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Wash U Hires Outside For New Dean

Mark Taylor becomes the new dean at Olin on Dec. 1

Mark Taylor becomes the new dean at Olin on Dec. 1

Washington University’s Olin Business School yesterday announced that it will reach across the pond to a business school in the United Kingdom for its next dean. Mark Taylor, currently dean of the Warwick Business School at Britain’s University of Warwick, will succeed Mahendra Gupta who has led Olin for nearly 11 years.

Taylor, also a professor of international finance and a former managing director at BlackRock, will join the school on Dec. 1. For the past six years, he has been dean of Warwick whose MBA program was ranked 46th best in the world by The Financial Times earlier this year, down from a rank of 38th in 2015. Poets&Quants currently ranks WBC’s MBA program 14th outside the U.S., up two places from 16th a year earlier.

“In Mark Taylor we have found a strong leader with the vision, wisdom and experience to take Olin Business School to new heights,” said Professor Mark Wrighton, Chancellor of Washington University, in a statement. “He is well qualified not only as a scholar, but also as a practitioner in global business and finance. I have no doubt he will strengthen Olin’s presence and reputation in the domestic and international arenas.”


Taylor is succeeding a highly popular dean who had led massive changes at the school that belie his self-effacing, gentle, welcoming personal style. He nearly doubled the business school’s footprint with a $90 million expansion that added two new buildings and completely renovated the existing Simon Hall. The two new buildings–named Knight Hall and Bauer Hall–are united by a soaring glass atrium totaling 177,000 square feet. He raised massive sums of money to fund the expansion, including bringing in a $15 million gift from Joanne and Charles F. Knight and a $10 million gift from George and Carol Bauer. He led a 30% increase in tenure and tenure-track faculty to more than 70 and expanded the school’s Executive MBA program into Kansas City and Denver.

At Warwick Business School, Taylor opened in 2014 a new London base within London’s tallest and most iconic building, The Shard, from where it delivers Executive MBA and MSc Finance programs and Executive Education. He also recently won a major contract for WBS to provide training in Banking and Finance at The Shard to all of the Bank of England’s graduate trainees. The school said that Taylor also “built on the school’s reputation as a leader in digital learning by making WBS one of the first UK higher education institutions to produce Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).”

During his deanship, Warwick said that international partnerships were built with leading schools such as the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, and the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.


“It has been a tremendous privilege to be Dean of WBS,” said Professor Taylor in a statement. “We made it our mission to make WBS the best university-based business school in Europe by 2020 and I believe on many measures we have already achieved that, putting the school on a solid foundation for the future. I would like to thank the world-class faculty and staff that have helped us achieve this and made my time at WBS something I will look back on with great fondness and pride.

“Washington University in St Louis is one of the world’s great universities with a rich tradition of innovation and creativity. It is a great honour to be invited to lead Olin Business School. A strong foundation has been created by my predecessor and his team and I intend to build on that to bring further success to the Business School as we enter Olin’s second century.”

Professor Taylor holds a BA and an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, as well MSc and PhD degrees in Economics and Finance from Birkbeck College, University of London, an MBA in Higher Education Management from University College London, and an MA in English Literature from Liverpool University. His research has been published in leading international journals and he is one of the most highly cited economists in the world. In 2012 he was awarded a higher doctorate (DSc) by the University of Warwick for his lifetime contributions to Finance.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.