CSULB College of Business welcomes Mark Suazo as new dean

Published June 28, 2024

Cal State Long Beach today welcomes Dean Mark Suazo as the new dean of the College of Business. Suazo arrives with a wealth of experience in higher education leadership and public service, plus a vision to establish The Beach as the region’s premier destination for business education.

"If (parents') kids are going to college for business, it’s ‘I want them to go to Long Beach,’” he said.

Mark Suazo Headshot

Suazo is a first-generation college graduate who sees himself in today’s first-gen students and was attracted to The Beach’s reputation for fostering social mobility and its commitment to community service.

“CSULB Academic Affairs is excited to welcome Dr. Mark Suazo as our new dean of the College of Business,” Provost Karyn Scissum Gunn said. “Dr. Suazo comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He possesses a thorough understanding in administration and campus planning, fundraising and advancement, and community building. We are pleased to welcome him to The Beach and know he will serve the college with strategic vision and collegiality.”

Suazo most recently served as dean for the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies at University of Central Missouri. Suazo spent about two years as dean and fulfilling other roles at Harmon College, including many hours helping to run the campus' airport for future pilots.

Before his service at Harmon, Suazo held positions at several universities including Springfield College in Massachusetts, Wright State University in Ohio and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He earned his PhD in business from the University of Kansas in 2002 and holds a master’s in industrial engineering from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of New Mexico.  

Suazo made the switch to academia after working for the Department of Energy, managing construction projects for Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories. Looking for a new challenge, he was also motivated to prepare effective managers.

“A good manager has to be someone who is a good communicator, and that means being a good listener,” he said. “You have to be genuine. You truly have to be care about the people you’re working with.”

In a similar vein, Suazo said many of the CEOs who he has conversed with increasingly need new hires to possess soft skills like empathy and the abilities to themselves be effective communicators. That contrasts with the outset of Suazo’s teaching career, when during the late 1990s, business leaders focused on job applicants’ technical skills and understanding of concepts like accounting, finance and marketing.

Suazo credited outgoing Dean Michael Solt and the College of Business’ current faculty and staff for their service to business education. The college has repeatedly secured AACSB accreditation, doubled its number of MBA and Master of Science programs to eight and completed upgrades to lecture halls, classrooms and computer labs.

Now, Suazo wants to do his part to ensure that students who undertake business studies at The Beach understand that they are welcome here as they complete their degrees.  

“You do belong,” Suazo said. “You were chosen to be a part of this school because we believe in you.”