Kathi Tunheim Named Endowed Chair in Management and Leadership

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by

Dr. Kathi Tunheim

Dr. Kathi Tunheim, Assistant Professor of Economics and Management at Gustavus Adolphus College, has been named the inaugural holder of the Board of Trustees Endowed Chair in Management and Leadership in the Department of Economics and Management at the College. The position was created when six members of the Board of Trustees anonymously pledged $5 million for two endowed faculty positions in September 2010. The College announced in March that Dr. Kathy Lund Dean would serve as the inaugural holder of the Board of Trustees Distinguished Endowed Chair in Leadership and Ethics.

“Dr. Tunheim is a tremendous asset to Gustavus. Her work both inside and outside the classroom with students has proven to be incredibly valuable,” President Jack R. Ohle said. “With the hiring of Dr. Lund Dean, the promotion of Dr. Tunheim, and the fact that the Department of Economics and Management is housed in the state-of-the-art Beck Academic Hall, Gustavus is building one of the strongest and most attractive economics and management departments in the region and nationally.”

Dr. Tunheim holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and Spanish from Concordia College, Moorhead, a master’s degree in communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in human resource development from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the corporate world, Dr. Tunheim is an educator who has been in the trenches of several prestigious companies. She managed training and development at Northwest Airlines and Carlson Travel Network, and served as Director of Leadership Development at American Express Financial Advisors. In 1998, she founded Tunheim Leadership Group, Inc., a consulting firm with a mission to recognize, educate, and inspire leadership, team and organization development to help others reach their God-given potential. Some of her many clients include Medtronic, Cargill, American Express, Luther College, Augsburg College, and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics.

Dr. Tunheim accepted a tenure-track position at Gustavus in 2008 and has been a fixture in the College’s Department of Economics and Management ever since. Along with teaching courses such as Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Professor Tunheim has been instrumental in the development of two key leadership and mentoring programs on campus.

She developed Gustavus Women in Leadership, a student/alumni program that seeks to help the women of Gustavus in their academic, professional, and personal leadership development. She has also been a leader in the development of the Gustavus Alumni Mentoring & Business Leadership Program, which seeks to provide Gustavus economics and management majors with relevant business information and experience through personal and professional mentoring relationships with successful Gustavus alumni.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this endowed chair,” Dr. Tunheim said. “Partnering with students, faculty, staff, and alumni for the past five years at Gustavus has been a privilege. I look forward to even more collaboration with the constituents of the Gustavus community to help our students be even more successful in the future.”

To learn more about the Gustavus Department of Economics and Management and Dr. Tunheim, go online to gustavus.edu/econ-mgmt/.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin



  1. Casey Enevoldsen says:

    Congratulations, Kathi! Well deserved!

  2. Pastor Rod and Julane Anderson says:

    Dear Dr. Kathi,

    Congratulations…and God Bless You!! It’s an extraordinary privilege to be appointed to an Endowed Chair…but even more so, to an Endowed Chair in Management and Leadership…and beyond that to a Board of Trustees Endowed Chair in Management and Leadership, because those Board people are in management and leadership, if not also in Governance!!! I can’t think of anyone more perfectly fit for such a role and honor!

    I truly believe there is something in that Walker/Leech Lake water that prepared and anointed you for the work you have been and will do for Gustavus students, faculty, staff and community from this chair in which you sit….no, busily and productively servant lead!!

    Thanks be to God for you!
    Pastor Rod