Dean Larry Gianchetta, Treasured Teacher and Gifted Leader, Announces Retirement

Larry Gianchetta, dean of the UM School of Business Administration, is retiring at the end of the 2015-16 school year. His UM career began in 1975, when he joined the faculty as an assistant professor. After 41 years, 30 years of those as dean, Dean Gianchetta has left an indelible mark on UM. Mary Ellen Campbell, professor emerita of marketing, shares the dean’s legacy of philanthropy.

I have known and worked with Larry Gianchetta for over 30 years. He was my department chair, my dean and, more importantly, a treasured colleague.

Larry has always had an unparalleled enthusiasm for teaching. Wherever you go, you will find alumni who revere him for the magical “a-ha!” moments he created in his statistics classes. As dean, he shaped SoBA into one of the best business schools in the region.

Dean Larry GianchettaIn the course of his career, Larry worked wonders. He reached out to countless businesses and private donors, telling the SoBA story and stressing the importance of supporting future generations of students. He worked tirelessly to garner donations for the Gallagher Business Building, completed in 1996, and the Gilkey Center for Executive Education, which will be completed in January 2016.

Last May, annual scholarship support for SoBA students rose to a new high of $356,000. Thanks in part to these scholarships, we have been able to recruit amazingly talented students.  As a dedicated teacher, Larry has always pushed to support faculty. SoBA now offers privately funded, named professorships and fellowships and numerous summer research grants. In part because of programs such as these, SoBA faculty are known nationally and internationally for their teaching excellence, research agendas and publication records.

Thanks to Larry’s leadership, UM acquired a World Trade Center, one of only a handful in the U.S. to be associated with a business school. He supported the creation of the American Indian Business Leaders at UM in 1994. Today there are AIBL chapters at 76 high schools, colleges and universities nationwide. Since 1988, SoBA has launched new majors in marketing and management information systems; a new business minor; and certificates in six distinct areas. We have thriving career development and internship programs.

I have to believe that Larry’s genuine interest in people has helped him succeed. He has a team approach to management, involving students, faculty, staff, alumni and businesses in decision making. He has pushed students to believe in their capabilities, to start their own companies or go for jobs at major firms throughout the world. He has encouraged faculty to engage in meaningful research, to be a force in their fields.

Larry Gianchetta is loath to discuss his own accomplishments, but it’s impossible to imagine the past three decades without his determined leadership. Our next phase of success will be built upon his legacy.

To honor the dean's legacy, SoBA will name its new student services center the Larry and Dee Dee Gianchetta Student Success Center. Located on the garden level of the Gallagher Business Building, the center will be a one-stop shop for student services like advising and career development. Visit to make a gift.