People and Places: July 6, 2021

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Tuesday, July 6, 2021
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Three schools name new deans, two schools launch initiatives to support underrepresented and diverse students.


On July 15, Sridhar Sundaram joins California State University in Fullerton as dean of the College of Business and Economics. Sundaram was previously Tiedemann-Cotton Dean for the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance and campus dean for the Muma College of Business at University of South Florida in Tampa. At USF, Sundaram also served as a faculty member in finance and held a variety of other roles, including department chair, academic director, and associate dean. At Cal State Fullerton, he will replace Morteza Rahmatian, who is retiring from the business school’s deanship to focus on teaching economics.

Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, has named Raj Devasagayam dean of the Leon Hess Business School. Devasagayam comes to Monmouth from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury on Long Island, New York, where he has served as the dean of the School of Business and professor of marketing since 2017. At SUNY Old Westbury, Devasagayam oversaw the school’s accreditation eligibility application for AACSB; he also administered the launch of a master’s degree in forensic accounting. He previously has held positions at Siena College in Albany New York; St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin; and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He will assume his new role on July 1, succeeding Donald Moliver, who will remain with the school as a professor of real estate.

On July 1, Sandeep Mazumder became dean of Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business in Waco, Texas. He most recently was professor and chair of the department of economics at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mazumder joined Wake Forest in 2009 as an assistant professor of economics and ultimately became a full professor in 2020. In 2015, he spent a year as a visiting scholar with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., where he conducted research on inflation. Mazumder succeeds Terry S. Maness, who retired this spring after serving as business school dean since 1997.

New Programs

Next summer, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville will launch a part-time flexible-format version of its MBA program. It will be based at the school’s campus in Arlington, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Designed for working professionals, the program will be offered primarily on weekday evenings and will be available through a mix of in-person and virtual classes. Students will complete a core curriculum as part of a cohort before customizing their experiences through electives. Students can take between 28 and 48 months to finish the program, which will include two weeklong residencies and options for global study.

This fall, the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business in Champaign will launch a large-scale experiential learning course that is expected to enroll approximately 800 students. A required semesterlong course for all Gies juniors, Business in Action gives students the opportunity to analyze and solve business problems for real clients, including Fortune 100 companies, mid-sized businesses, and startups. Students will learn to effectively work in teams, develop strategies to solve complex problems, and prepare to share their stories with recruiters. The new course is part of a recently revamped cohort curriculum, where each class of students, broken up into smaller sections, takes the same course. First-year students take a course on professional responsibility, sophomores run business simulations, and seniors take a course that provides an in-depth examination of contemporary global business.

The University of Birmingham in the U.K. has launched an online MBA in clinical leadership. The degree combines core modules from the online MBA with three additional healthcare-focused modules on clinical leadership; governance, policy, and regulation; and digital health. The part-time program takes two-and-a-half years to complete and covers topics such as investing in value-based care, leading experts effectively, navigating policy and strategic change, and understanding the impact of advanced digital technology. The school is also offering a new online post-graduate certificate in design for learning environments. The 12-month part-time program covers computing, social sciences, education, technology, and design. It also exposes students to key topics within online instructional design, such as design thinking and data science for learning environments.

Starting in fall 2021, the department of risk management and insurance (RMI) at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business in Atlanta will offer its master of actuarial science degree online, as well as in person. The program, which can be completed in two years or less, is designed for individuals with strong quantitative skills who want to transition into actuarial careers. The STEM-designated curriculum covers coding, statistics/econometrics, and advanced topics such as predictive risk analytics. An insurtech course introduces students to the ways in which new technology is changing the pricing, products, and processes in insurance markets.

The Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma in Norman has launched an EMBA in renewable energy. Created by the OU Energy Institute within Price College, the 14-month program will be delivered primarily online with courses designed for mid-career professionals. The program kicks off and concludes with an on-campus residency; an international residency midway through the program gives students the opportunity to learn about renewable energy sourcing in Europe. The first class will begin in spring 2022.


Butler University in Indianapolis will partner with Noodle, a B-Corp-certified online learning network, to launch three online graduate degrees in spring 2022: an MBA, a master of science in strategic communication, and a master of science in data analytics. The partners intend these three degrees to be the first of many additional online programs that are designed to meet the evolving needs of adult learners and that develop skills in high demand with employers.

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Aegon Transamerica Foundation are collaborating to promote business education to underrepresented minority students. The new collaboration will include support for Carey’s weeklong Summer Business Academy, which exposes rising college juniors and seniors from underrepresented communities to management and leadership concepts. The program, which is free to students, is supported by Transamerica, AT&T, Stanley Black & Decker, and Verizon. The Aegon Transamerica Foundation is also helping fund Carey’s Leading a Diverse Society Mentoring program, which supports underrepresented students in Carey’s part-time graduate degree programs. In addition, the foundation is funding an endowed scholarship for students from underrepresented communities, which will be available beginning in fall 2021.

The Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta will collaborate with the LGBTQ Institute at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights on the LGBTQ Institute/Emory Southern Survey 2021 cycle. The first two years of the five-year collaboration will be focused on the survey, a participatory research initiative that will probe the experiences Southern LGBTQ people have had in education and employment, criminal justice, and safety and well-being. According to the memorandum of understanding, the partnership ultimately will produce “a series of reports, fact sheets, white papers and research briefs that provide evidence-based policy recommendations to address the needs and challenges LGBTQ people face in the South.”

SoftBank Group International, an investment holding company that invests in breakthrough technology, is collaborating with three Miami schools to build a next-generation tech community in South Florida and Latin America. The organization will partner with Florida International University, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami to create the SoftBank Operator School (SOS). In addition to traditional classroom work, the semesterlong program includes a series of lectures or master classes that will bring tech startup experts directly to participants. Students enrolled in the three schools can participate in the program for graduate and undergraduate credit; they will also have access to complementary programming and resources that include workshops, capstone projects, and co-working space. Topics covered will include the role of tech startups in boosting the economy, the importance of building a solid startup culture, how to communicate with employees and customers, how to develop a go-to-market strategy, how to make data-driven decisions, and how to build for scale with artificial intelligence.

IE University in Spain has signed an agreement with to create audio content in the form of audiobooks and podcasts by professors at the school. The agreement has been signed by IE University Editorial Knowledge and will produce content on topics such as smart cities, positive leadership, corporate social responsibility and millennials, diversity, the future of work, and the evolution of entrepreneurship. The collaboration also includes the development of short-term audio courses in areas such as marketing, human resources, technology, strategy, and finance.

Other News

The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been awarded the B-BBEE rating as part of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment integration program launched by the South African government. The school is now a Level 3 B-BBEE contributor. The rating came about in part because of the school’s partnership with the Youth Employment Service (YES) program. In December 2020, 25 YES candidates joined GIBS on a one-year employment contract; those who met the entry requirements had the opportunity to apply for the fully sponsored GIBS Postgraduate Diploma for Business Administration.

On Tuesday, July 13, Women in Business Education (WiBE) will be holding its first Women in Business Education Global Faculty Convening, a virtual gathering of women business faculty who would like to prepare to move into academic leadership roles. The theme of the event will be “How Far You Have Come: Reflecting on a Year of Loss, Perseverance, and Courage.” Attendees can choose one of two session times, based on which is more convenient: Session 1 will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, and Session 2 will be held 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Those interested in attending can request a Zoom link on the event’s registration page. WiBE is a global community with more than 120 founding members across the United States, Canada, Africa, Europe, and Australia, and it invites women business faculty to learn more about WiBE membership.

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