University of Southern California

James Ellis Named Dean of the USC Marshall School of Business
Respected globalization and management expert brings diverse experience and leadership in teaching to the position
April 4, 2007 • by News at Marshall

LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2007 -- On behalf of University of Southern California President Steven B. Sample, Provost C. L. Max Nikias today announced the appointment of USC Professor James G. Ellis to the deanship of the USC Marshall School of Business and to the Robert R. Dockson Dean's Chair in Business Administration.

The appointment, effective immediately, is for a five-year term.

Ellis, who has been serving as USC's vice provost for globalization, was selected after a search that included more than 250 candidates from academia and industry. Nikias noted that Ellis was a frequently nominated candidate, popular among students, faculty and alumni alike. He replaces Thomas Gilligan, who has served as interim dean for the past 14 months.

In a memo to the campus community, Nikias cited Ellis' extensive background in academic leadership and business in making the appointment.

"As one of USC's most visible schools, boasting talented students, an active worldwide body of alumni and a stable of renowned faculty experts," Nikias wrote, "USC Marshall is poised to make dramatic progress under a dean with Professor Ellis' broad range of academic, professional and civic experience.

"Since joining its faculty a decade ago, he has been one of USC Marshall's most highly rated teachers. He has been named professor of the year by numerous student organizations, won the Golden Apple Professor of the Year Award in the Undergraduate Program at USC Marshall, and received the Teaching Has No Boundaries Award from the USC faculty.

"He has also been an active member of the USC Marshall administrative team, having served as vice dean for external relations and associate dean of undergraduate business programs. In the latter role, he administered the curriculum, admissions, advisement and student programs for the school's 4,000 undergraduates."

In accepting the position, Ellis said: "I am proud and honored to have the opportunity to lead the USC Marshall School during this exciting phase of its development. I look forward to working with the faculty and administrative staff of the Marshall School, and continuing the work that Tom Gilligan has done in advancing the school during the time he served as interim dean."

In turn, Gilligan praised Ellis and expressed confidence in the future of the USC Marshall School. "I'm pleased with the substantial progress USC Marshall has made on many fronts over the past 14 months," he said. "We have built momentum and a strong foundation for success that will help Dean Ellis take Marshall to the next level of national and international prominence.

"I'm grateful to have been given the chance to lead this great institution during an exciting and rewarding time, and look forward to returning to a teaching and research role here at a school that I love."

About the USC Marshall School of Business

The USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Leventhal School of Accounting provide the foundation for a process of lifetime learning and business practice. For more than 80 years, USC Marshall has provided world-class research and scholarship opportunities, prepared students for the future of business, focused on a core set of skills and strengthened its position as global center of business education and research at the graduate, undergraduate and executive levels. The school has 197 faculty members, 3710 undergraduate students, and 1883 graduate students. The school also hosts several research centers, including the Center for Effective Organizations, the Center for Global Innovation, the Center for Global Business Excellence, the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBEAR), the Center for Investment Studies, the Center for Technology Commercialization, the Center for Telecom Management, the Institute for Critical Information Infrastructure Protection, the Leadership Institute, the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Lusk Center for Real Estate. Under Gilligan's leadership, USC Marshall dramatically increased fund-raising; improved and expanded alumni networks; renovated two of its four buildings to recruit and retain top research talent; hired a number of world-class faculty; reduced class sizes; started programs to send students to China and to provide free business consulting for neighborhood startups; raised the quality of its admitted students; raised job-placement rates and average salaries for its graduates; and reorganized and reinvigorated key support units.

About James Ellis

From 1970 until 1983, James Ellis was with the Broadway Department Stores, rising to the position of vice president, merchandising. In this capacity, he devoted time to developing products around the world. He was president and chief executive officer of American Porsche Design from 1985 to 1990, administering the sales and marketing of Porsche Design products in North America.

Ellis has also been involved in a number of entrepreneurial ventures, and is a founding director of Professional Business Bank in Pasadena and a director of the Fixed Income Funds of The Capital Group in Los Angeles.

He holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and a BBA degree from the University of New Mexico, serves on a number of corporate and non-profit boards of directors, and is active in community affairs. He is the former chairman of the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization and has served as its regional vice president and on its international board of directors. In addition, he was chairman of the board of Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena, past chairman of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and a member of the international board of directors of the World Presidents Organization.

As vice provost for globalization at USC, Ellis worked closely with faculty and deans to develop a major, university-wide globalization initiative that encompasses international instructional, service and research programs. He has also worked to increase the university's leadership role in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and oversaw USC's offices in foreign countries, which are designed to maximize research and educational opportunities abroad. He was instrumental in establishing the USC U.S.- China Institute, which focuses on policy-relevant social science scholarship relating to the U.S.-China relationship.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.