Temple University’s Fox School of Business has named an interim dean in the aftermath of a scandal surrounding its online MBA program and the subsequent ouster of former dean Moshe Porat, who had led the school since 1996.
Temple professor Ron Anderson, formerly the chair of Temple’s Department of Finance, was announced Monday as Porat’s successor until a national search for a permanent replacement expected to take place during the 2019-20 academic year.
The Ph.D. from Texas A&M, who came to Temple after working at Paris- and Houston-based oilfield services company Schlumberger Limited, will also oversee the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM).
“The Fox School and STHM are special places,” Anderson, 59, said in a statement. “These schools are home to some of the most driven and dynamic students, not to mention our world-renowned faculty and talented staff. I look forward to guiding our school into the future.”
On July 9, the North Philly university dismissed Porat after an investigation carried out by law firm Jones Day determined the Fox School had provided false information to at least one rankings organization about its online MBA program.
The academic offering had been announced, for four years in a row, as the No. 1 online program in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s list. In January, the organization rescinded the honor and gave Fox an “unranked” status due to an “error in data.”
“Ron has led significant growth in the Department of Finance, which is one of the most popular majors at Temple,” said Temple University president Richard Englert. “He is an accomplished researcher and a well-regarded teacher who takes great pride in his students’ success. His professional experiences, both in industry and academia, are well suited for this critical leadership role.”
Anderson, a native of Franklin, Pa., now living in NoLibs, is well equipped to run the school, says Fox School professor Jonathan Scott.
“I worked with him closely for six years and I can say he’s an outstanding choice,” Scott told Technical.ly. “He’s a person of integrity, honesty and respect. He has the right set of experiences from his years at Schlumberger and his scholarly background, along with the knowledge he has developed as department chair, which makes him the right person.”
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board, the first thing on Anderson’s to-do list shoud be to help Temple “get back to the basics of selling what it really has going for it: a high-value education.”