Perhaps this column should be called “First Word”—my first words in
Smith Business as dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business.
I am excited and honored as I take over after many decades of steady
progress in the reputation of the school. I stand on the shoulders of
giants. Howard Frank has been an excellent dean for the past eleven
years, building a formidable faculty and physical infrastructure. Before
that Bill Mayer placed us on the path to excellence by focusing the
business school on our core mission, MBA and undergraduate education.
Before Mayer, Rudy Lamone was responsible for laying the foundation of
this school during 20 years of extraordinary service. All of them have
offered to help, and for this I am truly grateful.
I am the first dean to come from academia, and the first internal one
after sixteen years of outside industry persons being at the helm. I do
bring an outside perspective having been a professor at both the
engineering school and the Wharton School at the University of
Pennsylvania. But I also know quite well how the University of Maryland
system works after seven years at the Smith School. I am hoping this
inside-outside viewpoint will help us reach our goals in an efficient
Our goals can be summarized in three words: brand, brand, brand. We
have one of the best business faculty in the whole world. The Smith
School is consistently ranked in the top 10 in research by the Financial
Times. In terms of publications in the top-tier academic journals, most
of our departments—finance, marketing, decision and information systems,
management and organization—are listed in the top-12. The Smith School
is also ranked top-10 in teaching quality.
However, faculty excellence is not reflected in the brand of the
Smith School of Business. In particular, we need to be recognized as one
of the top business schools by industry and government leaders, by
recruiters who hire our students, on Wall Street, among the blue chip
consulting firms, in Silicon Valley, in the federal government, with
potential students, and by deans of other business schools. While we are
easily the best business school in the greater Washington, D.C., area
and between Richmond and Baltimore, we need that to be unequivocally
known among professionals in this region.
Our alumni carry our brand better than anyone else. There is nothing
better for the brand of the Smith School than your success. When alumni
network with each other and our current students, help them and hire
them, our brand propagates effectively. Many alumni have already stepped
up and offered to help. We cannot get to the next level of being
considered truly elite without you. Let’s go Smith Terps!
G. ANANDALINGAM, DEAN