Meet Karen

Bowerman-speaking2A proven leader – Karen serves as Lake Oswego City Councilor and was the top receiver of votes in a field of six in the November 2012 election. For over 30 years at Fresno State and Cal State San Bernardino, Karen educated business leaders of tomorrow and served as Dean of the College of Business & Public Administration. Under her leadership at Cal State San Bernardino she artfully combined fiscal conservatism with innovation, exemplified by her College being named during lean budgetary times one of the “Top 18 Business Schools in the World for Innovation.”
A mind for business – Karen managed a successful finance company, and provides volunteer mentorship to start-up businesses and those ready for growth through strategic planning. She served as former examiner applying Baldrige National Quality Program criteria for productivity in business, and now provides continuing education on business and leadership for executives.

A heart for education – Karen earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. She was named from hundreds of students the most “Outstanding Graduate Student for Academics, Research and Service.” She has published textbooks and case materials for teaching business. She was an active parent, assisting classes and co-curricular activities where her children were in school.

Current Volunteer — Karen volunteers in NW Oregon to mentor small business start-ups and established companies wanting to grow. As described above, she also serves as an elected Lake Oswego City Councilor and in that capacity also has been liaison to various city boards and commissions such as the Sustainability Advisory Board, Transportation Advisory Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and is a member of the Development Review Commission, Budget Committee and Lake Oswego – Tigard Water Partnership Oversight Committee.


Personal — Karen and her husband of 37 years chose to make their home (built 100 years ago) in Clackamas County based on factors that have always been important to them, including appreciation for strong sense of community, low crime rate, walkability, absence of smog or pollution, and a love of the arts. The Civil War, an annual football rivalry begun in 1894, is an annual household event with one daughter who graduated from OSU and another from U of O Law School. A son worked many years for Intel. Another daughter has degrees in bioengineering from Harvard and Berkeley and works in California.

Career — Dr. Bowerman was named Dean Emeritus at retirement as Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at California State University, San Bernardino with campuses in Palm Desert and San Bernardino. She led the college to being named by European CEO Magazine as one of the top 18 most innovative colleges of business in the world (video link) by developing a fiscally conservative, yet extraordinarily innovative budget in difficult economic times while enriching the student and faculty experience. She recently co-authored a textbook entitled The Business of Leadership and during her academic career she authored many case and ancillary materials in human resources management and business management.

Early Career — During the time she was working toward the doctorate, Karen joined the staff of the Governor of Texas as Executive Director to launch a new agency, the Texas Commission on the Status of Women, leading statewide grant programs on work for children within the cycle of family violence.

Beginning a 32 year career in business higher education, Karen received recognitions such as Classroom Excellence, Award for Research and Service, founder of the Family Business Institute and chair of international business reaccreditation. She represented the College of Business in exchanges with Uji, Japan through Rotary — experiences that Karen calls life-changing because they led to family home exchanges in future years and emphasis when Dean on international opportunities for students and faculty to study and experience business abroad for purposes of expanding exports and being more aware of cultural diversity.

Undergraduate — At Wichita State University, she interned writing position papers for the Governor of Kansas. She later held a summer position in Washington D.C. in the speech-writing department of then-Department of Health, Education & Welfare. Karen was named the most outstanding graduate in both majors – communication and political science.

High School
— American Field Service exchange student to Turkey and officer in several clubs such as 4-H, debate, French, Future Business Leaders (national winner of public speaking competition) and American Legion Oratorical Winner — all while working half-time after school at Kansas Farmer Magazine.

Curriculum Vitae is available, and linked here is a brief summary of her bio.