Published April 8, 2015
Dear University Community:
I am writing to share with you that Dean Arjang Assad has informed me of his plan to step down as dean of the School of Management, effective at the end of the current academic year, in order to lead the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration. An excellent dean, Arjang has advanced each of UB’s teaching, research, and engagement missions, leaving the school well-poised to build on this success for years to come. Later this spring, I will appoint an interim dean to serve while we conduct a search for the next dean of the School of Management.
Arjang joined UB from the University of Maryland and was appointed dean of the School of Management in 2008. During his nearly seven years of leadership, the school increased the size of its research faculty and operating budget by more than 30%. With Arjang as dean, the school built a culture of research excellence while recognizing and valuing educational excellence, invested in student professional development and services, and established three strategic areas of focus – leadership, entrepreneurship, and health – to align with UB’s institutional priorities. Externally, Arjang also developed a comprehensive alumni relations and development program and considerably strengthened the school’s advisory council.
Arjang’s influence on the educational mission of the school has been extraordinary and earned the School of Management national recognition through significantly increased rankings in publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek, US New & World Report, and Forbes. Several programs were expanded or revised under his leadership, including the most significant and comprehensive revision of the MBA program in decades. To further enhance the MBA curriculum, Arjang led the creation of the award-winning LeaderCORE program, designed to develop leadership skills for MBA students.
The school launched or significantly grew three specialized MS programs in Accounting, Finance, and Management Information Systems during Arjang’s tenure. The accounting department also increased the standards for admission in its undergraduate program. As a result, in 2015, accounting graduates from UB’s School of Management ranked first in CPA exam performance among the ten largest programs in New York State.
In support of UB’s institutional aspiration to increase interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of health, the School of Management launched several healthcare-focused educational programs under Arjang’s leadership. These include an accelerated MBA for medical residents and fellows, several dual and collaborative programs with the 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.
Arjang has been committed to building entrepreneurship programs in the School of Management and across the campus. During his tenure, the School of Management provided significant support in the development of the undergraduate Entrepreneurship Academy in 2012, and through the academy, created a Pitch Competition for undergraduates. More recently, with the Office of Science, Technology Transfer, and Economic Outreach, the School of Management offered students a three-week Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab) over the Winter Session, which focused on developing a business plan and culminated in a business pitch competition for startup funding, mentorship, and space in UB’s Technology Incubator.
With Arjang as dean, the School of Management significantly enhanced the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. This center promotes leadership development and experiential learning, and it recently moved from the Jacobs Executive Development Center to the UB Downtown Gateway, bringing it closer to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and business community.
Arjang also championed the creation of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (CLOE) – which advances research, education, and outreach in leadership and organizational effectiveness – with support from the E Fund in 2013. Through these contributions, Arjang has helped grow UB’s entrepreneurial and experiential learning opportunities and advance our region’s economic development.
Finally, Arjang has been an outstanding institutional citizen, which is reflected in his willingness and effectiveness in leading important university‐wide initiatives and committees. To name just a few, he chaired the Implementation Team for the Commission on Academic Excellence and Equity and the searches for the dean of the School of Architecture and Planning and Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement. He also served on the Presidential Search Committee and the Committee on General Education. Through this service, he has had a significant impact on our entire campus community.
Arjang has been an exemplary dean whose strong and positive
leadership has advanced the missions of the School of Management
and our university. For more information about Arjang’s
accomplishments, view the full announcement here.
Colleagues, please join me in thanking Arjang and wishing him much continued success at the University of Pittsburgh.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs