JMSB Dean Headed To Vermont

John Molson School of Business Dean Sanjay Sharma decided Feb. 28 that he’ll be leaving Concordia in late June to accept deanship at the University of Vermont’s School of Business Administration.

“I am the kind of guy who likes to build things, and I have the opportunity to build a world-class school in Vermont,” Sharma told The Link. “That’s my mandate, and that’s what I’m excited about.”

His wife Pramodita Sharma is currently a management professor at the JMSB, but will join her husband to hold the Sanders Professorship at UVM beginning in September.

Sharma said he had not been searching for other opportunities but that UVM presented him with a good offer and that it just happened to be located in one of his family’s preferred areas.

The dean has made several breakthroughs during his four-year term. He led the JMSB’s MBA program to rank 96th worldwide, according to a 2010 survey by The Economist, and emphasized that students apply their theoretical knowledge in case competitions, which resulted in over 110 podium finishes.

“It was very easy as a dean to delay decisions or to say that he would do something another way,” said Alan Hochstein, the associate dean of the JMSB’s graduate programs who has worked closely with Sharma during his tenure. “But I think Dean Sharma placed his trust in the people who worked with him, and because of that, the school was successful.”

According to Concordia Provost David Graham, the Sharmas’ departures aren’t “anything exceptional.”

“It’s a truism in the field of human resource management that you should never hold good people back when they see a great opportunity somewhere else,” he said. “Nothing that Dean Sharma has said to me offers any suggestion whatsoever of a connection [to the discouragement over governance at Concordia].”

Graham said the search for a new dean is underway, but that he is “not in any position to start identifying” candidates.