Ohio State Fisher Dean To Step Down In 2024

Ohio State Fisher Dean To Step Down In 2024

Fisher College of Business Dean Anil K. Makhija will step down at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year after 10 years in the role

For the first time in a decade, Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business is on the lookout for new leadership.

In a recent message to B-school faculty, staff, and students, Melissa L. Gilliam, Ohio State executive vice president and provost, announced that Fisher Dean Anil Makhija will step down at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 academic year. Makhija became Fisher’s dean in 2014.

The transition to new leadership will close “a decade of of transformational service and leadership,” Gilliam writes, adding that Makhija will stay on at the school as a faculty member in the Department of Finance.


Ohio State Fisher Dean To Step Down In 2024

Fisher College Dean Anil Makhija: “As a college, we remain committed to finding new and creative ways to meet the needs of a dynamic marketplace and workforce”

Makhija’s tenure at the Fisher College has been a remarkable time of “continuous innovation in the college’s educational offerings,” Gilliam writes. He has overseen massive growth in the B-school’s faculty as well as “research impact, student enrollments and enhancements in its reputation, alumni and donor support, and media presence.” In 10 years, she writes, “Fisher’s faculty has grown by more than 25%, and research expenditures have increased a remarkable 75%. Fisher’s research productivity and undergraduate program are regularly recognized nationally in the top 10 among public universities. Fisher has also seen more than 25% growth in its undergraduate and graduate student enrollment since 2014.”

Makhija has also overseen the creation and overhaul of several new programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including expansion of the Industry Immersion program that gives undergrads exposure to specific industries to help them stand out to recruiters; the recent launch of an online Master of Supply Chain Management; and the broadening of the school’s highly ranked Working Professional MBA program to include online and hybrid delivery options, which Poets&Quants reported on in 2021.

“I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that we will be successful and I want to tell you why,” Makhija said of that bold move into the online MBA space, where major regional players like Michigan and Indiana had already set up camp. “If you look at Michigan, that’s what a $125,000 price tag. IU is pretty high. Now IU’s been in this business a fairly long time. But you see, we come at it from behind, but we have a program that is ranked in the top 10 among all, ranked in the top five publics, and best in Ohio. And the reason we are able to do that is that the existing program has a level of intimacy and interactivity that is generally uncommon to online type programs. And in fact, what we are going to do is we’re going to replicate that in terms of the online program we are creating.

“We’ve created a new modality that draws directly from our existing WPMBA program, one that is highly ranked and offers students unparalleled intimacy and interactivity. It’s the latest step in our efforts to continuously innovate to meet the needs of business and its leaders. We’re excited by the momentum this new option has generated as we explore launching other online programs, such as a new supply chain management program, and collaborating across the university on convergent research and thought leadership initiatives, including FinTech. As a college, we remain committed to finding new and creative ways to meet the needs of a dynamic marketplace and workforce.”


In addition to the B-school’s deanship, Makhija is the Fisher College’s John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business. According to his bio at the B-school’s website, he is a recognized expert in finance, “particularly capital structure, corporate governance and valuation, and has more than 20 years of experience in academic leadership roles” — among them senior associate dean at the college, the Dean’s Distinguished Professorship, and the David A. Rismiller Professorship in Finance. He has served on the school’s faculty since 1998.

Makhija has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MBA from Tulane University, and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

Ohio State Fisher has had a turbulent decade in the rankings since Makhija took the reins in October 2014. Back then, U.S. News & World Report ranked Fisher’s MBA program 27th; by 2023, the magazine had dropped the B-school to 44th. Similarly, Ohio State ranked 28th in Poets&Quants‘ aggregate ranking a decade ago, but had dropped to 35th in our 2023 list. In 2014, the Fisher College was 36th in Forbes, 34th in Bloomberg Businessweek, 19th in The Economist, and 36th in The Financial Times; in those magazines’ most recent lists, the school ranked 41st, 52nd, and 26th, respectively, and went unranked by FT. Ohio State maintains a strong 17th place in U.S. News‘ undergraduate ranking, however, including fourth overall for Supply Chain Management.

Rankings, of course, aren’t the only measure of a deans’ impact on a school — nor even the best one. “Under his leadership,” Gilliam writes, “Anil placed emphasis on creating a college that is broadly diverse, inclusive, and committed to faculty, staff, students, and alumni. In addition to scaling new programming, Anil has been a champion of staff, encouraging professional development and growing recognition programs.

“In addition to establishing Fisher as an educational destination for leadership, entrepreneurship and global perspective, Anil has long championed service and social responsibility within the college’s community. He oversaw the creation of Fisher Impact Day, an annual service opportunity for undergraduate students built upon the notion of ‘business for good.’”


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