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  • Joleen Schultz

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  • Joleen Schultz

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Rady School of Management Celebrates Ten Years of Innovation

Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Since its founding a decade ago, the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego has distinguished itself as a pioneer in a new model of business education. The school’s concentration in innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration has led to rapid success—borne out by outstanding achievements of its students, faculty and alumni.

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The past decade has held many accomplishments for the Rady School, including the prestigious accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the launch of more than 60 companies and more than 100 “intrepreneurial” products and services by students and alumni, the construction of the Rady School campus and the recognition of outstanding faculty research through national and international publications.

“UC San Diego is one campus with multiple pillars of excellence and the Rady School of Management is one of those pillars,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “In only 10 years, the Rady School has helped to advance UC San Diego’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, providing a preeminent business education to hundreds of graduates and contributing to the economic vitality of our community.”


Stanley and Pauline Foster Endowed Chair
Rady School of Management
University of California, San Diego

Robert S. Sullivan joined the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego as its founding dean in January 2003. He is an expert on entrepreneurship, knowledge management and operations management.

Sullivan has successfully recruited top-tier faculty, from universities such as the University of Chicago, MIT, New York University, Northwestern, Princeton, Stanford, the Wharton School and Yale. Under his leadership, the Beyster Institute was integrated with the Rady School, thereby increasing the school’s brand in San Diego and throughout the world. In 2012, Sullivan was elected vice chair-chair elect of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the premier accrediting body for business education. During. Sullivan’s tenure, the Rady School moved to Otterson Hall in June 2007 and opened the school’s campus expansion, Wells Fargo Hall, in May 2012.

Prior to joining UC San Diego, Sullivan was dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School of The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. From 1995 to 1997, Sullivan served as director of the University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 Institute, a nontraditional international center for research and education on innovation, creativity, capital and commercialization. He held the J. Marion West Chair for Constructive Capitalism in the university’s Graduate School of Business. Sullivan served as dean of the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University from 1991 to 1995. During his tenure, the school’s rankings rose dramatically. He led a reengineering of the school’s educational programs, including integrating advanced technology into the field of finance and creating experiential and international distance-learning opportunities for students.

From 1976 to 1991, Sullivan served in a variety of posts at the University of Texas, including the Joe B. Cook professor of management and associate dean for research and academic affairs in the Graduate School of Business. He was co-director of the Center for Technology Venturing, director of the Bureau of Business Research and director of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program in the College of Engineering. Sullivan was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia from 1968 to 1970, where he worked as a lecturer in production management in the College of Business Administration at Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa (now Addis Ababa University).

Sullivan holds a doctorate in operations management from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in production management and quantitative methods from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Boston College.

From its humble beginnings in UC 412, one of the last remaining buildings from the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Matthews that occupied the UC San Diego site prior to 1964, to the beautiful angled buildings at the edge of campus, the Rady School of Management has evolved and inspired.

The impetus for the school was born out of a shared vision by local science and technology leaders.  These luminaries foresaw the need to educate a workforce and provide them with the tools to create a great local innovation economy.

Founded in 2003, the Rady School of Management has advanced the vitality of the regional economy through development of new business leaders steeped in innovation. The Financial Times of London recently ranked the Rady School in the top 22 percent of worldwide MBA institutions in its very first formal ranking. Of particular importance, the Rady School ranked 7th in entrepreneurship worldwide in that same survey.

“In this first decade, our school, students and alumni have accomplished much,” said Rady School Dean Robert S. Sullivan. “And although I am eager to begin helping facilitate the next 10 years’ successes, it is important to pause, reflect and celebrate this milestone.”

Ten Years of Achievement

The Rady School is the only new business school created at a U.S. News & World Report top 10 ranked public university during the past 30 years, and is one of the youngest in the nation ever to earn initial accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

The school has achieved its present level of excellence thanks to the generosity of visionary leaders who made founding investments in the school. The Rady School of Management was named in recognition of a $30 million gift announced in 2004 from Evelyn and Ernest Rady and the Rady Family Foundation. Other founding donors include Betty and J. Robert Beyster, Roberta and Malin Burnham, Pauline and Stanley Foster, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Carol and William Stensrud and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

"After a mere 10 years, I am in awe of what the Rady School has accomplished and its impact locally and globally,” said Ernest Rady. “My wife and I feel privileged and proud to be a part of this magnificent endeavor and express our sincere gratitude and admiration for the dean and his colleagues.”

