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May 14, 2014

Leadership changes announced

Changes have been announced to three deanships at the University

two men
Andrew Ainslie (l) and Jamal Rossi (r)

Andrew Ainslie has been named the seventh dean of the Simon Business School, succeeding Dean Mark Zupan, whose term ends on June 30.

Jamal Rossi has been named the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music, pending board approval.

Joanna Olmsted has also announced that she will be leaving her position as dean of the School of Arts & Sciences on July 1 after two decades of University leadership.

Andrew Ainslie named Simon Business School dean

“I am delighted that Andrew Ainslie has accepted this appointment. He has had an outstanding career at UCLA Anderson School of Management,” President Joel Seligman says. “He will be an outstanding dean. He is a creative and dynamic leader in business education.”

Ainslie has been senior associate dean, full-time MBA program, at UCLA Anderson School of Management since 2010, where he is responsible for admissions, student services, and career placement.

“The Simon Business School has an incredible history,” Ainslie says. “It has been at the forefront of an analytic, rigorous approach to business from its inception, and today the business community is just beginning to understand the importance of that approach. I am delighted to take on this opportunity.”

During his tenure as associate dean for the full-time MBA program at Anderson, the school has increased its admissions more than 60 percent, increased placements more than 20 percent, and revised its curriculum.

“Andrew Ainslie has had practical experience in multiple phases of business. His emphasis is on faculty quality, admissions, and career placement. He should be a great fit for Simon,” says Ed Hajim, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Ainslie has been associate professor of marketing at Anderson since 2005; he was assistant professor of marketing there from 2000 to 2005. From 1997 through 2000 he was assistant professor of marketing at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Before beginning his academic career, Ainslie had a 10-year career in business, including as an electrical engineer for AECI (South Africa), sales and marketing for Hewlett Packard (South Africa), corporate finance with Standard Merchant Bank, and marketing and development for Compustat.

“Andrew Ainslie impressed us with his leadership experience, his commitment to the research mission, and his farsighted approach to the challenges facing all MBA programs,” says Trustee Janice Willett ’78 (MBA), chair of the Trustees and Friends Advisory Committee for the search.

Ainslie received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Cape Town in 1983 and an MBA in marketing from Cape Town in 1990. He received a PhD in marketing and statistics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1998.

“Mark Zupan leaves an inspiring legacy,” Seligman says. “Under his leadership, Simon has reversed the decline in MBA enrollment, created several successful new master’s programs, and met its targets for endowment draw for several years running. It is a significant record of achievement. Mark deserves our gratitude for a job well done.”

Zupan, dean since 2004, plans a sabbatical, after which he will become the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Public Policy and director of the Bradley Policy Research Center at Simon.

Jamal Rossi appointed Joan and Martin Messsinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music

Jamal Rossi came to Eastman in 2005 as senior associate dean. He served as executive associate dean at Eastman from 2007 until September of 2013, when he was appointed dean of the school following the illness and resignation at that time of former Messinger Dean Douglas Lowry.

“Jamal Rossi’s appointment comes at the conclusion of an international search by a faculty committee chaired by Provost Peter Lennie” President Joel Seligman says. “Jamal was selected because of an outstanding track record of accomplishment, including his leadership of the Eastman Theatre renovation and expansion project, his indisputable ability to lead the school, and his determination to work with the faculty, staff, alumni, and students to craft a new strategic plan that will take Eastman to a new level of even greater accomplishment as the nation’s leading school of music.”

Rossi has served in leadership roles in music for more than two decades, has spearheaded significant collaborative educational and community initiatives, and has wide-ranging experience in academic scholarship and leadership, teaching, performance, recording, and fundraising. 

“It has been a privilege to serve my colleagues and students at the Eastman School of Music these past nine years, and it is an even greater privilege to be asked to serve as Eastman’s dean,” Rossi says. “Eastman’s rich history includes the creation of innovative models for music education, a focus on comprehensive education to prepare students for meaningful lives as outstanding musicians and leaders, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. With its superb faculty and staff, its talented and motivated students and accomplished alumni, and a commitment to making a difference in the world through music, Eastman is uniquely positioned to help shape the future of music. It is the greatest honor to be asked to help lead it to that future.”

