Mark Zupan officially became Dean of the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration during investiture ceremonies at the Interfaith Chapel on April 1. The sixth dean, Zupan replaced Charles Plosser who had stepped down on June 30.Zupan already has a clear idea of what he hopes to accomplish as dean of the Simon School, emphasizing a commitment to constantly improve. “Like the university motto, ‘Meliora,’ we don’t want to rest on our laurels – we can get better,” Zupan said. “We must do better not only than ourselves but the competition also. We must look ahead to the future.” Zupan gave an example of what he meant. “Someone once asked Wayne Gretzsky how he was so successful and Gretzsky replied, ‘you have to skate to where the puck will be, not where it is,'” he said.The Simon School graduates about 200 full-time students per year, and at any given time has 70-100 part-time students. It is also one of the top ten producers of doctoral students. Zupan remarked that Simon’s small size allows it to be such an effective school.”Our ability to personalize the experience is our key asset,” he said. “We are one of the smallest high ranked schools in the world and our faculty and staff are better able to play off what they teach and work together.”He also credits the school’s emphasis on economics as one of its strengths. “We give a more economic background, which gives the students an ability to see what is driving a firm, and the market in a particular situation,” he added.In the U.S. News and World Report’s recently released rankings, the Simon School is ranked 36th. When considering what was one of most important things to work on to make the school even better and to be ranked higher, Zupan stressed the importance of having a good relationship with alumni. “The biggest driver of that ranking is [job] placement, and we’re focused on what we can do with our alums to place our students,” Zupan said. “If alumni, staff and faculty say their affiliation with the UR is the best investment they made in their career, and the general feeling that this was an incredibly worthwhile experience, [this is good]. More so than any other ranking or number.”He added that improving of the incoming class was also important. “A lot of basic fundamentals, the metric universities get judged by, [include] the classes you admit, the teaching, the scholarship that your faculty do and the level of service your staff perform,” Zupan said.Zupan was optimistic about his success as a dean. “That’s ultimately judged by faculty, students and alumni,” Zupan said. “I’m just thrilled and honored to be here. The bottom line is there’s lot of great stuff to do and people are interested in helping out for a common cause.”Lindstrom can be reached at mlindstrom@campustimes.org.



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