People and Places: May 9, 2023

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023
By AACSB Staff
George Mason’s business school receives a 50 million USD naming gift, and USC launches a 1 billion USD initiative focused on computing research.


Gina Grandy has been appointed dean of the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Since 2018, she has been dean of the Hill and Levene Schools of Business at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. Previously, she was the associate dean of research and graduate programs at the Hill and Levene Schools, as well as the Royal Bank of Canada Women in Leadership Research Scholar. She also is a full professor with expertise in strategy and leadership. She has taught and led research at seven universities across Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. She begins her renewable five-year term on September 1, succeeding Jim Dewald. During Dewald’s 10 years as dean of the Haskayne School, he led the establishment of the Creative Destruction Lab–Rockies at Haskayne, oversaw the launch of six new centers, and was instrumental in the planning and completion of the business school’s new Mathison Hall.

On June 30, Daniel Connolly becomes the new dean of the School of Business at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York. Connolly comes to Fisher from Drake University’s Zimpleman College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has been a professor of management and past dean of the college. Prior to joining Drake, Connolly served as dean of the School of Business Administration at Portland State University in Oregon and as senior associate dean at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. In addition, Connolly has held faculty appointments at Michigan State University in East Lansing and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Before joining academia, Connolly was an information systems analyst for Marriott International.

Vijay Khatri has been announced as the Rustandy Endowed Dean of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder, effective July 1. Khatri will be the first to hold the named deanship, which is supported by a 5 million USD gift from Tandean Rustandy. Khatri currently serves as the executive associate dean for strategy, innovation, and technology at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. At Leeds, Khatri succeeds Sharon Matusik, who left the school last June to become the dean of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Thomas J. Steenburgh has been named the next dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Steenburgh comes to Vanderbilt from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, where he is the Richard S. Reynolds Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean for the residential MBA program. He also is the course head for the first-year marketing course and the faculty chair for the strategic sales management program in executive education. Steenburgh is a co-founder of the Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession Conference, a forum for discussion on contemporary issues in sales. At the Owen School, he will succeed M. Eric Johnson, who has led the school since 2013.

Don Capener has been named dean of the Lewis College of Business at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Previously, Capener served for seven years as dean of business at Jacksonville University in Florida, where he started the doctoral program in business and the master’s in business analytics. Subsequently, he accepted an assignment as associate provost and graduate director of business at Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem, where he started the tech management and healthcare MBA programs. He now leads all UVU professional education and is the lead administrator at satellite campuses for the school. He becomes dean of the Lewis College on July 3.

Vikas Mehrotra has been appointed dean of the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta in Canada. Mehrotra, who currently teaches finance, has served in various leadership roles since he joined the university in 1995. From 2002 to 2005, he was the associate dean of MBA programs, and he oversaw the launch of the Master’s in Financial Management in Shenzhen, China. He also spent 10 years as chair of the department of finance. During that time, he helped found the Alberta Finance Institute, which promotes financial education and research to contribute to the economic development of the province.

Effective immediately, Daniel Fox is the new dean of the Dauch College of Business and Economics at Ashland University in Ohio, where he has been serving as the interim dean since May 2022. As interim dean, he finalized 13 MBA certifications, moved an industrial and systems engineering degree through the accreditation process, and worked to enhance faculty presence and engagement in area high schools. He was also instrumental in maintaining and pursuing the school’s various accreditations. Fox joined Ashland University in 2004 and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in management, entrepreneurship, finance, business law, and accounting as a tenured associate professor. He received the university’s Taylor Teaching Award in 2019, the Academic Mentor Award in 2021, and the Ellis Teaching Award in 2011.

The University of Nottingham in the U.K. has appointed David Park as the new dean of the Nottingham University Business School. Park, who is a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation, previously was associate dean of external engagement and director of executive education at the school. As an entrepreneur who has started his own businesses and social enterprises, Park has firsthand experience in raising startup funds, managing multidisciplinary teams, and completing licensing deals with major companies. He has also played an active role in creating national policies in sectors such as food, geospatial engineering, and unmanned aerial vehicle systems.

David Whitlock has been named interim dean of the John Massey School of Business at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. Previously, Whitlock served as the president of Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee; he also has been dean of the College of Business and Computer Science, and special assistant to the president, at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. Earlier in his career, he taught business at Southeastern for 14 years, serving as an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and chair of the business information management program. In 2019, he returned to Southeastern, where he currently is the John Massey Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship.

New Programs

This fall, the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University in Ames is launching a fully online track for its professional MBA program. Students can complete the self-paced part-time program in 24 to 30 months. They have the option of taking courses fully online or in a hybrid format in which they attend one class each week at the school’s location in Des Moines. The program, which does not require GMAT or GRE scores, admits students in the fall, spring, and summer.

Grants and Donations

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, has announced a 50 million USD naming gift that will establish the Donald G. Costello School of business. The gift, made by the Donald G. Costello Trust, was unveiled at the launch of the university’s 1 billion USD comprehensive capital campaign. The planned gift establishes an endowment that will provide scholarships to undergraduate and graduate business students. Costello, who died in 2017, was co-founder of Century Stair Company. The school expects to officially adopt the new name later this year.

The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, has received a gift of 2.5 million CAN (1.87 million USD) from the Quinn Family Future Foundation to establish the Quinn Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Professorship. Smith will use the gift to hire a scholar who will help develop an ESG curriculum that will enable the next generation of business leaders to understand climate change and sustainable development concepts. Donors Michael and Francisca Quinn have dedicated their careers to sustainable development; he is co-founder of RP Investment Advisors, and she is president of Quinn+Partners, a North American ESG advisory firm.

The University of Rochester’s Simon Business School in New York has received 6.7 million USD from alumnus and trustee Evans Lam. It is part of a larger 15.7 million USD gift from Lam designed to expand resources for undergraduate students and address other needs at the university. Part of the gift earmarked for the Simon School will be used to develop the Lam e.Hub of Undergraduate Business Engagement, a new space that will give undergraduates greater access to Simon’s resources.

Centers and Facilities

Last month, the University of California Riverside held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new instructional and administrative building that will provide increased space and modern facilities for the School of Business. The 63,400-square-foot building will feature a large multipurpose room, two 80-seat classrooms, a 350-seat auditorium, a computer lab, staff offices, and group meeting rooms. It also will accommodate enhanced technology, such as a studio for recording podcasts, lectures, videos, and other media. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2024.

Other News

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles has announced a 1 billion USD initiative that will integrate computing research and education across disciplines, with a focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, robotics, gaming, blockchain, and augmented and virtual reality. Seeded with a 260 million USD gift from the Lord Foundation of California, USC Frontiers of Computing encompasses the new USC School of Advanced Computing, which will be housed in a 116,000-square-foot facility that will formally open in fall of 2024. Over the next three years, the university plans to hire 30 new faculty members who are leaders in computer science and computing-based research, with additional faculty to be brought on board by 2030. The new faculty members will hold appointments in multiple schools at USC. According to Geoff Garrett, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business, the new initiative will enable the business school not only to “focus on the cutting-edge business applications of technologies like AI and blockchain, but also to understand and shape their consequences for society.”

The Purdue Research Foundation and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, have formed Purdue Innovates, a system designed to streamline and strengthen the ecosystem that supports startup ventures associated with the university. Purdue Innovates will provide technology commercialization resources, such as intellectual property licensing and protection, as well as startup support resources, including programming and funding.

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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