As executive associate dean, Rossi was responsible for Eastman’s academic programs and personnel, including faculty hiring and promotions, and for academic and student affairs and enrollment management, among other duties. From 2006 to 2010 he supervised all aspects of the award-winning $47 million project to renovate Eastman Theatre and construct the Eastman East Wing. He oversaw a review of the undergraduate curriculum and led the school’s recent reaccreditation review by the National Association of Schools of Music. He also founded RocMusic, a collaborative partnership of arts and education institutions in Rochester to establish a free after-school music program for Rochester inner-city students.

“Jamal Rossi has proved over the years that he has the vision, skills, and commitment to serve as an outstanding leader of a school that is one of the most outstanding of the musical world,” said Ed Hajim ’58, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees. “We are fortunate that he is willing to now do that at the highest level.”

“The deanship of the Eastman School of Music is a key position in the music world, and the search for a new dean produced for us a remarkable pool of candidates from around the world,” says Lennie, who chaired the dean search committee. “But none of the other candidates could offer Jamal Rossi’s combination of vision, unwavering commitment to the highest musical and academic values, deep and broad knowledge of the Eastman community and its mission, and the personal integrity and commitment that have earned him the greatest respect from the Eastman faculty.”

Before joining Eastman, where he is a saxophonist and professor of woodwinds, Rossi was the dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina in Columbia for five years. Previously, Rossi served as assistant dean and then as associate dean of the School of Music at Ithaca College between 1989 and 2000.

Rossi earned his bachelor of music degree at Ithaca College in 1980, his master of music degree at the University of Michigan in 1982, and his doctor of musical arts at Eastman in 1987.

The search committee consisted of Christopher Azzara; Paul Burgett; Jeff Campbell; Douglas Humpherys; Chien-Kwan Lin; Patrick Macey; Elizabeth Marvin; Honey Meconi; Carol Rodland; Reinhild Steingrover; Robert Swensen; William Weinert; David Ying; Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon; and Alan Czaplicki (staff to the committee).

Joanna Olmsted steps down as dean of Arts & Sciences

smiling woman
Joanna Olmsted

“Joanna has contributed immeasurably to the progress that has been made in strengthening arts, sciences, and engineering, and we are hugely in her debt,” says Peter Lennie, provost and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. “In every dimension of our activities, Joanna’s distinctive attributes—incisive thinking, unflinching integrity, great personal humility, and unfailing generosity—have moved us powerfully forward and have earned the respect and affection of all those who have worked with her.”

In the coming weeks, Lennie will announce transitional leadership for Arts & Sciences as well as a committee to lead a national search for Olmsted’s successor.

“Joanna has been an exemplary dean, and her influence extends far beyond Arts & Sciences,” says President Joel Seligman. “She has been a particularly valuable advisor in fostering collaborations among all of our schools. I will really miss her.”

Olmsted juggles one of the largest portfolios among the University’s deans, working closely with chairs and faculty from 18 departments and 12 programs in the humanities and the arts, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences. She is admired by colleagues for her broad interest in and genuine respect for research across all disciplines. “She embraces the whole University,” says Richard Feldman, dean of the College.

Olmsted’s legacy is perhaps most strongly reflected in the University’s core strength: the high caliber of the faculty she has helped recruit and retain over the years. “Joanna meets all candidates and works tirelessly with departments to help them hire the strongest faculty. Her involvement has often been crucial to the success we have enjoyed,” says Lennie.

Olmsted’s wisdom and comprehensive understanding of the University are a godsend for newcomers, says Rob Clark, senior vice president for research and dean of the Hajim School, who arrived from Duke University in 2008. “If I need to come in and talk about an issue, she always has an open door.”

Olmsted joined the Department of Biology in 1975 after completing a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her doctorate at Yale University. In 1995, she was appointed the inaugural associate dean of faculty, later serving as dean of faculty development and interim vice provost and dean of faculty, before becoming dean of Arts & Sciences in 2007.

Olmsted’s scientific grounding shines through in her leadership style, say colleagues.

“She always approaches issues from an impartial, calm, analytical perspective,” says Lamar Murphy, University general secretary and the president’s chief of staff. “Joanna defines precisely what the goal is, and from the goal, she finds the right strategy. In a quiet but powerful way, she has made immensely valuable contributions to the University. She is a wonderful colleague and has earned the trust and respect of faculty and staff throughout the institution.”

As a successful researcher at a time when few women made it into the ranks of faculty, and now as one of the University’s most respected administrators, Olmsted has helped to open doors for women, adds Murphy. Her example of excellence and unfailing high standards are an inspiration to both women and men, she says.

Above all, Olmsted “has made the University a much better place for faculty and students,” says Lennie.

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