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Three long-time faculty in the Department of Management are retiring

Department of Management chair and professor Mark Buchanan, associate chair and professor Jim Wanek and lecturer Cheryl Larabee will be retiring this summer after decades of teaching and contributing to the College of Business and Economics (COBE).

Mark Buchanan

Buchanan has spent the last 24 years at Boise State teaching law, international business and ethics. He obtained tenure in 2001, the rank of professor in 2004, and served as chair of the Department of Management from 2018-2020. Buchanan also served as director of International Business Programs and four study abroad semesters with the University Studies Abroad Consortium.

“It has always been a place with great colleagues in COBE and across campus. I have never regretted leaving the practice of law, which I enjoyed, for the classroom over 30 years ago,” Buchanan said. “Leaving the classroom will be the hardest part of retirement.”

For Buchanan, the possibilities are unlimited as to what retirement will look like, but it will include more time with his wife and grandchildren, riding his motorcycle, traveling in the couple’s RV and expanded community involvement.

“It is with sincere appreciation for Boise State, which I’ve seen climb great heights in these years, that I say thank you for providing me with a place to apply my skills, time and energy for a lot longer than originally intended,” he said.

Jim Wanek

Jim Wanek also spent 24 years at Boise State. He taught human resource management classes in both undergraduate and MBA programs. Wanek earned tenure in 2000 and has been a leader in online education for the college, teaching online since 2001, and helped develop the nationally-recognized online MBA program and the undergraduate online management BBA completion program.

Prior to joining academia, Wanek held a variety of retail management positions gaining experience with employee selection, training and performance management. This hands-on personnel experience directly influenced his decision to pursue graduate studies and teaching in human resource management.

His research and writing include the subjects of online education, pre-employment integrity testing and employee training. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Human Resources Association of Treasure Valley. Wanek also served as the co-advisor for the Human Resources Association student organization at Boise State.

“Boise, Boise State University and COBE have felt like home and been a good fit since my first visit as a job candidate. It has been amazing to observe and be part of the transformation of the university,” said Wanek. “I’m grateful for the opportunities to grow professionally and contribute to students’ positive educational experiences here at Boise State.”

Cheryl Larabee

Cheryl Larabee retires this May after being involved with the college since 1987, when she first met Department of Management lecturer Nancy Napier. Larabee began teaching with Napier in the general business capstone course. She then taught classes in leadership and professional selling, and guest lectured during her years as a banking executive. Her favorite student evaluation comment came from a student in one of her 7:30 a.m. classes: “The professor is a bit too chipper for the time frame.”

After 25 years, she transitioned out of banking and joined the college full time as a development director in 2006. During the university’s first comprehensive capital campaign, Destination Distinction, Larabee was named associate vice president of University Advancement. The campaign goal of $175 million in five years was surpassed with $185.4 million raised by the end of the campaign in 2011. In the last few years of the capital campaign, the fundraising for a new College of Business and Economics building was well on its way. Larabee worked with the late Steve Appleton, former Micron CEO, on Micron’s $12.5 million gift. Larabee teamed with Pat Shannon, the college’s dean at that time, Allison Wilde and Trisha Stevens Lamb to meet the match of a sub-campaign, raising $5 million from more than 1,000 donors.

In fall 2012, Larabee left development and returned to the classroom to teach the course “Business for a New Generation.” She spent the next eight years teaching more than 6,000 students in the college. Larabee plans to help out her faculty colleagues on occasion when she’s not skiing on Brundage Mountain.

“Anyone planning a vacation and need a substitute teacher?” she asked.