UCLA Dean Search Hits A Snag & Gets A Redo

Three ‘finalists’ for Anderson deanship were rejected: Thomas N. Hubbard, a strategy professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (top left); Lisa D. Ordóñez, a vice dean of academic programs at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Business, and G. ‘Anand’ Anandalingam, former dean of Imperial College Business School

It’s back to the drawing board for the search for a new dean of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Poets&Quants has learned that UCLA Provost Scott Waugh has rejected all three ‘final’ candidates who visited campus last fall and asked the search committee to find a new slate of candidates for the job.

In an email to faculty, staff and students, Provost Waugh said that he and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block asked the committee to continue its search effort. “After carefully reviewing the extensive feedback received from the UCLA Anderson community, we have concluded that no consensus has emerged for one candidate,” wrote Waugh.

PROVOST: GO BACK TO THE EARLIER STAGES OF THE SEARCH FOR MORE CANDIDATES

UCLA Provost Scott Waugh

In what could be interpreted as a rap on the committee’s knuckles, Waugh then suggested that the group go back to an original list of candidates who had previously been considered but turned down by the committee in favor of three earlier finalists. “There are many exceptional prospects for the committee to consider, many of whom were recommended by UCLA Anderson community members in the earlier stages of the search,” he added. ” Should you wish to make additional nominations, please email them to AndersonDeanSearch@conet.ucla.edu.  I am confident that we will have a successful search resulting in an appointment this year, I appreciate your input and involvement thus far, and look forward to your active participation as the search process moves forward.”

Oddly, it is not the first time that the search for a business school dean at UCLA has hit a snag. The appointment of Judy Olian, who served as dean for more than 12 years before taking on the job to become president of Quinnipiac University this year, also occurred after a failed search back in 2005. Since her departure at the end of June, long-time Anderson Professor Alfred Osborne Jr. has been interim dean of the business school.

The search for Olian’s successor got underway in May after the university hired the search firm of Korn Ferry to assist a search committee headed by Jayathi Y. Murthy, dean of UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.  In October, the 11-member group moved three ‘final’ candidates forward: Thomas N. Hubbard, a strategy professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; Lisa D. Ordóñez, a vice dean of academic programs at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Business, and G. ‘Anand’ Anandalingam, a professor of management science at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Ordóñez and Hubbard declined comment. Anandalingam was traveling in India and unable to comment.

CANDIDATES INCLUDED A FORMER DEAN OF IMPERIAL COLLEGE & MARYLAND’S SMITH SCHOOL

Of the three, Anandalingam brought the most administrative experience to the game. He had been dean of Imperial College Business School at Imperial College London from August 2013 to July 2016 after serving as dean of the Smith School of Business at Maryland from 2007 to 2013. The former dean received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and his B.A. from Cambridge University.

Ordóñez, who has taught Applied Business Statistics at Eller, has been a vice dean at the school since 2015 and a faculty member since 1994. She was recently co-chair of an effort to devise a university-wide strategic plan. TK earned her PhD in quantitative psychology from UC-Berkeley and also has a master’s in marketing from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Hubbard, who had also taught at Chicago Booth and in UCLA’s economics department earlier in his career, served as senior associate dean for strategic initiatives at Kellogg from 2012-2015. He earned his PhD in economics from Stanford University after gaining his bachelor’s degree in economics with high honors from Princeton University.

SOURCES SAY FINANCE PROFS PUSHED BACK AND URGED THE PROVOST TO REOPEN THE SEARCH

All three candidates visited the campus in early November to meet with faculty, staff, students and board members in a series of group meetings and town halls but failed to generate much enthusiasm with students or several influential faculty members. Sources tell Poets&Quants that several of Anderson’s finance professors, long a powerful and influential group at the school, pushed back against the three finalists, none of which have finance backgrounds. They apparently confined the provost to reopen the search. Only one member of the search committee has a finance background, Mark J. Garmaise, who joined Anderson as a visiting assistant professor in finance in 2001.

ULCA is in the market at a time when dean searches are also underway at several other highly prominent business schools, including Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Yale University’s School of Management. The redo will likely make it even more difficult for UCLA to find a candidate willing to go into a failed search situation after three of the committee’s top choices were rejected by the university. Korn Ferry’s Ken Kring, who recently completed a successful dean search at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School, is leading the Anderson search (see Haas Picks Wharton Female Professor As New Dean).

Yet, the Anderson deanship is a plum job. One of UCLA’s 12 professional schools, the school has approximately 193 full-time and part-time faculty (of whom 86 are tenure track) and also houses nine faculty-led centers and initiatives.  Anderson, with a full-time MBA program ranked 15th in the U.S. by Poets&Quants, has approximately 2,200 students enrolled in M.B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. programs. The school’s operating budget totals $145 million and it boasts endowed funds of more than $280 million and raises some $26 million annually in philanthropic and other external support.

DON’T MISS: UCLA NAMES OSBORNE INTERIM DEAN or UCLA DEAN TO LEAVE FOR TOP UNIVERSITY JOB

About the Author...

John A. Byrne

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.