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Villanova names new business school dean

Villanova University has hired a new dean of the school of business, the first female to serve in that role.

Villanova University has named its first female business school dean, an industrial and organizational psychologist who is senior associate dean of the business school at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Joyce E.A. Russell, who has been in her current role at the Robert H. Smith School of Business since 2015 and served as vice dean for three years before that, will take over at Villanova's business school on Aug. 1.

Though the number is growing, less than a quarter of business school deans in the United States are women, according to a 2015-16 survey of accredited schools by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which drew responses from 83 percent of those schools.

Russell, who began her career as a professor at the University of Tennessee in 1982 and has been at Maryland since 1998, said she was eager to lead the Villanova school and its more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

"They recognize the importance of mission, service, and giving back to the community," said Russell, 59, a Maryland native. "That's really important for today's business leaders."

She replaces Patrick G. Maggitti, who became provost last August. Daniel Wright has been interim dean.

Russell received her bachelor's degree from Loyola University of Maryland, and her doctorate and master's in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Akron.

She has written a weekly column for the Washington Post since 2010 on morale in the workplace, job offer negotiations, the importance of ethics and civility in leadership, and other workplace topics.

Her background in industrial and organizational psychology gives her a keen perspective, she said.

"I can't go anyplace without seeing how things can be improved," she said.

At Maryland, she led undergraduate and graduate business programs, oversaw corporate and global partnerships, and helped manage a $90 million budget.

She also created and chairs the school's diversity council, and is a member of the provost's task force on diversity.

"I'm trying to get more women interested in pursuing the field of business," she said.