People and Places: December 21, 2021

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021
By AACSB Staff
The University of San Diego receives a 50 million USD gift, and 15 institutions join a program designed to improve student success.


On January 1, Aneil K. Mishra becomes the new dean of the School of Management at the University of Michigan in Flint. Since 2014, Mishra has been the Thomas D. Arthur Distinguished Professor of Leadership in the College of Business at East Carolina University in Greenville. He created the Leadership University at ECU, an experiential professional development curriculum designed to help faculty and staff expand their leadership capacity. Mishra was also the acting associate dean at the ECU College of Business. He previously held positions at North Carolina Central University’s School of Business, Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, and Michigan State's Eli Broad School of Management. At UM–Flint, Mishra will succeed interim dean Yener Kandogan.

Sanjay Putrevu has been named the next dean of business at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Putrevu, who will also hold the Robert and Julia Dorn Research Professorship, brings more than two decades of administrative experience in higher education. From 2017 to 2020, he served as the dean and Monte Ahuja Endowed Chair professor at the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University in Ohio, where he increased the institution’s international presence through strategic partnerships, assisted with key fundraising goals, and oversaw the college’s AACSB re-accreditation. Putrevu also held the positions of dean and professor at the University of Wyoming College of Business. He will begin his new position on July 1, 2022. He takes over from Bill Read, who is retiring.

Ajay Vinzé, dean of the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri in Columbia, is stepping down December 20. He took his post at the Trulaske College in 2017 after previously serving at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. During his tenure at Trulaske, the school began offering online graduate degrees in finance and accounting and an online undergraduate degree in business administration; it also began innovating with experiential learning, microcredentials, and stackable certificates. An interim dean will be named while the school searches for a replacement.

New Programs

The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business in College Park is launching a nine-month Data Science and Business Analytics certificate program. The fully online program is designed for technical and nontechnical professionals who want to leverage data in their decision making. Industry-driven assignments will be complemented by a capstone project. Participants will have access to more than 100 hours of live sessions, as well as mentor and student support. The school is partnering with global online higher education upGrad to offer the new certificate program, which begins in January. Program instructors include two Smith professors, P.K. Kannan and Anil Gupta.

Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE) in Espoo, Finland, and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have announced a new program for technology managers, change managers, and entrepreneurs in Singapore. The two organizations have been collaborators since 2018. According to organizers, the new ModularMaster in Technology and Management program combines Nordic and Asian perspectives. It focuses on how technology is utilized in management and how transformation is driven in a digitalized world, while also developing participants’ business management skills.

In February, the University of Otago Business School in Dunedin, New Zealand, will welcome the inaugural cohort of students into its new three-year Bachelor of Entrepreneurship degree. The degree makes entrepreneurship available to any student pursuing any discipline around the Otago campus. One-third of the curriculum is devoted to a core of entrepreneurship classes, and students can take classes from any other subject area to fulfill the other two-thirds. The degree also gives credit for practical work in entrepreneurship.

Grants and Donations

The University of San Diego (USD) in California has received a 50 million USD donation from former Clorox CEO and current USD board chairman Donald Knauss and his wife, Ellie. In honor of their gift, the business school will be known as the Knauss School of Business. The money will support the construction of a new 120,000-square-foot building, which will be combined with the renovation of the school’s existing building to create the Knauss Center for Business Education. When the center opens in the fall of 2022, it will include spaces such as the Free Enterprise Suite, where student entrepreneurs can use state-of-the-art technology; a production studio where students can create mock interviews, videos, podcasts, and other tools; the Student Success Center; and the Dennis Zocco and Dan Rivetti Finance Lab. Don Knauss says, “This is our investment in educating ethical and compassionate business leaders—leaders who enable a free enterprise system that creates wealth on a fair and equitable playing field.”

The Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Foundation has donated 10.5 million USD to the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics (MVS) at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI). About a third of the money will be used to complete the renovation of the MVS School’s new home and to refurbish an adjacent courtyard, which will be named after the Smiths. The remaining money will create a new endowment for enhancing the school’s educational experience. Since 1999, the Smith family has contributed more than 19 million USD to the university. The MVS School is expected to move into the new hall by late 2022.

Florida International University in Miami has received a 2.5 million USD grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program. The funds are earmarked for improving underserved entrepreneurs’ access to government programs that provide assistance in launching new ventures, growing businesses, or managing unexpected business interruptions. The Miami-Dade Small Business Resource Navigator Program will focus on small businesses, including microbusinesses with fewer than 10 employees and businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Leonard L. Berry and Nancy Berry have established the Leonard L. Berry Chair in Services Marketing at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School in College Station through a 1 million USD gift to the Texas A&M Foundation. Berry, who has spent nearly 40 years at the university, holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership; he also has been named a University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, a Regents Professor, and a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence. The Berrys’ gift is the first Mays endowed chair established by a current Mays faculty member.

Centers and Facilities

Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is moving forward on construction of a new 60 million USD building for its College of Business Administration, the university’s largest fully donor-funded construction project. The 100,000-square-foot building will feature collaborative classroom and study spaces, an event space, a café, faculty offices, and areas for programmatic centers of excellence. The first floor will provide “wraparound” student support through centralized advising services, a Student Success Center, and a Business Career Center. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2022. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, school officials plan to name a space within the new building after Joe Daniels, who was the school’s dean when he was fatally struck by a car in 2020. Daniels died less than two weeks after the plans for the new business school building had been unveiled.

Other News

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business in Ithaca, New York, has started an Economics Research Centers Papers series within the Economics Research Network (ERN). The Applied Economics and Policy Working Paper Series is a collection of research efforts in areas such as food and agricultural economics, environmental economics and resource economics, international and development economics, and real estate. The Applied Economics and Policy area of the SC Johnson College of Business draws on faculty expertise from all three schools of the college, including the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, the School of Hotel Administration, and the Johnson Graduate School of Management.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has selected 15 institutions, including two state systems, to participate in the newly launched Transformation Accelerator Cohort (TAC). The program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is designed to help institutions eliminate race, ethnicity, and income as predictors of student success. The participants represent rural, urban, and suburban areas across the country. Among them are seven Hispanic-serving Institutions; three historically Black colleges and universities and Predominantly Black Institutions; and three Asian American and Native American Pacific-Islander-serving Institutions. The selected institutions serve 120,525 students with an average Pell eligibility of 48 percent. The two-year, team-based learning journey accelerates institutional transformation by providing customized support for making data-informed decisions grounded in students’ realities. Campus leaders will learn best practices to close equity gaps and achieve student success goals for Black, Latino, Indigenous, and low-income students.

If you have news of interest to share with the business education community, please send press releases, relevant images, or other information to AACSB Insights at [email protected].

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