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DePaul names Sulin Ba dean for the Driehaus College of Business

Driehaus College of Business
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

A higher education leader who is dedicated to fostering research, interdisciplinary collaboration and global learning will serve as the next dean for the Driehaus College of Business. Provost Salma Ghanem announced today, Jan. 12, that Dr. Sulin Ba will join the DePaul community on July 1.

DePaul names Sulin Ba dean for the Driehaus College of Business

Ba is currently a professor and the Treibick Family Endowed Chair in information technology at the University of Connecticut. In her nearly 20 years at UConn's School of Business, she has held multiple leadership roles, most recently as the associate dean of academic and research support. She also served as the executive director for the Connecticut Information Technology Institute and faculty director for the Center for International Business Education and Research.

“Sulin immediately impressed me with her deep understanding of today's higher education landscape," Ghanem says. “She recognizes what a leading business school like Driehaus must do to develop our students into talented global citizens who can make positive changes in the world. Her collaborative leadership style, visionary ideas and dedication to inclusive learning will without a doubt benefit DePaul University." 

As associate dean, Ba championed faculty research. She successfully implemented new policies and procedures to increase productivity and incentivize high-quality research. In order to better support junior faculty, she initiated and implemented the business school's first mentoring program.

Ba also launched several initiatives to foster collaboration across campus. Recognizing the importance of preparing students for the global economy, she led the development of dual-degree programs in business, Spanish and German Studies. Each program includes a semester abroad at a partner university, as well as an overseas internship component.

As innovation plays an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy, Ba made it a priority for students to have more opportunities to engage in entrepreneurship and experiential learning programs across UConn and outside the university. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors for Innovation Place Hartford, an initiative jointly funded by the State of Connecticut and other public and private sectors to catalyze technological innovation. As part of the board's work, she brought together UConn's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the University of Hartford, Trinity College and other organizations to launch several entrepreneurship programs, such as the InsurTech Accelerator and Ignite Hartford. Both programs are embraced not only by students at these universities, but also by major insurance companies in Hartford.

“Universities can and must be engines of innovation for society. Business education is at an inflection point," Ba says. “With its strong connection to the vibrant Chicago business community, the Driehaus College of Business has an outstanding foundation to be on the forefront of the rapidly changing business education landscape, to be a driver of economic growth and social mobility. I am honored to be the next dean of the Driehaus College. I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and students to elevate the college to even further levels of success."

Strengthening diversity and inclusion among faculty, staff and students is a high priority for Ba. Through fundraising at UConn, Ba created a mentorship program to help underserved high school students find a pathway to college.

“There is great alignment between my experience and DePaul's dedication to making education accessible to all," Ba says. “I am eager to continue working towards providing inclusive access to a world-class business education."

An award-winning researcher who publishes regularly in leading academic journals, Ba is an honorary distinguished professor at the School of Management at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She also has previously served as a distinguished visiting professor at University of Mannheim in Germany, as well as an assistant professor in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. She has a Ph.D. in management information systems and a master's in library and information sciences from the University of Texas at Austin. Ba earned her bachelor's degree in library and information sciences from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.

The Driehaus College of Business is currently led by Thomas Donley, who has served as interim dean since July 2020.

“Tom took on the interim dean role in the midst of one of the most challenging periods for DePaul and higher education due to the pandemic," Ghanem says. “I am incredibly grateful for all he has done to support our faculty, staff and students during these challenging times. The Driehaus College of Business is poised for much future success, thanks to his leadership."