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The Paul Merage School of Business

About the school

The Paul Merage School of Business

UCI's Paul Merage School of Business combines the academic strengths and best traditions of the ֲý with the cutting-edge, entrepreneurial spirit of Orange County in the heart of America's Tech Coast. Three dynamic MBA programs – plus Ph.D., undergraduate business and several specialized master's degrees – deliver the school's thematic approach to business ֲý: sustainable growth through strategic innovation. The Merage School consistently ranks among the top 10 percent of accredited business schools in the nation and boasts a world-class faculty, strong alumni network, and close individual and corporate relationships. The school enrolls 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students annually.

The Merage School graduates leaders with the exceptional ability to help grow their organizations through targeted, inventive changes. Our curriculum is supported by a highly personalized learning environment that allows students to engage in analytical decision-making and collaborative execution of best practices. In-class and on-site experiences with real-world business issues give our students the edge needed to help companies compete in today's global economy.

The school's pioneering curriculum and expert faculty attract the best and brightest students. Companies like Allergan, IBM, The Boeing Co., Mattel, HBO, Disney, Ingram Micro, Deloitte Consulting and 20th Century Fox recognize the quality of our MBA as well as Specialized Masters programs and regularly recruit our graduates. Additionally, our undergraduate program has quickly become one of the most rigorous and competitive programs in California.

Seven Centers of Excellence and Executive Education programs provide numerous opportunities for students and business community members to enhance their ֲýal experience as well as broaden and update their professional expertise.

The Merage School has grown to encompass a two-building business school campus at UCI. Our new state-of-the-art 78,000 square foot building is the premier hub for business in Orange County and will take the school to new heights in student learning opportunities, faculty research, and community engagement. At the Merage School, we devote our resources and research to solving societal issues. Together with our alumni and business community partners, we are proud to launch the next generation of professionals who will have a positive impact in business as well as in society as a whole.

Dean Ian O. Williamson

Ian O. Williamson was appointed dean of The UCI Paul Merage School of Business on January 1, 2021. Prior to joining the Merage School, he served as pro vice-chancellor and dean of commerce at the Wellington School of Business and Government at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. 

Williamson received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in business from Miami University. He has served as a faculty member at Melbourne Business School, Rutgers Business School, the Zurich Institute of Business Education, the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and Institut Teknologi Bandung.

Williamson is a globally recognized expert in the area of human resource management. His research examines the impact of "talent pipelines" on organizational and community outcomes. Williamson has assisted executives in over 20 countries across six continents enhance firm operational and financial outcomes, improve talent recruitment and retention, enhance firm innovation and understand the impact of social issues on firm outcomes. 

Williamson’s research has been published in leading academic journals (e.g. Academy of Management Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology) and has been covered by leading media outlets across the world. He has served on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Academy Management Review, Academy of Management Education and Learning, Journal of Management and Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal and Journal of Management.

He is a past recipient of the Academy of Management (AOM) Education Division Best Paper Award for his research on high performing teams, the AOM Human Resource Division Best Paper Award for his research on the effect of employee mobility on firm performance and the AOM Ralph Alexander Best Dissertation Award for his research examining the top management team (TMT) selection decisions of Fortune 500 firms. He is a recipient of the AOM Best Practices Mentoring Award for his role as the founding President of the Management Faculty of Color Association (MFCA). He also received the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School Outstanding PhD Student Award.

A passionate educator, Williamson has been recognized for his innovative approaches to business ֲý. He is a past recipient of the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business Krowe Teaching Award, the Melbourne Business School Senior Executive MBA Teaching Award, the University of Melbourne Award for Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education, and the Business/Higher Education Round Table CPA Australia/ABDC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business Education Collaboration. Williamson was inducted into the PhD Project Hall of Fame for his efforts to enhance diversity in academia and the business world.

Distinctions and Awards

The Paul Merage School of Business consistently ranks among the top accredited business schools in the U.S. Additionally, the school ranks 5th in the U.S. for students employed within 90 days of graduation (at 94 percent) and is the No. 1 school in the nation for percentage of women faculty. Also, Financial Times Global MBA announced in its 2019 rankings report that the full-time MBA program ranked 24th in the U.S. and 8th among public university business schools.