Bradford Named Dean of Vanderbilt Business School

Bradford Named Dean of Vanderbilt Business School

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — James W. Bradford, a distinguished corporate executive turned educator, has been named dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and Ralph Owen Professor for the Practice of Management, announced Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nicholas Zeppos today. Bradford had served as acting dean of the Owen School since last June.

Bradford, 57, who has a decade of experience in the corporate arena as president and chief executive officer of two international glass companies, brings to the position a results-oriented style of management and determination to incorporate practical business experience – as well as academic rigor – in the education of MBA students.

“Jim Bradford has a unique and exciting perspective on management education which he has put into practice over the past nine months,” Zeppos said. “After an extensive and rigorous search, it became clear to the search committee, and to me, that the best leader for the Owen School was already in place.”

Added Chancellor Gordon Gee: “The Owen School is one of Vanderbilt’s gems – a small, powerful engine for education, research and service. Jim Bradford has done an exemplary job leading the school through an important transition. He has earned the trust and respect of faculty, students, staff and alumni, and I am confident he will set the Owen School on a trajectory for global prominence.”

Under Bradford’s tenure as acting dean, the school has launched a new master’s of finance degree and a summer business institute for undergraduate students, and it has announced the development of a new health care MBA that will draw on complementary resources at the university and in the Nashville business community. Bradford’s term also has produced an integrated marketing program and has strengthened the school’s career placement team.

An experienced corporate executive, Bradford previously served as president and CEO of AFG Industries Inc., North America’s largest vertically integrated glass manufacturing and fabrication company. He also served as president and CEO of United Glass Corporation and practiced law for 11 years.

Bradford earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida and his law degree from Vanderbilt. He completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School in 1997. He returned to Vanderbilt in 2002 as clinical assistant professor of management and was named associate dean later that year.

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