Ohio State Picks Johnson & Johnson Exec as next Business School Dean

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on January 8, 2009

In the past few years, a handful of universities including Harvard, Missouri, and INSEAD, have turned to business executives to fill high level academic positions like university president or dean. Now you can add Ohio State to the list. Today, the university’s Fisher School of Business announced that Christine A. Poon, who most recently held the position of vice chairman and member of the board of Johnson & Johnson and worldwide chair of the company’s Pharmaceuticals Group, would be the B-school’s next dean.

Poon, who holds an MBA from Boston University, announced her retirement from J&J last September after a 30-year career in the health care industry. She officially leaves the company on March 1 and will take office at Fisher in April. According to a release put out by the school, Poon’s areas of expertise include domestic and international business operations, as well as sales and marketing.

With the focus of most business schools centered on fund raising and growth outside of the US, it makes sense that someone with a resume like Poon’s would be attractive to school administrators. “Her extensive professional expertise will enrich and enliven our faculty and their work with students as well as bring new opportunities to foster external relationships,” University President E. Gordon Gee said in a statement.

Considering the criticism Gee has received in the past for running his universities--Brown, Vanderbilt, and Ohio State--like corporations, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that he would support someone with a background like Poon’s for the position of dean.

Poon takes the place of Joseph Alutto, who became Ohio State provost in 2007.

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