Meet the dean

Dean Bob ForsytheBob Forsythe became dean of the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business on July 21, 2014.

Prior to his arrival at WSU, Forsythe was on the faculty of the College of Business at the University of South Florida, serving as dean from 2006-2012. Under his leadership, the business school at USF launched several innovative programs that enhanced student success and engagement at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Perhaps most notably, he established the Bulls Business Community, a living-learning residential program for top incoming freshmen pursuing a business degree. He also led the charge to restructure the M.B.A. program to make it more accessible to working professionals without sacrificing program quality or rigor.

Forsythe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in quantitative business analysis at Pennsylvania State University. He worked at PPG Industries for several years after which he earned Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Carnegie Mellon University. His first academic position was with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.

In 1981, he joined the economics faculty at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, where he served as the Cedar Rapids Professor of Business and later as the senior associate dean and Hadley Professor of Leadership. While in Iowa, he cofounded the Iowa Electronics Market, a futures market for online trading in contracts on political and economic events.

The Mike Ilitch School of Business prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers, advances the boundaries of scholarly and practitioner knowledge, and enhances the economic vitality of the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and beyond through its programs, research and community engagement. Established in 1946, the business school was renamed in 2015 in recognition of a $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch. Thanks to this lead investment, a new state-of-the-art building is slated to open in the heart of the District Detroit in 2018, and entrepreneurial programming and collaboration with city businesses are expanding.

More than 34,000 business alumni can be found around the world, developing innovative entrepreneurial ventures, managing multinational corporations and making a difference in nonprofit and government agencies. The school’s academic programs – in accounting, finance, information systems, management, global supply chain management and marketing – are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and are regularly recognized for high quality by third-party reviewers such as The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report.