Endowment establishes Arnold Lesk Chair in Leadership at the Eller College of Management.
Renowned Arizona entrepreneur and philanthropist Brian Lesk funds key professorship for innovation management.
TUCSON, Ariz. – May 27, 2005 – Brian Lesk, president of Diversified Human Resources, Inc., has committed $1.5 million to the Eller College of Management to endow a new professorship, the Arnold Lesk Chair in Leadership, named in honor of Lesk’s father. Activities of the Lesk Chair will center around education for managing innovation—developing leaders with the skills and knowledge to champion the merger of technological innovation and market opportunity. In addition to the new chair, Brian Lesk will support two Lesk professorships.
Lesk, an active philanthropist who was named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999 by Ernst and Young and who serves on the Leadership Council of the Mayo Clinic of Scottsdale, said he’s honored to support the Eller College in its vision for leadership development focused on innovation management. “Economic progress depends on transferring innovative knowledge sets and technologies into the commercial marketplace, and that takes a specific brand of leadership. My father would be very proud that the Lesk Chair will play a key role in creating that leadership for generations to come.” Lesk also serves on the Eller College National Board of Advisors and the Management and Policy Department’s Advisory Board.
Eller College interim dean Ken Smith said, “Lesk’s success as an entrepreneur who led the development of Diversified Human Resources, Inc.—a company that created the market for providing human resources services and back office functions to corporations—is a model for students in our programs. We are grateful to Brian Lesk for his generosity and commitment to the Eller College and the ability to extend his own experience into the fabric of the Eller College.”
Ken Smith has appointed Stephen W. Gilliland, head of the Management and Organizations Department, as the first Lesk Chair. “Dr. Gilliland has the energy, enthusiasm, and expertise to help lead the College in this critical direction of leadership as part of our goal of becoming a top-5 public business school,” Smith said. “After a very successful term as vice dean of the College, Stephen has launched several important initiatives within the Management and Policy Department, attracted outside funding, and instilled optimism and vitality within the department’s strong faculty roster.”
In addition to his department focus, Gilliland is currently supervising the development of a new state-of-the-art leadership assessment program. The program will impact students across the College with ongoing leadership assessment and development activities.
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 #12 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 #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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