The University Sales Center Alliance announces that Dr. Ajay Samant, Dean of the College of Business at Illinois State University, has been named as the Outstanding Dean for 2021. The USCA is a consortium of 61 member schools that work towards its mission of enhancing the sales profession through setting and monitoring university sales program standards, sharing best practices, enhancing sales curricula, and preparing students for the sales profession.

The USCA Outstanding Dean Award was established in 2019 to recognize a dean who has made significant contributions and demonstrated continued support of a USCA member’s sales program. Dean Samant has been instrumental in enhancing the sales curriculum and providing students a superior education through an active and engaging learning experience. He has also provided resources and encouragement to implement new courses such as data analytics and technology, approved additional sales faculty, and provided supplemental funding for faculty research and student scholarships. Under his guidance, a new initiative providing high school students with an opportunity to showcase their professional selling skills was recently implemented. His active engagement with students, donors, sponsors, and his continued guidance of the sales institute, clearly distinguished him as a valued supporter of sales education.

Dr. Andrea Dixon, President of USCA shared, “The sales curriculum at Illinois State University (ISU) is quite rich today due to the advocacy and leadership of Dean Ajay Samant.”

Dr. Andrea Dixon, President of USCA shared, “Driving advancements in curriculum can be difficult in higher education. The sales curriculum at Illinois State University (ISU) is quite rich today due to the advocacy and leadership of Dean Ajay Samant. The eight sales courses offered at ISU impact student learning and development because Dr. Samant is committed to ensuring that sales class enrollments are managed effectively for student learning. He is also a strong advocate for ISU’s Redbird National Sales Competition. He is incredibly deserving of receiving the USCA Outstanding Dean Award for 2021.”    

Dean Samant’s “leadership allowed Illinois State…to put their students at the front of the line when it came to sales career opportunities” according to William Yeo, Jr., Regional Vice President at Fastenal Company. The Professional Sales Institute Director Dr. Duleep Delpechitre further indicated Dean Samant’s active engagement and involvement has demonstrated his continued commitment to advancing collegiate sales education at Illinois State University.

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