SMU Cox Dean To Step Down; Replacement Search Begins Immediately

Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business Dean Matthew Myers announced today (June 14) that he will step down from the deanship at the end of the 2024-2025 academic year. Cox photo

One of the top business schools in the U.S. South is looking for a new dean — and whoever it finds will have big shoes to fill.

Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business announced today (June 14) that Matthew Myers will step down at the end of the 2024-2025 academic year after eight years as dean — a period marked by a wide range of successes in brand building, program expansion, and endowment growth.

“Serving as dean of the Cox School has been an honor and the highlight of my career,” Myers, who is also the Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership at the Dallas, Texas B-school, says in a news release. “I wish to convey my great appreciation in being able to serve in this role. During this time, SMU and Cox have achieved remarkable successes.”


Myers became SMU Cox’s ninth dean in 2017, replacing Al Niemi, who served as dean for an incredible 20 years. Like his predecessor, Myers will stay on at the Cox School to teach, returning after a sabbatical to continue as the David B. Miller Endowed Professor in Business. (Niemi teaches in the Cox School’s Management & Organizations Department, where he is the William J. O’Neil Chair in Global Markets and Freedom.)

When Myers joined the Cox School as dean in 2017, the school had four overarching goals: building the SMU Cox brand, building new academic programs, building new facilities, and building the school’s endowment. They’ve accomplished all in less time than expected, he says — including dedicating a new $140 million campus quadrangle in May. “We set an aggressive target to meet these goals in ten years,” Myers says, “and instead we have met them in seven.”

“With so many accomplishments over recent years for the school to build upon, 2025 will be the perfect time to bring in new leadership for Cox,” Myers says. “A new dean with fresh ideas and experiences will enable Cox to continue its steep ascent in the national dialogue of business education.

Among the Cox School’s more impactful moves under Myers’ leadership, in 2021 it made its full-time MBA a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program, a key step to attracting international students and raising the school’s global profile. At the time, Myers noted the rising importance of data and analytics in B-schools and said the designation would give Cox students “a competitive edge,” “preparing them for the future.”

“Companies,” Myers said, “now know that when they hire a Cox graduate with a STEM-designated MBA, they’ll be gaining an employee with leadership and quantitative skills that will bring value to their organizations from day one.”


Under Al Niemi’s leadership from 1997 to 2017, the Cox School became one of the top business schools in the U.S. South and regularly ranked in the top 50 in the world. In Poets&Quants’ ranking when Niemi announced he was leaving the deanship, Cox’s full-time MBA program was 39th, up from 47th in 2014; U.S. News & World Report ranked it 48th, Forbes 37th, Bloomberg Businessweek 32nd, Financial Times 39th, and The Economist 46th.

Now, as Niemi’s successor moves on and Cox contemplates new leadership, the school is ranked 46th by P&Q, 34th by U.S. News, and tied for 27th in Businessweek. Its online MBA program is ranked 20th by P&Q, and it ranked 26th in our undergraduate ranking this year. SMU Cox also ranked 78th in the UT-Dallas North American Research Ranking.

Matthew Myers came to Cox from the Farmer School of Business at Miami University of Ohio, where he was dean as well as a leadership professor. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Praising Myers’ “emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology” during a period of “dynamic change in international business operations,” Elizabeth G. Loboa, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at SMU, says a search for the next dean of the Cox School will begin immediately, with a goal to conduct interviews in late fall of 2024 and announce the new dean in the spring of 2025.

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