by Sarah Small
Alumni, faculty and students of the College of Business and University proudly sported their “Team DeBrock” buttons as Dean Larry DeBrock was invested as the Josef and Margot Lakonishok endowed dean November 13.
“This is very meaningful to the college of Business because the gift was made by Josef and Margot Lakonishok,” said Tracy McCabe, “He really represents for many of our faculty the best of both worlds. How you can be successful in academia and in the business world.”
Speakers at the ceremony noted the uniqueness of the event because the deanship was created by Josef Lakonishok, who was a valued professor of the College for many years, and is still widely respected in the College’s community, and the chair he created was given to another valued person in the college, DeBrock.
“It’s an opportunity to honor one of our truly remarkable deans, Larry DeBrock,” said Robert Easter, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “It’s also an opportunity to recognize the family of Josef and Margot Lakonishok for the gift that’s been given.”
Avijit Ghosh, vice president for technology and economic development and former dean of the college, spoke at the ceremony to introduce DeBrock, describing him as one of the most beloved individuals at the University.
“He cares so deeply about this institution and about this college,” Ghosh said. “Simply, he’s a great guy. He’s honest and genuine, and Larry, I thank you for teaching me so much.”
Ghosh emphasized DeBrock’s work ethic, academic success and passion for the College. He is a nationally acclaimed economist whose research focuses on health economics, industrial organization and labor market issues. He was a health care consultant for the government of Kuwait and helped evaluate their health care delivery. He also served the National Vaccine Program Office by analyzing the economic issues behind vaccine distribution.
Being the donor of the chair and a valued member of the College of Business, Josef Lakonishok also spoke at the event.
He spoke of his love for the College of Business and the University, and also of his confidence in DeBrock to lead the College as dean.
“Loyalty in our day and age is in something of short supply,” Lakonishok, said. “Larry is one of those people. I am absolutely convinced about his loyalty to the university. He is loyal to the business school and I am sure he will make it a success.”
After the investiture ceremony, DeBrock spoke to the audience thanking them for their support throughout his career. He also addressed the changes facing universities, especially public universities, and asked for the help of the faculty and staff to help him lead the College forward.
“I need you to provide us with your best analytical skills ever,” DeBrock said. “I need you to get engaged in the college. As we push forward, not on a path of retraction, but on a path of expansion, we will do that.”
He also thanked Josef and Margot Lakonishok for their generosity to the College for establishing the deanship.
“As we go forward for 100 years plus, the deans who run this college will all be known as Joseph and Margot Lakonishok deans, and I tell you, it’s pretty humbling to be known as one of those today,” DeBrock said.