A legacy of achievement

Paul Tesluk.

By Cory Nealon and Jacqueline Molik Ghosen

After nearly seven years as dean of the School of Management (including a year as interim), Paul Tesluk will step down at the end of the academic year to return to his faculty position as the Donald S. Carmichael Professor of Organizational Behavior.

While faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the School of Management community are sorry to see Tesluk relinquish the helm, they are pleased that the school will continue to benefit from his expertise as an educator and researcher.

Tesluk was recruited from the University of Maryland, College Park, to join the school’s Department of Organization and Human Resources in 2011. As a faculty member, he founded the school’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness and served as the center’s academic director. He also served for two years as department chair prior to his appointment as interim dean in July 2015.  

After being named dean in 2016, Tesluk led the school through a nationally challenging time for management education while strengthening its programs and partnerships.

Under his leadership, the school has consistently ranked in the top 10% nationally across various major B-school and MBA rankings, including the most recent Bloomberg News ranking where UB’s MBA program rose 12 spots to achieve a top-30 ranking among MBA programs at public universities.  

“Dean Tesluk has had a significant impact on the School of Management and UB, and established a solid foundation for future success. We are grateful to Dean Tesluk for his continued commitment to the school and university,” said A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, in a memo to the university community.

Strategy and innovation

To align the school’s vision and goals with UB’s institutional priorities, Tesluk led the School of Management in a comprehensive strategic planning effort, resulting in a revised mission with four overarching goals: defining the future of management; forging highly capable, engaged and ethical leaders; making a positive impact on business and society; and creating a school with world-class capabilities. The goals provide a prominent focus for five key strategic initiatives: leadership, entrepreneurship, health care management, social innovation and global programs.

During his tenure as dean, the school developed educational programs that align with students’ needs and help meet the growing demand for a high-tech workforce. Examples include a new Bachelor of Science program in information technology and management, a Master of Science in business analytics, and several other programs in development.

In addition, the school now offers a robust and rapidly expanding set of micro-credentials and non-degree programs, and has introduced innovations in existing programs, such as converting the part-time MBA track for working professionals to hybrid format. Through these and other achievements under Tesluk’s leadership, the school was successfully reaccredited in 2021 by AACSB. Accreditation by this prestigious global organization is achieved by less than 5% of business schools.

The school also expanded student fellowships and internships while enhancing international opportunities for students, which has led to a significant increase in student engagement in experiential learning and networking opportunities.  

“Paul’s strategic insights are evident in virtually everything the School of Management has accomplished over the past seven years,” said Gregg Fisher, BS ’92, founder and portfolio manager at Quent Capital, and chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council. “His commitment to moving the school forward will continue to pay dividends well beyond his tenure as dean.”

Gregg Fisher.
“Paul’s strategic insights are evident in virtually everything the School of Management has accomplished over the past seven years. His commitment to moving the school forward will continue to pay dividends well beyond his tenure as dean. ”
Gregg Fisher, BS ’92, Chair
Dean's Advisory Council

Collaboration and impact

Tesluk also built partnerships with other UB schools and encouraged management faculty to participate in cross-disciplinary and university-wide initiatives. Examples include the Stephen Still Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics, and the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences. To prepare students to collaborate with and contribute to nonprofits, and in partnership with the School of Social Work (and later the College of Arts and Sciences), the school created a unique Social Impact Fellows program that places interdisciplinary teams of students in internships at local mission-driven organizations.

Understanding the transformative impact of philanthropy, Tesluk led a comprehensive campaign to support the school’s research, education and engagement activities. During his tenure, philanthropic gifts to the school and faculty philanthropy participation rates increased substantially, resulting in the creation of new endowed chairs, interdisciplinary programs, student-centered signature spaces such as the Paula Agrusa Plaza, and expanded student scholarships, particularly those that advance diversity, equity and inclusion among students.

An internationally recognized expert in leadership development, team design and effectiveness, and organizational climate and performance, Tesluk is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the Society for Organizational Behavior. He is a prolific scholar who has consulted with numerous private and public organizations, and served on the editorial boards of several of the most selective academic journals in his field.

The search for the next School of Management dean is underway.

“I am so grateful to our faculty and staff for all their efforts, as well as our alumni and many external partners in the UB, business and global communities,” said Tesluk. “We have accomplished a tremendous amount as a School of Management community, and it would not have been possible without the collaborative spirit that has bound us all together. These collaborations have established a foundation that leaves the school well positioned to continue its ascent.”