ESSEC Business School has a new dean. Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi, ESSEC’s dean of faculty and academic affairs, was unanimously approved December 20 as the French school’s new dean, replacing Jean-Michel Blanquer, who became France’s minister of national education in May.
“It is with a sense of joy and honor that I welcome my nomination to the post of dean and president of ESSEC,” Vinzi, a professor in the school’s Information Systems, Decision Sciences, and Statistics Department, said in a news release. “I would like to thank the governing bodies and all the stakeholders for their trust.
“I will immediately get down to bringing together all the ESSEC community to make our business school a reference. We will develop a lasting model that combines innovation and excellence to co-construct tomorrow’s knowledge and solutions at the service of the economy, society, and people.”
CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR NEW DEAN
ESSEC, founded in 1907, is accredited by EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA. It has 5,867 students at campuses in France and Singapore (the latter opened in 2005), and a faculty of 162 full-time professors. ESSEC boasts an alumni network that is 50,000 strong. This year ESSEC opened a third campus, in Rabat, Morocco.
Despite a sunny portrait by its administrators, ESSEC has been slipping in the rankings. The program for which it is best known, its Master in Management, was ranked third worldwide by the Financial Times for three straight years before dropping to fifth this year (though its Asia counterpart has been ranked first in that region for five straight years, and its Master in Finance continues to be top-five in Europe, Asia, and the world). Meanwhile, in the most recent FT list of top European B-schools, ESSEC dropped from 16th in 2015 to 23rd this year — putting it below Rotterdam in the Netherlands (No. 10), Mannheim in Germany (No. 15, tie), Warwick in the UK (No. 15, tie), and Vlerick in Belgium (No. 19); the school ranks well below the top French schools, INSEAD (No. 5) and HEC Paris (No. 2), as well. FT ranks ESSEC’s executive MBA 24th in the world, down 12 spots in three years.
Vinzi had been serving as ESSEC’s interim dean since Blanquer, president since 2013, joined the Macron government. According to the school’s news release announcing Vinzi’s hire, “The new dean will be faced with the challenge of continuing to develop the school in accordance with the highest level of international standards while also maintaining its core identity as an excellent, French business school.”
Added Vinzi: “Blending local roots and global impact, ESSEC will be able to transform itself to further and ever strengthen its place as a leading international school, recognized for its originality and its capacity to train influential leaders in a constantly changing world.”
LONG LIST OF ROLES AND ACCOLADES
Vinzi holds a doctorate in computational statistics and a master’s in business and economics from the University of Naples Federico II. He joined ESSEC in 2007 as a professor of statistics and was elected dean of faculty in December 2011. He was re-elected for a second term in 2015 with 93% of the votes.
As the dean of academic affairs and a member of ESSEC’s Executive Committee, Vinzi was responsible for the management and development of the faculty. He is the author of nearly 80 scientific articles, published in international journals on topics ranging from big data to business analytics, and has more than 7,000 citations.
Between 2012 and 2015, Vinzi served as president of the International Society of Business and Industrial Statistics. Formerly a professor of statistics at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, he is a long-time lecturer at universities and research centers throughout Europe, the United States, and Asia.