San Marcos,
09:03 AM

Building CSUSM’s Impact on the Regional Economy

By David Ogul

When it comes to building bonds between the College of Business Administration (CoBA) at Cal State San Marcos and local industry to grow the regional economy, Ed Ashley is at the head of the class.

As CoBA’s Director of Business Community Relations, Ashley is responsible for an array of corporate and community outreach efforts and oversees a capstone Senior Experience program that pairs up to 500 business administration majors annually to work on innovative projects seeking solutions for businesses and government agencies – a program that is having a major impact on area commerce.

“I love what I do,” Ashley said. “Our students are resourceful, intelligent and very much engaged, and with 85 percent of our students staying here after graduation, we are having a tremendous impact in our region.”

Ashley speaks from experience. After earning his MBA in Strategy and Management at CSUSM, he flourished in an array of senior management positions, including Vice President of Global Systems at Nicholas-Applegate Investment Partners and Senior Manager, IT Strategy, at pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline.

An adjunct professor for more than 25 years who has taught a number of courses at CSUSM and who does his best to place students in jobs and help companies find alumni seeking work, Ashley was named CoBA’s Director of Business Community Relations in the fall of 2014.

“Real-world problem solving and critical thinking are what employers want from graduates,” Ashley said. “I believe that we enable as much of that practical application as we possibly can and provide much more opportunity for students than the other local institutions.”