Oliver Yao, interim deputy provost for graduate education and associate dean for graduate programs of the College of Business at Lehigh University and esteemed business faculty member, has been appointed dean of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, University President Dennis Assanis and Provost Laura Carlson announced on Tuesday, June 27.
“I am delighted to welcome Oliver Yao to UD as the next dean of the Lerner College of Business and Economics,” Assanis said. “As a recognized scholar with extensive administrative experience at the department, college and university levels, his demonstrated vision for academic excellence integrating research, education and impact will be an enormous asset to UD. I look forward to our work together as we continue strengthening the identity of the Lerner College while embracing partnership and interdisciplinary opportunities across the University, including ongoing development of the Fintech ecosystem.”
Yao will begin his tenure as dean on Aug. 1. Reporting directly to UD Provost Laura Carlson, Yao will be a key member of the University’s senior administrative team, responsible for leadership of the college, including the development, operation and sustained excellence of all academic programs across its five academic departments (Accounting and Management Information Systems, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, and Hospitality and Sport Business Management); centers and institutes.
“I know Oliver will bring great leadership to continue the momentum of UD’s Lerner College,” Carlson said. “For more than two decades, across faculty and administrative leadership roles, he has shepherded curricular innovation, championed faculty research, and contributed to strategic enrollment growth at both graduate and undergraduate levels. I am confident in Oliver’s ability to build upon the success of our faculty, staff and students to advance Lerner College to even greater heights.”
Assanis and Carlson both thanked the search advisory committee, led by College of Earth, Ocean and Environment Dean Fabrice Veron and Donald J. Puglisi Professor of Finance Laura Field, for its time and effort over the past several months to identify the next leader who will play a vital role in advancing the Lerner College.
“I am honored and thrilled to be appointed as the dean of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics,” Yao said. “The Lerner College has demonstrated excellence in both research and education with great achievements over the past decade. I look forward to working with President Assanis and Provost Carlson to continue this progress. Together with the exceptional faculty, dedicated staff, talented students, and accomplished alumni, along with the support from the broader University of Delaware communities, we will nurture future business leaders who will take on the world’s most pressing challenges, empowered by a UD education that embraces and values a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.”
In the fall of 2022, Bruce Weber, who served as dean of the Lerner College since 2011, announced his plans to step down as dean when his current term ended. In March 2023, Weber was named the Willem Kooyker Dean of the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, City University of New York.
Lerner College Deputy Dean Sheryl Kline will serve as acting dean in July upon the departure of Weber until Yao’s arrival on campus in August.
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