Miami’s entrepreneurship department experienced a leadership shift in early January, with former director Jay Kayne stepping down from the program and Brett Smith stepping in as interim director.
The Princeton Review has ranked Miami’s entrepreneurship program in the top 25 for the past four years under Kayne.
Kayne decided he wanted to focus on teaching.
“After seven years as director, Dr. Kayne decided to spend his time in the classroom,” Smith said.
Kayne said he would continue to teach entrepreneurship for the short term.
“It has been a great seven years with the program, but I think it was time for a change, for new ideas and new energy,” Kayne said.
Since the switch occurred during an off period academically, Smith was asked to step in. “I have been working with Dr. Kayne for the past seven years while he was the interim director,” Smith said. “We have been collaborating on the program, developed a class together and share similar philosophical views.”
Smith has been the interim director of the entrepreneurship program for a month, and said the job is already keeping him busy.
“Our main goal is to uphold the great tradition of the program since it’s founding in 1992 and its transformation by Kayne,” Smith said.
Kayne said he contributed to the program in three parts.
“First, we revamped the curriculum to make it more accessible to non-business majors, so we found a more diverse range of students,” he said. “Second, we created an introductory course for any student to test their interest in the program. Lastly, we created an LLC (Living Learning Community) directed toward those that are interested in entrepreneurship.”
Smith has already thought about plans for the future of the program.
“We plan on taking an entrepreneurial approach, using the main three guidelines that we teach our students,” Smith said. “One, to identify and evaluate all opportunities, two, to marshal resources using alumni and our own resources such as the Edun Live on Campus and three, building values of an entrepreneur.”
Smith hopes to provide the students with even more real world and hands-on experience. “Entrepreneurship is a mindset, not a job title,” Smith said, reiterating a value the program thrives upon.