Arizona State University found an Ivy Leaguer to run its business school.
Wharton School vice dean and head of executive education Robert E. Mittelstaedt Jr. has been named the new dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU.
“It's a university and business school that are at interesting places at this point in time,” Mittelstaedt said.
“President (Michael) Crow has set a great, challenging agenda for the whole university, and I believe the W.P. Carey Business School, especially with its endowment last year and with an already good faculty in a number of areas, is really poised for growth and excellence in the future.”
Established in 1881, Wharton is the first business school is the United States. It is part of the University of Pennsylvania and features the world's largest and most cited faculty with 259 standing and associate members, the school's Web site says. Mittelstaedt's announcement Monday is the latest in a string of new administrators with good pedigrees who have agreed to come to ASU.
Others were from some of the nation's top ranked schools, including New York University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Swarthmore College and Columbia University, where Crow spent 12 years before he was named president of ASU in July 2002.
“Bob Mittelstaedt fundamentally understands, from his work at Wharton and his personality, how to build a business school totally engaged in business, in education, in business research — he gets the whole picture,” Crow said in a statement.
“He brings an energy, excitement and entrepreneurial spirit that will lift the school to even greater national prominence.”
Mittelstaedt succeeds Larry Edward Penley, who left last year to become president of Colorado State University.
He was chosen over James Bean, associate dean for academic affairs at the college of engineering at the University of Michigan, and Christopher Tang, dean of business administration at NUS Business School at the National University of Singapore.
The ASU business college's undergraduate program is ranked 21st in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Compared with other business schools based at public institutions, it ranks 14th nationally.
Last year, the business school received a $50 million gift from William Polk Carey, chairman of W.P. Carey & Co., a New York City-based investment firm, to endow the ASU Business School.
Mittelstaedt, 60, is director of the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at Wharton. He has held various academic and administrative positions at Wharton since 1973. He is responsible for Wharton's $43 million executive education business, with more than 220 programs serving about 8,000 executives and senior managers worldwide each year at the program's 103-room hotel and conference center. He has developed a number of programs for specific audiences, including one for corporate directors in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is being extended to Canada and Spain.
“People who attend the program have mock board meetings, audit committee meetings and compensation committees meetings, then we'd periodically stop and critique the meetings and talk about what's going on,” Mittelstaedt said. “We've actually been doing it for 10 years, but now it's really hot stuff.”
Mittelstaedt helped create a number of company-sponsored research forums, including the Wharton Electronic Commerce Forum and oversaw the development of knowledge@wharton, an online business magazine and research resource with 310,000 subscribers worldwide.
He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Tulane University and a master’s of business administration from the Wharton School in operations management. Mittelstaedt is married with three grown children. He will report for work in June.