This fall semester, the University of Rhode Island appointed Dr. Maling Ebrahimpour as Dean of the College of Business after the departure of his predecessor, Mark Higgins, to Saint Louis University in December.
Ebrahimpour fulfilled his undergraduate career in Iran and specialized in training accountants. He finished his undergraduate studies in three years while working full time and participating in many different extracurriculars. He would like to be an example in his new position for the students of URI to follow.
“In this country we say [students should graduate in] four years, so I hope that our students graduate in four years,” Ebrahimpour said. “[But] I would love to see everybody graduate in three years. It would be less costly for the nation… the more you stay the more costs that happen.”
As an adult, Ebrahimpour came to the United States and received his Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In between obtaining his Ph.D. and his current role as the Dean of Business at URI, he served as the Dean of Business at both Roger Williams University and the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg. He was also an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island for 18 years.
Ebrahimpour has had extensive experience preparing students to enter the workforce. He has a strong belief that, in order to keep students competitive, the business program must continue to have high standards.
“I am urging the faculty to not lower [our] standards,” Ebrahimpour said. “Students who come here must be prepared. The college of business is not an easy college [and] we are going to make sure [students] get the best education that [they] can. If you come to the college of business, you better work hard and be ready. Every step of the way will be a challenge.”
Students will not always be successful in their coursework, and Ebrahimpour realizes this. Â
“The school is the safest place for you to make mistakes,” Ebrahimpour said. “The worst thing that will happen is you get an F.”
That being said, Ebrahimpour wants to take an active role to helping his students achieve as much success in their academic and professional careers as possible.
“[Students] are the number one priority for us,” he said. “The [purpose] for the University to exist is to educate [them]. I’d like to have an opportunity once a month where students could meet the dean. Come and ask questions. I [want] to see what the students are thinking.”
Ebrahimpour would also like for business majors to be more involved with the education of all students, regardless of their major. He feels the college of business is central to all of the colleges in the university.
“Every student who graduates either goes to graduate school or to work,” Ebrahimpour said. “If you go to work, you end up in business. If you go to graduate school you [eventually] end up in business. I’m not saying this because I’m the dean of business; if I was in chemistry I would say the same thing.”