Judy Olian

Judy Olian

Dean, Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, since 2006.

Education: PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1980; MS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1977; BS, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1974

Last administrative role: Dean, Smeal College of Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University

On being a dean: Our stated mission is to "lead management thinking and prepare global leaders." To be true to the mission, I'm always asking executives in the U.S. and around the world to describe what they see as the next wave of business challenges and opportunities in order to better understand how we can shape management education to prepare future global leaders. Our challenge is to incorporate these evolving business trends into outstanding teaching and research programs that are both timeless and timely, and to remain true to our identity as a school of management within a public university.

On the challenges ahead: We're very much affected by the global financial crisis. There has been a significant impact on our students' financial situations and employment prospects, public support and private giving, and the affordability of degree and non-degree education. We're making some tough choices but I'm confident we'll get through this while continuing to ensure students access to great learning opportunities and protecting the research programs of our faculty. Despite the immediate economic challenges, we continue to look to the future by adapting and innovating our programs to remain relevant to the changing markets, and by positioning our students to become important contributors to the evolving requirements of global organizations.

On being a woman leader: I don't think of my own career in gender terms, but I do feel a special responsibility to help attract more women into business schools so that ultimately we increase the proportion of women who are in leadership positions across all types of organizations. The evidence is quite convincing that greater diversity among decision makers improves the quality of decisions and solutions. By increasing the pipeline of women from UCLA Anderson and other business schools into executive positions, I'm convinced that we will improve the caliber of organizational leadership. We've made some headway in attracting more female students and faculty, and that's very satisfying.