The ACCC's Stephen King has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University. Joshua Gans provides praise for the appointment of his co-author and business partner.
I hope this appointment is a success story for Monash - a university which, in my view, has not quite lived up to its considerable potential in the economics and business areas. In the late 1970s I visited Monash and came to the view that it would likely become one of the top economics department in Australia. It then had resources plus a youthful dynamism but the positive outcome didn't happen. Monash has had similar opportunities since then but has suffered under a load of administrative philistinism.
Today Monash has outstanding academics including Professors Yew-Kwang Ng and Peter Dixon. It needs to be driven in a direction that encourages scholarship and which abandons values of academic entrepreneurship and managerialism. Stephen King probably has the required values - it remains to see what changes he can make given administrative structures that often promote administrative rather academic values.
If Stephen can achieve success in putting competitive pressures on other universities, the business and economics areas throughout Australia - including my own - will derive benefits. It is up to the Dean incumbent to be cautious and calculating but not to lose sight of core academic goals - good teaching, good research not administrative empire building. Overall I am reasonably optimistic that the outcome with Stephen will be an improvement that will advance business and economics education in Australia.
But time will tell.
Update: I learnt today that Professor Gael McDonald has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University. Professor McDonald undertook her PhD at the London School of Economics in 1989 on 'cross cultural issues in ethics management'. She has published in 'sports management' and on 'character education in NZ schools' - I could not locate a comprehensive CV online. Professor McDonald is currently Vice-President (Research) at Unitec in New Zealand. She has held a number of senior positions, including Vice-President (International) and, before that, Dean of the Faculty of Business at Unitec. Here are some more of her recent publications.