O’Keefe named executive director and chair for the UND School of Entrepreneurship


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


Dr. Tim O’Keefe has been named the Executive Director and Chair of the School of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA).

In his previous role as chair of the Department of Information Systems and Business Communication, O’Keefe was directly involved in the formation of the School of Entrepreneurship in May, 2015, and he served as the founding interim director of the School of Entrepreneurship for the 2014-2015 academic year.

O’Keefe, an entrepreneur himself, co-founded and served as Chief Technical Officer and Chief Executive Officer of ComMark, Inc., an Internet services and consulting company. O’Keefe has also taught information systems at the collegiate level for more than 30 years and is an active consultant and public speaker.

As Executive Director and Chair for the School of Entrepreneurship (SENTR), O’Keefe will provide leadership and a facilitative environment to accomplish the SENTR’s goals to become a world leader in teaching, learning and research in innovation and entrepreneurship. This position will lead the revision and development of curricula to serve the needs of current and future students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines across campus. Programs will involve campus wide collaboration, creating positive impacts for faculty and students. His role will also fulfill the administrative responsibilities associated with serving as the academic chair of the SENTR, student relations, and academic program assessment and review as well as working collaboratively on fundraising for the SENTR.

Endowed chair

In addition, O’Keefe was appointed the Eugene Dahl Innovation and Character Endowed Chair which was established by Howard and Brian Dahl to support a faculty member demonstrating innovation, strong character and leadership, and who is working directly with the School of Entrepreneurship within the CoBPA.

“We are pleased to have someone with Tim’s background, vision and commitment to entrepreneurship education and research serve in this role,” said Margaret Williams, dean and professor of management at the CoBPA. “Tim’s openness, creative ideas and ability to work with people make him the perfect fit to lead our new School of Entrepreneurship which we believe will place UND on the world stage in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation.”

O’Keefe holds a Master of Business Administration from Moorhead State University (1985) and a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in computer information systems and quantitative analysis from the University of Arkansas (1996). Since joining the faculty at UND in 1999, O’Keefe has taught information systems at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For four years, he served as the director of the Master in Business Administration Program and served as the chair of the Department of Information Systems and Business Communication for 11 years. For the past year, he served as the interim director of the School of Entrepreneurship.

Recently, O’Keefe co-authored four textbooks in which his area of contribution was the practical application of Microsoft Excel. He received the CoBPA’s Meritorious Teaching, Research and Service Award for 2004-2005 and the Established Faculty Service Award for 2011-2012.

He and his co-authors, Robert Dosch and James Haskins, received the Britt Literary Award from the ARMA International (a nonprofit professional association in information management) in 2013—given annually to the authors of the “best feature article appearing in Information Management.”

“Our goal is to make entrepreneurship education available to students across the entire campus—to give students the knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship necessary to apply their education in new and innovative ways,” O’Keefe said. “We want to help students learn that they can, through entrepreneurship, literally change the world for the better.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity and privilege to serve as Executive Director and Chair of the School of Entrepreneurship. Being named the Eugene Dahl Innovation and Character Endowed Chair is an incredibly humbling honor—I respectfully pledge to the Dahl family to embody the spirit of this position at all times. I look forward to building the School of Entrepreneurship with our fine faculty and students and am excited about a future shaped, at least in part, by our collective efforts.”