UCLA Turns To An Insider For Its New Dean

Antonio Bernardo has been a member of the UCLA Anderson finance faculty since 1994. UCLA photo

The redo worked. Dismissing three finalists in the search for a new dean at the UCLA Anderson School of Management in January, Provost Scott Waugh called for the school’s search committee to hit the pause button and go back to an original list of candidates. They did — and they found their man.

Turned out he was right under their noses.

Late last month the Anderson School announced the appointment of long-time finance professor Antonio “Tony” Bernardo to succeed interim Dean Al Osborne, who was named to the role in May 2018 after former Dean Judy Olian stepped down to become president of Quinnipiac University. Bernardo, one of the most highly paid faculty members at UCLA, becomes dean effective July 1. In 2016, public records show he was paid $512,586 (see What Business School Faculty Are Paid My Surprise You).

During his UCLA career, Bernardo taught at least 5,000 students. Bernardo says some of the best moments are when students walk into his office to dig deeper into a business issue — to learn beyond the classroom material. “Everyone on the faculty I know loves meeting with a hard-working, motivated student,” he says.


The long search to replace Olian — who served as dean for a dozen years and left a legacy as one of the school’s most prolific fundraisers ever, having raised $400 million — hit a snag in January of this year when no consensus could be reached on three finalists, despite their sterling pedigrees. 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, former dean of Imperial College Business School each sought the job but somehow lacked the essential traits to wow the search committee, Provost Waugh and Chancellor Gene Block.

So Waugh urged a reset and put the committee back to work. In a message to the campus, he seemed to point them in the right direction — inward.

“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 told faculty, staff, and students in an email in January. “I am confident that we will have a successful search resulting in an appointment this year.”

This time, Waugh seemed to have no doubts about the school’s choice. “Chancellor Block and I are confident that the UCLA Anderson School of Management will continue to thrive under Tony’s capable leadership,” Waugh said in a May 31 announcement to campus.


In the end, the committee found their new dean in someone who has been in the Anderson fold for more than two decades. Praised by students for making complex corporate finance topics practical and easy to understand, Bernardo started his academic career at UCLA Anderson in 1994, joining the school as a finance professor. He had a role in bringing in his predecessor as a member of the advisory group that recommended the hiring of Olian in 2006 when she was dean of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business.

Bernardo currently holds the Joel Fried Chair in Applied Finance and previously held the Robert D. Beyer ’83 Term Chair in Management from 2012 to 2015; from 2006 to 2009 he served as department chair and senior associate dean for academic affairs, and from 2013 to 2015 and again this year he served as finance area chair.

He has also served on a number of Anderson School committees, notably the workgroup on accounting, finance, and budgeting, the Anderson 2016 strategic planning committee, and the gender equity committee. During his term as senior associate dean, he co-led major strategic initiatives including a significant hiring effort that drove improvements in both the strength and diversity of Anderson’s faculty, as well as its pay equity. He also helped to launch the school’s Master of Financial Engineering program in 2009.

In addition to teaching at UCLA, Bernardo has also taught at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. He has also held a visiting appointment at the University of Chicago. He earned a doctorate in economics from Stanford University.


“I began my academic career at Anderson 25 years ago, and my children have grown up on this campus,” Bernardo said in a news release announcing his appointment. “I am honored to now have this opportunity to give back to the institution that has allowed me to make the most of my potential, and been such an important community of support for me and my family.

“I believe deeply in our research and teaching mission and I am extremely proud to be a part of one of the world’s great public universities, tackling society’s most vexing problems. I look forward to leading the Anderson community as we engage that mission with a spirit of collaboration, innovation, and purpose.”


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