The Thunderbird School of Global Management announced on Nov. 1 that its interim chief academic officer and provost Larry E. Penley will be its new president and chief academic officer effective today. The appointment of Penley, the former dean of the Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, by Thunderbird’s board of trustees follows a search that attracted top-tier candidates from both business and academic organizations.
As president of Colorado State University, Penley reversed declining enrollment and oversaw the doubling of fundraising. As dean of the Carey School, he led the creation of a strategic plan that produced a top 25 ranking among public MBA programs. Many will be expecting the same from him at Thunderbird whose full-time MBA program is currently ranked 49th in the U.S. by Poets&Quants.
Penley also applied his learnings for diplomacy and management skills as chairman of The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a world leader in accreditation services. INROADS Arizona and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council have honored Dr. Penley for his service.
As a leader, Penley’s extensive overseas experience gives him great passion for Thunderbird’s global mission. He has lectured on four continents, speaks Spanish, and has held faculty and administrative roles in Mexico and Venezuela. While at ASU, he also oversaw the launch of successful MBA programs in China and Mexico.
“Thunderbird is very fortunate to have Dr. Penley at the helm,” said Ann Iverson, chair of Thunderbird’s Board of Trustees., in a statement. “He is a lifelong learner who embraces innovation, fosters collaboration, and welcomes diverse viewpoints.”
Penley arrived at Thunderbird as interim chief academic officer and provost in April 2012 and quickly went to work assessing degree programs and the overall student experience. “My focus as president and chief academic officer will be on students, employers and the quality of the learning experience,” he said. “Everything else will flow from this.”
“We are extremely thankful and very grateful for the enormous contributions that Ambassador Barbara Barrett, interim president has made at Thunderbird during the past six months,” Iverson said. “She has provided significant stability and a positive focus for Thunderbird during her leadership and we will always be grateful.”
Iverson in thanking John Berndt who steps down from his role as chief operating officer effective Thursday, November 1, 2012 said, “John came in as COO during the transition and made major contributions for the operations of the school. He was absolutely terrific.”