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Wayland Reflects on Incredible Career at UA Little Rock

Dr. Jane Wayland
Dr. Jane Wayland

Dr. Jane Wayland, dean of the College of Business, Health, and Human Services, is retiring after a 14-year tenure at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

“I have appreciated all the opportunities that UA Little Rock has given me. It’s been fun and I’ve enjoyed it all,” she said. “I’ve learned a great deal. I am very grateful to the institution. I really enjoyed engaging with the external business community. “

In addition to being dean, Wayland also served as a professor, associate dean of graduate studies, and chair of the Department of Marketing and Advertising at UA Little Rock.

Wayland considers some of the greatest achievements during her UA Little Rock career to be the establishment of an advising center in the School of Business; creating the Career Catalyst co-curricular program to provide students with workplace skills; and the development of a Student Success Endowment to provide students with financial support for competitions, scholarships, and high-impact learning activities.

“You can’t do anything alone, and my leadership team has been an incredible help and source of inspiration during my career,” she said. “We built student services with the leadership team. The Career Catalyst Program is very student-centered and has helped so many of our students. We had Atrium visits, executives in residence, and many programs that exposed our students to business professionals.”

Wayland also worked to enhance placement activities for students through the addition of career fairs, internship markets, and company atrium visits. During her tenure, the School of Business’s annual golf tournament and alumni luncheon events were expanded.

“I really enjoyed all the events that brought the outside community into our college,” she said. “We hosted an event with Johnny Cupcakes, held the annual Carnival of Clubs, and had executives in residence. I’ve really enjoyed working with the advisory council and getting to know the business community in Arkansas. I had a great leadership team in the former College of Business. We had fun, and we always put our students first. I want to thank my leadership team, staff, and faculty members at the college for helping me through so many years as dean.”

Dr. Jane Wayland, right, participates in the 2019 Carnival of Clubs with students, staff and faculty. Photo by Ben Krain.
Dr. Jane Wayland, right, participates in the 2019 Carnival of Clubs with faculty and staff members. Photo by Ben Krain.

Before UA Little Rock, Wayland spent 16 years at Eastern Illinois University as a professor, associate chair, MBA program coordinator, and chair of the School of Business. In 1998, the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences honored her with the School of Business Distinguished Professor Award, which recognizes the professor that demonstrates distinguished teaching, research, and service.

Wayland earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and an MBA at the University of Southern Mississippi and a Ph.D. in Marketing at the University of North Texas in 1989. 

In Arkansas, Wayland has been active in the community. She served on the boards for Economics Arkansas, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Accelerate Arkansas, Sales Marketing Executive International Arkansas, and Rotary 99. She also served on the Delta Trust Women’s Advisory Committee. She served as president of SMEI Arkansas and is past president of the Arkansas Women’s Leadership Forum. In 2013, she was named a Women of Influence by Arkansas Business.

“One of the boards that resonated the most with me has been Economics Arkansas because they believe in educating students in financial literacy,” Wayland said. “I just ended my term. I served Economics Arkansas for the longest, for over 10 years.”

Drs. Jane and Bob Wayland at the third annual School of Business Golf Tournament.

Wayland and her husband Robert are moving to Virginia to enjoy their retirement. The couple has four sons, 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. She is also a crafter and is looking forward to having more time to make greeting cards, do needlepoint, and other creative projects.

While the dean has much advice to offer from her decades in higher education, Wayland said the most important thing students can do to be successful is to embrace all the opportunities the university has to offer.

“Students need to be involved,” she said. “All the workshops, working with businesses on projects, meeting executives. They need to participate in all the learning opportunities they have inside and outside of the classroom. Don’t do the minimal. Engage in lifelong learning. You don’t stop learning when you leave school.”