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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Gary Libecap steps down

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

After 21 years of leadership, Gary Libecap steps down as director of the Karl Eller Center/McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management

Libecap moved the program from inception to the top of entrepreneurship education.

TUCSON, Ariz. – May 5, 2005 –The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management announces that after 21 years directing the Karl Eller Center and McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, Dr. Gary Libecap will step down. Libecap has led the development of entrepreneurial study at the UA since its inception as an academic program in 1984. The program has grown to become a model for other schools to emulate and a leader in undergraduate and graduate business education. More than 850 students have completed the entrepreneurship program, and 300+ businesses have been launched as a result.

Another measure of success, the latest rankings from Entrepreneur magazine (April 2005), the only survey that looks solely at entrepreneurship without considering other reputational factors, recognize the excellence of the Eller College’s McGuire Entrepreneurship Program in three key ways:

  • #2 program nationwide, #1 among public school programs
  • #4 program director nationwide, Gary Libecap
  • One of only 4 schools nationally to retain top-tier in scientific assessment of 60+ data points since the ranking’s inception in 2002

Libecap plans to focus full-time on research and teaching in his position as the Anheuser-Busch Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and professor of economics and law. With today’s resource constraints, Libecap’s research in the areas of environmental sustainability, water resources, and public policy is critical. He recently completed research for the National Science Foundation on wind erosion and related environmental problems, and has spent the current semester as the Robert Wesson Fellow at the highly-selective Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University immersed in the study of policies to promote water transfers in the semi-arid western United States.

“It has been a thrilling ride to lead the entrepreneurship program for the past 21 years,” commented Libecap. “I couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved as a team: upward movement in the rankings each year; entrepreneurship courses and initiatives that span the campus; growth in knowledge transfer, technology transfer, and the economy through new ventures launched; yearly increases in entrepreneurship enrollment; and nationwide recognition for academic credibility.”

Ken Smith, interim dean of the Eller College of Management, said, “We were extremely fortunate to attract Gary Libecap to lead the UA’s entrepreneurship endeavor. With a vision and substantial financial support from Karl Eller, and ongoing financial investment from Chris and Carol McGuire and the Berger Foundation, Gary brought entrepreneurial education at The University of Arizona from opportunity to reality to preeminence. He has created a lasting legacy of students prepared to look at business in new, creative ways—with an entrepreneurial mindset that will be with them no matter what they pursue. The significance of Gary’s accomplishments is validated by the distinctions the program holds by all that know it.”

Libecap’s term as director of the Karl Eller Center and McGuire Entrepreneurship Program will end on July 1, 2005. A broad search will be conducted to select the center's next director.

More about Dr. Gary Libecap

Libecap came to The University of Arizona in 1984 to establish and develop the Karl Eller Center as the home of entrepreneurship education at The University of Arizona. Under his leadership, the Chris and Carol McGuire Entrepreneurship Program has gained prominence and acclaim, receiving model program awards at both the graduate and undergraduate levels from the United States Association for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship, as well as distinction as a NASDAQ Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

Libecap earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his widely recognized research on government regulation and property rights, Libecap has written and contributed to many books, articles, and studies.
In addition to his research pursuits, Libecap is also the current president of the three leading international economics organizations: The Economic History Association, the International Society for New Institutional Economic (ISNIE), and the Western Economics Association International (WEAI).

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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