Graduate School of Management’s Dr. Jeanne Simmons to retire; Karen Rinehart named to lead GSM 

Dr. Jeanne Simmons, associate dean of the Graduate School of Management in the College of Business Administration, will retire from Marquette University after 33 years of service, the college announced to its faculty and staff this past fall. Simmons, who has led the GSM and its nationally ranked graduate programs since 1998, earned her bachelor’s degree, MBA and Ph.D. from Marquette. Her last day with the university will be Tuesday, Feb. 1. 

“Such a distinguished career is not only a testament to Jeanne’s abilities as a professional, but also to her character, her hard work, and her unyielding commitment to cura personalis and living out the values of Marquette University,” said Acting Keyes Dean of Business Administration Tim Hanley. “We have enjoyed a deep privilege by being able to work alongside Jeanne and call her our colleague, and we will certainly miss the daily interactions and Jeanne’s ability to lift the spirit of any gathering with her quick wit and congenial nature. Although we are losing a dedicated and inspiring leader, we know that Jeanne’s retirement is unlikely to change her unyielding support of Marquette and her colleagues.” 

Following a search, Karen Rinehart, director of the Business Career Center, has been named assistant dean of graduate programs in the college and will lead the GSM effective Feb. 1. Rinehart, who has led the BCC since 2015, was responsible for the College of Business Administration’s formal career and professional development programs. 

“I’m delighted that Karen has accepted the offer to become the next assistant dean for graduate programs in the college,” said Dr. David Clark, executive associate dean of the college. “Through her innovative leadership and vision, the BCC has become a standard bearer for career preparation at Marquette. I am confident that she will bring that same passion and commitment to excellence to this new role, as we continue to grow the programs in the Graduate School of Management.” 

About Dr. Jeanne Simmons 

Simmons has led the Graduate School of Management in the College of Business Administration since 1998 when she was named assistant dean and director of graduate programs; she was named associate dean in 2006. 

Under her leadership, the GSM grew its nationally ranked MBA and master’s degree programs, including a redesigned part-time MBA, new master’s programs in corporate communication and finance, and accelerated joint degree programs, among others.  

Simmons began her career at Marquette in 1988 as a graduate research assistant in the Marketing Department while she completed her MBA. Over the next 33 years, Simmons held several leadership positions, including assistant director of International Business Programs and assistant dean for administrative services. 

In addition to her work as an administrator, Simmons has also been a dedicated scholar and teacher. She has served as a part-time instructor and assistant professor of marketing and has published in several academic journals. Simmons has also served on numerous university and college committees, including the college’s Executive Council, Dean’s Council, various search committees, and she has served as chair, vice chair and secretary for the Jesuit Education in Business Network. 

In 2010, Simmons was recognized with a Marquette University Service Award, Marquette’s highest staff honor. 

About Karen Rinehart 

Rinehart was named director of the Business Career Center in 2015. Under her leadership, the center has regularly exceeded undergraduate student outcome rates of 90% or greater (i.e., gainful employment, graduate school or military service upon graduation). Prior to that, Rinehart served as the assistant director of the BCC from 2010-13; she was a faculty adviser to the center and the Office of International Business Studies from 2013-15. 

Prior to working in the College of Business Administration, Rinehart worked as a career counselor at Cardinal Stritch University, serving traditionally aged college students, adult learners, and alumni. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Educational Leadership with an emphasis in college student personnel from Marquette University.