. ‘P” is for people. She has been able to attract and align with the right people to help grow the College of Business. ‘R’ is for relationships. Dr. Kilcoyne has always maintained and cherished great relationships. It’s great to see relationships flourish and impact the College of Business inside and outside of Northwestern State University.”
Robertson was a member of the Northwestern football team and left NSU 12 hours short of a degree to pursue a career in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. After his career was cut short, he returned to finish his degree in 2000.
“I distinctly remember her warm welcome to me when I called to re-enroll in school to finish my degree after my NFL career ended after injuries,” said Robertson. “She welcomed me with open arms and was essential in making sure I stay focused along my journey to earn my degree. Dr. Kilcoyne and I have continued to stay connected. There’s never been a time she hasn’t greeted me and others with a smile.”
Alumna Jo Pease credits Kilcoyne with doing a number of things including reaching out to alumni.
“I was very impressed that she reached out to me at a period of time when I was not active at NSU, and I was more impressed that she truly cared about what I was doing and my passions in life,” said Pease, who was chief ethics and compliance officer for Shell Oil Company in the United States and is a member of the Long Purple Line. “I have tremendous respect for Dean Kilcoyne. I admire her vision, her leadership, her dedication, her hard work and her deep desire to make a difference. I applaud her for being a true servant leader to the College of Business and to Northwestern State University.”
Pease credited Kilcoyne with making sure the current curriculum in the School of Business prepares students to work in a constantly changing world.
Kilcoyne was hired as an adjunct instructor in 1986 with what was perhaps a unique challenge.
“(NSU President) Dr. (Robert) Alost told me and Dr. Walter Creighton if I wanted a job, I needed to create it,” said Kilcoyne. “ We did by writing a five-year, $1,000,000 federal grant for cooperative education.”
That cooperative education program was the forerunner of the Experiential Learning Program now used throughout Northwestern State. Kilcoyne has also enhanced the College of Business and Technology by offering Continuing Legal Education to area attorneys and Continuing Education Units to accountants under the direction of faculty member Dr. Carmella Parker.
A major accomplishment of Kilcoyne’s time as dean was her support and facilitation of the establishment of a master’s program in computer information systems, the first graduate program in the College in at least 30 years.
“Securing the master’s program was a great accomplishment which involved all of our stakeholders’ input and support,” said Kilcoyne. “It will be a win-win for us, the university, and it will provide a stronger workforce for Louisiana and our nation.”
Under her leadership the School of Business maintained its AASCB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation. She developed an effective system which allowed all faculty to research, collect data and write a portion of the accreditation report. Kilcoyne has been an active researcher throughout her career. She has enhanced the reputation of the School of Business through presentations at state, national and international conferences, winning several prestigious research awards.
Kilcoyne has played an important role in Northwestern’s development efforts by establishing the Brooke and Clay Hennigan Endowed Scholarship in memory of her daughter and son to assist current and future students. The Hennigan scholarship has led to the establishment of additional scholarships at NSU.
For more information on the Dean Margaret S. Kilcoyne Endowed Professorship in Business, contact Director of Development Jill Bankston at (318) 357-4241.