Professor Katherine Pancak, a well-respected finance and real estate professor and champion of the Stamford campus, has been named as the Academic Director of Business at the Fairfield-County campus.
“Katherine is an accomplished scholar, a notable lawyer, a real estate expert and a passionate supporter of the Stamford campus,” said Dean John A. Elliott. “She has earned local and national teaching awards, served as Undergraduate Stamford Program Liaison and as associate director of the UConn Real Estate Center. She has traveled on federally-supported Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) programs to Africa, Australia, and Cuba, and led graduate student study trips to Vietnam, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. She brings a deep commitment and broad experience to her new role at Stamford.”
Pancak’s responsibilities include implementing the School’s initiatives for students and faculty, and strengthening relationships with the local business community, which she has described as enthusiastic about the university’s presence and commitment.
Since Fall 2014, the Stamford campus has had a 59 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment and a 51 percent jump in graduate students.
“UConn President Tom Katsouleas recently referred to the Stamford campus as the ‘rocket ship’ of the University, and I agree,” she said. “Our location in the heart of the economically vibrant and innovative city of Stamford provides a natural setting for experiential learning opportunities for students, including internships and co-ops.”
Once viewed exclusively as a “feeder campus” to business programs in Storrs, Pancak said she believes students from other campuses may seek a summer, semester, or even senior year in Stamford to capitalize on the campus’ strong programs in financial risk management, business analytics and entrepreneurship and to benefit from a new data-science initiative.
“The Stamford campus stands out today because of our diverse students, urban location, and cutting-edge programs,” she said. “Plus, there is a great deal of excitement being in a business program amid Stamford’s high concentration of corporate headquarters of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. I regularly have the opportunity to speak with people in business, learn from them, and connect students to them.”
Pancak replaces finance professor John Knopf, who led the Stamford business programs since 2014, and whom Elliott described as a strong leader. Knopf will now oversee the university’s part-time MBA programs on multiple campuses.