Georgette Chapman Phillips, vice dean of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has been named the next dean of Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics (CBE). She is currently the vice dean for Technology Enhanced Learning and prior to that was the vice dean of the Undergraduate Division at Wharton from 2007-2013.
Phillips’ appointment was announced by Lehigh’s President Alice P. Gast and Provost Patrick V. Farrell. She will begin her new role on July 1, 2014, assuming the newly endowed deanship created by the generosity of Kevin ’84, ’13P and Lisa Clayton ’13P.
“Georgette is truly a leader in the business school community,” said Gast. “She is a renowned scholar and an experienced academic leader who brings significant international and corporate experience. This is a pivotal time for the college, and I am excited that she will bring her talents to Lehigh.”
Phillips joins the College of Business and Economics at a dynamic time. She will lead 1,813 students and 79 full-time faculty members who deliver top-caliber experiences at the undergraduate and graduate level (MBA, Masters, and Ph.D.).
“Georgette has all the leadership attributes necessary to take the College of Business and Economics to the next level of excellence in today’s competitive global business educational arena,” said Farrell. “What resonates most about Georgette is her interest in working with talented business faculty. She is passionate about business education and research within a global context, and she has a strong interest in working collaboratively with her peers to build an exemplary business program here at Lehigh.”
Topping a search led by Korn/Ferry International
Phillips was chosen from a top caliber pool of international scholars and educators because of her intimate understanding of the issues—and opportunities—facing business education. The CBE Dean opportunity had elicited overwhelming interest from an outstanding set of international business leaders.
Phillips will build upon the strong academic quality and scholarly reputation of the faculty and students of the college with the goal of enhancing and showcasing these strengths on both a national and global stage.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Lehigh community,” said Phillips. “The excitement at Lehigh is infectious, beginning with the dynamic leadership of President Gast and Provost Farrell, and there are tremendous opportunities for the college to advance as a world-class leader in business education. The college is poised for distinction, and I am proud to be chosen to lead them on their way.”
Phillips said the college has a unique set of attributes that attracted her to Lehigh: world class faculty, highly ranked programs at both the undergraduate and MBA level, and a high level of cross-functional activity across the campus that allows faculty and students to break through disciplinary barriers.
“Add the dedicated and skillful staff to this mix,” she said, “and it was clear that Lehigh presented an exceptional opportunity that I could not pass up. I look forward to working with the college’s faculty, staff, students and alumni along with my university colleagues in building the next stage of the CBE.”
Farrell noted that the CBE has a well-established and historical commitment to research and teaching excellence. “The college’s distinctive slate of interdisciplinary programs,” he said, “puts us in an enviable position to change the landscape of business education for years to come.”
According to Farrell, Phillips has shown interest in the unique partnership between the college and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
. She is also intrigued with the opportunity to collaborate with the international programs in the College of Arts and Sciences
and the College of Education
And Phillips has the expertise and vision to make that happen, Farrell said.
A distinguished 21-year career at Wharton
A commitment to innovation is exemplified in Phillips’ successes at Wharton. During her recent six-year tenure as the Vice Dean of Wharton’s Undergraduate Division she boldly led the world’s premiere undergraduate business program that serves over 2,400 students. Highlights of her leadership at Wharton include:
- Created and implemented cross-university series (Cross Currents)
- Increased number of female and minority students at Wharton to historic levels
- Implemented summer high school program in San Francisco
- Created and implemented a senior capstone project—a multi-day synchronous team-based computer simulation
- New summer research programs both domestically and abroad
- New academic concentration in social impact and responsibility
- Expansion of international learning programs
- Cultivating major gifts as part of University of Pennsylvania’s $4.3B campaign
Phillips is the David B. Ford Professor of Real Estate in the Real Estate and Legal Studies departments at Wharton as well as a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a professor of Africana Studies in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences.
At Lehigh, she will be a professor in the CBE’s Perella department of finance, and the Africana Studies Program, within the College of Arts and Sciences.
“There’s a strong business foundation at Lehigh on which to build. And the College of Business and Economics is in a great position to be a national leader and advocate of important undergraduate and graduate programs emphasizing such timely areas as globalization, entrepreneurship and technology,” Phillips said.
S. David Wu, Iacocca Professor and dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
and chair of the search committee, said, “I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Georgette's vision, intellect, and passion. During the search process, I was most impressed by Georgette's ability to mobilize diverse groups of constituencies and get them excited about her and her vision. Her passion is contagious, and she truly cares about students and understands the mission of the university.”
A renowned scholar
Phillips' academic credentials and scholarly research, which are held in high regard among the business and financial community, will also help her advance the college to the next level. She has received numerous teaching awards and honors. She is an internationally recognized scholar with research and teaching focused on the intersection of law, economics and public policy within the context of the built environment. She is published in the areas of urban and regional planning, local government law, real estate and housing.
Phillips has a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College. She currently serves on Bryn Mawr’s Board of Trustees. She recently made a successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, and she is also heavily involved in vocal music performance groups.
“This is an exciting time for the College of Business and Economics,” said Farrell. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Hyclak, who has played an invaluable role in leading the college as interim dean.” Hyclak, a professor of economics, has served as interim dean since July 1, 2013.
Farrell added, “I would also like to thank Dean Wu for his leadership on the search committee and all the members of the search committee for their help in this important endeavor.”
Committee members included:
- Mary Lynn Breiner, Director of Administration, College of Business and Economics
- David Griffith, Department Chair and Professor, Marketing
- Arpana Inman, Department Chair and Professor, Education and Human Services
- Joe Kender, Vice President, Advancement
- Matt Kitchie, Senior Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities, Student Affairs
- Francesco Matarazzo, Graduate Student, Business Administration
- Marietta Peytcheva, Assistant Professor, Accounting
- Corinne Post, Associate Professor, Management
- Angela Rodriguez, Undergraduate Student, Supply Chain Management
- Ajai Singh, Professor, Perella Department of Finance
- Mark Skandera, Associate Professor, Mathematics
- Todd Watkins, Professor, Economics