Daniels College of Business Welcomes New Dean
Vivek Choudhury to focus on innovation and student impact
Vivek Choudhury comes across as quiet, thoughtful and reserved. But when the new dean of the Daniels College of Business talks about education, his enthusiasm radiates. He is passionate about constant innovation and the opportunity to impact students.
“You have the chance to interact with students, learn about their aspirations and work with them. And if you’re lucky, you have an opportunity to make a difference in some lives,” Choudhury said of his love of higher education. “Whether you’re researching or teaching, you’re constantly having to learn new things and innovate. You have to reinvent yourself.”
It was his passion for innovation that appealed to the search committee, as well as then-Provost and current University of Denver Chancellor Jeremy Haefner and now Chancellor Emerita Rebecca Chopp.
“Under Vivek’s leadership, we believe Daniels will become even stronger and better able to help students prepare for work and careers in the 21st century. Vivek shares DU’s commitment to innovation,” Chopp said. “He understands what has traditionally helped business schools succeed, and he has a vision for what they need to succeed in the future.”
Innovation and entrepreneurship have been a constant in Choudhury’s life since his undergraduate years in Calcutta, India. The first-generation college student had a small factory, manufacturing lightweight plastic bags. It gave him a taste of the innovative and collaborative climate that characterizes higher education.
“The big problems in the world don't get addressed by any one division or college," he said. "I’m looking forward to conversations with my fellow deans and other people at different schools to develop cross-disciplinary initiatives. That could be collaborating with the engineering school on technology, working with the Josef Korbel School of International Studies on global education and international engagement, or with the Colorado Women's College on entrepreneurship and STEM programs for women, for example."
While Choudhury has many thoughts on where business education is headed, he believes it is important to listen first before laying out a vision for Daniels. He’s eager to hear from the business community and the DU community of alumni, students, faculty and staff.
“I visualize a future where we have a really symbiotic relationship with the dynamic business community in the region,” he said. “DU is already a strong school; it has the potential to get even better with it being located in a very fast-growing business community.”
Any path forward, however, must prepare students for the rapidly changing needs of the tech-driven world. That means teaching students to master data-based trends while also creating ethical leaders who will contribute to the public and social good.
"According to the Institute for the Future, 85% of the jobs that today’s students will do in 2030 may not exist yet. Much of this change will be driven by new technologies and big data. We need to be effective at preparing students, not only to be tech- and data-savvy, but also to be continual learners,” Choudhury said.
Choudhury comes to the University of Denver from the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB), where he served most recently as associate dean for strategic initiatives and professor of information systems and technology management.
“Vivek is a thoughtful, innovative and energizing person who has a great appreciation for the shifting landscape of business education and how it needs to evolve to address the changing needs of the business world,” said Anuj Mehrotra, dean of GWSB. “He has earned the respect and collaboration of his colleagues through his hard work and his creative proposals in resource-constrained environments.”
Prior to GWSB, Choudhury spent more than a decade at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner School of Business in various faculty and leadership roles. His earlier faculty positions were held at Florida State University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Choudhury earned his master’s in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his PhD in management (information systems) from the University of California, Los Angeles. He studied accounting as an undergraduate at the University of Calcutta.
Choudhury has been married to Lori Barth Choudhury, formerly a librarian and coordinator of e-learning at the University of Cincinnati Libraries, for 33 years. They have two sons, Sanjay and Devin.