Dean of the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration Charles Plosser announced on Oct. 1, 2002 his decision to step down as dean when his second term ends on June 30, 2003. Plosser has served as Dean of the Simon School for the past twelve years. This period includes two five year terms and two years he served as acting dean.

“When I first accepted the job my intention was to serve no more than ten years,” Plosser said. Although he has been encouraged to stay on, he is staying with the original plan. “It’s time to move on. Leadership jobs demand a periodic turnover,” Plosser said.

Plosser does not leave without making his mark. Even by his own admission, when he first took on the position of dean, “The Simon School was facing a lot of challenges. I saw an opportunity to resolve the problem.”

The school has come far from this early image, and has been able, under his leadership, to enhance the faculty, student body and financial foundation. The Simon School has acquired a new building under his guidance, and also has improved its international reputation.

The new dean will be confronted with his/her own unique challenges, as the current recession has laid a slew of problems before business schools across the country.

Plosser views this as a temporary problem and hopes that the new dean will “advance the reputation of the school and continue to focus on financial support, attracting the best students, and retaining a high quality faculty.”

His advice for the next dean? “[The new dean] should try to enjoy what they are doing, then they’ll be successful. Focus on the core competencies, and have a tough skin,” he said.

“Don’t be too distracted by rankings. Remember the product is the students. Don’t lose sight of your objectives.”

President Thomas Jackson agreed. “The next dean must be excited about issues. They must have vision, respect and build on the strengths [of the School],” he said.

Jackson’s relationship with Plosser began while Jackson was still at Virginia and Plosser was a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Presidential Search. Plosser served as Jackson’s first contact at UR. They met again when Jackson was considered for the position of president at UR. “[Plosser] is a superb academic, and a terrific spokesman for the school. He is a team player,” Jackson said.

Vice President Paul Burgett believes that Plosser leaves a legacy as dean that is well respected. “It seems to me that he has been an exemplary Dean of the Simon School,” Burgett said. “To my eye, he has been a model of intelligent and elegant leadership during an important period of growth and development for the school.”

Finding Plosser’s successor will be a hard task. As Dean of the Faculty, Thomas LeBlanc noted, “Plosser is smart, experienced, and well-respected. The Simon School and UR will be fortunate to find a successor of comparable abilities.”

The search for the new dean is already underway.

“[The Dean Search Committee] will be composed of ten to twelve people with faculty, student and alumni representation,” Jackson said. “The committee is late in getting started so the decision should be announced in March, but I am more concerned with getting the right dean and I will even consider an interim period.”

Provost Charles Phelps will chair the committee. “Dean Plosser has been a stellar leader for the Simon School, over the past decade and more. He’s left the school in in excellent position for his successor, which will make my task in recruiting the new dean all the easier,” Phelps said.

Jackson plans on the Dean Committee performing a national search which will be open to all qualified individuals who meet the standards set by the committee. The ultimate decision will rest upon Jackson who will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

And what of Plosser? “I look forward to the opportunity to choose things I want to do. In reality, the job of dean is a time-consuming, demanding and stressful job,” Plosser said. He will continue as a faculty member at UR, and also spend time writing. “I’m going back to my academic roots,” he said.

Plosser said he leaves the position of dean satisfied with his work, and confident that Jackson and the committee will find an appropriate successor. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with different people. I’ve accomplished my objectives,” he said. “It’s time to work on new challenges.”

Tanner can be reached at

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An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.

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