The University of Utah established the School of Commerce and Finance in 1917. In its first year, 126 students enrolled, and over the next 80 years, the enrollment figure increased over 25 times. Renamed the David Eccles School of Business in 1991, it now educates more than 6,000 students in nine undergraduate minors, ten masters degrees, four MBA programs and five PhD specializations. Three new, cutting-edge buildings welcome students and world-class faculty.
The Eccles School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and holds supplemental AACSB accreditation in accounting. Its undergraduate, full-time, part-time and online MBA programs are nationally recognized and perform consistently well in regional and national business school rankings. The Eccles School also ranks as the most diverse college in Utah and, committed to a more inclusive future, created the First Ascent Scholars and expanded the Opportunity Scholars programs that support first-generation students as they pursue their college degrees.
The Eccles School hosts many centers, institutes, and initiatives that support faculty and student research, allow students to gain real-world experience through internships and fellowships, and connect the School with the business community through continuing education, professional development programs, and community events.
The Eccles School gives students a premier business education experience. Faculty provide world-class instruction in the classroom, and advisors guide students along their academic paths. To prepare students for their next steps, the Eccles School’s expert career coaches work closely with statewide, national, and global companies. Students’ business education begins on Day 1, with opportunities for experiential learning, employer-driven projects, highly engaged internships, and other entrepreneurial pursuits.
Salt Lake City is home to Fortune 500 companies, some of the nation’s largest privately held businesses, professional sports franchises, and a flourishing arts and culture scene. The Eccles School’s prime location in the heart of the city provides significant opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni to engage with the city’s thriving business community.
Learn more about the David Eccles School of Business at https://eccles.utah.edu/.
Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership
The new dean will have opportunities to strengthen relationships within the Eccles School, across campus, and in the community.
Galvanize the community around a vision for the future
The new dean of the Eccles School will demonstrate a deep understanding of the current state of business education nationally and internationally and will work closely with faculty, staﬀ, and University leadership to articulate a clear vision of the School’s future.
The new dean joins a successful enterprise—the Eccles School boasts several educational programs of distinction, successful institutes, centers, and initiatives, and
long-standing relationships with the local business community. Building from these assets, the new dean will promote continued excellence in scholarship, teaching, and outreach that generates exceptional student experiences and advances the Eccles School’s reputation as a thought leader and industry partner.
Build external partnerships
Business education at the Eccles School extends well beyond the classroom. The Eccles School experience provides a world-class business education with a unique, entrepreneurial focus on real-world scenarios where students put what they learn into practice long before graduation. In recent years, Salt Lake's traditional corporate community has been augmented by an explosion of entrepreneurial activity led by emerging high-tech and venture capital sectors, providing a fertile environment for strategic partnerships. The new dean will work from the outset to form partnerships that enhance the School’s educational and scholarly efforts. The new dean will also be the Eccles School’s chief fundraiser. The dean is supported by a strong professional team of fundraising, events, communications, and alumni relations staff. Building on the considerable success of recent years, the dean will assume office during the University’s most ambitious campaign in its history. Imagine New Heights comprehensive capital campaign was publicly announced in September 2018 and will close in December 2022. To date, more than $2.3 billion has been committed, including $257 million for scholarships and fellowships, $767 million for research, $363 million for academic programs and faculty support, $407 million for buildings and $430 million for libraries and public programs. The Eccles School has raised $151 million to date in the campaign, $81M of which is for academic programs and faculty support, $33 million for scholarships, and $14 million for research.
Strengthen systems and make connections across constituencies
The faculty and staff of the Eccles School are dedicated to serving the educational and research missions of the School and University. A new dean will share that commitment to the Eccles School’s mission and seize the opportunity to build partnerships within and across the School and University community.
The University of Utah and the Eccles School foster an inclusive, welcoming environment that encourages individuals and groups to learn and work within and across diverse communities. The University emphasizes awareness, respect, and education about cultural identity, as well as professional identity, and recognizes its goal to serve and embrace the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the students, faculty, and staff. The new dean should have a demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The new dean of the Eccles School also joins a community of deans from colleges across the University of Utah. Regular meetings of the deans allow not only for open communications about college and campus policy, but also open paths to potentially productive partnerships in research and teaching. The new dean will promote and facilitate interdisciplinary programming and collaboration across the University.
The University of Utah values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.
Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities
The new dean of the David Eccles School of Business at The University of Utah will be committed to developing or enhancing, and executing the School’s strategic vision, promoting excellence in research and teaching, fundraising, and engaging with diverse communities.
The dean will embrace the Eccles School’s long-term commitments ensuring equitable systems and fostering an inclusive environment to support a vibrant culture that respects all experiences and identities.
The dean will lead through cooperation, sincere communication, personal accountability, and ethical governance. To this end, the successful candidate should have excellent communication and management skills, and the ability to work effectively and build collaborative relationships across multiple constituencies, including students, staff, faculty, alumni, local governments, and members of the philanthropic, business, and broader communities.
Although candidates with meaningful academic leadership experience are preferred, candidates with substantial knowledge of higher education who have leadership experience outside of higher education will also be considered. An understanding and commitment to academic freedom and the principles of shared governance are required.
Because the dean serves as the chief fundraiser for the School, a track record of successful fundraising and community partnership building is much desired. Fiscal and budgetary skills and experience are also an asset.
Accreditation experience, particularly with the AACSB, is valued but not required.
A record of research, teaching, and service meriting a tenured appointment in the Eccles School is preferred.
Procedure for Candidacy
All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile.
WittKieffer is assisting University of Utah in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Mercedes Vance, Alejandra Gillette-Teran and Natalie Song at UtahBusinessDean@wittkieffer.com
About the University of Utah
The University of Utah is the state’s flagship institution of higher education, with 18 schools and colleges, more than 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate degree programs, and an enrollment of more than 33,000 students. In November 2019, the university was selected as a new member of the Association of American Universities—an invitation-only, prestigious group of 65 leading research institutions in North America marked by excellence in academic expertise and research impact, student success and securing resources in support of core missions. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Utah as an R1: Doctoral University–Very High Research Institution.
The University of Utah’s success in achieving excellence in research and teaching reflects the values of Utah: An unparalleled work ethic and a spirit of entrepreneurship, collaboration and community service. These qualities have enabled the University of Utah to innovate across many fields and pioneer new programs with social impact, generate path-breaking discoveries, fuel critical research, and inspire innovative approaches to education. The U is the University for Utah just as it is the University of Utah. It strives to be a model public university in delivering unmatched value in higher education and health care while making social, economic and cultural contributions that improve the quality of life throughout the state, the nation and the world. The University of Utah’s reputation for excellence draws top-tier faculty and attracts motivated students from across the country and internationally. These students bring with them diverse experiences and outlooks—representing traditional and nontraditional students alike—thereby enhancing the exceptional educational experience the University of Utah offers.
The University of Utah fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens. We generate and share new knowledge, discoveries and innovations, and we engage local and global communities to promote education, health and quality of life. These contributions, in addition to responsible stewardship of our intellectual, physical and financial resources, ensure the long-term success and viability of the institution.
In 2020, the main and health campuses at the University of Utah launched a strategic roadmap that ensures a One U approach to the future—a blueprint designed to accelerate the university’s rise as it focuses on four overarching goals: student success, knowledge transfer, community engagement and institutional vitality. Strategy 2025 is the result of a process launched in spring 2019 that harnessed the creative power of our campus community and stakeholders to shape a new vision, with strategies and measurable outcomes to guide us for the next five years. More information about the University’s strategy plan is available at https://strategy.utah.edu/
Salt Lake City
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