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The Daily Wildcat

 

New dean eyes privatization

Leonard Jessup, a UA alum who earned his Ph.D. in Orgainzational Behavior and Management Information Systesms from the UA, according to Washington State University faculty site., will be the new dean of Eller College.  Jessup will assume duties beginning in May, according to UANews.
Leonard Jessup, a UA alum who earned his Ph.D. in Orgainzational Behavior and Management Information Systesms from the UA, according to Washington State University faculty site., will be the new dean of Eller College. Jessup will assume duties beginning in May, according to UANews.

Len Jessup was recently named dean of the Eller College of Management. Jessup is a UA alumnus and completed doctoral work at the Eller College of Management in the mid-1980s. Jessup is currently the chair of the department of entrepreneurship and information systems at Washington State University. He will begin his position as dean in May.

Daily Wildcat: What motivated you to return to the UA?

Jessup: Well, you know, I think the number one thing is just the opportunity to give back. I felt my time there at the University of Arizona really changed the trajectory of my life in many, many ways, and I felt indebted to the people and the institution there. First and foremost, I just think it’s a great opportunity to come back and give back.

What are some of your main goals going in as dean?

First and foremost is to get all the programs squarely up to the next level, let’s say among the top 10 in a public university setting. Everything we do will be of that level — level, reach, all of that. That seems to be the collective reach of everyone there, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. Second, the Eller College needs to become more self-sustaining, so an increased focus on fundraising, revenue generation, and grant activity and becoming a self-sustaining business school. That’s what the good business schools are doing all across the country.

Why is increased privatization important for Eller?    

We had conversations about that all throughout the interview process. Universities all across the country, whether we want to admit it or not, have been already going through a process of privatization … It’s just that states aren’t funding universities at the levels they need to be funded at. Especially if you’re at a university that has great aspirations, you’re going to have to find ways to pay for that yourself. They can’t fund greatness, they can’t fund that level of excellence.

What are your plans for privatization at Eller?

We need to do a lot more fundraising. Eller’s done a really good job of it — tens of millions of private dollars have come in to attract and retain faculty and provide scholarships for students. The college itself is named after Karl Eller. The McClelland family helped to build the building that the business school is in. The college wouldn’t be where it is right now without private support. And now we’ve got to do even more of that.

Are national rankings something you pay attention to and want to improve?

Sure, yes. But an important point here is it’s not healthy to be in the business of chasing rankings. I think it’s more appropriate for us to think of it as getting better. We want to continually be working hard to get better. That will then be evident in external recognition like rankings.

Do you think being an alumnus will have an affect on how you carry out your position as dean?

Absolutely. Having been there as a student, I understand what it’s like to be a student at the Eller College at the University of Arizona. I’ve been in their shoes. It was a while ago, but I understand what that means.

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