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Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD, the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business, to complete her term as dean in May 2023

Dr. Russell will remain at Villanova as Dean Emeritus and Professor of Management and Operations, refocusing her career on teaching, scholarship and professional leadership

Head shot of Dr. Joyce E. A. Russell

VILLANOVA, Pa.— Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, announced today that Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD, the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business (VSB), has decided to complete her term as dean at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year. Dr. Russell plans to shift her career focus to her professional passions—teaching students, working on research and writing projects, and continuing her leadership work on several professional boards.

“During Dr. Russell’s seven years as the Helen and William O’Toole Dean, VSB has experienced tremendous success,” said Father Donohue. “From receiving top rankings for its undergraduate and graduate programs to building a strategic vision that has enabled the school to grow in prominence and reputation, VSB has flourished throughout Dr. Russell’s tenure. I am grateful for her service and contributions to Villanova and congratulate her as she transitions to her new role at the University.”

Under Dr. Russell’s direction, VSB strengthened faculty scholarship and teaching; enhanced student programming; and established an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dr. Russell also worked to upgrade classrooms, labs and study spaces; expand connections with alumni and employers; and maintain strong fundraising, helping VSB to remain a national leader in business education. She has also helped VSB celebrate its 100th year of excellence in business education.

“It has been such an honor and blessing to serve as the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business. Working with such talented and dedicated colleagues, alumni, employers, families and students in VSB and across Villanova has been incredibly rewarding,” said Dr. Russell. “After this year, I am excited to continue this collaboration in my new role as Dean Emeritus and Professor of Management and Operations. I’m energized to spend more time teaching our undergraduate, graduate and executive students and working on research projects with companies and business boards. I am so proud of all that we have accomplished together and am excited to see what the future holds for VSB and Villanova.”

Following the 2022-2023 academic year, Dr. Russell will be named Dean Emeritus and remain at Villanova as a Professor in the Department of Management and Operations within VSB. After taking a yearlong sabbatical, Dr. Russell will focus her faculty efforts on teaching, writing and service. She will return to teaching to develop and lead coursework on such topics as leadership and management development and negotiation strategies. Dr. Russell will also dedicate much of her time to writing and is currently working on several books on leadership. Continuing her dedication to professional service, she was recently elected chair of the Women Administrators in Management Education, an affinity group within the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) that seeks to transform business schools and business education. She serves on other important AACSB committees as well as on the boards of other business and leadership organizations.

“We are fortunate that Dr. Russell will remain at the University as a teacher-scholar. Her continued commitment to Villanova highlights the strength of our academic community,” remarked University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD. “As dean, she has worked tirelessly to serve our students and create an environment that allows them to reach their full potential, both academically and professionally. I know that she will bring that same dedication to the classroom and to her scholarship in this next chapter of her career.”

Prior to her tenure at Villanova, Dr. Russell served as the as senior associate dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). In this role, she was responsible for leading both undergraduate and graduate business programs, overseeing corporate and global partnerships, assisting with the management of the school’s budget, and working to create and implement its strategic plan. She also served as the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program for the Smith School’s nationally ranked EMBA program and its corporate clients. Before coming to UMD, Dr. Russell served as full professor in the Department of Management at the University of Tennessee.

In the coming weeks, Villanova will move forward with a national search for the next Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business, with Provost Maggitti serving as chair of the search committee.

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is top ranked among business schools in the nation and is celebrating its 100th year of excellence in business education in the 2022-2023 academic year. Its online graduate business programs are ranked No. 3, and its online MBA program is ranked No. 9 by U.S. News and World Report. VSB has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to five Centers of Excellence—the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Elenore and Robert F. Moran Sr. Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Marketing and Consumer Insights and the Center for Church Management—with each designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and applied opportunities for students. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service-learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit