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New Dean Chosen for Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business

Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2010
New dean of the Leavey School of Business

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 23, 2010--- S. Andrew Starbird, a 23-year faculty member and expert in food safety at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, has been named the school’s new dean.

As interim dean for the past year, Starbird has led the business school faculty in developing a new approach to entrepreneurial education, formalizing new goals for international business education, and creating two new academic programs.

"I am delighted to announce Drew Starbird's appointment as Dean of the Leavey School of Business, a position he has been ably steering for many months now,” said University President Michael Engh, S.J. “He has proved to be a leader of foresight and vision, with values that straddle the needs of business graduates and the needs of our larger world. He will lead the Leavey School of Business to further distinction and in new initiatives. His deep roots in Silicon Valley will serve him and the LSB well."

As dean, Starbird plans to revise the curriculum of both the undergraduate and graduate business programs, including providing additional support services to undergraduates.

One new program already underway is the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management, focused on corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing and responsible risk-management products. Another is the California Program for Entrepreneurship, a six-month mentoring and training program for select startups, which aims to create 20 new California businesses within 20 months.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to lead the Leavey School of Business faculty and staff as we approach our 90th year in business education,” said Starbird. “We plan to revitalize our connection to the business and broader communities of Silicon Valley, and re-establish the Leavey School as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, significant scholarship, and education for a new era in business.”

In addition to serving as interim dean, Starbird has held a variety of leadership positions at the Leavey School of Business, including a stint as director of the Food and Agribusiness Institute, a multi-disciplinary research program; chair of the undergraduate leadership team of faculty and professional staff; as well as faculty director of the school's undergraduate business programs.

“Drew represents a fantastic combination of operational skills, interpersonal skills, values, and experience,” said SCU Finance Professor Hersh Shefrin, who headed up the University’s search committee.

“Over the years he has greatly earned the respect and admiration of faculty, students, and staff,” added Shefrin. “His appointment, after an international search, comes at a time when the University is leveraging its Silicon Valley location and Jesuit identity to intensify its focus on technology, globalization, and sustainability.”

Starbird teaches operations management, statistics, and business analytics at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA levels. His research interests focus on the economics of information about quality, with a particular interest in food safety. He has conducted extensive research in quality control and management, supply chain management, food safety, and contracting. His work has been published in Naval Research Logistics, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Journal of Agricultural & Resources Economics, Agricultural Economics, and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University, a B.S. from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

"The advisory board is pleased with the selection of Drew Starbird,'' said Nilofer Merchant, a member of the Leavey School of Business Advisory Board and CEO of Rubicon Consulting. "We look forward to working with him as he enacts his vision for the Leavey School of Business."

Starbird is the winner of numerous teaching and research awards, including Outstanding Contribution to the Journal of Agricultural & Resources Economics, Best Article for the Journal on Chain and Network Sciences, the ACE Outstanding Faculty Awards, the Dean's Outstanding Teaching Award, as well as four Leavey School of Business Extraordinary Performance Awards (for exemplary scholarship, teaching, and services).

He is also one of the creators of the Hunger Index, a widely cited measure of the gap between meals available to lower-income residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and their daily needs. That work arose out of his long-time membership on the board of directors of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

Starbird also has consulted with companies in the life science, agricultural, and high-tech industries.

About the Leavey School of Business
The Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University began in 1926, and was one of the first business schools in the country to receive national accreditation. Its undergraduate business program is among the top in the nation (#39 nationally, and in the top three in California), its MBA program is #10 in the nation, and its Executive MBA is ranked 15th in the U.S. The curriculum at all levels emphasizes the leadership role of business in creating an ethical society as well as business responsibilities for social justice and sustainability in the global marketplace. The School opened its new $49 million building for undergraduate, graduate, and professional business education in Fall 2008. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,600 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | Assistant Director, Media Relations | (408) 554-5121 |

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