Strong leadership skills, academic rigour, and belief in the value of research – this is what USB’s new Director, Prof Mark Smith, will be bringing to the table when he takes up this position in October this year. He is currently Dean of Faculty at the Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France, where he oversees more than 160 full-time academics.
Says Prof Ingrid Woolard, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at Stellenbosch University, “Prof Smith’s wealth of knowledge and experience sit well with USB’s academic focus areas and vision for the school. USB, its faculty, students and alumni operate in a globally connected world. Fresh perspectives from another world region will help to ensure that we, and our graduates, remain relevant.” A strong belief in the value of research
Prof Smith’s research areas include youth employment policy, the integration of ethics across the business world, gender and the labour market, the role of business in social innovation, and the transition from education to employment. Over the past few years, he has published in over 70 academic books and journals.
He has considerable experience in leading large-scale funded research projects for the European Commission and global foundations. This research covered topics such as pay transparency, youth labour, women on executive boards, and the improvement of living and working conditions. This will serve USB well as we seek closer collaboration with the business sector and increased income via commissioned research.
Prof Smith says he is “thrilled to be joining this triple-accredited business school, recognised in Africa and worldwide for its commitment to promoting a societal impact via business research and education. For me, the personal and professional challenge of coming to South Africa and contributing to Stellenbosch University’s vision to be the leading research-intensive university on the continent is very exciting.” Helping USB to remain relevant
Prof Smith is well connected in the business school ecosystem – among others as an active member of the Responsible Research in Business and Management initiative led by the EFMD and AACSB. He is an expert advisor to various global organisations and foundations. He also comes from a triple-accredited business school.
Says Prof Piet Naudé, whose five-year term as Director of USB comes to an end this year, “I believe Prof Smith’s view of the role of business in society resonates well with USB’s vision to become a source of value for a better world. His strong belief in research will help to ensure that our business knowledge and academic programmes remain current. We look forward to welcoming him to our campus and under his leadership, see USB flourish.”
Prof Smith is passionate about the outdoors, running and cycling. He says he is looking forward to “sample our country’s rich cultural life”. He has two children.