Sherry Deist

Meet Our Deans: Sherry Deist

You already know that the Warrington College of Business is the top business school in the state and one of the best in the nation and world, but do you know the leaders that have guided us to such success and recognition? In our Meet the Deans series, we introduce you to the seven deans across the Warrington College of Business, Hough Graduate School of Business, Heavener School of Business and Fisher School of Accounting that lay the foundation for our success.


Sherry Deist is the Assistant Dean of Administration at the Warrington College of Business. In addition to serving on the Dean’s leadership team, she oversees the creation, development, administration and financial operations of the college’s market rate and self-funded programs. She earned her BSBA (Management) and MBA degrees from UF.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to be involved in higher education, and why was that an interesting option for you?

Deist: “After spending a few years working in the private sector I was excited to be given the opportunity to join the UF MBA staff during the ‘birth’ of Warrington’s working professional programs. These programs allow students to continue working while earning the credentials necessary to advance their careers. At the time, this was an innovative new option, and I am pleased that I was able to help develop a learning format that allows participants to grow and make impactful contributions without taking time off to attend school full-time.”

Q: What are you most proud of that you’ve been involved with during your time at Warrington?

Deist: “I’m proud of my involvement with Warrington’s entrepreneurial activities. When I started in the college, we had one working professional program. We now offer multiple MBA formats including the Online MBA, which we began 20 years ago, well before most universities. In addition, we offer a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and the Post-Doctoral Bridge Program, which prepares scholars from non-business disciplines to teach and do research in business schools. We are about to launch online versions of three of our specialized masters programs in Management, International Business and Entrepreneurship. These ventures put high quality graduate business education within the reach of people who would not otherwise be able to further their schooling.”

Q: What goal do you have for students pursuing a degree at Warrington? What do you most hope they get out of their time here?

Deist: “I hope students gain a global perspective, which is best obtained by studying abroad, preferably for at least one semester. If that is not an option, then I hope they participate in a Global Immersion Experience. Warrington has partners across the globe and dedicated staff able to assist with visa applications, housing, curriculum decisions, etc. It’s important for students to get out of their comfort zones and experience different cultures. I also recommend working internationally for a year or two if possible. An expat assignment adds tremendous value to the resume and gives insight into how multinational corporations operate.

Additionally, I hope that undergraduate students, both in the Heavener School and in other colleges across campus, pursue a combined degree in which students take graduate courses in their junior and senior years, putting them on the fast-track to receive a graduate degree. Warrington offers seven specialized master’s programs that participate in the combined degree option. These are the Master of International Business, the Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, the William R. Hough Master of Science in Finance, the Master of Science in Information Systems and Operations Management, the Master of Science in Management, the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate and the Master of Accounting. I hope students later become triple Gators by earning their MBA at UF as well.”

Q: If you didn’t decide to pursue a career in higher education, what would you do instead?

Deist: “I’d be a travel agent. One of my favorite past times is scouring the web looking for good travel deals. I love helping family and friends research a new place and map out an itinerary. Then I live vicariously through them while they enjoy the trip!”

Q: What can we find you doing outside of work or on the weekend?

Deist: “Walking my rescue dog, watching Gator sports (especially baseball), or catching up on the news headlines while sitting out on my back deck.”

Q: What’s a fact about you that might surprise other people?

Deist: “I have traveled to over 30 countries, but my favorite place is Alaska. I’ve been there nine times since my first visit in 2010. There’s nothing like watching a bull moose with the fall colors of Denali National Park as a backdrop.”

Q: Is there anything else you’d like the Warrington community to know about you that we didn’t ask about?

Deist: “I recently marked my 25th year working at Warrington. Over this time, I’ve seen so many enhancements including an emphasis on high-quality teaching and research and on improving opportunities and experiences for students. I want students, alumni and friends to know that Warrington is truly deserving of its distinguished reputation.”