Balakrishnan named dean of College of Business

Raju BalakrishnanNagraj (Raju) Balakrishnan has been named dean of the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business. Balakrishnan currently serves as senior associate dean at Clemson University’s College of Business and Behavioral Science (CBBS).

“This was a rigorous and highly competitive search process with an exceptionally strong pool of candidates. I am delighted that our top candidate agreed to join the College of Business and UM-Dearborn,” said Kate Davy, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Raju Balakrishnan has the requisite administrative and people skills to serve the College of Business well and to help us move the campus productively into the future.”

The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the appointment Thursday, Nov. 15, and Balakrishnan will begin at UM-Dearborn Feb. 1, 2013.

“I am excited and honored to lead the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business,” Balakrishnan said. “What impressed me most about the College of Business was the strong enthusiasm and morale among faculty and staff. They are strategically looking toward to the future, and I look forward to working with them to make a good place even better.”

Since 2007, Balakrishnan has served in the CBBS dean’s office, first as interim associate dean and then associate dean. He was named senior associate dean in March 2010.

In his current role, he has overseen 14 undergraduate programs and eight graduate programs, on-campus research centers and institutes, financial affairs, sponsored research, human resources and information technology services for CBBS.

Accomplishments include working with the dean to create a new executive cabinet consisting of successful alumni, working with advancement personnel to increase annual gifts to the college, designing a three-year leadership program for CBBS students and overseeing an undergraduate business program that has consistently been ranked among the top 35 public programs by Bloomberg Businessweek.

“Much of what has been discussed in UM-Dearborn’s Metropolitan Impact and COB’s strategic plan resonates with me because I have helped achieve similar initiatives at Clemson,” Balakrishnan said, “including increasing enrollment, enhancing student engagement, deepening academic excellence and strengthening the financial base of the college.”

Prior to his appointment in the dean’s office, Balakrishnan served on the faculty at Clemson University’s Department of Management for 13 years, including four years as graduate coordinator and one year as department chair. He also has served on the faculty at Tulane University. His work in the classroom earned him numerous awards for teaching excellence at Clemson and Tulane.

Balakrishnan’s research interests include supply chain management, capacity allocation models and transportation planning. He is the lead author of the textbook, Managerial Decision Modeling with Spreadsheets, and has had articles published in leading academic journals. His teaching interests include decision modeling using spreadsheets, business statistics, project management, and production and operations management.

Edward Silver, dean, SOE, and head of the search committee, praised Balakrishnan’s extensive knowledge of the field and strong record of scholarly publication.

“Dr. Balakrishnan’s work demonstrates a balanced approach to meeting the needs of students, maintaining high academic quality and promoting strong research,” he said. “He possesses a wonderful blend of knowledge, experience and personal demeanor that should enable him to work effectively both internally with deans and administrators and externally with business partners and donors.”

Balakrishnan earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Madras (India). He went on to complete a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Kentucky and a doctoral degree in management from the Krannert Graduate School of Management, Purdue University.

Balakrishnan and his wife, Meena, have two children, Nitin and Nandita.

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