By Dave Hendrick
Newswise — The University of Virginia Darden School of Business announces that UVA has reappointed Dean Scott Beardsley to a second five-year term, extending his appointment to 2025. Beardsley assumed the role of ninth dean of the Darden School and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration on 1 August 2015.
Beardsley’s first term has been marked by significant advances throughout the Darden School, with a record of accomplishment in key areas such as student recruitment, faculty hiring, program innovation, infrastructure development, investment in research, global reach and relevance, and fundraising. Darden has also climbed in graduate business school rankings during Beardsley’s tenure, securing a position in the Top 10 globally in two key rankings of full-time MBA programs: Bloomberg Businessweek (No. 9) and The Economist (No. 9).
Beardsley has built a strong team and led a rigorous planning process that outlines an ambitious strategy and vision for the Darden School of Business. The strategy identifies Darden’s renowned education experience and top-ranked faculty as core competitive advantages to preserve. Darden has retained its designation as the world’s best education experience from The Economist eight years in a row (2011–18), and The Princeton Review named Darden No. 1 for Best Professors among U.S. business schools two years in a row (2017–18).
Under Beardsley’s leadership, the academic quality and diversity of MBA students has soared to new heights, including the highest percentage of enrolled women in Darden history and the highest number of minorities and international students.
31 New Full-time Faculty and investments in Research
The School has made significant progress in attracting the next generation of top faculty members, with 31 faculty members who have joined or will join the world’s best teaching faculty full-time in Beardsley’s first term. The new faculty members — including bridge-building joint appointments with UVA’s Data Science Institute, College of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Science, among others — represent record diversity on many dimensions and will be key leaders of Darden in the future. Financial support for faculty research has roughly doubled under Beardsley’s tenure through UVA Bicentennial faculty chairs and new research initiatives, such as the pan-University Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative.
New DC Area Grounds and Programs
The reach, breadth and digital innovation of Darden’s academic programs has also expanded under Beardsley. The School successfully executed plans to bring Darden to the Washington, D.C., area, launching a section of the Executive MBA in 2016 and dedicating new Grounds in the Rosslyn district of Arlington, Virginia, in 2018. The new, state-of-the-art learning facility in the global gateway of Washington, D.C., serves as the primary location of Darden’s expanded Executive MBA program, as well as the Master of Science in business analytics (MSBA) program taught online and in-person. The MSBA is jointly presented by Darden and the UVA McIntire School of Commerce and represents the first formal academic degree collaboration between UVA’s two business schools.
The new facilities in the D.C. area have also proved a boon to the School’s Executive Education and Lifelong Learning programs, which have experienced three consecutive years of revenue growth under Beardsley. Darden’s online courses have reached millions of people worldwide.
A New Era of Philanthropy at Start of Capital Campaign
The new D.C. area location was made possible in part by a generous gift from Sands Capital Management Founder and Chairman Frank Sands Sr. (MBA ’63) and CEO and Chief Investment Officer Frank Sands Jr. (MBA ’94). The most recent fiscal year represented the second consecutive year of record-breaking fundraising, positioning the School well to support UVA’s soon-to-launch capital campaign and laying the groundwork for a 10-year Darden facilities master plan, which aims to ensure the School’s infrastructure remains equipped for the educational and programmatic needs of the future.
In addition to providing new levels of student scholarship and faculty support, fundraising highlights have included a $15 million gift from the Batten Foundation enabling all Darden full-time MBA students to take a Darden Worldwide Course at no additional cost. Beardsley has made global reach and relevance a key tenet of his tenure and believes each Darden MBA student should have a meaningful global education experience.
Active Engagement in University Life
When not on the road engaging prospective students and alumni across the globe, Beardsley remains engaged in the life of the University. He lives on the Lawn, where he has taught multiple seminars on leadership to Darden and UVA undergraduate students. One initiative launched under Beardsley, the deferred admissions Future Year Scholars program, grew out of his belief that more top undergraduate students would benefit from the transformational opportunities unlocked by a Darden MBA.
“Leading the Darden School of Business is one of the great honors of my life, and I am humbled to be entrusted to continue to lead the School,” said Beardsley. “I believe we have made great progress on our vision to achieve the full potential of the School’s mission to improve the world by developing responsible leaders and advancing knowledge. I truly believe the best is yet to come for this vital institution.”
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.