Mahendra Gupta named new dean of the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis

Mahendra R. Gupta, senior associate dean of the Olin School of Business and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management, will become dean of the business school as of July 1, 2005, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. Gupta will succeed Stuart Greenbaum who is retiring from the position after ten years of service.

“I’m delighted that Mahendra has accepted the appointment as dean of the Olin School of Business,” Wrighton said. “Mahendra’s 15 years at the university have prepared him well for his new position. Furthermore, his work as senior associate dean makes him a very knowledgeable successor for Stuart Greenbaum. I look forward to supporting his efforts as he continues strengthening Olin and its national and international programs.”

Mahendra Gupta
Mahendra Gupta

Gupta has been a part of the Olin School of Business since 1990. His research interests include strategic implication of cost information in e-commerce, technology, new ventures, manufacturing, health care, marketing and service sectors. He has been a consultant to various manufacturing firms and government agencies.

Gupta says he’s looking forward to his new responsibilities.

“I’m very pleased and honored to have an opportunity to lead the school,” Gupta said. “We have the potential to make Olin one of the premier global institutions for business education and research. We have world-class faculty, talented staff, and a bright and vibrant student body. Indeed, our path to future success will be defined by key roles played by faculty, students, alumni and our loyal supporters in the business community. Furthermore, building on the success of our experience in Europe and China, we will make Olin a global leader in executive education and programs.”

Anjan Thakor, the John E. Simon professor of finance, was chair of the search committee for the new dean. Thakor said Gupta has been an integral part of the school’s growth since he first joined the faculty.

“Mahendra represents the best of Olin in teaching, research, community service and preparing tomorrow’s business leaders,” said Thakor.

“Stuart has taken a number of steps that have significantly strengthened the school,” said Charles F. Knight, chairman emeritus of Emerson and chairman of Olin School’s National Council. “These include the addition of Ken Bardach as director of executive education, Jim Beirne as director of career services, and Anjan Thakor as the John E. Simon Professor of Finance, along with the recruiting of several other excellent faculty members.

“As senior associate dean for two years, Mahendra has gained a deep familiarity with the Olin School, its students and its faculty,” Knight added. “He is well positioned to transition into the dean’s position and to lead the school to greater excellence, building on the many achievements of the past decade.”

Gupta’s research has been published in leading academic journals in the United States and abroad. Because of his work in health service management, several of Gupta’s papers also have appeared in medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association and The American Journal of Managed Care. Gupta is also on several editorial boards including The Accounting Review, The Journal of Management Research, Canadian Accounting Review and Accounting Horizons.

At Washington University, Gupta has served in many capacities to help the Olin School of Business grow. He’s worked on curriculum development committees for the BSBA, MBA and executive education programs. Gupta has also been a member of the business school’s business strategy committee. Gupta’s work is not confined to the business school. For two years, he was on Washington University’s Center for Aging committee.

Gupta repeatedly has received recognition from the Olin community for his contributions to the school. Students have given him the Reid Teaching Award seven times since 2001.

Gupta grew up in India where he attended Bombay University and received a B.S. in statistics and economics. He went on to receive an M.S. in Industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Before pursuing an academic career, he held various managerial positions at companies in India. In 1986, he moved back to the United States to attend Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where he earned his PhD. In 1991, his dissertation was awarded first place in the American Accounting Association’s doctoral dissertation competition for best work in managerial accounting.

Gupta and his wife Sunita have two children, Vivek and Sumi.