Arjang A. Assad

Arjang A. Assad

Arjang A. Assad, a longtime and active member of INFORMS, has been named the Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration. Assad will succeed John Delaney, who plans to assume a faculty position after nine successful years as dean. The appointment will be effective July 1.

“Dr. Assad’s vision for the Katz Graduate School and the College of Business Administration is well matched to our aspirations for the school and the University,” Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson said in announcing the appointment. “He is committed to building the school in ways that will enhance the scholarly contributions of the faculty and enable our students to succeed in a global, multicultural marketplace.”

With more than 20 years experience at two public research universities that are, along with Pitt, members of the Association of American Universities, Assad is currently serving as dean of the School of Management at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. During his seven-year tenure as dean, the faculty and school have expanded both in size and reputation. Under his leadership, the school has developed key strategic priorities – including new programs in healthcare management, leadership and entrepreneurship – that have advanced both the school and the university. He also has launched important initiatives designed to enrich learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Management and has enhanced the school’s research agenda through faculty hires and the creation of research fellowships designed to recognize faculty achievement.

Previously, Assad held positions of increasing responsibility at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland where he was instrumental in launching the highly ranked Decision, Operations & Information Technologies Department and where, as senior associate dean, he was a key member of the leadership team during a period of exceptional growth. In 2007, he was named the inaugural Dean’s Professor for Extraordinary Service in recognition of his service to the school.

Widely recognized for his scholarly contributions to operations and quality management, optimization of distribution systems and the history of operations research, Assad has authored or edited more than 50 refereed articles and book chapters and has served as a member of the editorial boards of several prestigious scholarly journals, including Operations Research, Transportation Science, and Production and Operations Management. He has received numerous awards for his teaching, including the Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award, the University of Maryland’s highest campus recognition for contributions to undergraduate education.

Assad holds four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – a doctorate in management science from its Sloan School of Management, master’s degrees in chemical engineering and operations research, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

The Katz MBA program was established in 1960, although the business school’s roots go back to 1907 with the University of Pittsburgh’s Evening School of Economics, Accounts and Finance.

Lianna Gerrish

Lianna Gerrish

Lianna Gerrish dominated the 2015 INFORMS’ Spreadsheet Guru Competition, held in conjunction with the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Reseaerch. As an engineer at Blue Margin, Lianna provides consulting for operational dashboards built on Microsoft’s technology stack.

Consistent, high-quality decision-making is at the core of INFORMS’ Spreadsheet Guru Competition. Contestants were challenged to transform a problem into an analytical process, navigate multiple data sets, present an intuitive solution and complete the process as fast as possible while maintaining quality dashboard visualization guidelines. Gerrish published her solution in less than 13 minutes.

If you’re up to the challenge, email to be notified of the 2016 competition.