About Ronald Frank
The first sort of twenty years of my career had been teaching, publishing, writing, scholarship, consulting. The latter twenty years it shifted more to administration. When I was at Wharton, I started out as a non-tenured associate, a year later I was tenured, two years later I was a full professor. And then a few years later I got asked to be a department chairman. Somehow people keep asking me to manage things, so I was a department chairman. And then the dean asked me if I'd be associate dean for research and PhD programmes. Wharton has eleven of those. So I did those for two years, maintained my sanity, became an associate dean, finished at Wharton.
And then finishing at Wharton, I was interested in becoming a dean, so I wound up dean in a public university Wharton being at the University of Pennsylvania, private at Purdue [University], at the Krannert School [of Management], served dean there for five and a half years. And then along came this place called Emory University which had the Emory Business School at the time. Was asked if I would be interested in it, and it looked like an excellent opportunity to build an institution, so I wound up saying yes. Came here, served as dean for roughly eight and a half years till mid-1998. During that time, in 1994, the school was named for Roberto Goizueta, and we started on the venture of building on a new facility for it. Left Emory [retired from Emory in 1999].
I keep kidding people, I've retired twice. I retired from Emory late in 1999. Had fun in that retirement. But just as that was happening I got a phone call from a Janice Bellace whom I'd known at Wharton, Janice was a law school faculty member asking if I'd be interested to serve on a board of trustees. A board of trustees for something called the Singapore Management University, which at the time, technically didn't exist, at least not as a public entity, and not an incorporated entity. It sounded fascinating; I said yes. And that's sort of a rapid-fire description of the path.
Well, again, been on the board. I was about a year, year and a half in. And I don't really remember if it was either Janice or Kwon Ping that made the call that asked me if I'd be interested.