Meet Dean Quiñones: Robins School Welcomes New Dean

August 29, 2019
Before coming to Richmond, Quiñones served as the O. Paul Corley Distinguished Chair in Organizational Behavior and Administration and department chair in the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.

When you walk into Dean Quiñones’ office at the Robins School of Business, you’ll notice family pictures and an artist’s rendering of the Puerto Rican flag. But sometimes you might be greeted by his little five-pound dog, Rusty, who likes to perch on the edge of his desk, and look out the floor to ceiling windows.

“I take my job very seriously, but I don’t take myself too seriously,” Quiñones said when asked how he would describe himself.

The new dean, originally from Puerto Rico, moved to San Antonio at the age of 11, and knew very little English. He went from being a top student in his grade every year, to failing his first round of tests. But his teachers believed in him, and recognized his passion for learning.

“I learned English, and began to excel. I am so grateful to my teachers when I first came to San Antonio, because they did not judge me or show any bias against me. And that helped me to succeed,” Quiñones said. “My passion for education comes from them. I hope to show the same qualities of kindness and acceptance toward every person I meet.”

This experience of being welcomed and inspired to learn, drives one of his primary goals for the Robins School at the beginning of his tenure: to make it the most welcoming and accepting school on the University of Richmond campus. According to Quiñones, being welcoming is about respecting the inherent worth of every individual. This is one of the key values he learned from his father.

“I want every student who’s interested in studying business to feel welcome in the school,” Quiñones said. “I want students who don’t pursue business to do it because they found another subject they are passionate about, not because they felt like they didn’t belong here.”

His friendly nature comes from growing up in a tight-knit family, which experienced struggle and loss, but remained strong. He told faculty and staff he lost his older brother when he was just five years old, and therefore lives his life to the fullest he can and tries to be open and genuine in all interactions.

“That taught me early on how to be resilient and adaptable,” Quiñones said, which shows, as he runs marathons, climbs mountains, bikes, hikes, and does every adventurous thing he can in his free time. He even qualified to run the Boston Marathon in April of 2020.

“I can also be a little goofy around my family. I have two kids, both teenagers, but my wife says it’s like having three teenagers with me around,” Quiñones said.

He is a naturally curious person and loves learning something from everyone he meets. This personality gives him a unique connection with students and their families, which he is excited to bring to the Robins School.

“I came here because of the tightly knit and welcoming community that we have. We’re all invested in each other’s success, I’m invested in our students’ success, as they are in the success of the Robins School,” Quiñones said.

Before coming to Richmond, Quiñones served as the O. Paul Corley Distinguished Chair in Organizational Behavior and Administration and department chair in the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. He is an internationally recognized expert and widely-published author in the areas of individual and organizational development, as well as the strategic management of human capital. He was previously on the faculties of the University of Arizona and Rice University. He also served as a U.S. Fulbright scholar and visiting professor at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile, and was a visiting professor at Singapore Management University, as well as the IE Business School in Madrid. Quiñones also holds a dual citizenship with Spain and the United States.

He says his time at Rice University grounded him in his passion for connecting with students, when he lived on campus as Magister of Baker College, and says the student-centered nature of the Robins School drew him to the program.

“The energy of the students hooked me, and the faculty and staff are committed to making decisions in the best interest of our students,” Quiñones said. “This is the most welcoming community I’ve ever encountered, and I want our students to feel the same way when they walk through my door.”