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Nicole Biggart Named UC Davis Business School Dean

March 31, 2003

Nicole Woolsey Biggart, holder of the Jerome J. and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management at the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management, has been appointed dean of the school.

Biggart, 55, will assume her new post July 1, pending approval by the UC Board of Regents.

"I am delighted that Professor Biggart has accepted our invitation to serve as dean," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef. "A founding faculty member of the school, she brings to the position a wealth of knowledge about the school and its potential, along with the energy and vision to turn potential into reality. Nicole is highly respected by her colleagues, students and members of the business community and will be an outstanding dean."

As dean, Biggart will be the chief academic and administrative officer of the school, responsible for leading its strategic planning, curriculum, research, management of resources, external affairs and development.

With 24 full-time faculty members, 125 full-time students in the Masters of Business Administration program and 300 students in its Working Professional MBA program, the 21-year-old school is the youngest publicly supported school to be ranked nationally by all three major business school surveys. Graduates are noted for their ability to drive results in the workplace, and the faculty is noted for its active engagement in research and its high degree of collegiality.

"This is a very exciting time for the Graduate School of Management," Biggart said. "We've just hired several new faculty, we have approval for a new building, and our programs continue to attract fabulous students from the region and increasingly from around the world. This is a very special school and I'm glad to be in a position where I can help it to develop."

Biggart is an expert in organizational theory and management of innovation, with research interests in economic and organizational sociology, firm networks, industrial change and social bases of technology adoption.

She joined the UC Davis faculty in 1981 as an assistant professor of administration and sociology, and was promoted to associate professor of management and sociology in 1987 and to professor in 1991. She was awarded the Suran chair in technology management in 2002.

The author of seven books or book-length reports, she has also written some 30 articles and chapters and numerous book reviews, and is a frequent presenter at international meetings. She has held leadership positions in the Academy of Management, the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics and the American Sociological Association, and has served on the editorial boards of several professional journals.

Biggart holds a bachelor's degree from Simmons College, a master's degree from UC Davis and a doctoral degree from UC Berkeley.

She succeeds Robert Smiley, who will return to full-time research and teaching after 14 years at the business school's helm.

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