William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics
As Dean of the School of Business and Economics at California’s Sonoma State University, Bill Silver is positioning SSU to be the nucleus for a thriving North Bay economy. Together with his faculty and staff colleagues, Dr. Silver is building results-focused educational programs which are responsive to the needs of North Bay organizations, including the region’s growing strengths in wine and hospitality, sustainable technologies, and service industries. At SSU, they are aligning the community to explore leading edge business practices - with the goal of innovating, adapting, and collaborating in this time of economic transformation. As Silver reframes the role of the business school to become a community hub, he is drawing upon his lifelong passions for leadership, business, and learning.
Before joining SSU, Bill Silver was Chief Operating Officer and Senior Associate Dean at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, where he led academic programs that achieved national rankings for sustainable business practices, values-based leadership, and business relevance. During his tenure at the University of Denver’s business school, Dr. Silver directed executive and corporate education programs for more than 75 client organizations including First Data Corporation, Newmont Mining, Allstate Insurance, Kaiser Permanente, Hewlett Packard, Time Warner Telecom, and Lockheed Martin. Combining his interests in cognitive and leadership sciences, Silver incorporates experiential and expeditionary learning into his programs, using activities such as sailing, rock climbing, rafting, martial arts, high ropes, mountain climbing, international travel, and service learning to teach people business acumen, leadership intelligence and the ability to deliver results. He has written extensively for professional journals about leadership effectiveness and business performance.
Silver traces his career path back to the soda fountain of his family’s pharmacy, a social center of the New England town where he grew up. He developed deep interests in people, entrepreneurship, and the role of business in the life of a community. He majored in organizational psychology at University of Michigan, where he received a B.A. with Distinction and High Honors while conducting research on work team effectiveness. He began developing his philosophy of leadership while earning his Ph.D. in Business Administration at the University of Washington. During his 18 years at University of Denver, he further evolved and applied his philosophy during the academic and financial transformation of the business school.
Bill Silver is an avid martial artist, an enthusiastic explorer of wineries, and a determined trail runner. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Adrienne, a pediatrician for Kaiser Permanente, and their three children: Benji, Zachary, and Ari. They spend all of their spare time hiking, camping, skiing, biking, and kayaking. Silver is on the Board of Directors of Sonoma County BEST, the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.