Archive for Tuesday, April 19, 2011

KU alumna chosen as new dean of School of Business

April 19, 2011, 10:45 a.m. Updated April 19, 2011, 4:56 p.m.


Neeli Bendapudi

Neeli Bendapudi

Kansas University leaders have hired a marketing professor from Ohio State University who earned her doctorate from KU to lead KU’s School of Business.

Neeli Bendapudi, 47, will become dean of the business school on Aug. 1.

She said she looked forward to the opportunity to give back to the school that had given so much to her and her family. All together, her family members have earned seven degrees from KU, she said. She earned her doctorate from KU in 1994.

“I’m a true-blue Jayhawk,” she said. “It sounds corny, but I’m completely serious.”

KU Provost Jeff Vitter said she came highly recommended by her superiors at Ohio State, including President Gordon Gee.

“She is an extremely energetic person and a person full of ideas,” Vitter said. “She is just a bundle of energy.”

He said she had a unique skill set, blending academic experience with work in the corporate world. She served as the chief customer officer and executive vice president of Huntington National Bank from 2007 to 2008.

She also led the formation of the Initiative for Marketing Services at OSU, a consortium of companies that partner with the college on teaching, research and outreach regarding service management.

“We’re just really excited about Neeli because she just hits on all cylinders,” said James Guthrie, a KU business professor who co-chaired the search for a new dean. “And she’s got that KU connection, which is a real bonus.”

She said she would work to make the business school “an incredible place for students to learn” and a “great place for faculty and staff to work.”

Working to lead through influence — and not just authority — is important, Bendapudi said, and she was looking forward to working with donors, faculty, students and other stakeholders.

Bendapudi will earn $350,000 in her new role, which would make her the highest-paid dean on the Lawrence campus. Her salary will include $60,000 in private funds to supplement $290,000 in state funds.

She will replace Dean William Fuerst, who announced in October that he would step down as dean and return to the full-time faculty. Fuerst had originally said he would step down effective June 30, but KU officials said on Tuesday no decisions had been made as to how the school would handle the gap between that time and Aug. 1, when Bendapudi will take over.

Fuerst, who had been making $308,000 as dean, will earn $195,962 in his new role. He stepped down soon after several MBA students raised concerns about how the school was spending additional course fees charged to business students. An audit report later said the school spent 99.8 percent of the funds appropriately.

Bendapudi said she had fielded a few questions on the differential tuition fees at a public forum at the school, but said she hoped everyone could move forward.

“My communication with them is we need to move ahead,” she said. “What we need to focus on is what’s coming up next.”


RustWatcher 7 years, 1 month ago

Just amazing. She just wants to look ahead. $32,000,000.00 mis-allocated. Yes Mr. Vitter, it was mis-allocated if there was supposed to be student decision making in the process.

Its called embezzling in some circles. However, anywhere that thinks Kris Kobach is "featured" speaker is out of touch with the truth anyway.

I wish her well, but her FIRST move should be to get rid of Feurst and all the cronies in the School's administration who cannot seem to get their accounting right.

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

The question is whether or not the new Dean will spend the funds as ineffectively as the last. Fuerst and Chauvin managed to drop 30 odd spots in the national rankings with their $30M in DT funds over the last 5-6 years so if Bendapudi can do slightly better she’d be a huge improvement.

RustWatcher 7 years, 1 month ago

It's more than just Fuerst and Chauvin. They removed the ability to track funds of all kinds within the school. They dumbed down their accounting in more than one way to be able to say..."we can't keep records at the detail level of what a donor's money was spent on...a fund of any kind for that matter."

The bigger picture: KU was amazing at putting a T-Shirt shop out of business while losing track of so many millions in the houses where some of the highest paid "managers" in Kansas.

Fuerst belongs with the Blugaugh's!

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

I hear you. I've heard from more then one donor who hasn't been able to get a reporting of how their donations were spent. BKD even asked for one for their funds years ago and never managed to get a full reporting.

The only reason the B-School "audit" came up "clean" was because it was a review and not a line by line audit and because the former lead partner of BKD loves spending time in the B-Schools suite at memorial stadium (I saw him once or twice up there this year myself).

cato_the_elder 7 years, 1 month ago

She may be a great hire, but in my book a recommendation from Gordon Gee is not something of which to be particularly proud after he let football coach Jim Tressel off the hook when he should have fired him for lying to his face.

JustNoticed 7 years, 1 month ago

Lost me at "skill set". Hideous, BS version of "skills".

Bob Forer 7 years, 1 month ago

Wow, thats a nice paycheck. After all, this ain't Harvard Business School.

RustWatcher 7 years, 1 month ago

The SOB absconded with $32,000,000.00.

Perkins lost ...let's see: over $1,000,000 legal fees to put a T-shirt shop out of business $3,000,000 tickets lost Just a mere 4,000,000 cost to KU.


KU_cynic 7 years, 1 month ago


You've made exactly three (3) posts to the LJW -- all of them above and all of them alleging criminal diversion of funds by School of Business leaders at the time when the b-school is celebrating the opportunity to move forward with an ambitious and energetic new dean.

Examine the audit report and verify that your slanderous statements about fund mis-allocation are simply false:

But, apparently, the conspiracy is so vast that we can't even trust that, and should instead rely on your unprincipled, ill-informed, and inexpert judgment. Right.

Quit flinging mud and crawl back into your hole.

RustWatcher 7 years, 1 month ago

You are naive. Sorry, but BKD is part of the SOB's country club.

Funds should have been allocated with the concurrence of students. BKD and KU has decorated the truth to say the monies were spent in appropriate ways. If the students didn't have a say, it was inappropriate.

It was amusing that the MBA students brought the complaint.

I have no problem with the new Dean. I wish her well, but the salary is absurd, the school has a smudged record, the current Dean and his administration ignored the rules about the usage of funds. Elimination of the student involvement was an action taken with purpose.

Even if it was used for appropriate and good reasons, they were operating outside of the rules established for the funds.

Do you think $32,000,000 is chump change? It is a lot of money. Graphs, and fancy expensive CPA reports can be had easier that you might want to believe. The students were denied their due process.

I want KU to move ahead with integrity. A CPA's report doesn't give that to KU. They have to clean house of the offenders. Perkins was removed. Why not Fuerst?

RustWatcher 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh yeah...the 3 posts. RustWatcher was created to answer this thread.

As to flinging mud, I agree, some of it might be flinging mud. But the core truth is, they broke a trust. If these people who are supposed to know accounting and accountability, were running a trust fund without following the rules, they might be guilty of fraud.

These fund were collected and put into the hands of the State of Kansas. They were supposed to have a "trust" committee making decisions on the use of the funds.

They SOB broke that trust, and as an agency of the State of Kansas, they don't look squeaky clean. Do you get it, Professor?

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