Michigan State Finds A New Business School Dean In Connecticut

Michigan State Broad College of Business

University of Connecticut strategy professor and senior associate dean David Souder will become dean of Michigan State’s Broad College of Business in July

A long-time professor of strategy at the University of Connecticut, David Souder will soon step into the dean’s role at Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business. Souder, the senior associate dean for faculty and research, will assume the job on July 8.

His appointment, which is expected to gain approval from the university’s Board of Trustees, brings to an end a controversial saga that resulted in the ouster of Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta nearly two years ago and a lawsuit by Gupta who claims in was forced to resign in a power struggle with then-Provost Teresa Woodruff after he expressed interest in becoming Michigan State’s president — the job she wanted and later held on an interim basis.

The search for a new dean, assisted by the executive search firm WittKieffer, began in the fall of 2023 and culminated with public presentations by several finalists in April of this year. Souder will succeed Judith Whipple, a Broad professor in logistics and supply chain management, who has served as interim dean since August of 2022.


In landing Souder, Michigan State selected a solid academic with a steady and stable career with increasing responsibility at the University of Connecticut’s School of Business which he joined 17 years ago after earning his doctorate in strategic management and organization from the University of Minnesota. He served as associate dean for graduate programs for two years starting in 2017. Souder had a pair of one-year interim leadership positions as well, as interim academic director for the Connecticut Center For Entrepreneurship and Innovation and as dean of the business school, both in 2019-2020. For eight years, from 2014 to 2022, Souder headed up the school’s Executive MBA program. He has held his current senior associate deanship for faculty and research for the past two years.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School in 1993, Souder joined SCA Consulting in New York and did a five-year stint that led to his becoming a senior associate. It was at Wharton where he met his wife, Michele Allen Souder, who also graduated from Wharton and got her MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Allen had to write him a letter when she was pledging for pledging a professional business fraternity while at Wharton. They married in March of 2000 and have three children.

Souder leaped to The Learning Project as finance director in 1998 and to Luminant Worldwide as the manager of enterprise strategy before pursuing his academic career where he largely taught strategy with a research focus on corporate short-term and long-term thinking. In the classroom, Souder has taught case-based courses in strategic management for undergraduate, MBA, and executive audiences, as well as a PhD seminar on research methods in strategic management. He has also taught courses on the meaning and interpretation of statistics to Executive MBA students, and the identification of entrepreneurial opportunities to undergraduates.

Souder will be taking over a school that is one of the largest of seventeen degree-granting colleges at Michigan State with approximately 4,900 students across six academic units. Broad boasts a $52.7 million annual budget, with nearly 90 tenured faculty, 164 non-tenured profs, and 140 administrative staffers. It is the most sought-after college in the Michigan State system, with more than 20% of incoming freshmen wanting to join Broad. The school’s current endowment is $250 million and attracted $9.3 million from donors in annual giving during the 2023 fiscal year. Broad offers a vast portfolio of programs with seven undergraduate majors, 11 minors, and 22 graduate and doctoral programs.


“Thoughtful and forward-looking, Dr. Souder is a consensus-building leader with a strong commitment to fostering excellence in teaching and research,” said MSU Interim Provost Thomas Jeitschko in a statement. “I am confident that his breadth and depth of experiences will serve him well as the next leader of the college.”

“It is a great privilege to be joining the Michigan State community as dean of the Eli Broad College of Business,” said Souder in a statement. “The college has a long history of leadership among public business schools, and I look forward to working with the Broad leadership team, staff, faculty, students, alumni and our many partners across the university to help ensure that the mission and vision of Broad continue to inspire the future of business.”

Souder’s arrival should allow the school to put the controversy over Gupta’s departure behind it, though his lawsuit against Woodruff and six other university officials is still pending. Gupta alleges Woodruff got rid of him as part of “a power scheme to ensure that Gupta would not be named successor to outgoing former President Samuel Stanley, Jr., and to enhance Woodruff’s personal ambition to become President.” He says he resigned as dean amid pressure to do so from Woodruff.

Woodruff, who served as interim MSU President for ten months, bowed out of the search process for a new president after a law firm probe found that her treatment of Gupta was considered “disproportionate,” ran counter to the university’s discipline policy and differed from others who violated the university’s mandatory reporting policies. The investigation, however, also found that Gupta violated policy by not reporting alleged sexual misconduct by a faculty member at a gala.


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