Diversity & Inclusion

New dean of UB’s business school has a question for you

"What is the Merrick way?"

Murray Dalziel started at the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business in August. (Photo courtesy of the University of Liverpool)
Don’t let the Scottish accent fool you. Murray Dalziel is no stranger to working on foreign turf.

Two months ago, Dalziel started as dean of the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business. Dalziel, who previously helmed the University of Liverpool School of Management, brings with him years of consultancy experience on this side of the pond with the Hay Group. His business career took him to Philadelphia and Boston.
“I did want to come back to the U.S. and the East Coast,” he said.
But Baltimore may well be the closest to home Dalziel, now an American citizen, has gotten in his adopted nation. His mother’s family’s roots are in the area, and it’s within easy distance of Philadelphia, where his wife’s family and his son live.
However, he’s used to being an outsider, and that’s how he approaches his new role at UB.

If I'd taken a job at one of the elite universities, it's good for your prestige, but on the other hand, I think it's hard to get distinction ... We can really get distinction here, because we're really focused on getting students ready to enter a career in management.

“I used to see myself in Liverpool as sort of an outsider because I came from the corporate world, but I think Liverpool did a good job of educating me about higher education,” Dalziel said. “This is a state university in the state of Maryland so it’s quite different from the U.K. system, so trying to work out the nuances of the Maryland system, that would be the biggest challenge.”
Dalziel takes over the school of 1,182 undergrads and 628 graduate students. For a time, it was unclear if UB’s undergraduate programs would continue under new President Kurt L. Schmoke, the former Baltimore mayor. That uncertainty was cleared earlier this month, when Schmoke confirmed in an email to the UB community that the university would still admit freshmen.
“UB can best fulfill its mission by continuing to admit freshman students and by developing a more targeted freshman program that is closely aligned with UB’s career-oriented, professional offerings,” Schmoke wrote.
It’s that mission, in part, that attracted the Harvard-educated Dalziel.
“If I’d taken a job at one of the elite universities, it’s good for your prestige, but on the other hand, I think it’s hard to get distinction,” he said. “They’re pushing for the same pool of students, a very cookie-cutter profile of student and it’s really hard for them to get distinctive. I think we can really get distinction here, because we’re really focused on getting students ready to enter a career in management.”
The Merrick school’s programs include undergraduate degrees in business administration and real estate development; graduate programs in finance and nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship; and a master’s in business administration offered in partnership with Towson University that has survived numerous legal (and even legislative) challenges from Morgan State University since its inception.
“Like in business, you’ve got to be really focused on who you’re delivering to. I wouldn’t call them customers in the traditional [sense], but we’ve got two types of customers here. We’ve got students and we’ve got businesses,” Dalziel said. “I’m trying to find out more about Maryland and about industry and the companies trying to recruit our students.”
In his first week on the job, Dalziel recalled, a student reporter asked him what his goals were.
“In five years time, people would be talking about the … Merrick way,” he recalled responding.
“So what is the Merrick way?” the student asked.
“That’s my question. That’s my question to the faculty and alumni,” Dalziel said.
Asked last week about how he would go about building that tradition, he spoke about going to a suburban Barnes & Noble and taking a picture of the shelves of management books.

“There are a lot of sources of opinion about management,” he said. “We need scholarship, but it also needs to be applied. These are some of the components to be looking at. I’m obviously going to build and expand the professional programs that we already have.”

Companies: University of Baltimore

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