May Message from the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

Congratulations on wrapping up the academic year! Thanks for the many ways you supported and celebrated our students who just graduated. Our commencement ceremonies went very well, thanks in no small part to all of the pre-planning. A very special thanks to Lynnette Iannace and Amy Byron-Oilar, in addition to the U-M Division of Public Safety and Security and Student Life, for the extensive preparations. At the Ross ceremony, we also debuted our Centennial video, which is pretty amazing. If you were not able to attend the ceremonies, check it out. Also, here are the links to our full Ross ceremony, featuring Robin Washington as our keynote speaker, and the campus ceremony, featuring author Brad Metzler. Brad’s speech had a surprise ending that was a huge hit — it was a great way to make the celebration special, especially for the undergrads who mostly didn’t have a high school graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the academic year wrapped up, we had a lot to celebrate. Our celebration for the year-end Staff and Faculty Awards and DEI Awards was a very meaningful way to honor the excellence here at Ross. Thank you to the Staff Recognition Committee, the Executive Committee, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for selecting the winners and helping with the celebrations. I very much enjoyed recognizing the many ways our faculty, staff, and students are making such an important difference through their work here at Ross. 

I am also very pleased to share information on our faculty promotions for the year. Please join me in congratulating Jun Li (promoted to full professor), Andreas Hagemann (promoted to associate professor with tenure), Jeremy Kress (promoted to associate professor with tenure), Andrew Wu (promoted to associate professor with tenure), Stefanus Jasin (promoted to full professor), Paul Clyde (promoted to clinical full professor), and Amy Young (promoted to professor of teaching). 

I also want to share some news on new initiatives launching at Ross. First, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Equitable Opportunity Collaborative, a pioneering initiative dedicated to advancing equity and opportunity within business education and related fields. The EOC, led by Carolyn Yoon, aims to build a dynamic community of scholars and practitioners focused on rigorous academic research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and impactful societal change. With activities including the Equitable Opportunity Lab, research grants, workshops, and a dedicated publication series, the EOC is poised to make significant contributions to our understanding and promotion of equity. Moreover, the inaugural Equitable Opportunity Conference will take place on June 6-7, exploring the latest research and innovations in this vital area.  

Second, I’m delighted to announce the launch of the Empower & Thrive Initiative, a pilot program that promotes equity and inclusion for First-Generation BBA students. Our inaugural cohort, beginning their journey at Ross in the fall of 2024, will be the first to benefit from this program. First-generation students already at Ross will also be invited to join the program and receive access to ETI resources and programs. The ETI, led by Scott Rick, Carolyn Yoon, and our great DEI and undergraduate program teams, will provide first-generation students with essential skills and networks for educational and career success. Throughout their time at Ross, these students will receive mentorship, resources, and opportunities, empowering them to realize their highest potential and become inspiring leaders who drive positive change in the world.

Switching gears, I have had the great honor of engaging with our alumni around the globe over the last few weeks as part of our larger effort to raise Ross’s global impact and visibility and to gear up for our Centennial and upcoming capital campaign. This started with the inaugural Michigan Ross Innovation Conference on May 10 in San Francisco, where I moderated a “fireside chat” with Jenn Tejada, LSA ’93, CEO of PagerDuty. The innovation conference brought together more than 100 alum entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors to explore topics including venture capital trends, disruptive technologies, and strategies for scaling businesses. Shortly after that conference, I traveled to Taipei City, Taiwan, for U-M’s Pan Asia Alumni Reunion. While attending that event, I was asked to provide opening remarks to all. Then, I moderated a panel discussion on artificial intelligence and its impact on global finance and hosted a dinner with over 100 Ross alums from across Asia who attended the event. It was great to see how well-represented Ross was and, more importantly, how accomplished our alums are across the region. Finally, I hosted a Michigan Ross Alumni dinner in Sydney. Michigan Ross alums are doing great things all over the world, so it was truly a pleasure to connect with them and look for ways to continue to engage with them and amplify their successes.  

Finally, I would like to share one last update with you. The Michigan Ross Convatec Digital Education Studio is celebrating one year since its launch. As you’ll see in this video, the studio offers an experience far beyond the average online course. The studio is an amazing asset for the school, and I would like to thank the Digital Education team for all that they do to support our programs. 

I’m looking forward to the upcoming summer in Ann Arbor and especially seeing many of you at our summer gatherings. The first will be held on June 18 in the S. Scott Stewart Lobby from 4-5 p.m. These summer gatherings are a great way to unwind, enjoy some light refreshments, and get to know your colleagues at Ross. Please attend if you can!

As always, I want to remind everyone of my upcoming office hours. In June, the in-person office hours for faculty and staff will be held in the Davidson Winter Garden on the following dates and times:

  • June 12 from 3:15-4 p.m.
  • June 19 from 4:15-5 p.m.

The monthly virtual office hours will be held on June 28 from 3-4:45 p.m. via Zoom. If you would like to attend the virtual office hours, please contact Heather Cooper (hmcooper@umich.edu) for an invite with the link to join.

To close, I hope you enjoy the rest of this spring season and take time out to enjoy our amazing campus. One of my favorite places is the peony garden at Nichols Arboretum, so if you are able, be sure to stop by to see all the gorgeous flowers while they are in bloom.

Kind regards,

Sharon

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