AACSB Taps Former Dean as CEO

Caryn Beck-Dudley comes to the association from Santa Clara University.
AACSB Taps Former Dean as CEO

ON MAY 29, Caryn L. Beck-Dudley became the new president and CEO of AACSB International. Beck-Dudley served as the 2018–19 board chair of AACSB’s Board of Directors, and she also completed two previous terms on the board. She most recently was dean of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University in California; prior to that, she had been dean at the College of Business at Florida State University and at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. Before her academic career, she was an attorney in commercial and corporate law with VanCott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy.

Beck-Dudley was confirmed as president and CEO after an extensive global recruitment process that began in October. Tom Robinson, who served as president and CEO for five years, supported Beck-Dudley during her transition and officially retired June 30.

Earlier this year, Beck-Dudley received the Patricia M. Flynn Distinguished Woman in Business Education Award from the association’s Women in Management Education (WAME) affinity group. The award recognizes female thought leaders whose leadership, research, and educational initiatives have made a difference for women in the industry.

As Beck-Dudley takes on her new role, one of her first tasks will be to guide the association through the COVID-19 crisis. “How AACSB supports and helps our member schools through the global pandemic and beyond is our most important task,” she says in a Q&A that appeared in May on the AACSB website. While the pandemic will bring massive disruption to business schools, she says, it also offers great opportunities to institutions that build strong relationships, embrace change, and learn from failure. “If business schools use these as guideposts, they will be different than in the past but they will also thrive in the future environment.”

Beck-Dudley identifies two longer-term challenges that the industry will need to address in coming years: the relevancy of the business curriculum and the impact of business school research. She notes that AACSB’s Business Accreditation Task Force has spent the last year working on both issues and adds, “I look forward to continuing the discussions about what a relevant business education includes in a rapidly evolving world.”