Ashok Rao Named Dean of RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business




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Rochester Institute of Technology announces the appointment of Ashok Rao as dean of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business, effective Feb. 1.

Rao joins RIT from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., where he is professor of technology operations and information management. As recent as 2005, he served a five-year term as chair of the school’s management division. He has been a member of the Babson faculty since 1980, and he has also served on the faculty at Northeastern University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

In industry, Rao was director of business systems with Northern Telecom and has prior experience at Canada Packers and Leeds & Northrup. His consulting and research includes new product development, total quality management, computer integrated enterprises and management training. He was president of RAM Systems Inc., a software-consulting firm and is actively involved in the Center for Quality of Management and APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society).

“Throughout his career, Dr. Rao has maintained strong ties to industry,” says Stanley McKenzie, RIT provost. “He is currently working on cross-border integration and during a sabbatical in 2006, part of which he spent in India, he developed several case studies which are now widely used at Babson and Harvard.”

Rao earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharaghpur, India. He later earned an M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in industrial and management engineering from the University of Iowa.

Rao replaces Wayne Morse, who has been serving as interim dean of RIT’s Saunders College since October 2005. A nationwide search for a new dean commenced after Thomas Hopkins stepped down from the post after seven years in that role.

One of eight colleges at RIT, the E. Philip Saunders College of Business enrolls more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate majors including accounting, finance, graphic media marketing, international business, management, management information systems, and marketing, with an undergraduate minor offered in entrepreneurship. The college is spearheading an initiative to establish a university-wide Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is also creating a new research center and academic major in consumer financial services. Graduate level programs include Master's of Business Administration, MBA-Accounting, Executive MBA, and master’s degrees in finance and management.

RIT undergraduate and graduate business programs are fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International), the premier accrediting organization for business schools. Only about one-quarter of the institutions granting business degrees have received this accreditation.