Wen Mao, a longtime professor of economics and vice dean at Villanova School of Business, has been named the school’s new dean.
Mao will replace Joyce E. A. Russell as the Helen and William O’Toole Dean effective August 1. Russell, the first female dean in the school’s 100-year history, stepped down in May after leading the school for seven years. The university announced the news today (March 29.)
“I am grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business,” Mao says in a release.
“Villanova is a special place for me. I have great pride for what our community has collectively achieved, and I am eager to continue serving VSB in this new capacity. I look forward to working closely with our faculty, staff, students and alumni—all of whom share my deep commitment to our Augustinian Catholic mission and values—to envision the next great chapter in VSB’s history.”
A VSB CAREER SPANNING NEARLY THREE DECADES
Mao has been at Villanova since 1995. She’s held numerous leadership roles, including vice dean, and previously served as associate dean of faculty and chair of the economics department. Her leadership has been instrumental in strengthening student experience at all levels, supporting increased faculty research productivity, and furthering the strategic mission of the school and university, according to the announcement.
She earned a BA in management from Shanghai Maritime Institute (People’s Republic of China) and an MA and PhD in economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Mao has served as a member of the University’s Academic Policy Committee, Data Governance Board, Asian Studies Committee, University Council for Information Technology and the Provost’s Search Committee. Among other accomplishments noted in the release, Mao has:
- Helped recruit and retain dozens of faculty while shepherding through critical improvements in faculty administration.
- Championed efforts to increase funding research while promoting the school’s teacher-scholar model.
- Helped establish VSB’s first study abroad program in Asia, playing a major role in the school’s recruitment of underrepresented faculty, staff and students. Mao has also directed the school’s Asian Internship program, an immersive learning experience that places VSB students in nine-week internships with global firms in cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
Mao’s research focuses on game theory, public finance, micro theory and industrial organization. Her work has been published in leading journals including Managerial and Decision Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Japanese Economic Review and International Journal of Game Theory.
“Given Dr. Mao’s long and productive history as a Villanova faculty member, coupled with her deep understanding of Villanova’s distinctive Augustinian approach to education, it quickly became clear that she was the right candidate to lead VSB,” Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue said today’s announcement.
“Provost Patrick Maggitti and I look forward to working with Dean Mao in her new leadership role.”
VSB’S SECOND FEMALE DEAN
On August 24, VSB celebrated its 100th First Day of classes, welcoming nearly 1,700 undergrads and 1,000 graduate students back to school. Nearly 54% of them are women, more than 26% are students of color, and they come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, and faiths.
It’s a far cry from the very first class welcomed in 1922 which were nearly all white, Catholic men. The school didn’t admit its first women students until 1968. Today, it has its second female dean.
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