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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Paul R. Portney named dean

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

The University of Arizona names Paul R. Portney, President of Resources for the Future, dean of the Eller College of Management

Portney's leadership at an organization renowned for innovative research, active engagement in government policymaking, and partnerships with business and public interest groups makes him the right individual to take the Eller College to new heights.

Paul R. PortneyTUCSON, Ariz. – January 18, 2005 – The University of Arizona has named Paul R. Portney, President of Resources for the Future (RFF), the new dean of the Eller College of Management. Portney plans to join the Eller College this July.

Since 1972 Portney has been with Resources for the Future, an independent and non-partisan research and educational organization in Washington, DC that specializes in natural resources and the environment. From 1986-1989 he headed two of its research divisions, in 1989 he became its Vice President, and was named President in 1995.

In 1977, he took leave as a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. From 1992 to 1995, he was a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. In 1979-1980, Portney was Chief Economist for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Portney received his B.A. in economics in 1967 from Alma College (Michigan), and his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University. He is the author or co-author of ten books, including Public Policies for Environmental Protection.

“Paul Portney led America’s premier organization dedicated to analyzing natural resource topics. He understands how to build on the strong record of the Eller College, which is grounded in business and economic principles and leads the nation in entrepreneurship and MIS,” said University of Arizona Executive Vice President and Provost George Davis.

Davis goes on to say, “The Eller College has developed a new strategic plan that derives strength from connecting entrepreneurship, management, and information systems to the traditional sciences, engineering, and the health sciences. Dr. Portney’s leadership is ideally suited to this elevated and transformed mission objective. Because of Paul’s particular expertise in examining the economics of environmental and natural resources policy development and management, we are excited about the opportunities the Eller College will have to partner with and leverage the University’s top-ranked programs in environmental sustainability, water, and natural resources.”

University of Arizona President Peter Likins added, “We were focused on hiring a dean who would provide forward-looking leadership with a combination of talent and experience. We believe Dr. Paul Portney clearly grasps the emerging trends in management education, and will work to unify the aspirations of The University of Arizona, the Eller College of Management, and the business community. Paul brings proven innovation, energy, and commitment to The University of Arizona.”

At RFF, Portney was instrumental in expanding the research staff, reinforcing the high quality of its analyses, and ensuring that its work was communicated clearly and effectively to policymakers, business leaders, journalists, environmental advocates, and academics. Portney also has a strong fundraising record that will be an additional asset to the Eller College. He led RFF through its successful 50th anniversary campaign that concluded in 2003.

“I am honored to accept the deanship of the Eller College of Management at The University of Arizona,” said Paul Portney. “I believe that the Eller College, with its unique strengths in technology and management, is well positioned to move into the future. I look forward to working with an impressive team of faculty, staff, students, and College supporters to advance the goals and mission of both the Eller College of Management and The University of Arizona.”

The undergraduate program at the Eller College of Management is currently ranked 20th overall and 12th among public business schools nationwide (U.S. News & World Report). The Eller MBA program ranks 35th among graduate business schools and 18th among public graduate business schools (U.S. News & World Report). The Eller College MIS program has been ranked in the top five consistently since the inception of the rankings. The College’s McGuire Entrepreneurship Program is ranked 2nd in the country by Entrepreneur magazine and is the only program nationwide to be ranked in the top tier across all entrepreneurship rankings.

Portney replaces former dean Mark Zupan, now dean at the University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, and takes over for Kenneth R. Smith, who has served the College as interim dean for the past year and was dean of the College from 1980-1995.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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