Published April 8, 2015
After nearly seven years as dean of the UB School of Management, Arjang Assad is stepping down at the end of the academic year to become dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration.
His appointment at Pittsburgh is effective July 1. An interim dean will be appointed later this spring while UB conducts a national search for the next dean of the School of Management.
Assad came to UB in 2008 from the Smith College of Business at the University of Maryland. During his tenure, the School of Management’s national reputation burgeoned, making significant gains in the rankings of the best business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and other major news media.
Under Assad’s leadership, the school focused on three strategic areas — leadership, entrepreneurship and health care management — and devoted considerable resources to growth in these areas. He increased the size of the school’s research faculty, led a revision of the MBA curriculum and secured funding to construct an Undergraduate Learning and Community Center that is slated to open in 2015 in UB’s Jacobs Management Center.
Assad also established the Arjang A. Assad Teaching Award through a personal endowment in 2013 to recognize, biennially, the contributions of outstanding faculty members in the School of Management.
“Arjang has left his mark on the School of Management and our university in so many ways,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. “He elevated the school’s reputation worldwide, reinvigorated the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, built faculty strength in strategic areas of research, enhanced the school’s business partnerships and expanded its impact on entrepreneurship across our region.
“He has left the School of Management very strongly positioned to continue its steady upward trajectory as a nationally ranked and globally prominent center for excellence in management education, scholarship and entrepreneurial leadership.
“Speaking personally, I’m very grateful for Arjang’s contributions, perspective and always valuable counsel over the years,” Tripathi said. “He will be greatly missed, but I know I speak for his colleagues across the university in saying that we wish him every happiness and much continued success as he takes up this new leadership opportunity.”
UB Provost Charles F. Zukoski said Assad has been “an exemplary dean whose strong and positive leadership has advanced the missions of the School of Management and our university. He also has been an outstanding institutional citizen, reflected in his willingness and effectiveness in leading important university‐wide initiatives and committees."
Under Assad, the School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership grew and expanded its focus on supporting the development of entrepreneurship in the region. He partnered the school with UB’s undergraduate Entrepreneurship Academy to help students develop their own business ideas or compete in UB’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship competition, which has become the region’s premier student entrepreneurship event.
The school also launched the Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness in 2013 to advance research, teaching and outreach in the area of leadership and its impact on organizational effectiveness. In addition, Assad championed and secured sponsorship for LeaderCORE™, an award-winning leadership certification program for MBA students.
A strong advocate of UB’s mission to increase interdisciplinary collaboration in health care fields, Assad launched several health care-focused educational programs, including an accelerated MBA for medical residents and fellows, dual and collaborative programs with the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and School of Dental Medicine, an MBA concentration in health care management and non-credit-bearing programs in health care management.
He promoted excellence in research while recognizing and valuing outstanding teaching, and created the Dean’s Research Fellowship to recognize faculty who excel in research and the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Fellowship to recognize exceptional teaching. He launched a Master of Science program in accounting and significantly enhanced the Master of Science programs in finance and information systems.
Assad also was instrumental in launching the student-run Terese Kelly Investment Group to give students practical experience in global capital markets.