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President's Page

A New Future for Eastman and Simon By Joel Seligman
presidentNEW LEADERS: The University announced Jamal Rossi (left) as the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music, and UCLA business school administrator Andrew Ainslie as dean of the Simon Business School. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

I am delighted to welcome two extraordinarily talented leaders to the helms of the Simon and Eastman Schools.

On May 2, I was honored to introduce Andrew Ainslie as the new dean of the Simon Business School. Andrew has had an exemplary career at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he has been senior associate dean for the full-time MBA program since 2010. He has been an associate professor of marketing since 2005, and was assistant professor of marketing from 2000 to 2005. Earlier Andrew was assistant professor of marketing at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Andrew had a key role in re-engineering the MBA program at Anderson. During his tenure as senior associate dean, the school has increased its admissions more than 60 percent, increased placements more than 20 percent, and revised its curriculum. He galvanized the staff and faculty and developed a reputation for transparency and integrity.

Andrew joins us with a significant background in business. Before beginning his academic career, he had a 10-year career in business, working as an electrical engineer for AECI (South Africa), as well as in sales and marketing for Hewlett Packard (South Africa), corporate finance with Standard Merchant Bank, and marketing and development for Compustat.

In our discussions Andrew emphasized faculty quality, admissions, and career placement. He is data driven, with a passion to enhance the legacy of intellectual leadership for which Simon is known. He will build on the decade of Mark Zupan’s inspiring leadership, which has brought a new generation of outstanding teachers and scholars to the school.

Let me thank the Search Committee and the Trustees and Friends Advisory Committee for their thoughtful input and hard work in the process that brought Andrew to Simon.

On May 13, I had the pleasure of announcing the selection of Jamal Rossi as Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.

Jamal, an Eastman graduate himself with an extraordinary record of accomplishment, was the most talented of a very rich candidate pool. He has served as executive associate dean from 2007 until September 2013 and has acted as dean on three separate occasions in the past eight years.

Jamal was the leader of the school’s award-winning $47 million Eastman Theatre renovation and expansion project. He oversaw a review of the undergraduate curriculum and led the school’s recent reaccreditation review by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Since September 2013, he has facilitated new partnerships with Chamber Music America and the New World Symphony, led national efforts to create a new leadership conference with the deans of several peer institutions, taken initial steps to create new degree programs in convergent artistry, composition for digital media, and music leadership, empowered a faculty committee to study online learning opportunities, established Eastman Immersion—a new program to be launched in fall 2014 to enable talented high school students to spend a gap year at Eastman—and on several earlier occasions facilitated opportunities for Eastman students and ensembles to perform at Carnegie Hall. He also founded RocMusic, a collaborative partnership of arts and education institutions in Rochester to provide a free after-school music program for Rochester inner-city students.

Before joining Eastman, where he is a saxophonist and professor of woodwinds, Jamal was the dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina in Columbia for five years. He served as assistant dean and then associate dean of the School of Music at Ithaca College between 1989 and 2000.

Jamal is well poised to lead Eastman to new pinnacles of excellence. He recognizes that the challenges in the years to come will involve balancing the utmost respect for the legacy of this extraordinary institution with changes necessary for continued success in Eastman’s second century.

Jamal’s appointment came at the conclusion of an international search led by a faculty committee chaired by Provost Peter Lennie. I want to thank the Search Committee and the Trustees and Friends Committee for their efforts and dedication.

Let me extend a warm welcome to Andrew and Jamal as they begin what I predict will be memorable and consequential deanships.