Two Top Female Deans to Assume Presidencies Elsewhere

This week, one current and one former dean from two of the country’s most elite business schools have announced they will assume the presidency at other institutions.

Judy Olian stepping downJudy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management, has announced her plans to step down at the end of the academic year to become the president of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, according to a message sent on Monday to faculty and staff from Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh.

The Daily Bruin reports that Olian spearheaded new research centers and introduced degree programs during her tenure at Anderson, including the business analytics program launched in the fall. Olian also helped start the Anderson Venture Accelerator, which helps students start their own businesses, and introduced hybrid courses that include online and in-class elements. Provost Waugh praised Olian’s efforts in the Daily Bruin to increase the gender diversity of faculty and students in the school, and lauded her fundraising achievements, which brought in nearly $400 million for Anderson.

“The opportunity to lead Quinnipiac University is especially gratifying,” says Olian. “Quinnipiac achieves strong alignment between learning and market needs and impacts a broad mix of students and professionals through life-changing development and career opportunities. Quinnipiac is a very nimble, bold and creative institution. I believe that Quinnipiac can be a model for higher education, preparing young people and professionals for work, life and citizenry in the 21st century.”

Alison Davis-BlakeMeanwhile,  Alison Davis-Blake, the former dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, has been appointed the eighth president of Bentley University.

As dean of the Ross School, Davis-Blake led a series of curricular and co-curricular innovations including state-of-the-art learning opportunities that improved the student experience, increased applications by 32 percent, received substantial media attention and served as a model for other business schools.

Under her leadership, the school quadrupled the number of undergraduates who study abroad, expanded the school’s footprint with a new MBA program in Los Angeles, increased the proportion of women and underrepresented minorities in the student body, and raised more than $300 million as part of the university’s capital campaign, increasing annual giving by 37 percent.

“Bentley is a university on the rise, with impressive enrollment growth, an educational experience that is both well-rounded and relevant to today’s workplace, and a stunning track record of career placements for graduates,” says Dr. Davis-Blake.

“Bentley’s core business curriculum combined with an emphasis on the arts and sciences differentiates it from business schools around the country. A Bentley education is exactly what the country is asking of higher education today, and I couldn’t be more excited to join the university and continue that momentum.”

Both Davis-Blake and Olian will officially become president of their respective universities on July 1, 2018.

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