Olin School appoints associate deans, Ph.D. director

The Olin School of Business appointed two people to serve as senior associate deans and named a new director of the Ph.D. program, all effective July 1.

Glenn MacDonald, Ph.D., the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Strategy, and Anjan Thakor, Ph.D., the John E. Simon Professor of Finance, are now serving as senior associates deans.

Chakravarthi Narasimhan, Ph.D., the Philip Siteman Professor of Marketing, is now director of the Ph.D. program.

The appointments represent a change in the structure for the school’s administration. For the past two years, one of the senior associate deans oversaw the Ph.D. program as well.

The new appointments replace William P. Bottom, the Joyce and Howard Wood Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behavior — who was also director of the Ph.D. program — and Mahendra Gupta, Ph.D., the current dean and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Managerial Accounting, who served as associate dean.

MacDonald is responsible for faculty development in his role as senior associate dean.

MacDonald’s research covers a broad range of topics. He is interested in industry dynamics, strategy and value appropriation, innovation, investor protection, industrial organization, technological change, economic growth and fluctuations and other applications of game theory.

Prior to working at the Olin School, MacDonald taught at the universities of Rochester and of Western Ontario.

MacDonald is co-director of the Center for Research in Economics and Strategy at the Olin School. He also is a research associate of the University of Chicago’s Economics Research Center/NORC.

Thakor’s responsibilities center on programmatic and curricular issues.

Thakor is a relative newcomer to the University. He joined the business school in 2003 and teaches M.B.A. courses in financial valuation and corporate value creation, and a Ph.D. course in information economics and corporate finance.

In addition to corporate finance, Thakor’s research interests lie in financial intermediation and the economics of asymmetric information.

Thakor is managing editor of the Journal of Financial Intermediation and associate editor of both The Journal of Banking and Finance and Financial Management.

He is president of the Financial Intermediation Research Society, a global society of scholars conducting research in the area.

He served on the Nobel Prize in Economics Nominating Committee for 12 years and has also served as a member of an academic review committee that examined the work of the Federal Reserve System on the pricing of central bank services.

Narasimhan joined the Olin School’s faculty in 1988 after a seven-year stint at the University of Chicago.

Narasimhan has distinguished himself through his scholarly work, teaching and mentoring.

His primary research interest is in the economic analysis of marketing problems, and he has done extensive research in the area of price promotions, sales force compensation, competitive strategies, customer relation management, new product entry and distribution channels.

His work has earned accolades from the marketing science community; in 1984, his publication “A Price Discrimination Theory of Coupons” won the best paper award, a feat he repeated in 2001 for his paper “Individual Marketing With Imperfect Targetability.

In 1989, his paper, “Incorporating Consumer Price Expectations in Diffusion Models” was the runner-up.

In 2001, his paper “Customer Profitability in a Supply Chain,” published in the Journal of Marketing, won the prestigious MSI/H. Paul Root award.

In 1991, the graduating M.B.A. class selected him as Teacher of the Year. In 2003, he was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Mentor by the Graduate Student Senate.