Gale appointed Eberhardt School dean, sets school on new trajectory

Lewis Gale is named as dean of the Eberhardt School of Business.

Lewis Gale was selected to serve as dean of the Eberhardt School of Business following a robust national search.

Lewis R. Gale, who has guided the Eberhardt School of Business through varied opportunities and challenges in several roles, was named dean for the second time on May 29.

Gale has served twice as dean, twice as interim dean and taught for five years with the business faculty.

“Lewis Gale is a Pacific academic leader of the highest order: a smart and enthusiastic executive, a tireless and creative educator and one who is always looking ahead to identify emerging job markets,” said University of the Pacific President Christopher Callahan. “But most importantly, he cares deeply about the experience and ultimate success of our students. We are fortunate to have Dean Gale leading the Eberhardt School.”

Added Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs: “Dean Gale is committed to student success at all levels; on his office desk, he has a small sign that reads, ‘and this would be good for students because …’ which really captures his commitment to the student-centric mission at Pacific.”

Gale shared his thoughts on the new challenges and opportunities ahead in a question-and-answer session.

What made you want to lead the Eberhardt School of Business again?

Gale: I went back to the faculty for five years and had the chance to teach creative classes and design new courses. I support where the school is headed. I also got to know President Callahan and appreciated his focus on student success. All of that made me consider the dean position when it opened. But there are no funny headlines this time. The last time I was named Pacific dean, The Record’s headline was: “Gale takes Pacific by storm.”

Share an example of the focus on student success.

Gale: The president brought us (faculty) together in 2021 to talk about the summer institute he was starting (for high school students). He told us, “I want you to get innovative and tell me about creative new classes.” So I wrote six course descriptions and he ended up picking five to use. I saw the opportunity to engage students with us early and demonstrate our commitment to them. Today, we have confirmed students who attended the summer programs. Our job now is to ensure their success by assisting them as they progress through their degrees.

Eberhardt School of Business students are treated to "pancakes with the dean" during Week of Welcome in 2023.

Gale serves pancakes to students at "pancakes with the dean" during Week of Welcome in 2023. 

What excites you about the majors and courses that have been developed?

Gale: I am excited that we brought sport management into our school. It is a small-but-mighty group doing some great things with energetic students and faculty. Sports analytics has also created opportunities for our students. With all our majors, your solid core is a bachelor’s of science in business administration. I developed the first esports business class which uses skills in esports and video gaming to reinforce the skills needed in business. The course led to the creation of the Pacific Gaming Center and now we could build synergies to educate students and meet the students where they are. I formed a task force in spring to develop a new major in hotel and hospitality management which would launch in partnership with the new Pacific Inn. We are also increasing our appeal to international students with compelling graduate degrees that have driven our enrollment growth.

Your father was a huge factor in your career path. Share some of his story.

Gale: My dad was from a poor background in South New Jersey. The only options for him were either be a clammer and fisherman or work in a glass bottling facility. When he was 17, he lied about his age so he could join the Army and fight in the Korean War. Returning from his service, he realized the world was bigger than what was in South New Jersey so he headed west for community college in California. He wanted to be an accountant, and he spent every day for years working to improve his skills. He was admitted to Golden Gate University in San Francisco and attended classes that were held in the old YMCA building. He completed his degree there and became a CPA. As early as I can remember, I saw his degree and CPA certification on the wall of his office. My dad is my hero and I wanted to be just like him. There was never a doubt that I would attend and complete college.

Gale with President Christopher Callahan at the "dunk the dean" tank during Admitted Student Day in 2022.

Gale with President Christopher Callahan at "dunk the dean" during Admitted Student Day in 2022. 

Your children Lewis Jr. ’24 and Madeline ’19 both graduated from Pacific. How special was their college experience?

Gale: Our son has been able to study business analytics and play water polo for the Tigers and he will continue into graduate studies at Pacific. Our daughter, after originally not wanting to stay in Stockton to attend Pacific, thrived here. She lived on campus all four years, was a Delta Gamma sorority sister, and a Tiger Dancer. My wife, Candice, and I are proud parents and we have been pleased with their college experience.

With three decades of experience in higher education, you have strong feelings about the value of a college education.

Gale: Nobody will ever get an answer out of me that says anything except that college is worthwhile. The evidence is clear that it is still the best human capital investment. We are not in the business of simply “training people” but rather we are educating learners to be critical thinkers and learn on their own when confronted with change. For example, we have alumni who came out into the workforce using a slide rule. And then they had to adapt to calculators and personal computers to continue to be productive. Today we have students who have grown up with multiple electronic devices and will soon be going into a world with analytics and generative AI in every functional area in business. We must be at the forefront of that educational frontier to remain relevant. A collegiate degree has value when it prepares people to adapt, to be resilient and to succeed. I am proud of what we do for students here at Pacific.

Lewis’ favorites

Book: “My Effin’ Life” by Geddy Lee, frontman for the band Rush

Movie: “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope” from 1977

Television show: “Seinfeld” followed by “Ted Lasso”

Food: “Give me a BBQ cheeseburger”

Hidden talent: “I play four instruments.” (guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and ukelele.) He is also still in a band with friends from his youth.