Fostering cross-campus creativity, Rowan launches new School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Fostering cross-campus creativity, Rowan launches new School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

A lesson in creativity within the RCB's maker space

Continuing a decades-long trend of expanding student opportunities, Rowan University for 2022 launched the School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship within the Rohrer College of Business, an entity designed to further opportunities for professional start-ups and a cross-campus entrepreneurial mindset.

The school is the first of its kind in New Jersey and one of just a few university-based schools of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, RCB leaders said.

Though the new school is housed in the RCB, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Tony Lowman, a longtime educator, engineer and entrepreneur, said the school will help students pursue creative career paths to forge their own future, no matter their course of study.

“We created the school to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to all disciplines,” said Lowman, the University’s chief academic officer. “Rowan is building a university of the future, and doing so demands that we encourage students of all majors to think creatively and entrepreneurially.”

Approved in December, the school will build upon a highly successful entrepreneurship program that for 2022 earned recognition by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine as a Top 50 in the U.S.

RCB Dean Dr. Sue Lehrman said expanding the program to a full school will greatly increase student opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

“Dr. Eric Liguori, the longtime head of Rowan’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, will lead the new school, which will house both the RCIE and a wide range of academic offerings including the Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurship minor, MBA concentrations in entrepreneurship and cannabis commercialization and related certificates and programs,” Lehrman said.

Liguori said the school positions Rowan to build on more than 15 years of momentum in entrepreneurship, including the launch of two undergraduate degree programs, the creation of the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund, a variety of certificate programs and concentrations, and a rapidly-growing minor.

“We are engaging with students from all of Rowan’s colleges and campuses,” Liguori said.

In addition to formal curricula, the RCB offers a variety of non-degree-focused entrepreneurship programming including the annual Idea Challenge and New Venture Competition, which provide cash incentives for developing new business ideas, and a popular high school program, the Think Like an Entrepreneur Summer Academy, which in 2021 drew students from across the country.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is a fundamental skill and we are committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to cultivate it,” Liguori said.

Including the new School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Rowan will soon have eight colleges and eight schools, including the forthcoming Rowan University School of Veterinary Medicine, which was announced Dec. 29.