Assad Named Dean of School of Management

Release Date: June 26, 2008 This content is archived.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Arjang A. Assad, professor of management science and Dean’s Professor for Extraordinary Service in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, has been named dean of the University at Buffalo School of Management. His appointment will be effective Aug. 1, 2008.

He will succeed John M. Thomas, who announced last October that he planned to step down as dean after five years in the post to devote more time to the school's global business programs as a member of the faculty.

Assad’s appointment was announced today by Satish K. Tripathi, UB provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“In our search for the new dean of the School of Management, it was apparent immediately that Professor Assad is truly an innovative and experienced leader and renowned scholar who is eager to seize the vast opportunities—whether cross-disciplinary academic and research collaborations or business and industry partnerships—that our global world affords,” Tripathi said. “I know Professor Assad is eager to build upon and expand the UB School of Management’s strong academic reputation, bringing the school to its rightful place as a nationally ranked management school.

“I am absolutely delighted Professor Assad will be joining our UB family as our next dean of the School of Management,” he added.

UB President John B. Simpson noted that UB’s mission, in essence, “is about contributing to the greater public good through the knowledge we create and share. Our School of Management embodies that institutional mission through its innovative, rigorous research and education programs, and through its deep engagement in public outreach, regionally as well as globally.

“In Professor Assad, we have identified a truly outstanding match for this school and its far-reaching vision,” Simpson said. “His remarkable range of expertise—which has been marked by substantial success in building innovative partnerships within and beyond the academy—is ideally suited to guide the management school toward even greater prominence in the 21st century.”

Assad said he sought the deanship of the School of Management because he felt the school had a “vision and a sense of direction.”

“It is a place where I feel I can contribute, but it is also, on its own, ready to move to the next level,” he said.

He said that while he must do a “lot of learning” before developing specific plans, his vision for the school is “not vastly different from that of the university as a whole. The business school has to be a big part of the strategic vision of UB as a whole—of UB 2020,” he said.

He sees many opportunities for collaboration with the business community, alumni, friends of the school and supporters of the university. “There is significant untapped potential; they have to hear our story in new terms,” he said.

A University of Maryland faculty member since 1978, Assad has held several key administrative positions in the school, serving as chair of the Department of Decision, Operations and Information Technologies from 1998-2003 and as senior associate dean from 2004-07.

He also has served the Smith School and the university in numerous other capacities, including as a member and chair of various high-level search committees, working groups and steering committees. He was the first person to be named Dean’s Professor for Extraordinary Service in 2007 in recognition of his extensive service.

Assad has been an advocate of and leader in innovative educational initiatives. He directed the IBM Total Quality Project (QUEST), a joint business and engineering program focusing on teamwork and quality management on campus, and has been actively engaged in enhancing the university’s honors program. His work with students at Maryland was recognized with the Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award in 2002, the highest honor given for contributions to undergraduate education at the university. 

Assad holds four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—a doctorate in management science from its Sloan School of Management, a master’s degree in operations research, a chemical engineer’s graduate degree and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

His research interests include operations and quality management, optimization of distribution systems, mathematical programming and the history of operations research. He has authored or edited a number of books, as well as more than 50 refereed articles and book chapters. His most recent book, “Profiles in Operations Research,” co-authored with Saul I. Gass, is scheduled for publication in the fall.

He has been a member of the editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals, including Transportation Science, Operations Research and Production and Operations Management.

His awards for teaching excellence include two Krowe Awards for teaching innovation at the Smith School—awarded in 1999 and in 2001. He also received the Maryland Association of Higher Education Award in 1996 for leadership in curricular innovation for the IBM Total Quality Program, and was selected as a Lilly-CTE Fellow for the academic year 1999-2000. In addition, he led the effort to found the Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, a community of scholars committed to fostering a culture of excellence in teaching and learning at Maryland, and served as its first chair in 2003.

Assad has worked on a variety of distribution and manufacturing problems as a consultant for major U.S. corporations, including Mid-Atlantic Toyota, Forster Mfg, DuPont, UPS, Federal Express, IBM and the Orkand Corporation. He also has consulted on operations research and operations management issues for the Federal Aviation Administration, the Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Army, the U.S. departments of Transportation and Energy, and the Red Cross. In addition, he has advised numerous student teams engaged in company-sponsored projects.

The Wall Street Journal has ranked the UB School of Management No. 9 in the nation among schools with strong regional recruiting bases. In addition, BusinessWeek has ranked the school as one of the country's top 5 business schools for the fastest return on MBA investment, and Forbes cited it as one of the best business schools in the U.S. for the return on investment it provides MBA graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system that is its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

This article, written by Sue Wuetcher, originally ran in the March 16 edition of the UB Reporter.

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Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
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School of Management