Deans Become University Presidents

Three deans take up new administrative posts.

THIS SUMMER, three longtime business school deans will take up new roles as university presidents:

Judy Olian, dean and John E. Anderson Chair of Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, has been appointed the ninth president of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. She will succeed John Lahey.

Olian, who was chair of the board of directors for AACSB International from July 2007–June 2008, took on the dean’s role at Anderson in 2006. During her tenure, the school hired more than half of its current faculty, launched four new research centers, and increased its gender diversity—women now make up 38 percent of its full-time MBA students. Olian also raised US$400 million and oversaw UCLA Anderson’s changeover to a self-supporting financial model.

Alison Davis-Blake will become the eighth president of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is the former dean of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She follows Gloria Cordes Larson at Bentley.

As dean at the Ross School, Davis-Blake innovated the curriculum, increased applications by 32 percent, quadrupled the number of undergraduates who studied abroad, and raised more than $300 million. She also increased the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities, who now make up 38 percent and 8 percent, respectively, of the student body. At the Carlson School, she led a redesign of the undergraduate curriculum and implemented new teaching and research collaborations with other schools on campus.

Miles Davis has been named the 20th president of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. He is currently dean and professor of management at Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business in Winchester, Virginia. Davis will succeed Thomas L. Hellie.

Davis joined the university’s faculty in 2001 as assistant professor of business management and founding director of the Business Institute for Entrepreneurship. He became dean in 2012. In that role, he increased enrollment for the business school by 77 percent and increased full-time faculty from 13 to 25, while also increasing diversity. He was frequently recognized for his work as a faculty member and administrator and was honored with the James R. and Mary B. Wilkins Appreciation Award and the Teacher of the Year Award.

Davis is the first college president to come out of The Ph.D. Project, a network that helps members of underrepresented communities attain doctorates and become leaders in higher education. He will be the first African-American president in Linfield College’s 160-year history.