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University of Texas Innovation Leader Tapped as Dean of Robert H. Smith School of Business

Known for Big Ideas, New Initiatives, Prabhudev Konana to Take Helm on Jan. 2

By Maryland Today Staff

Exterior of Van Munching Hall

Photo by John T. Consoli

Prabhudev Konana (below), a professor and associate dean at the University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business, will step in as the next dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business on Jan. 2, 2021, the university announced.

The University of Maryland today named an award-winning professor, researcher and innovation leader at the University of Texas at Austin as the new dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Prabhudev Konana will begin his new role on Jan. 2, 2021, leading the Smith School in its mission to create knowledge, promote an inclusive learning environment that fosters intellectual discovery, and equip current and future leaders to assess complex problems and deliver innovative solutions.

Prabhudev Konana headshot“I am thrilled to accept the role as dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business,” said Konana. “As business education is rapidly changing in the current social, political, technological and market trends, I look forward to all that can be accomplished with the students, faculty and staff at the University of Maryland.” 

Konana currently serves as the associate dean of instructional innovation, William H. Seay Centennial Professor of Information Management, and Distinguished Teaching Professor at UT’s McCombs School of Business, where he has worked for 25 years. As associate dean, he helped develop the focus and identity of the McCombs School of Business, emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation, and led the transition of the entire business school faculty to online synchronous teaching, among other accomplishments in teaching and research. 

“Prabhudev Konana is perfectly positioned to assume this role in the highly competitive landscape of business education,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin. “I have no doubt that he will swiftly implement big ideas, while strengthening academic connections throughout Smith and across campus. Dr. Konana’s contributions will positively impact the Smith School’s fearless and innovative academic reputation.”

Konana previously served as chair of the Department of Information, Risks, and Operations Management at the McCombs School of Business. He founded the highly ranked M.S. in Business Analytics and M.S. in Technology & Management programs, revamped the advisory council, raised funds from business partners, funded several research workshops and symposia; supported visiting faculty for research collaboration, improved teaching standards in various programs, incentivized faculty to offer specialized electives and focused on recruiting high-energy and passionate staff. 

Konana holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from the University of Mysore in India and a Master of Business Administration degree and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

Rankin thanked the search committee, chaired by School of Public Policy Dean Robert Orr, for its work amid the constraints imposed by the pandemic. 

“I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation to Interim Dean Ritu Agarwal for her excellent service to the Smith School and the university during these extremely difficult times,” she said. “Her leadership has been exemplary and deeply appreciated by her faculty, staff and students as well as the university administration.”



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