UNCG Campus Weekly

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Mac Banks Is Bryan School’s New Dean

031611Headline_McRaeBanksDr. McRae C. “Mac” Banks II, a professor of entrepreneurship and former management department head at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is the new dean of the Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics.

Banks’ appointment is expected to be approved Thursday, March 17, by UNCG’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. David H. Perrin, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said that Banks was the top candidate to emerge from a national search. Banks will succeed Dr. James K. “Jim” Weeks, who has been dean of UNCG’s largest academic school since 1990.

“Mac Banks will oversee the development of a focused niche for the Bryan School that will build on its already strong reputation throughout the state, region and nation,” Perrin said. “He is the right person to create an excitement in the community for the Bryan School through a new culture that emphasizes active and sustained engagement with the business and entrepreneurial communities.”

In commenting on his appointment, Banks said, “I am honored and delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Bryan School. From my visits to other business schools on behalf of AACSB, it is clear to me that Jim Weeks and his colleagues have built one of the best functioning business schools in the U.S. By combining that operational excellence with some of the amazing initiatives UNCG is pursuing in education and research and an extremely supportive business community, I expect the Bryan School to have significant impact within UNCG, the Piedmont Triad area, and the nation. I am looking forward to joining all of my new colleagues.”

At Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), located in Worcester, Mass., Banks served from 1995 to the present as professor of entrepreneurship and strategy in the WPI School of Business. During that time, he also served as head of the Department of Management through 2010, a dean-level position that had oversight for all business and industrial engineering programs.

Under his leadership, the Department made tremendous leaps in quality. With a vision that focused on educating students to understand both technology and business, WPI began offering differentiated business education. The new Industrial Engineering major was accredited by ABET in 1997, and the business programs were accredited by AACSB in 2003. Accreditation permitted WPI to be considered for national rankings and ratings, which started in 2004. These have included:

  • #1 ranking by BusinessWeek as the best part-time MBA program in the U.S., 2009-11.
  • #9 ranking in the U.S. (#1 in the Northeast) by BusinessWeek for the part-time MBA program in 2007-09.
  • #4 national ranking for the industrial engineering program in Academic Analytics for 2006.
  • Top 10 rankings for the MBA program by Princeton Review for Best Career Prospects and Greatest Opportunities for Women.
  • Top 10 ranking for the MBA program by Business 2.0 in the category, Where Your Career Prospects are Brightest.
  • Top 10 ranking for the entrepreneurship program by Entrepreneur.com in the 2005 entrepreneurship emphasis category.
  • Top 15 rating in finance by Entrepreneur magazine for 2009.

Behind the rankings and ratings were a strong focus on high quality research and teaching, as well as innovative programs. Faculty members substantially increased their research productivity and began publishing in top journals, while remaining among the best teachers in the university. They also increased their sponsored research, including about $2 million in grant activity during the most recently completed fiscal year. Among the innovative programs created under his leadership was the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which Banks founded in 1999. In his decade as the program’s director, it provided more than 100 programs, events and activities annually for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, entrepreneurs, service providers, venture capitalists and angel investors, plus a weekly radio show that averaged more than 8,000 listeners.

From 1987-95, Banks was at Mississippi State University, where he rose through the academic ranks to the level of Professor in the Department of Management in the College of Business and Industry. He began his academic career at Radford University’s College of Business and Economics, where he also created the Radford University Small Business Institute and Radford University Management Center.

His business experience includes serving as general manager of Britton Enterprises in Fredericksburg, Va., from 1978-79, and as assistant to the marketing vice president of Singer Safety Products from 1975-78. He also served as head women’s track and cross country coach at Virginia Tech from 1979-82. Banks earned his B.A. and Ph.D. at Virginia Tech and his M.A. at Northwestern University.

Founded in 1970, the Bryan School is UNCG’s largest professional school and the largest business school in the Piedmont Triad. The school’s 86 faculty members teach 2,426 undergraduates and 363 graduate students in four departments: Accounting and Finance, Business Administration, Economics and Information Systems & Operations Management. Undergraduate degrees are offered in nine areas of study, master’s degrees in four areas and doctorates in two areas. The school has more than 19,000 alumni. The school achieved initial accreditation in 1982 by the premier accrediting agency for business schools, the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), and accreditation has been maintained ever since.