People and Places: June 2024

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
By AACSB Staff
The College of Business at the University of West Florida receives a naming gift, and UT Austin begins work on a new undergraduate business facility.


The University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa has announced David Blackwell will be the new Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business. Blackwell comes to USF after serving as associate dean for professional graduate programs at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics in Lexington. He has previously held leadership positions at Texas A&M University in College Station, the University of Georgia in Athens, Emory University in Atlanta, and the University of Houston. In these roles, Blackwell has prioritized student success and advanced student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. Blackwell officially joins the USF community in July.

On July 1, Joan Phillips-Hernandez becomes the next dean of the College of Business at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Phillips-Hernandez comes to NIU from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where she has held roles as dean and professor of marketing. During her nearly 30 years in higher education, Phillips-Hernandez also has served as dean at the Andreas School of Business at Barry University in Miami; associate dean for Loyola University Chicago; and an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, Indiana. In addition, she is a peer review team chair and peer reviewer for AACSB and a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission. Phillips-Hernandez succeeds Denise D. Schoenbachler, who has been interim dean since July 2023.

Edouard Mognetti has been appointed director of the School of Wine & Spirits Business (SWSB) at the Burgundy School of Business (BSB) in Dijon, France. Mognetti has held a number of senior positions within the Famille Piffaut Vins & Domaines group, and he has spent seven years at the Interprofessional Office for Centre Loire Wines. Mognetti succeeds Jérôme Gallo, who has headed the SWSB since its creation in 2013 and who will continue his career at BSB.

On September 1, Madan Annavarjula will become the next dean of the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Annavarjula most recently was dean of the College of Business and professor of international business at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. In that role, he oversaw the launch of several undergraduate and graduate programs in subjects such as data science, business analytics, digital marketing, leadership, and innovation and project management. He also was recognized with several teaching and service awards. Annavarjula begins his new role at the Charlton College on September 1.

Taking over as dean at Bryant University’s College of Business is Todd M. Alessandri. He joins Bryant from Northeastern University in Boston, where he was associate dean of undergraduate education in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Before taking on that role, he led Northeastern’s full-time MBA program. Alessandri also has taught at Providence College in Rhode Island, Syracuse University in New York, and Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He has been a visiting professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza, Italy, since 2012. Alessandri becomes Bryant’s dean on July 22, shortly before the College of Business moves into its newly renovated 250,000-square-foot Business Entrepreneurship Leadership Center.

On July 31, Ann Harrison will step down as dean of the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. Harrison, who has served as dean since January 2019, will remain on the faculty of Haas in a part-time position. As a dean who prioritized sustainability, Harrison appointed a chief sustainability officer and oversaw the creation of a sustainability certificate, a summer minor in sustainable business and policy, and a dual master’s degree in business and climate solutions in partnership with Berkeley’s Rausser College of Natural Resources. She also championed efforts toward diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging, which included appointing the school’s first chief officer for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

David Bach has been named the next president of IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, effective September 1. Bach, who joined IMD in 2020, currently is the school’s dean of innovation and programs and Rio Tinto Chair in Stakeholder Engagement. He previously spent eight years at the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut, where he led the expansion of the school’s degree program portfolio and oversaw the creation of Yale Center Beijing. Bach also is one of the main architects of the Global Network For Advanced Management. He replaces current IMD president Jean-François Manzoni, who is stepping down.

New Programs

Porto Business School in Portugal has launched PBS Board Fellows, an initiative that offers its MBA students the opportunity to spend six months on the management bodies of nonprofit organizations. The initiative, which starts in September, aims to bridge the gap between academia and the social sector, promote civic engagement among students, and contribute to community well-being. The experience will serve as an elective course for participating students.

emlyon business school in Écully, France, is amping up its investment in the healthcare sector with the launch of two new initiatives. The Healthcare Innovation, Technology & Society (HITS) Institute, headed by Bruno Versaevel, will coordinate degree and executive education programs in healthcare, including an MSc in Health Management and Data Intelligence. HITS also will oversee research activities and support healthcare-focused entrepreneurship. In addition, emlyon is introducing a new two-year biopharma curriculum for students in the Master in Management program who want to pursue careers in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries.

IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, is offering a new program in Poland that focuses on leadership in the age of artificial intelligence. Taught in English, the program is designed for CEOs and senior executives who want to better understand the potential impact of AI on their work, their organizations, and the competitive landscape.

The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in Tempe is launching the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence in Business. Backed by faculty from the department of information systems, the new program incorporates an applied curriculum and career coaching to enable students to develop both business and technical AI skills. Students will learn to use AI to further business goals, effectively communicate the impact of AI transformations, and deploy AI in an ethical manner.

