People and Places: November 2, 2021

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021
By AACSB Staff
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Robert T. Sumichrast retires from Virginia Tech, and two schools offer programs in the management of luxury brands.


Roel Beetsma, DEan, Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of AmsterdamRoel Beetsma has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Amsterdam. The five-year appointment will take effect in February 2022. Beetsma, a professor of macroeconomics at the school, has also served as chair and vice dean of the Amsterdam School of Economics. He will succeed Han van Dissel, whose second term is set to end in January. (Photo by Kirsten van Santen)

Rosmini OmarRosmini Omar has been selected as the new dean of Azman Hashim International Business School at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, which has locations in Johor Bahru, Pagoh, and Kuala Lumpur. Her term began on August 1. Omar previously served as deputy dean of research and innovation, during which time she established the school’s inaugural journal and created other platforms that featured industry and academic experts. Omar succeeds Nur Naha Abu Mansor.

At the end of the academic year, Robert T. Sumichrast will retire from his position as the Richard E. Sorensen Chair and dean of the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. He has been dean of the Pamplin College since 2013. During his tenure, the school launched an executive PhD program, created an online MBA, and expanded its Master of Information Technology program in partnership with the College of Engineering. Sumichrast also was deeply engaged with the university’s initiative to build the Global Business and Analytics Complex, which will focus on data analytics and decision sciences. During his career, Sumichrast has served as dean at two other schools: the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University and the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

New Programs

With the help of a grant from Nuffic, a Dutch organization that promotes the internationalization of education, the Maastricht School of Management (MSM) in the Netherlands will create Tailor-Made Training, a financial literacy program for women in the eastern African nation of Burundi. The new program has been created to support Women Invest (WIN), an investment club in Burundi committed to helping women improve their financial situations. As part of Tailor-Made Training, experts at MSM will cover topics such as the finance system, investment, and fundraising, as well as gender lens investing, defined as “the practice of investing for financial return while also considering the benefits to women.” Acting as a local consultant for this one-year project will be Alain Nkurikiye, an MBA alumnus and the first Burundian to graduate from MSM.

Ernst & Young (EY) has collaborated with Hult International Business School, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to offer a new master’s program in business analytics to EY employees. The program will be free of charge to all 312,000 of the company’s employees, regardless of rank, tenure, or location. The program aims to significantly expand data and artificial intelligence literacy among EY staff and help them translate those skills into services for clients. It builds on EY Badges, through which employees earn digital credentials in topics that range from robotic process automation to sustainable business practices. To earn the master’s degree, EY employees will need to complete 12 badges spanning data and artificial intelligence, leadership, innovation, and technology. Candidates will also need to complete two hands-on projects—one focused on a big data AI challenge and one focused on creating new data-enabled business products or services.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a grant of 2 million USD from the Truist Foundation to fund the Anchor Institutions Create Economic Resilience program (AICER). The program will be housed within CREATE, an economic development center at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The AICER program works with anchor institutions such as universities, tribal and local governments, and hospitals to assess their procurement practices and identify opportunities to purchase goods and services from minority-owned firms, rural businesses, and local suppliers in COVID-impacted communities. AICER will advise local business owners and connect them with resources, including legal services at the Institute for Innovation at the UNC School of Law. This grant also continues the AICER program’s ongoing work with two anchor institutions within the UNC System: UNC–Chapel Hill and UNC Pembroke.

In the fall of 2022, the University of Maryland in College Park and its Robert H. Smith School of Business will launch two new undergraduate programs aimed at high-achieving students. The two-year Interdisciplinary Business Honors Living-Learning Program, a partnership between Maryland Smith and UMD’s Honors College, will be open to all majors. Taught by faculty from Smith and other departments across the university, the program will cover topics such as markets, equitable growth, artificial intelligence in the workplace, the creative destruction process, healthcare affordability, social justice, and social and climate risks. The Smith Business Leadership Fellows Program will enroll outstanding Smith freshmen, who will take accelerated core business courses, meet with industry executives, and benefit from internship and networking opportunities. Up to 50 new scholarships, funded by a donation from alum William Longbrake, will be available to Leadership Fellows. Students are not required to apply for either program; instead, they are automatically considered through their applications to UMD.

Florida International University’s College of Business (FIU Business) in Miami has introduced a Luxury Incubator MBA Project course. Students will study the marketing and management of luxury brands in the U.S. and Asia, learning how psychology, business practices, and innovation play roles in creating luxury brand cultures and lifestyles. The new course includes an international residency component where 20 FIU MBA students will travel to Singapore and Bangkok to learn what it takes to make a luxury brand successful. The course was co-created by Deepak Ohri, CEO of lebua Hotels and Resorts, and Anna Pietraszek, director of global operations and assistant teaching professor of marketing and logistics.


Haile College of Business at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in Highland Heights has signed a partnership with Nahda University in Beni-Suef (NUB) in Egypt. The memorandum of understanding allows NKU to offer an online MBA degree to eligible students enrolled in NUB. It also will provide NUB undergraduates a pathway to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree through NKU.

The Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida in Tampa has partnered with Tampa General Hospital to create the People Development Institute. Designed to enhance career development and foster continuous growth for healthcare professionals, the institute will offer a broad range of nonclinical courses to all team members at the hospital. Course selections will be available to hospital employees at no cost.

Imperial College Business School in London has partnered with global online education provider Emeritus on the Sustainability Leadership Executive Education Programme. The program, launching in February 2022, will integrate scientific knowledge with business insights to help business leaders meet global climate change goals. During the 13-week program, participants will learn directly from a team of 40 experts in business model innovation, climate, health, social and environmental science, engineering and technological solutions, and systemic change at the institutional level. The course also will leverage the latest scholarship from the school’s research centers.


The Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro has received a 2 million USD gift from the Blue Bell Foundation, run by the North Carolina-based clothing company Blue Bell. The gift will fund the Blue Bell Foundation CARS Scholar Endowed Fund in the school’s department of consumer, apparel, and retail studies. Starting in 2022, the scholarship will be awarded to two students majoring in this topic over four years, with two additional students receiving the endowment every year following.

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