University of Rochester

Dean of Rochester's William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration Commits $1 Million to School

April 3, 2009

Gift Supports Scholarships, Innovation at the Simon School

Mark A. Zupan, who has served as dean of the University of Rochester's Simon Graduate School of Business since 2004, has made a $1 million endowment commitment to the school.

It is believed that Zupan's gift is unmatched by any current or previous business school dean.

"This is a truly special gift," said University President Joel Seligman. "Mark has been an inspiration as a teacher, a scholar, and an administrator. Now, he also has inspired us through his philanthropy. There are very few people who contribute to our work in so many ways. His dedication, vision, and generosity make me proud to be his colleague."

In announcing his gift at a recent dinner for University trustees, Zupan explained that he was motivated in part by the gifts of previous donors.

"So much of what we do in teaching and research is possible because of the support we receive from friends and alumni. I wanted to recognize that," he said. Zupan added that he was especially impressed by the gift of $30 million last year from board chairman Edmund Hajim. "As important as the amount is, I think I was even more impressed that it was a genuine stretch gift, which required some real dedication and commitment," Zupan said. "Ed could have impressed us with a smaller gift, but that wouldn't have been enough for him. His gift inspired me to stretch, too, even if at a more modest level."

Zupan mentioned another motivation for his gift. His mother, Maria, was among the first women to earn a doctorate in chemistry from the University. "My mother was an international scholarship student, and the scholarship support made it possible for her to come here, earn her degree and provide a career for herself and a livelihood to support her family. That ultimately added to my own opportunities as a professor and administrator and eventually provided the means to be able to make a commitment to give back to Rochester."

"As Ed said, paraphrasing George Eastman, 'Education is the solution to everything.' I believe that, too," Zupan said, "and I want to do what I can to make a difference to being part of that solution through the Simon School. I'm also a big believer in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's saying that "the only thing we have left in the end is that which we gave to others."

While Zupan remains dean of the Simon School, his gift will provide scholarship support to Simon students, either international or domestic. When he finishes his service as dean, the gift will become available to his successors as an endowed fund to support innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit at Simon.

In late 2008, Zupan was appointed to a second, five-year term as dean. In commenting on the re-appointment, Provost Ralph Kuncl called him "a dean of energy, commitment, integrity, and unsurpassed work ethic, (whose) leadership has advanced the Simon School by virtually every relevant measure." Kuncl listed several areas of particular success in Zupan's first term. Fundraising increased for the Annual Fund by over five-fold and major gift giving grew significantly.

Much of the innovation under Zupan's leadership has been designed to foster a greater entrepreneurial spirit and to fuel successful differentiation of the Simon School among its competitors.

Over the last four years, the Simon School has had one of the fastest growing full-time M.B.A. programs in the country in percentage terms. In the same period, it also has been one of the top business schools for improvement in the quality of full-time M.B.A. students among the top 50 as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the school's Early Leaders Initiative™ has increased the diversity of the student body, especially through increases in the percentage of female students.

Simon has moved up 12 spots to number 25 among the top business schools in the United States ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The school also has been ranked 22nd in the United States in the most recent ranking of full-time M.B.A programs by the Financial Times and was recently ranked by BusinessWeek as the first private business school and the fourth U.S. school for return on investment.

Zupan was previously dean of the University of Arizona's Eller College of Business and Public Administration, where he had served since 1997.

Before his appointment as dean at Arizona, Zupan taught at the University of Southern California's School of Business Administration, now the Marshall School of Business, (where he also served as associate dean of the master's programs). He holds his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a teaching fellow in Harvard's Department of Economics while studying toward his doctoral degree. He also has been a visiting faculty professor at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.

Zupan's scholarship has focused on industrial organization, regulation, and political economy. He is coauthor, with E. K. Browning, of Microeconomic Theory and Applications (John Wiley and Sons) and, with A. M. Marino and T. W. Gilligan, of Microeconomic Cases and Applications (HarperCollins). He has served as co-editor of the journal Economic Inquiry and on the editorial boards of Public Choice, the Journal of Business Economics, and Research in Law and Economics.

The Simon School is currently ranked among the leading graduate business schools in the world. Recognized for its scholarship in management, the school employs a distinctive approach to business education through its flexibility, innovation, youth, size, global outlook, and vision. The school has approximately 900 full- and part-time and executive M.B.A. students and 55 faculty members.

The Simon School prides itself as the place Where Thinkers Become Leaders™ and is currently ranked among the leading graduate business schools in the world in rankings published by the popular press, including BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Forbes. For example, the Financial Times recently rated the school 2nd in the world for finance and 5th in the world for managerial economics. More information about the Simon School is available at