The new dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University knows marketing, which may come in handy as he assumes his new job. That’s because one of Robert E. Mittelstaedt Jr.’s top goals is to make the Tempe school better known nationally and internationally.
"As I’ve heard from my colleagues, I’ve learned it’s a place for which there is a lot of respect, but it’s not known as broadly as it needs to be," Mittelstaedt said of the business school. "There needs to be an increased branding and name recognition effort."
From 1996 to 2000, as associat e dean in charge of communications and business development for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mittelstaedt was responsible for public relations and communications at one of the nation’s most prestigious business schools.
In June, he will arrive at a school that ranks high annually on lists of the top business colleges but doesn’t have a high profile. Mittelstaedt thinks a good dose of marketing will help.
"The challenge over time is how do you change the reputation of an institution and bring it up to the true quality of the place?" he said during a telephone interview in wh ich he outlined his aspirations for the school.
The 60-year-old Mittelstaedt, who today is vice dean of Wharton, sees the ASU business school as "an interesting challenge" and "an exciting opportunity."
"It’s a place that has a good-sized faculty and a number of capabilities and aspires to be an even better business school," he said. "They seem to be excited about doing a lot of different things."
In addition to promoting the school, fund raising will be a big part of the job, he said. Specifically, the business school will need to find money to turn its dreams for a new building at Mill Avenue and University Drive into reality.
Currently used for parking and ASU offices, the former Tempe Center site is programmed to become an arts and business gateway to the university.
Another important goal for Mittelstaedt is to attract more corporate recruiters to ASU, thereby ensuring that jobs are available for graduates. He also wants to expand the school’s international programs, which he said are already at the leading edge.
As part of his preparation, Mittelstaedt consulted with William P. Carey, the New York real estate investor who donated $50 million to the school. Carey also has ties to Wharton, having earned his MBA degree there.
"He wants a high-quality institution, but he’s not trying to dictate what that means," Mittelstaedt said. "I think his desire has to do with how people view it, is it doing a good job for the region, is it educating the business leaders of tomorrow."