For decades, Purdue University’s Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business has boasted an elite faculty, including many of the world’s thought leaders in a variety of academic topics. Through a new initiative, the school is seeking to complement that strength with the knowledge and wisdom gained by practitioners in the business world.
The Daniels School is in the process of identifying exceptional business leaders who can bring their own experiences to students through advising, guest lecturing, mentoring, and sponsoring students’ consulting projects. The school has hired Richard Ryffel as Executive Director of Business Leadership to oversee these activities through a new Office of Business Partnerships.
“There’s no question that our school has a rich tradition, dating back more than a half century, of housing giants in the academic field,” says Jim Bullard, Dr. Samuel R. Allen Dean of the Daniels School. “We continue to attract some of the most brilliant researchers and teachers in the business education field, and we will continue to do so.
“But to achieve excellence at scale, as we increase enrollment in our programs, we need more faculty than we can hire through the traditional tenure-track model and need to attract more industry partners. Bringing in successful leaders allows us not only to fully staff our classrooms, but to bring a ‘been there, done that’ element to the student experience. Rich will bring firsthand knowledge of the process to Purdue and will be able to hit the ground running.”
Ryffel began his business career at IBM and has worked as an investment banker at A.G. Edwards, a managing director at both Bank of America and Edward Jones, and as a private banker and market manager at J.P. Morgan Chase. He has extensive collegiate experience, serving as an adjunct professor at Saint Louis University and Webster University and a professor of practice at Washington University’s OIin Business School.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge,” says Ryffel, who also serves as a mentor for several fintech companies. “I think this is an exciting time at Purdue and the Daniels School. I’ve known Dean Bullard for several years, and I know he will lead the school to new heights through the tremendous transformation that’s underway.
“As a professor of practice myself, I understand the value the position can add to the educational experience our students will receive. They will clearly see the theory-to-practice connections in a variety of fields," he says. "I know we will enhance our recruiting efforts through this program, as students will see that they can learn from both extraordinary researchers who bring their discoveries into the classroom and business professionals who bring real-world examples to the table.”
Alumni and friends interested in learning more about the program can contact Ryffel at firstname.lastname@example.org.