The School of Management’s first new dean in 22 years is an Austrian-born expert on international business who joined the faculty in 2009. In June, Gerhard Apfelthaler will replace the long-serving Charles Maxey, who shepherded the school through a period of tremendous growth. Maxey will continue as a full-time faculty member.
The dean oversees three undergraduate majors and graduate programs ranging from a master’s in computer science to MBAs, serving about 600 undergraduates and 750 graduate students on the main campus, online and in Woodland Hills, Oxnard and Graz, Austria.
Apfelthaler designed the MBA program in Austria and has been a key player in the growth of a full-time international MBA that now has more than 200 students from China, Taiwan, India, Saudi Arabia and European countries. He also helped develop new MBA emphasis tracks in sustainable business and arts management.
Everywhere he looks around the globe, Apfelthaler – a multilingual scholar who has successfully started companies in Austria and the United States – sees not only opportunity, but also a trail of failures. He collects examples of cross-cultural business mistakes and categorizes them, a little facetiously, under labels such as Gluttony and Sloth for a forthcoming book on The Deadly Sins of International Business.
Going forward, the School of Management will need to be “quite dynamic” to respond to competition and other challenges such as massive open online courses (MOOCs). Apfelthaler will be seeking creative ways to bring new experiential learning opportunities, including study abroad, to part-time domestic graduate students who have jobs and families. This spring, for example, an American MBA student took a compressed business course in Austria.
Apfelthaler also hopes to continue the process of whittling the core MBA curriculum down to its essentials, while putting fresh emphasis on areas such as environmental sustainability.
“We’d like to make that core more compact and also make it more appropriate to what the market demands these days,” he said, “and sustainable business is most likely going to be one of the areas that will become part of the core for students.”
- The interim director of ADEP, Lisa Buono, M.S. ’04, Ed.D. ’11, has been named to oversee adult degree and continuing education programs on a permanent basis. Buono is an eight-year veteran of the Counseling and Guidance Program in the Graduate School of Education.
- The Board of Regents in February approved the creation of a Graduate School of Psychology, giving an administrative home to three fast-growing master’s and doctoral programs and to two community counseling clinics that serve more than 400 clients each week in Oxnard and Thousand Oaks.