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Chancellor’s Choice For Anderson School Dean Drops His Bid

UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale’s choice to lead the Anderson School of Management has withdrawn from consideration amid concerns from faculty and others over the candidate’s business credentials.

In a four-line note, Geoffrey Garrett, vice provost and dean of the UCLA International Institute, said he was removing his name from consideration because he believed it was “in the best interests of the school.” Garrett pulled out on Nov. 10, less than two weeks after having wrapped up what was said to be a final round of interviews.

Some faculty members had questioned Garrett’s qualifications and the way the selection process had been conducted.

Garrett had been chairman of the 10-person committee formed earlier this year to find a replacement for Dean Bruce Willison, whose five-year term ended this summer. Willison will stay on until a replacement is named.

The committee submitted a short-list of four names to Carnesale in April. Garrett, who resigned from the committee during the summer, was selected by the chancellor over the earlier candidates.

The Business Journal reported on the controversy on Nov. 1.

Lawrence Lokman, assistant vice chancellor for university communications, said Carnesale sent an e-mail notifying the Anderson “community” of the withdrawal. Carnesale said he would “in the near term (give) substantial thought to the process for a renewed search.”

Lokman said Carnesale would have no further comment.

Asked about the selection process in an interview last month, the chancellor said it was “not a popularity contest” and that “it’s my decision.”

Garrett, director of UCLA’s Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations, is a political science professor with an extensive academic background but no outside business experience. Both he and Carnesale, who teaches an undergraduate course in international affairs and security, share a professional interest in global issues.

Willison came from a non-academic background, having been president and chief operating officer of Home Savings of America and H.F. Ahmanson & Co.

The search comes as the Anderson School has made slight improvements in its national rankings.

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