Dr. Durnin holds a BA in Sociology from Wagner College, a Master’s in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Business from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her teaching and research focus on the areas of human resource management, negotiations and conflict resolution, and work/family balance. Additionally, Dr. Durnin provides training and consultation to organizations in these areas. She resides in Bethel, Connecticut with her husband Alan, and has two sons, Jeffrey and Andrew.
Dr. Durnin, Ph.D. was selected as the result of a national search to serve as the Dean of the School of Business at Southern Connecticut State University in August 2010. Dr. Durnin brings over 25 years of experience in higher education to the position, as well as practical and scholarly outreach in the business community. In Dr. Durnin’s tenure at Southern, she has led the School in the quest for their own building; faculty, staff and students moved into the newly-renovated building in 2012.
Other accomplishments include: acquisition of new Business faculty lines and other resources; fundraising to support student activities and faculty research, the creation of the Business Success Center for student internships and professional development activities; leadership of the School’s application for AACSB accreditation; the development of a Business Advisory Council; and active involvement in the business and non-profit communities. Dr. Durnin sits on the Board of Directors of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, and the leadership team of the Pew Results First Initiative for Connecticut. She developed the Business School’s first international partnership with ESPEME University in France, allowing Southern business students to study abroad in a global community. Dr. Durnin also leads the Business School’s fundraising efforts to support student scholarship, faculty research, and partnerships with the business community.
Recently Dr. Durnin was named the Business Community Advocate of the Year by the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce at their annual meeting. Additionally, Dr. Durnin was appointed by Senator Martin Looney as the state’s business representative to the Results First Leadership Oversight Committee. This group works with the Pew Research Center to advise state government on data-driven decision making, and has achieved savings and positive outcomes for programs under study.
Prior to accepting the position at Southern, Dr. Durnin was the dean of Graduate Studies and External Programs at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU). In that role, she co-chaired the university’s strategic plan; oversaw the creation of WCSU’s first doctoral program; and led the delivery of bachelor-completion programs in areas of workforce need on the campus of Naugatuck Valley Community College. Dr. Durnin also served as the Chair and a faculty member of the Management department. While at Western Connecticut State University, Dr. Durnin was a member of the Business Women’s Forum; TBICO, an advocacy organization for women in the workplace; and provided training for corporations such as Boehringer-Ingelheim and Cartus.