The University of Stellenbosch Business School has appointed Prof Mark Smith (49), previously the Dean of Faculty at the Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France, as its new Director.

Prof Smith is a seasoned academic and highly acclaimed researcher who is skilled in the dissemination of academic knowledge. Over several years, he has published in or made contributions to well over 70 academic books and journals. His research areas include youth employment policy, the integration of ethics across the business world, gender and the labour market, the role of business in social innovation, and the transition from education to employment.

Hi experience includes leading over 160 permanent academics and in his previous role, he was Director of one of the largest European doctoral schools for management sciences.

Says Prof Ingrid Woolard, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at Stellenbosch University, “Prof Smith brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas that align well with USB’s academic focus areas and vision for the school. USB, its faculty, students and alumni operate in a globally connected world. Fresh perspectives from another world region will help to ensure that we, and our graduates, remain relevant.” USB forms part of Stellenbosch University, the leading research university in Africa.

Prof Smith has considerable experience in leading large-scale research projects for, among others, the European Commission and global foundations. These investigations cover topics such as pay transparency, youth labour, women on executive boards, and the improvement of living and working conditions.

According to Prof Woolard, this will serve USB well as closer collaboration with the business sector and commissioned research are strategically important to the business school.

Prof Smith is an active member of the Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM) initiative led by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the USA-based Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). He is also an expert advisor to various European organisations and foundations. Both USB and Prof Smith’s current school hold the three major international accreditations, namely AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

Says Prof Smith, “I am thrilled to be joining this leading triple-accredited business school, recognised in Africa and worldwide for its commitment to promoting a societal impact via business research and education. For me, the personal and professional challenge of coming to South Africa and contributing to Stellenbosch University’s vision to be the leading research-intensive university on the continent is very exciting”.

Prof Smith has two children. He is passionate about the outdoors, enjoying running and cycling. He is also looking forward to sampling the rich cultural life of Cape Town and South Africa.

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