MBA News: New Wharton Dean Emphasizes “Asia-Pacific” Sensibility

This week, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced the appointment of Geoffrey Garrett as its new dean. Effective July 1, Garrett will succeed Thomas Robertson, when Robertson’s seven-year term comes to an end. “Geoff Garrett has a proven track record as an eminent interdisciplinary scholar and strong and collaborative strategic leader,” noted university president Amy Gutmann. “He has a deep understanding of Wharton’s distinctive mission and a compelling vision for the role of business schools in an era of rapid change and globalization.”

Currently serving as dean and professor of business at the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales, Garrett brings two decades of international administrative experience to his appointment at Wharton. In addition, Garrett has served as the dean of the Business School at the University of Sydney (where he was also the founder/CEO of the United States Studies Centre) and as president of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles. He has also held positions at several other institutions, including UCLA, Oxford University and Stanford University.

Garrett’s vision for the school, Bloomberg reports, will entail “helping Ivy League students understand the rest of the world.” In particular, this avowed global vision for Wharton will attempt to connect MBAs to new business opportunities in parts of the world that are often overlooked because of the geographical biases of Northeast U.S. business schools. Garrett explains: “It’s the Asia-Pacific century and that’s the sensibility that I’ll bring to the Wharton job.” His international scope also aims to curb a post-recession lull in applicants to Wharton’s finance-heavy MBA program. “Finance is coming back and Wharton is too,” Garrett stated. “There are opportunities to take a big picture view of the role of finance after the financial crisis.”

Meanwhile, we await word of a new admissions director, who we imagine will arrive before the admissions season kicks off in late May.

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