Rochester Dean Zupan To Step Down

Simon School Dean Mark Zupan

Simon School Dean Mark Zupan

After ten years in the job, Mark Zupan said today (Sept. 18) that he will be stepping down at the end of June as dean of the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

Zupan, 54, who assumed the deanship on a full-time basis in 2004, said he will take a year’s sabbatical and then rejoin the business school’s faculty as a professor of economics and public policy and director of the Bradley Policy Research Center at Simon.

In a statement, UR President Joel Seligman praised Zupan for doing a “magnificent” job as dean of the school. “His legacy is an inspiring one,” said Seligman. “When he arrived, the Simon School faced a ‘perfect storm’ with a combination of significant declines in MBA and Executive MBA enrollment and a non-sustainable endowment draw.  Mark deserves great credit for reversing the fortunes of Simon’s MBA program, building several successful new master’s programs, and achieving our target endowment draw now for several years running.”

An especially thoughtful and articulate leader, Zupan not only led a turnaround of a highly prominent school. He put it on a more solid financial footing, extended its reach to New York City, and introduced several innovative programs, including a Masters of Medical Management, Master of Science degrees in business analytics and pricing, and a new one-year MBA program that enrolled its first class in June of this year. He also nearly quadrupled the amount of scholarship money the school hands out to students.


In a memo to the students, faculty and staff, Zupan ticked off a long list of accomplishments for which he is especially proud. He noted that the school has increased its tenure faculty by nine net professors in the past five years and raised nearly $62 million toward an $85 million campaign.

Zupan said the school’s faculty “continues to have a significant impact on management theory and practice in areas as wide-ranging as social-media-based marketing, pricing, telemedicine, stock market volatility, entrepreneurship, unfunded state and local pension liabilities, and strategy.”

The nearly $62 million in gifts and pledges has allowed Simon to add ten new professorships along with a heftier treasure chest of scholarship support. “We have added $1.1 million in annual philanthropic scholarship support to a pre-existing base of $440,000 per year for a total of over $1.5 million that we can now award with each academic year,” said Zupan. “Finally, philanthropic venture capital has allowed us to build a stronger ecosystem for developing future entrepreneurs and also a presence in New York City through a major annual conference and degree programs for working professionals.”

Since 2006, the number of Simon school graduates has steadily increased from 308 to 574 this past spring.


Though Zupan will step down on June 30th of 2014, he will leave the job with a solid plan for moving forward. Explained Zupan: “An emerging strategic plan for the next five years that includes such key components as: differentiating our curriculum on the basis of data analytics and critical thinking, beginning with our flagship, full-time MBA program; a soon-to-be-launched branding campaign to build our School’s visibility by highlighting what distinguishes a Simon education (the plan won the unanimous endorsement of our faculty – a rare occurrence! – at a meeting last month); expanded undergraduate business offerings in partnership with the College so as to improve the quality of the education that we provide while diversifying our programmatic portfolio (38 of the top 50 business schools have such an array of offerings and I am pleased to report that our faculty, virtually unanimously, supported such a move at a meeting earlier this month); and the development of a second home in New York City (we launched our second program for working professionals this summer through our Times Square location, attained State Department of Education approval as an Extension Center, and are now working to establish a branch campus in the world’s financial and media capital).”

President Seligman said he will chair a search committee to find Zupan’s successor and expects to name the members of that committee shortly.

“It is very rare for a business school dean today to serve ten years,” added Seligman.  “As one who also served as dean for ten years, I personally appreciate the hard work, discipline, and tough decisions involved in being as successful a dean as Mark has been, particularly during challenging economic times.  More than anything else, Mark deserves our gratitude for a job well done.”

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.