After a tumultuous search, Judy Olian, head of the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University, has been named the next dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.


Olian, who will be the first woman at the helm of the Anderson School, is scheduled to take over for Bruce Willison on Jan. 1, 2006, UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale announced Thursday. The appointment still has to be approved by the University of California Board of Regents.


Olian wasn't Carnesale's first choice to steer the Anderson School. Late last year, Geoffrey Garrett, vice provost and dean of the UCLA International Institute, emerged as the leading candidate before withdrawing from consideration as criticism mounted about the selection process.


Garrett had been chairman of a 10-person committee formed in February last year to vet the candidates vying for dean. Carnesale, who shared an interest in international affairs with Garrett, assembled the committee.


Garrett's business credentials were questioned, and his lack of connections to Anderson was cited as one reason he shouldn't become dean. By some accounts, the faculty favored Al Osborne, an associate professor of global economics and management, and Anderson's senior associate dean.


In response to the criticism, the Garrett-chaired committee was disbanded. Seven months ago, Carnesale formed a new, eight-person advisory group to identify potential candidates for the dean position.


Olian comes to UCLA with an extensive business school background. Since 2000, she has been dean and professor at Pennsylvania State's Smeal College, and from 1995 to 2000, she was senior associate dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park.


A native of Australia, Olian holds a doctorate in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an undergraduate degree in psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Carnesale announced earlier this week that he plants to step down as chancellor of UCLA on June 30, 2006. University of California President Robert Dynes will conduct the search for the next UCLA chancellor.

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