Nanyang Business School in Singapore has appointed a professor from the Marshall school at the University of Southern California as it next dean.

Ravi Kumar, an information and operations management specialist, has been a professor at Marshall in the US for more than 25 years but during that period was also a visiting professor at the Indian School of Business and dean of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist). He has also acted as consultant to major corporations such as Nike, Rolls Royce, BMW, Ericsson, Reuters and Infosys, and serves on the board of several corporations, such as the Korea Exchange Bank.

Prof Kumar has expressed strong views on both the embedding of ethics in the business school curriculum and the adoption of the latest technologies. “Business schools have to redesign and reframe teaching, such as incorporating more collaborative models into their curriculum, technologies and pedagogy,” he says. “Business schools also need to chart a new course on research and thought leadership to make them more relevant and meaningful to business and society.”

The announcement by Nanyang follows a two-year search during which Gillian Yeo, professor of accounting, acted as interim dean. Prof Yeo will now become associate dean.

The appointment means that Singapore’s three indigenous business schools now have deans with an international reputation. At the National University of Singapore Bernard Yeung became dean in 2008 after a 33-year career in the US, most latterly at NYU Stern. And Singapore Management University appointed both Arnoud de Meyer as president and Howard Thomas as dean of the Lee Kong Chian business school at SMU in 2010. Prof de Meyer was previously dean of the University of Cambridge’s Judge business school following a distinguished career at Insead and Prof Thomas was previously dean of both Warwick Business School in the UK and the business school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US.

Leading business schools such as Insead, Essec and Chicago Booth also have campuses in Singapore.

Prof Kumar, 61, received his undergraduate degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras before moving to the US for postgraduate study. He was awarded a PhD from Northwestern University, in Illinois.

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