The Stern School of Business at New York University in New York City is launching a new Initiative on Purpose and Flourishing. The goal is to bring together business leaders and management scholars to help individuals answer the question, “What should I do with my life, and why?” To that end, the initiative will focus on program development, conferences and events, and research and outreach. It will be led by professor of management Suzy Welch, who teaches a class called “Becoming You: Crafting the Authentic Life You Want and Need.”

The College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater is introducing a fully online international business undergraduate degree. Courses will cover global economics, international finance, international management, supply chain management, and cross-cultural communication. In addition, students will have opportunities to study abroad through select courses, business internships, or independent study.


The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at the University of Galway in Ireland has announced a new five-year strategic partnership with Deloitte Ireland. Deloitte will support a scholarship program; a business challenge; an internship program; tailored mentorship; and the Global Scholars program, which offers travel abroad opportunities for Bachelor of Commerce students. Deloitte will commit 550,000 EUR (almost 597,000 USD) to the partnership, which will be based in a dedicated collaboration space within the BizHub at the Cairnes School.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a historically African American fraternity, is partnering with the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis to encourage more of its members to pursue graduate degrees in business. As part of the partnership, the Carlson School will waive application fees for Alpha Brothers and award no fewer than three full-tuition fellowships annually to Alpha Brothers who are admitted to the school’s full-time or management science MBA program. The fraternity will ensure that at least 10 members apply and three enroll each fall in the Carlson MBA program.

The executive education division of Imperial College London Business School has announced a partnership with OBRIZUM, an AI-powered adaptive learning and data analytics company. OBRIZUM’s platform will provide Imperial’s executive education participants with personalized learning experiences tailored to their individual needs, understanding, and pace of learning. The platform will assess learners’ comprehension, competence, and confidence to identify weaker areas where students require more help and stronger areas where they can progress more quickly through the curriculum.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, in collaboration with Burjeel Holdings, has expanded the scope of the Oxford Saïd–Burjeel Holdings Climate Change Challenge, which is now in its second year. Through September 15, teams of high school students and educators are invited to submit proposals on food security, biodiversity, water scarcity, air pollution, and extreme weather events. Teachers are required to submit their entries in the form of lesson plans. This year’s finalists will be invited to Azerbaijan during COP29, the 29th session of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The winners also will come to Oxford University in 2025 for a short program of study.

Grants and Donations

The University of West Florida in Pensacola has received a 5 million USD naming gift from the Bear Family Foundation, making the Lewis Bear Jr. College of Business the third named college in the university’s history. The gift will provide scholarship support for students as well as operational support for the school. Bear was president and CEO of The Lewis Bear Company, a beverage distributorship. He served on the university’s board of trustees for more than a decade.

Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has received a gift from alum C. Dean Metropoulos that will fund the Metropoulos Institute for Entrepreneurship and Technology. The institute will support curricular and co-curricular programs that focus on technological innovation in the entrepreneurial process and explore the need for guardrails as emerging technologies are adopted by businesses and governments. Metropoulos, a longtime supporter of the college, previously served as a trustee and has been inducted into the school’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs.

Centers and Facilities

The University of Texas at Austin has begun demolition of existing structures to make way for the 17-story building that will house undergraduate education at the Texas McCombs School of Business. The 425 million USD project is scheduled to open in the fall of 2028. Designed by architectural firm Perkins&Will, the 373,000-square-foot facility will feature multipurpose event spaces, a collaborative learning auditorium with room for 200 people, and three specialty educational labs with enhanced technology for experiential learning. A central office tower will house the dean’s suite, academic departments, research centers, and faculty offices. The project is to be funded through a combination of 50 million USD from McCombs reserves, 225 million USD from the university, and 150 million USD from McCombs donors. Jim Mulva, retired CEO of ConocoPhillips, and his wife, Miriam, led the donor effort with a 40 million USD gift.

Other News

ESSEC Business School in Cergy, France, is launching Momentum Studio as part of the “DeepTech for Good” movement. The talent studio aims to connect the worlds of research and entrepreneurship to develop business projects and startups that use DeepTech to address social and environmental challenges. The interdisciplinary initiative was developed in collaboration with organizations in the research, technology transfer, and academic spheres, including CY Cergy Paris Université, CNRS, CEREMA, and SATT Erganeo. Momentum Studio will focus on climate tech, the sustainable economy, and e-health. ESSEC plans to support 20 startups per year between its DeepTech incubator and accelerator.

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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