Robert Sullivan
Robert Sullivan. Photo courtesy UCSD

Robert Sullivan, founding dean of UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management, will step down at the end of August, the university announced Wednesday.

Sullivan has been at UCSD for 16 years, joining the university in 2003 after leading the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and, before that, the Graduate School of Industrial Administration — now the Tepper School — at Carnegie Mellon University.

Shortly after arriving at UCSD, Sullivan launched the business school without the commitment of philanthropic money, meaning he had to build it from the ground up.

The school has grown to employ nearly 40 tenure-track professors and offers a full-time MBA program, a FlexMBA program for working professionals, a Ph.D. program, Masters of Finance, Business Analytics and Professional Accountancy programs, and Executive Education and undergraduate courses.

Last December, Times Higher Education and the Wall Street Journal ranked the Rady School’s two-year master’s program tied for 14th in the world.

“Under Dean Sullivan’s leadership, the Rady School has grown to become recognized for excellence, innovation and economic impact,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “Since the school’s first MBA class graduated in 2006, more than 180 operational startup companies have been founded.”

The school’s students have raised more than $2 billion for their startup companies, according to the university. A half-dozen of those startups have since gone public. The school has also secured roughly $250 million in investments since 2003, including $100 from businessman and philanthropist Ernest Rady.

“Dean Sullivan has been a fantastic dean, fulfilling a need in our community for leaders in the innovation economy and creating more value than anyone could have imagined,” Rady said. “I, and the entire community, are grateful to Dean Sullivan for all he has done for San Diego and past, present and future students of the Rady School of Management.”

Sullivan is expected to remain in his position as dean until the university has found a replacement. He plans to step down by Aug. 31, according to UCSD.

— City News Service