Leadership and Philosophy
What is the role of a business school during economic uncertainty?
As the U.S. and global economies sail into rough waters for an uncertain time period, it is especially important for those of us who deliver effective management education to teach our students and our corporate partners how to sustain profitable growth in a down cycle.
At The Paul Merage School of Business, we are focused on providing an education that prepares our MBA graduates for all economic realities. This strategic view means that the Merage School is becoming a globally-recognized source for information on strategic innovation to power sustained business growth, no matter the sector and no matter the economic conditions:
- Our acclaimed faculty researches and publishes timely information for both academic and business use on various aspects of the business cycle and what techniques and innovations produce successful business growth.
- Our relevant and timely curriculum — including the innovative new edge course — teaches “just in time” strategic innovation by incorporating the newest and most compelling business strategies into coursework.
- Our competitive intelligence class forces students to grapple with real world business dilemmas and challenges.
- Our MBA student consulting projects are providing solutions to complex business challenges at some of the region’s largest and most influential corporations.
Equally as important — whether in good economic times or bad — is the Merage School’s focus on bringing effective and innovative business strategies to bear on today’s most pressing and compelling social issues. No matter the strength of the global economy, the community surrounding our campus, and the citizens we touch through our presence in the community remain an important priority to us.
Through our Social Responsibility Initiative, our MBA students are reaching out to the non profit community, addressing issues such as health care availability, domestic violence, disease prevention and cure, environmental sustainability, low income housing and homelessness. We are also providing management skills and analysis to important community resources such as the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Saddleback Valley School District and other key organizations in our community. These rewarding and vital projects bring our students and faculty in touch with imperatives that are crucial to a broad-based and socially responsible business education.
As these initiatives further cement our critical community relationships and expand our influence, the Merage School must also expand the space in which we teach and research. We will soon break ground on a new building, and I invite you to participate in the construction of the new look of Merage — a “living” building that will incorporate the personal stories and business histories of our Merage friends and family. I cannot imagine a more fitting tribute to the alumni and friends who continue to make our School so distinguished.
Our focus on strategic innovation combined with our collaborative and hands-on student experience produces graduates with core business skills that intertwine with a formidable social conscience — a powerful combination, indeed.
Dean Andy Policano
The Paul Merage School of Business
University of California, Irvine
Vision, Mission and Shared Principles
The Paul Merage School of Business will be recognized among the top public university research-based business schools. The School will play a significant role in achieving the vision of the University of California, Irvine to be one of the best public research universities in the country by 2014.
The Paul Merage School of Business will enhance socially responsible and sustainable growth in the global economy through:
- Strategic innovation
- Analytic decision making
- Informational technology
- Collaborative execution
The School will be recognized among the top twenty five research-based business schools in the world.
"Innovation to shape the world; personalization to shape you."
We are committed in our teaching and research to the principles of strategic innovation, analytic decision-making information technology and collaborative execution as the drivers of sustainable growth.
We are dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about management, innovation and strategic growth in a global economy through research, teaching and service to the community.
We will provide an innovative learning environment that challenges students to think creatively, anticipate change and lead sustainable growth in a competitive, technology-intensive global economy.
We are committed to playing a significant role in the growth of the community by providing entrepreneurs, businesses and other organizations with student and faculty expertise, and by creating value-added executive and other life-long learning programs.
We value diversity and are committed to maintaining an environment of integrity, mutual respect and civility and to attracting a diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff.
We are dedicated to the principle that all graduates from our programs will have the potential to make a significant contribution both to their profession and to society.
About Paul Merage
Paul Merage is a philanthropist, an innovative and successful entrepreneur, and a champion of education whose $30 million gift to UC Irvine’s business school was the most significant donation in the University’s history.
Paul Merage was born in Iran during World War II. In the early 1960s, his father sent him to the United States so that he might have a better future. He arrived alone and could barely speak English. However, he soon enrolled at Hope College in Michigan where he excelled as a top student, giving him the academic accomplishments necessary to transfer to UC Berkeley. By the time he was 22, he had earned both his bachelor’s degree and his MBA.
Paul planned his career carefully. He researched the restaurant industry to find out what owners and customers needed most and eventually used this information to found Chef America. With an eye for change, Paul recognized the demographic and social shifts in America — more working parents, less time to prepare meals for families and an array of advances made possible with the expanding use of the microwave oven. Paul seized this opportunity and created HOT POCKETS® as an innovative answer to societal trends. His new product ensured that Chef America was a great success, and it was eventually purchased by Nestlé.
Now Paul is leaving a different legacy — giving back to the community. In addition to his namesake donation to The Paul Merage School of Business, he maintains involvement with organizations that reflect his own immigrant background and his passion for America. These charitable organizations expand educational opportunities for families with low to moderate income levels. The Merage Institute for the American Dream offers major fellowships to outstanding immigrant college students “to help them pursue their American Dream.” And through the Children First Foundation, needy children are provided with educational, developmental and mentorship opportunities.
We applaud Paul Merage for his innovation, his inspiration and his drive. “America is a noble society,” he says, “and it inspires you to be noble.” His background in entrepreneurship, sustained business growth and social responsibility serve as an inspiration for all of the programs at the Merage School.