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MBA Programs

Bradford Stepping Down as Dean at Owen

Jim Bradford, dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management

Photograph courtesy of Vanderbilt University

Jim Bradford, dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management

After eight years at the helm of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Jim Bradford is stepping down as dean at the end of the academic year in June.

Richard McCarty, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in a Dec. 13 statement that he will announce plans for a search for Bradford’s successor early next year.

Bradford was named Owen’s fifth dean in 2005 after two decades in the corporate world, having served as chief executive officer of United Glass and AFG Industries. Under his watch, Owen launched five new programs, including a Health Care MBA and master’s degrees in finance, health-care management, and accountancy. He’s also been credited with increasing annual giving to the business school by 300 percent. He teaches strategy to MBA and executive MBA students. Bradford plans to take a year’s sabbatical before returning to the classroom.

Under Bradford, Owen has bounced around in the rankings. In 2006, the school ranked No. 30 in the Bloomberg Businessweek biennial ranking of full-time MBA programs, with a repeat performance in 2008 and a turn for the worse in 2010, when it came in at No. 37. But this year, Owen shot up to No. 25, its best showing in a decade.

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Lavelle is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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