Case Western Reserve goes global for new Weatherhead School dean

Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder announced today that Robert E. Widing II, dean of the Macquarie School of Management in Sydney, Australia, will become dean of the Weatherhead School of Management, effective Oct. 15. The appointment represents a homecoming for Widing, a marketing scholar who served as an assistant professor at Weatherhead School from 1988 to 1993.

“Rob Widing possesses the depth of experience and breadth of perspective required to lead in an era of increasing complexity and international engagement,” Snyder said. “He also appreciates the vital importance of strategic thinking, philanthropy and continuous improvement of academic offerings. We are pleased to welcome him back to Case Western Reserve.”

Widing has served as dean of Macquarie—home to one of the world’s top 100 MBA programs, according to The Economist magazine—since 2010. He also spent five years at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, where he served as provost and senior vice president. Prior to his five-year-stint at Thunderbird, Widing spent eight years at the University of Melbourne in Australia, where he held a chaired professorship, led the marketing area and also served as associate dean of graduate studies. A three-time graduate of The Ohio State University, Widing is a native of southwestern Pennsylvania.

“The selection process for this position underscored the great commitment that Weatherhead inspires among graduates, business leaders and the broader community,” Widing said. “Their engagement inspired me from the start, and I look forward to many more conversations as we all work together to bring Weatherhead to a new level of excellence and impact.”

In each of his leadership positions, Widing has participated or led strategic planning efforts and helped develop new academic programs or dramatically updated existing degree offerings. At Macquarie, for example, he worked to extend global offerings and is leading the development of a degree program in social entrepreneurship that will be Macquarie University’s first interdisciplinary degree. At Thunderbird, meanwhile, he helped launch three new degree programs and updated the MBA curriculum. Finally, at the University of Melbourne he helped marketing course enrollment climb by 600 percent and grew the number of full-time PhD marketing faculty from one to 10.

“Because of the range of his leadership roles, Rob understands well how to listen carefully to constituents and offer responses that all of them find promising and practically relevant,” Provost W.A. “Bud” Baeslack said. “I have great confidence that he will apply the same approach at Weatherhead and achieve even greater success.”

Baeslack praised the search committee for its many months of interviews and deliberation, and he also applauded the entire Weatherhead School community for its enthusiastic involvement in meeting finalists and offering feedback to the committee. The group was co-chaired by Jerry Goldberg, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, and Ron Fry, professor and chair of Weatherhead School’s Department of Organizational Behavior.

Widing’s appointment is contingent upon final approval by the university’s Board of Trustees.

He succeeds Mohan Reddy, who served five years as dean after spending about five months as interim dean in 2006. A Weatherhead School professor since 1984, Reddy chose to return to the faculty after completing his decanal term this year.

“Dean Reddy assumed a leadership role when Weatherhead most needed his considerable talents and skills,” Baeslack said. “We are grateful to him for his service and his success in advancing key school priorities.”