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Ernest L. Owens

Assistant Professor

  • Education
  • B.S., Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University 
    Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of St. Thomas 
    M.B.A., Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Finance, University of St. Thomas
  • Research Interests
  • Leadership, workforce readiness

Ernest L. Owens, Jr. EdD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Management at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. He currently serves on the University Senate and University Faculty Affairs Committee. Owens previously served on several committees, including St. Thomas Executive Committee and Policy Advisory Committee, and as a chair of Faculty Affairs Committee and as the faculty chair for the Opus College of Business. He currently teaches both the undergraduate and graduate courses in project management, and delivers project management training to working professional and executives.

Owens specializes in project, strategic and operations management. He has taught undergraduate, graduate and professional development courses since 1991. He’s been an adjunct member of the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin River Falls, teaching management, operations and strategic information systems. Owens is a visiting professor at the Universite of Caen in Normandy, France where he teaches leadership and project management to English-speaking students.

His industry experience includes roles as director of strategic planning at Unisys, cost engineer at IBM, industrial engineer at Johnson and Johnson and Mass General Hospital, as well as methods analyst at Melville Shoe Corporation.

As a consultant, Owens has developed project management training programs for Donaldson Company, Imation, PaR Systems, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Ameriprise Financial, NRP, Aspen Research, E-Funds, Tenant Corporation, Fairview South Hospital, Fair Isaacs, and PMI Minnesota.

Owens has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Eleven Who Care” from KARE 11 and the “Good Neighbor” from WCCO for his community service. In recognition for his public service and volunteer work, Owens received “The Jefferson Award” and the “Leon H. Sullivan Award” from Opportunities Industrialization Center of America.


  • Rexeisen, R. J., Owens, E. L., & Garrison, M. J. (2018). Lean six sigma and assurance of learning: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of Education for Business, (93)(5), pp. 260-266
  • Owens, E. L., & Ramlall, S. J. (2005). Creating and sustaining economic growth through human resources in the Caribbean. International Journal of Human Resource Development and Management, (5)(3), pp. 227-239

  • 11 Who Care Award, 1990
  • Chair - Workforce Development Council, Governor Carlson - Minnesota State Appointee, 1990
  • Chair - Workforce Development Council, Governor Ventura - Minnesota State Appointee, 1994
  • Community Award for Outstanding Service, Minnesota Urban League, 1990
  • Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, 1990
  • University of St. Thomas, 1990
  • Workforce Development Council, Governor Perpich - Minnesota State Appointee, 1986

  • MN Strategic Leadership Forum
  • Microsoft Project User Group (MPUG)
  • Project Management Institute PMI
  • PMI - Project Management Institute Conference, Reviewer

  • Visiting Professor, Université de Caen Basse-, Normandy (2002 - present)
  • Lead Faculty for Project Management, University of St. Thomas - Executive Education, Minneapolis (2003 - present)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2001 - present)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Wisconsin - River Falls, River Falls (2000 - 2004)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (2001 - 2003)
  • Instructor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (1993 - 2001)
  • Benchmarking Facilitator, Unisys, Minneapolis (1991 - 1993)
  • Business Re-Engineering (Case), Unisys, Minneapolis (1991 - 1993)
  • Director of Strategic Management and Project Planning, Unisys, Minneapolis (1987 - 1993)
  • Strategic Planning, Unisys, Minneapolis (1987 - 1993)
  • Adjunct, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (1990 - 1993)
  • Cost Reduction Engineer, Unisys, Minneapolis (1984 - 1987)
  • Manager, Unisys, Minneapolis (1986 - 1987)
  • Lead Cost Reduction Engineer, Unisys, Minneapolis (1984 - 1986)
  • Cost & Industrial Engineer, IBM Corporation, Minneapolis (1979 - 1984)
  • Industrial Engineer Technician, Johnson and Johnson, (1976 - 1978)
  • Management Engineering Technician, Massachusetts General Hospital, (1974 - 1976)