Jeffrey R. Brown Named Dean of the University of Illinois College of Business

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign today announced the appointment of Jeffrey R. Brown as the tenth dean of the College of Business. Brown, currently the William G. Karnes Professor of Finance, has been a member of the Illinois faculty since 2002.

“Jeff Brown brings to the deanship the highest aspirations for the College, tremendous personal energy, and a great appetite for achievement,” says B. Joseph White, the James F. Towey Professor of Business and Leadership, president emeritus of the University, and chair of the dean search committee. “Jeff has the best possible motive for becoming dean: he loves Illinois and is prepared to lead in order to serve. He is solid gold—one of the most respected faculty members on the Urbana-Champaign campus and in the College community with a superb reputation in the world beyond. The search committee believes that the College will be in the best of hands with Jeff Brown at the helm. We are convinced that exciting things lie just ahead.”

Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Miami University (Ohio) in 1990, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1995, and a PhD in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999.

In addition to his appointment in the Department of Finance, Brown is a professor in the College of Law and the Institute of Government and Policy Affairs. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Business and Public Policy in the College of Business.

An expert on Social Security, Brown has served as an economist on the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security and on the White House Council of Economic Advisers. In 2005, he was appointed by President Bush to serve on the Social Security Advisory Board, a position he held until 2008. He is currently a member of the 2015 Social Security Technical Panel on Methods and Assumptions.

Brown is also a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), associate director of the NBER Center for Retirement Research, and a member of the Board of Trustees for TIAA.

In addition to his research on Social Security, Brown has published extensively on a range of topics, including retirement income security, pensions, insurance, and university endowments, and has received numerous awards for his work.

“The opportunity to lead the College is truly an honor,” says Brown. “Our College’s talented faculty and staff and our expansive, prestigious, and loyal alumni base are our most valued assets and the reason we are recognized as a premier business school. Together, we can build on that success by aggressively supporting research and knowledge creation, investing in innovative teaching and degree programs, and providing an outstanding student experience. By engaging all our stakeholders—alumni, faculty, staff, and students—we will establish our College as a global leader in undergraduate and graduate business education.”

Pending approval by the University’s Board of Trustees, Brown will assume the position of dean on August 16. Brown succeeds Larry DeBrock, a noted economist and longtime University of Illinois professor and administrator who has served as dean since 2009. DeBrock will rejoin the faculty as a professor in the Department of Finance.

The College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is internationally recognized for its outstanding programs in accountancy, business administration, and finance and for the success of its 58,000 living alumni. The College enrolls approximately 3,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students in MBA, master’s, and doctoral programs. Recognized as an innovator in business education, the College is the first to offer an online MBA in partnership with Coursera.

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