Arjang Assad Transition

September 16, 2021

Dear Colleagues, 

Arjang Assad took on the role of the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean in July 2015. Under his care, the school’s reputation has grown and its programs have attracted students that shine among the best and the brightest. 

It is with sincere appreciation for the work he has done in these years that I write to share that Arjang has decided to step down from that role and return to the faculty effective June 30, 2022. 

Under Arjang’s leadership as the seventh dean of the school, programs at Katz and the College of Business Administration (CBA), along with faculty and research, have consistently risen in rankings to be recognized among the top in the world. We can be most proud, for instance, that in 2021, Poets&Quants rated the undergraduate programs of CBA No. 1 in Public Business Schools in Pennsylvania. 

And in January, the Katz Master of Business Administration program was ranked the No. 30 MBA program in the world—a jump of 23 spots to its highest ranking to date—in The Economist’s 2020-21 survey of full-time MBA programs. The same survey ranked the Katz MBA No. 13 among U.S. public universities and No. 20 in the nation.

When, in 2020, Poets&Quants recognized Katz as one of the top five business schools to have risen the most in MBA rankings between 2010 and 2019 (from 64 in 2010 to 40 in 2019), it attributed that notable growth to the school’s ability to continually grow and develop experience-based learning opportunities, courses and programs to match ongoing changes in business world and preparing its students to compete effectively and lead in today’s workforce.

Among those adaptations, Arjang is responsible for launching the Executive MBA in Healthcare program, introducing the first online programs in the school, developing a certificate program in business analytics, and expanding experience-based learning opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students. Most recently, he championed and launched the Executive Doctor of Business Administration program. He also expanded the scope of the school’s research and teaching competencies through faculty recruitment and advanced initiatives that would further boost the CBA in its rise in rankings and reputation.

Before coming to Pitt, Arjang was dean of the School of Management at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Prior to that assignment, he was part of the leadership team at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, where, after serving as senior associate dean, he was also named the inaugural Dean’s Professor for Extraordinary Service in recognition of his service to the school.

Arjang’s accomplishments and service have made a deep impact on many aspects of Pitt Business as well as the University. Please join me in expressing sincere appreciation and gratitude to Arjang for his vision and leadership.

I will announce a search in the weeks ahead to identify Arjang’s successor.


Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh