People and Places: March 29, 2022

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022
By AACSB Staff
Bernie Milano receives inaugural diversity award, three new diversity scholarships are announced.


Annette L. Ranft has been selected as the next dean of the School of Business at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Ranft comes to Wake Forest from Auburn University in Alabama, where she serves as dean and Wells Fargo Professor at the Harbert College of Business. Previously, Ranft was dean and Steve P. Zelnak Jr. Chair at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. She has also held leadership roles at the University of Tennessee and Florida State University and served on the faculty at Wake Forest. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal named Ranft to its list of top female business leaders. Before entering academia, Ranft worked as a systems consultant for AT&T and as an account manager for EDS. She will begin her new position on July 1.

On February 13, Raminder Luther became dean of the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Luther has been a professor of finance at the school for 22 years and interim dean since May 2020. In December 2020, the Bertolon School became the first business school at one of Massachusetts’ nine state universities to receive AACSB accreditation. Luther played a crucial role ensuring that the final stages of the review by AACSB proceeded as planned despite the outbreak of COVID-19. Prior to joining Salem State, Luther was a manufacturing operations manager for a Fortune 100 company and a marketing engineer for a Fortune 500 company in India.

Morris Mthombeni has been appointed dean of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria in Johannesburg, South Africa. His five-year term begins April 1. Mthombeni, who joined the school in 2014, was appointed executive director of faculty in 2017, and has served as interim dean since July 2020. Prior to joining GIBS, he held several leadership positions at Liberty Life and Momentum, culminating in a tenure as CEO at Momentum Investments. He also was executive director at MMI Holdings Limited. He has taught and conducted research in the fields of strategy and corporate governance in South Africa, several other African countries, Europe, and the U.S.

Mary Ann Scully has been named the next dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Scully co-founded Howard Bank and served as its chairman and CEO until it was recently sold. During her 18 years with the bank, she grew its assets from 17 million USD to 2.6 billion USD. Prior to joining Howard Bank, she worked in leadership and management roles for First National Bank of Maryland, later Allfirst Financial, leading the firm in its international growth. Scully, who earned her MBA from Loyola, has served as a trustee and member of the Sellinger Board of Sponsors. She begins her new role on July 1.

After seven years of service, Brett Landry will step down as dean of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas in Texas. He joined the school in 2006 and taught cybersecurity for nine years before becoming interim dean and then dean in 2015. In 2019, Landry was included in the Dallas 500, a list of top business leaders. When he leaves the dean’s office on June 30, he will return to teaching at the school, and Susan Rhame will become interim dean.

Honors and Awards

Bernard J. Milano has been honored with the inaugural Bernard J. Milano Distinguished Service Award created by the Business School DEI Collaborative, an organization that advances diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in higher education. The award was created to recognize individuals who take action to address an issue of diversity in society. Milano served as president of the KPMG Foundation—the founding partner of The PhD Project, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a more diverse workforce—for nearly 28 years and as president of The PhD Project for 26 years, before retiring from both roles in 2020. Under his leadership, The PhD Project helped increase the number of minority business professors from 294 to more than 1,600. This year’s award was presented at the Business School DEI Collaborative’s March 2022 conference in Athens, Georgia.


At its 2022 conference, the Business School DEI Collaborative also recognized Ken Bouyer with the inaugural Ken Bouyer Corporate Diversity Leadership Award, which is presented to corporate leaders who have made a substantial impact on diversity. Bouyer is director of inclusiveness recruiting at EY Americas. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, serves on boards for several colleges, and is corporate advisory board member of the National Association of Black Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals.

New Programs

Imperial College London is offering a new bachelor’s degree that combines economics, finance, and data science. The goal is to produce economics and finance graduates who have the data skills to navigate the digital economy. The program also embeds societal impact, diversity, and sustainability in its design. The flexible curriculum allows students to choose electives among all three disciplines to tailor their studies to their career interests.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has launched a new Digital Product Management Certificate program, which is available to students pursuing MIT Sloan graduate degrees. Before they begin taking classes, students first work on a product team at one of the school’s partner companies in order to gain an understanding of the challenges faced by those who create digital products. The new certificate program includes 12 units of required courses and 27 units of electives in subject areas such as operations and product development, product strategy, marketing and sales, and finance.

Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE), a division of Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, has launched a line of courses open to undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals who want to advance their skills. By focusing on programs that can be directly applied to participants’ jobs, Aalto ACCESS aims to provide lifelong learning that allows people to stay at the forefront of their fields throughout their careers.

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in Washington, D.C., has announced an MBA Certificate in Global Real Estate. It builds on existing offerings from the school’s Steers Center for Global Real Estate. The certificate includes a 7.5-credit sequence of MBA elective courses. All students will enroll in the Real Estate Private Equity course, then choose three additional electives. Students also will be required to earn 1.5 credits from among a set of courses that include entrepreneurial finance and venture capital, valuation, financial analysis and modeling, or negotiations. The certificate is open to both full-time and Flex MBA students.


Auburn University in Alabama has signed a partnership allowing retailer Walmart to use new inventory-tracking technology developed by its RFID Lab, which is associated with the Harbert College of Business, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, and the College of Human Sciences. The RFID Lab is researching the use of radio frequency identification to tag and track merchandise throughout the supply chain from manufacturer to final customer. Walmart is requiring its vendors to include RFID tagging on their products, and it is requesting that all merchandise tagging be approved by Auburn experts before going to market. The Walmart partnership is also providing funding and networking opportunities to the university. More than 50 students already work at the lab, and another 50 could be brought in by late spring.

Vlerick Business School in Ghent, Belgium, joins 11 other institutions to become the newest member of the Future of Management Education (FOME) Alliance. The network brings together faculty, senior management, edtech project managers, learning designers, and media experts from each partner institution to collaborate and create cutting-edge online learning experiences. Members exchange best practices, develop joint learning experiences, and contribute to the advancement of digital learning innovation in business education.

Grants and Donations

Harvard Business School in Boston has received a 10 million USD gift from venture capitalist Howard Cox to support the school’s Health Care Initiative, which has the goal of driving down the cost of healthcare in the United States. Cox has nearly 50 years of experience founding and advising healthcare firms, and he was instrumental in establishing the Health Care Initiative at the school in 2005. The initiative promotes faculty research, supports the development of high-impact educational programs, and creates an interconnected healthcare community. In recognition of the gift, the school has named the Health Care Initiative faculty chair position in Cox’s honor. The initiative also recently appointed Michael Gaines as its new director.

Other News

EHL Hospitality Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, has inaugurated its campus in Singapore, the third location for the school. Since February 2021, about 170 students from 30 nationalities have gone to Singapore to pursue the school’s Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management, as well as various short courses. The inauguration ceremony for the new campus was held in a restored historical building that now includes classrooms, meeting rooms, a multipurpose hall, and breakout areas. School officials say the third campus gives the hospitality students the chance to flourish in an international landscape.

The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, has created two new scholarships to enhance diversity and increase access for underrepresented groups. One scholarship is intended for Black students, and one is for Indigenous students. They will be awarded annually to candidates who self-identify as Black or Indigenous and demonstrate academic excellence, community involvement, and proven leadership experience.

The University College London Global Business School for Health has teamed with healthcare company Roche UK to launch a fully funded MBA Health Scholarship. The money will support a student who comes from a low-income background and either identifies as female or has Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage. Roche will also offer mentorship to successful candidates, as well as opportunities to undertake internships after their full-time studies are completed. The scholarship covers tuition, living expenses, and the costs associated with participating in the Global Health Challenge, during which students travel to low- or middle-income countries for two weeks to work on solutions to global health problems.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has announced the GMAT Talent and Opportunity Scholarship. It will be awarded to 10 European business school applicants in an effort to improve inclusion in graduate management education and reduce barriers to entry for underrepresented groups. Recipients will receive an award of 2,500 USD each, which will cover the cost of their GMAT exam, preparation material, tutoring with a test prep organization, and three hours of consultation with a professional admissions consultant. The scholarship is open to applicants from all backgrounds, including women, candidates with disabilities, BAME individuals, LGBTQ+ and nonbinary candidates, and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. According to Nalisha Patel, GMAC’s regional director for Europe, “With this new scholarship, we want to target and attract people who didn’t even think business education could be an option for them previously, to show them that they too offer valuable contributions in the development of our economies.”

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