News Item

Bellarmine names new dean for W. Fielding Rubel School of Business

Jan 16, 2015

Robert L. Brown is tasked with enhancing the school’s regional, national stature

Bellarmine University’s president, Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, has named Dr. Robert L. Brown professor and new dean of the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business, challenging him to expand and strengthen the university’s oldest professional school, already regarded as an elite business program.

Robert BrownBrown – who holds degrees from universities on three continents, including the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and Political Science – has been an instructor at Bellarmine. He is also an author, has passed the Certified Public Accountant exam, and has been an attorney licensed to practice in Kentucky, California, New York, the District of Columbia, Japan (1991-92), Hong Kong, England and Wales.

“Robert is an extraordinarily qualified business leader and teacher who will accelerate the Rubel school’s growth as the premier business school in the region and one of the best in the nation,” McGowan. “He’ll use his expertise and his extensive connections to help the university train ethical business leaders who will enrich Louisville and the region, in part through social entrepreneurism that’s rooted in our Catholic education tradition.”

A broad-based search committee including prominent local business leaders, faculty, administrators and six trustees of the University, working with a professional search firm, recommended Brown’s selection after an international search.

Brown will begin his tenure as dean and professor on June 1, 2015. As dean, he replaces Dr. Daniel Bauer, who announced last year that he planned to return to full-time teaching as a member of the business school’s faculty after 14 years as dean.

 “This is a unique opportunity to build on the rich tradition that the university and business school have established over the past 60 years,” Brown said. “My charge from President McGowan is to position the Rubel school on an even more rapid and positive trajectory by attracting to Bellarmine and to Louisville even higher numbers of top-level students and faculty, and to help with the fund-raising necessary to provide an even more dynamic educational experience for students who will help create the future with excellent leadership and service.”
The business school’s continued growth is part of the university’s broad vision for new schools, new and highly relevant academic programming, new buildings that create a 21st century learning environment, and new ways to serve Louisville and Kentucky as the premier independent Catholic university in the South and the leading private university in the Commonwealth and region.

About the business school
The W. Fielding Rubel School of Business offers bachelor degrees in accounting, business administration, economics and finance, along with a master of business administration (with weeknight, weekend and executive tracks) and a master of science in taxation.  

The School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), which places it among the elite business schools in the nation. Fewer than 15 percent of business schools worldwide have achieved this distinction. Additionally, The Princeton Review has recognized the Rubel school as one of the nation’s top business schools.

In 2016, the school -- currently located in Horrigan Hall -- will move into new space in Bellarmine Centro, a $25 million, 47,300-square-foot state-of-the-art building now under construction. Centro’s classrooms will allow the business school’s students and professors to interact and collaborate in high-tech, flexible spaces.

About Dr. Brown
In addition to serving as an instructor at Bellarmine since 2000, Brown also served as a practicing attorney at Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, where he concentrated on emerging and international business. 

Brown has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Louisville, where he also earned his law degree, a master’s degree in community development and an MBA. Additionally, he earned a master’s degree from Jochi University in Tokyo and two Ph.D.s, one from the University of Cambridge and the other from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds an advanced accounting certificate from Bellarmine University.

Brown is the author of 20 books on transaction-related topics including financing start-ups, purchasing businesses and doing business globally.

In 2010, a Leadership Louisville project identified Brown as one of Louisville’s most connected professionals.

He has been an officer or has served on the boards of the U.S. Department of Commerce District Export Council’s National Steering Committee (executive committee member), U.S. State Department National Council for International Visitors/Global Ties (treasurer), American Bar Association’s International Section (programs officer), Kentucky Council on Economic Education, Kentucky District Export Council (chair) and World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana (program officer and former board chair). Past board service includes the Crane House (former president), Jefferson Community and Technical College, Japan/America Society of Kentucky (former chair), Venture Connectors (former president and chair) and World Trade Center Kentucky (former chair).

Brown and his wife, Dianne, have four children, Matthew, Brittany, and Bellarmine alumni Emma and Phil. 

Centro illustration
The W. Fielding Rubel School of Business will move into new space in Bellarmine Centro when the building is completed in 2016.

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