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USC Picks New Business Dean

The Marshall School taps Yash Gupta from the University of Washington.

March 31, 2004|Leslie Earnest | Times Staff Writer

Almost two years after its longtime dean said he would step down to return to teaching, USC Marshall School of Business will announce today that it has selected a new leader who is skilled at both revamping curricula and raising money.

Management expert Yash Gupta, leader of the University of Washington Business School for the last five years, will move south to become dean of USC's business school, effective July 1.

During his stint at Washington, Gupta was credited with overhauling the graduate and undergraduate programs and boosting fundraising by 400%, according to a statement from the Marshall School of Business. He helped define the Seattle school's mission, which involved investing in new technology and forging partnerships with the business community. Gupta also was instrumental in launching new certificate and degree programs, including the nation's first doctorate in technology entrepreneurship.

"Yash's appointment follows an extensive search for the very best individual to lead the USC Marshall School in the 21st century," USC Provost Lloyd Armstrong Jr. said in a statement. "He brings with him both an impressive track record of taking business schools to their next levels and a vision of what it takes to educate business leaders of the future."

Gupta succeeds Randolph W. Westerfield, 63, who led the business school for 11 years. In addition to teaching, Westerfield also plans to work on a series of corporate finance textbooks. During his term, Westerfield directed a successful fundraising campaign, including a $35-million gift in 1997 from entrepreneur Gordon Marshall, for whom the school was renamed.

The USC announcement comes when other local business schools are changing leadership. The UCLA Anderson School of Management is seeking a dean to succeed Bruce Willison, and last week UC Irvine named Andrew Policano head of its Graduate School of Management.

Gupta was unavailable for comment Tuesday. In a statement, he said he would like to see the Marshall School continue to rise in national rankings and increase its visibility around the world, particularly in the international business community.

"It is a school with enormous opportunities, including its proximity and ties to both Asia and Latin America, its outstanding faculty and its presence in Southern California, which is one of the largest economies in the country," he said.

Amid intense competition for bright students, business schools increasingly jostle for higher national rankings. USC's Marshall School gained stature in fall 2002 when it snagged the No. 17 spot on BusinessWeek's top 30, a list the school didn't even make a few years earlier.

Conversely, UCLA's Anderson School slid on that same list to No. 16 in the biennial B-school ranking, after finishing in or near the top 10 for many years.

In addition to prompting considerable chest puffing and attracting stronger faculty members, higher ratings can help fatten a school's coffers by attracting bound-for-success students who are more likely to donate more to their alma mater after graduation, education experts say.

"We have big aspirations for the Marshall School, and we think Yash is the guy who can lead the school to those aspirations," said Michael Diamond, executive vice provost. "We have to produce people who can function in a seamless global environment and understand technology in that environment."

Before joining the University of Washington, Gupta was dean and professor of management at the College of Business Administration of the University of Colorado at Denver.

Gupta earned a bachelor of science in engineering from Punjab University in India and a master's degree in production management from Brunel University of West London. He earned his doctorate from the University of Bradford, England.

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