In 2007, the Rady School moved from temporary facilities to its permanent home, Otterson Hall. Funded almost entirely through private support, the building was named in honor of the late William (Bill) Otterson, in appreciation for his contributions to the San Diego business community and his impact on the region.

In 2012, the Rady School campus was completed with the opening of Wells Fargo Hall, an 82,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. The expansion was made possible by a challenge gift from Ernest and Evelyn Rady that led to a $5 million gift from Wells Fargo. In addition to the lead gifts from the Radys and Wells Fargo, the expansion was partially funded with private philanthropic gifts from community leaders, including Rita and Dick Atkinson, Betty and Dr. J. Robert Beyster, Arthur Brody, Jan Tuttleman and Tony Thornley.

At the Heart of the Rady School

It is the combined involvement of students, alumni, faculty and school supporters that has molded the school into what it is today. The Rady School community has embraced the school’s “startup” character and helped shape its academics, programs and goals. As this nascent school develops and progresses over the next decade, the wider Rady School community will continue to be the driving force in defining the school’s success.

In Lab to Market, the signature course series of the Rady MBA Program, fledgling entrepreneurs learn how to turn ideas into market opportunities.  The L2M sequence centers on the skills and knowledge needed to become an innovative, opportunity-driven, entrepreneurial manager for both emerging and established companies. Students are taught how to identify scalable new ideas that fill a market need and that add social and economic value. Unique among business schools, this three-course sequence begins in the classroom and moves into a project-based environment.

Beth Anne Baber, Ph.D., MBA ’09, is CEO, director and cofounder of the Nicholas Conor Institute, a not-for-profit translational medical research and commercialization organization that concentrates exclusively on cancers common to children, adolescents and young adults. “I came with a dream and a vision, and I used each course at Rady to add to the toolset that I needed to bring forth the Nicholas Conor Institute,” she said.

“The Rady MBA has helped me in two ways,” states Dan Norton, MBA ’12 and senior program manager at Illumina, one of the world's top makers of DNA sequencing equipment. “The first is obtaining a job at a much higher level than I expected and the second, which has really helped me accelerate my career, is seeing the big picture.”

Overwhelming Support

The Rady School of Management has received extraordinary support from the San Diego community over the past ten years. This support has set the stage for the Rady School, and enabled it to rise to the challenge posed by the region to establish a business school aimed at the industries of the 21st century. To date, more than $90 million has been raised, funding faculty recruitment, student fellowships and providing a physical home for the Rady School and an environment to facilitate learning.

Philanthropic support is also catapulting the Rady School into its future. In 2012, the school launched the U.S.-Israel Center for Innovation and Economic Sustainability to engage the academic and technology communities of Israel and San Diego in scholarship, education and the generation of new industry and market opportunities. This fall, the StartR accelerator program is launching for Rady students and alumni, where early stage companies and student teams will be given mentoring, educational workshops, advice and access to other resources. Both programs were made possible through generous contributions from the community.

To recognize the deep and lasting contributions of this community, the Rady School will celebrate its 10th Anniversary with a reception for the supporters and alumni that have made the school’s first decade an unparalleled success. The 10th Anniversary Reception will take place Nov. 1 at Sullivan Square on the Rady School campus. The reception will feature UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, Rady School Dean Robert S. Sullivan and Rady School Naming Donor Ernest Rady.

“I feel truly humbled by the people who have made the Rady School a center for innovation and excellence,” Dean Sullivan said. “It's been my great pleasure to serve this school, exceeded only by the pride I have watching our school and our students flourish and become the next great leaders in the innovation economy of tomorrow.”

The Next Chapter

The successes in the first 10 years have placed the Rady School of Management on a trajectory that will continue to achieve and serve as a pillar of higher education and innovation within the UC San Diego campus, the San Diego community and beyond. The Rady School will continue to develop new initiatives, launch exciting new products and services, and strengthen bonds with the local science and technology community.

To learn more about the Rady School’s 10th Anniversary, go here. To support the Rady School of Management, please go here.

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