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Entrepreneurship Focus Attracts Top Global Talent

For immediate release
24th February 2003


Professor Wendell Dunn, a renowned entrepreneurship educator, has been appointed the inaugural Professor of Entrepreneurship at The University of Auckland Business School.

The Chair has been established by a generous donation from a private donor (who wishes to remain anonymous). Its formation is an integral part of the Business School's development into a world class school with a strong focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and technology management, alongside core disciplines of accounting and finance, economics, management, marketing, information systems and international business.

Dr. Dunn, presently Professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of Virginia, was chosen after a global recruitment search. He will take up his full-time position in May. Described by colleagues as "an academic entrepreneur" and "archetypal educator," much of Professor Dunn's academic work has involved curriculum and programme development and building ties between the academic and business communities - to the betterment of both.

He has contributed significantly to the development of highly-rated entrepreneurial programmes at two of the world's top-ranked business schools - the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and, more recently, Darden - and has substantial private sector experience, including mining and mineral processing in Australia.

The University of Auckland Business School Dean, Professor Barry Spicer, has welcomed Professor Dunn's appointment:

"Professor Dunn will be an outstanding Professor of Entrepreneurship and a great asset for the Business School and the University. There is no doubt he will also quickly make his presence felt in the business community in New Zealand. I'm delighted a teacher of his renown and experience is taking up the post."

Professor Spicer says the Chair's creation will bring benefits well beyond the Business School.

"The objective is to increase significantly the number of graduates - particularly in the sciences, engineering and the creative industries - who are able to create businesses based on their own ideas. Professor Dunn will also work closely with entrepreneurial New Zealand companies to help them build their capacity to compete.

"This appointment is another example of the increasingly entrepreneurial mindset within the University, and fits well with our ICEHOUSE activities where, in partnership with eight commercial organisations, we provide small and medium-sized enterprises which are seeking business growth with educational, research, network and incubation services."

Professor Dunn says he's excited by the potential of his new role, and the opportunity it provides to make a real contribution to the country's future economic and social well being.

"I see a vibrant, highly entrepreneurial environment, abundant opportunities, and a strong economic base on which to build the University's programmes. If I didn't think New Zealand had an extraordinary future, I wouldn't be coming."

As to the future, he adds, "Entrepreneurship is not so much about small business as it is about creating new markets and market offerings and fostering the birth and growth of new entities. It's a way of thinking about a unique class of issues and challenges, all of which drive economic development and social wealth creation."

Professor Dunn has taught entrepreneurship and venture development at the post-graduate and executive levels since 1986. His interests include academic innovation, venture initiation, research commercialisation and technology transfer. Beyond commerce, he has held adjunct faculty appointments in both Visual & Performing Arts (Columbia University) and Emergency Medicine (The George Washington University).

Prior to joining Darden in early 1996, Professor Dunn was academic director at the University of Pennsylvania's Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center. At the University of Virginia he was founding director of Darden's Batten Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (and its successor, The Batten Institute), and creator of Darden's Progressive


In 1999, Darden's entrepreneurship curriculum won the coveted NASDAQ award as a model programme in entrepreneurship and, in 2001, the Charlottesville Venture Group acknowledged Professor Dunn's contributions to the regional business community with its first "Golden Angel Award". Professor Dunn, wife Kathleen, and teenage daughter Elissa have applied for permanent residency in New Zealand.


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