New dean to head SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business
The newly appointed Dean for Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB), Professor Gerard George, has his sights set on making the business school one of the top 20 institutions in the world, in terms of thought leadership, quality of teaching and student experience.
Professor George, who will join SMU on 1 January 2015 for a five-year term, is currently Deputy Dean of the Imperial College Business School and the Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre. He also serves as the International Dean of BML Munjal University, an innovative new university mentored by Imperial and located near New Delhi.
A Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, he is also the Editor of the Academy of Management Journal, the flagship empirical journal in the field of management. Additionally, he leads Imperial College’s Elite Programme as Academic Director. This unique programme sponsored by the London Stock Exchange develops and supports high-potential private companies through their next stage of growth. Besides his extensive experience partnering with the business and social communities, Professor George is also an award-winning teacher and researcher. He has also written two books on entrepreneurship and published many articles in leading scholarly journals.
[Photo: (L-R) Professor Rajendra Srivastava, Professor Arnoud De Meyer and Professor Gerard George at the press briefing held on 9 September 2014.]
Speaking to reporters at SMU yesterday, SMU President, Professor Arnoud De Meyer, said that he was very happy to recommend Professor George to the SMU Board of Trustees because of his outstanding research and his talents as the Editor of one of the most important journals in his field. His experiences in leading educational institutions and research institutes “notwithstanding his young age” also stood out for Professor De Meyer. At 43, Professor George is set to be the University’s youngest dean so far.
“I was also impressed with his contacts with the industry. He is a very practical academic who has done a lot of work with the industry through executive education and consulting with companies. His high-quality research work has significant and immediate impact on the lives of people... I am very proud that we have been able to convince him to come to Singapore; he will certainly strengthen the academic landscape in the country," said Professor De Meyer.
Professor George said, “SMU’s pedagogy is incredibly innovative, and this is widely recognised around the world. What I bring to the table would be to help create an innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and mind set.” He elaborated that through projects, internships, policy work, etc., there are many opportunities for LKCSB to integrate with businesses, the government, and community-at-large. On training students and the importance of nurturing an entrepreneurial mind set in young people, he explained that there is a difference between training students to be bankers and entrepreneurs: bankers protect the downside risks, while entrepreneurs look at the potential upside and focus on the opportunities.
[Photo: Professor Gerard George speaking to the press at Singapore Management University.]
Professor De Meyer also highlighted that in the past 10 years, many small businesses have sprung up, but they struggle to expand. He remarked that Professor George’s expertise in growing small and medium-sized enterprises is one key area of contribution he can make to the Singapore business community. Having collaborated with the London Stock Exchange on the Elite programme, Professor George is also confident that he can help make Singapore an “entrepreneurial destination”, highlighting that “there is no other such model in the Asian context".
To this, Professor Rajendra Srivastava, SMU’s Provost and Deputy President, highlighted that “The platform now exists in many pieces. Professor George will be instrumental in putting it together.”
Professor George confirmed that this will be a key focus for him. “Here in the business school, we are surrounded by a hotbed of regional activity and economic resources… All that is missing is a platform to tie it all together, and hopefully, we can use the School’s position as an education leader to become that platform.”
As SMU welcomed Professor George to SMU as the Dean-designate for LKCSB, Professor De Meyer and Professor Srivastava also expressed their appreciation to Professor Howard Thomas for his very effective leadership of LKCSB in the last five years. "He has laid a firm foundation upon which the School’s new leadership can build. We are fortunate that beyond 2014, Professor Thomas will be with us as a Distinguished Professor of Strategic Management and Management Education, and will support us in many of our growing activities in Singapore and the region,” said Professor De Meyer.
[Photo: Established in 2000, SMU's Lee Kong Chian School of Business is one of the youngest university in the world to achieve both an AACSB and an EQUIS (five-year) accreditation.]