Santa Clara University has named Ed Grier, a veteran global operations executive and business-school leader, to be the next dean of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.
Grier will join Leavey this summer from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he has served as dean of the School of Business. He joined VCU in 2010 after a successful 29-year career with Walt Disney Company, where he served in a variety of progressively more responsible roles around the globe, including president of the $2 billion, 20,000-employee Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.
At SCU, Grier will lead a school with more than 170 faculty and 50 staff members, and more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, located in one of the world’s most innovative regions—Silicon Valley.
As Leavey’s dean, Grier will build on Santa Clara University’s national reputation for teaching, research, and innovative business education programs. He plans to strengthen relationships, continue to raise national visibility, and generate new revenue streams for the long-term vitality of the School, all within the framework of Santa Clara’s Jesuit mission and values.
“We are delighted to welcome Dean Grier to the Leavey School of Business,” said Santa Clara University Acting President Lisa Kloppenberg. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and a perspective from both academia and industry that will serve LSB well as it emerges from this pandemic year, strives to smartly leverage Silicon Valley corporate partnerships and SCU’s graduate programs, and build on its tradition of excellence in the teaching-scholar model.”
Grier’s executive leadership style emphasizes big thinking and productive collaboration. At VCU he oversaw the incorporation of the VCU Brandcenter and Center for Sport Leadership into the School of Business, creation of an International Consulting Program for both master and undergraduate students, and launch of the Master of Decision Analytics Professional Track degree program. In addition to spearheading a successful School of Business capital campaign, Grier guided the launch of the school’s online MBA program, including establishing an in-house media production facility. He facilitated a partnership with the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy to provide three-day entrepreneurship training programs on four continents.
He served as interim vice president for development and alumni relations at VCU from March to September 2017, midway through the University’s $840 million capital campaign. In addition to participating on the steering committee for the university budget redesign, Grier has chaired several key university leadership search committees.
“I am thrilled about this opportunity to lead the Leavey School of Business at such an important and exciting time,” said Grier. “Santa Clara University’s values of preparing young men and women for leadership and service to the common good align exceptionally well with my personal values. I am eager to leverage my skills as a servant leader alongside the talented faculty and staff of Leavey School.”
In the Central Virginia community, Grier serves as a board member of The Colonial Williamsburg Company, ChildFund International, and the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as a trustee of Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System in California.
A sought-after speaker on topics including diversity, leadership, and corporate creativity, Grier earned his B.A. in accounting from Duquesne University, becoming a certified public accountant while at Ernst & Ernst (now known as Ernst & Young) for four years before joining Disney.
Grier and his wife Valerie rejoin their three sons and their families, who all reside in California, after spending 11 wonderful years with VCU in Richmond, Va. Grier says he thoroughly enjoyed his time at VCU but welcomes the opportunity to live close to his family.