Entrepreneurship department takes shape

Faculty member Kenneth Sanney named founding chair

​A significant step has been taken in setting the foundation for Central Michigan University’s new entrepreneurship department, the only one of its kind in Michigan.

CMU faculty member Kenneth J. Sanney, who has been appointed to lead the new department as founding chair, identified one of his first priorities as building a strong team.

“We need a department of dynamic faculty focused and centered on the students and connected to the entrepreneurial ecosystem within Michigan," said Sanney. 

In collaboration with the Isabella Bank Institute of Entrepreneurship, the new department provides CMU’s unique entrepreneurial program with a curriculum that prepares students to start a business, take over a family owned business or work as an intrapreneur in an organization.

“There will be a great deal of integration between the institute and the new department in order to equip our students with the tools they need to be entrepreneurial,” said Sanney. “These tools are necessary whether they’re interested in starting a business or taking their entrepreneurial spirit into a corporation.”

Sanney joined the faculty in the College of Business Administration's finance and law department in 2009 after serving as a faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University from 2006 to 2009. Prior to his academic career, he was a leading entertainment and intellectual property attorney in Nashville where he served as general counsel for several fast-emerging start ups, as lead counsel in numerous state and federal jury trials, and also as a specially appointed judge. He serves on the CMU Research Corp. board of directors.

“CMU’s entrepreneurship program shapes budding entrepreneurs through our strong academic curriculum and practical experiences in the start-up and small business world,” said Sanney. “I look forward to contributing to the future direction and growth of entrepreneurship education and new ventures in the state of Michigan and beyond.”

College of Business Administration Dean Chuck Crespy says Sanney’s background and experience makes him a great fit for the position.

“Ken is a great addition to an already strong team of academics and executives who are hard at work in our award-winning Isabella Bank Institute of Entrepreneurship,” said Crespy.

The CMU Board of Trustees approved the development of the entrepreneurship department at their June 24 meeting, providing an endorsement for the current undergraduate entrepreneurship program, which was established in 1998.

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