Two join Smeal's leadership team, roles change

July 09, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- A reshaping of the organizational structure at Penn State's Smeal College of Business includes the appointment of two new administrators to fill retirement vacancies and a shift in the responsibilities of several of the college's leadership roles.

The college has appointed Smeal's Arvind Rangaswamy, Anchel Professor of Marketing, to the position of senior associate dean for research and faculty. Colleen Toomey, who most recently served as administrative fellow to the executive vice president and provost at Penn State, has been named associate dean for planning and administration. Vernis Welmon, assistant dean for diversity enhancement, has been named to the new position of associate dean of diversity and community.

"The timing was right to make some adjustments to the college's leadership roles," said James Thomas, dean of Smeal College of Business. "We redistributed a number of the responsibilities among the senior leadership positions to align the roles more closely with the main focus areas of our strategic plan."

Rangaswamy will be responsible for managing Smeal's research agenda as well as oversight of the Ph.D. program, international business, and faculty affairs. Toomey will direct the college's strategic planning, oversee operations, and lead Smeal's administrative units. Welmon, in addition to directing Smeal's diversity enhancement programs at all levels, will lead the college's efforts in academic integrity.

Rangaswamy joined Smeal in 1993 after serving on the faculty at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is an internationally recognized scholar for his research on concepts, methods, and models to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing using information technologies.

In addition to serving as Anchel Professor of Marketing, Rangaswamy has served Smeal as research director of the Center for Digital Transformation and as program director for the college's Institute for the Study of Business Markets. He is also a fellow of the IC2 Institute. He is a frequent consultant in the areas of marketing analytics and e-business for leading companies, including Abbott Labs, IBM, J.D. Power Associates, Pfizer, SAP Americas, and Unisys.

Rangaswamy holds a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, a masters of business administration from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, India, and a doctorate from Northwestern University.

Toomey joins Smeal from a yearlong fellowship with Penn State Provost Rodney Erickson, during which she met with deans and senior Penn State officials to gain a broad perspective of the strategic goals of the entire University. Since 2003, Toomey has been with the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, serving most recently as assistant dean for policy, planning and institutional advancement, with responsibility for strategic planning, accreditation matters, the Law School's building programs, and more recently, development and alumni relations. She played a significant role in the negotiation of the Law School's unique two-campus arrangement, the establishment of its campus in University Park, and securing the immediate full accreditation of the Law School's novel distance education program and unified two-location arrangement.

Before she joined Penn State, Toomey served as an associate with the Harrisburg business law firm McNees, Wallace & Nurick, where she represented businesses and individuals in a variety of legal matters relating to real estate.

Toomey holds a bachelor's degree from Loyola University and a juris doctorate from Villanova University School of Law.

Welmon has been on the Smeal faculty since 1986, developing and leading programs of recruitment, retention, and alumni relations that have benefited hundreds of minority MBA students. His diversity efforts at Smeal have been recognized through the establishment of the Vernis Welmon Endowment for MBA Minority Affairs by alumnus Harvey Kimmel and his wife, Virginia.

In addition to his role in fostering diversity in the Smeal MBA Program, Welmon is a popular teacher of international business and has been honored for his outstanding student advising. He is currently adviser to the Minority MBA Association and serves on several University-wide committees on international and diversity issues. He is a consultant for the Tertiary Education Linkage Project in South Africa and helped to lead Smeal's role in establishing the Mona School of Business at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

Welmon holds a bachelor's degree from Temple University, a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a doctorate from Penn State.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015