FORTUNE -- The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School has a new dean. On Monday, the school announced that Geoffrey Garrett, current head of the Australian School of Business at Sydney's University of New South Wales, would replace Wharton's current Dean Thomas Robertson, effective July 1.
Garrett, an Australian native, will leave Sydney after a little over one year on the job to return to the States, where he has spent most of his teaching career at institutions including Stanford, UCLA, Yale, and Wharton itself. In a statement Monday, he spoke briefly about the challenges and opportunities facing the B-school marketplace.
"Like other sectors, globalization and technological change are poised to transform business education," Garrett said. "I have no doubt Wharton will be in the vanguard of this transformation in America and around the world."
His appointment comes at a time of upheaval for the elite business school. In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wharton was losing its luster, as prospective students snubbed the Wall Street powerhouse for trendier -- and techier -- campuses such as the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Less than a week after the Journal article ran, the school's admissions chief, Ankur Kumar, resigned her post.
Garrett will be taking the reins during a period in which Wharton's application numbers have slumped relative to other top schools. Wharton's application volume dropped 12% in the last four years and posted a 5.8% decline last year. By comparison, Stanford's applications rose 5.8% and Harvard's climbed by 3.9%. Part of the decline may have to do with Wharton's standing as the school of choice for titans of finance, a career path that has lost some of its appeal since the financial crisis.
Garrett has signaled he's willing to experiment with today's B-school market trends. He co-authored a paper on "technology-enabled universities" last year, and has advocated for putting more academic materials online. While at the Australian School of Business, he touted the school's appeal to fast-growing Asian markets as one of its key differentiators.
Garrett has voiced some skepticism over MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, but has said that the MBA of the future will "allow students to do much of the work on their smart phones after their families have gone to bed."
To subvert what he has called the "decades-old rut of jargon and navel-gazing" at MBA programs, the incoming Wharton dean has promoted increased emphasis on in-person interactions and aggressive tech adoption. "The future is bright," Garrett wrote in a paper last year. "But it will require universities to embrace radical change to a centuries-old model, and to do so at a pace much more rapid than normal 'university time.'"
Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, discusses the benefits of non-traditional work.
Fortune.com selects the most compelling short essays, anecdotes, and author interviews from "250 Words," a site developed by Simon & Schuster to explore the best new business books—wherever they may be published.
FORTUNE -- For this installment, 250 Words' Sam McNerney sits down with Adam Braun, the founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has broken ground on more than 200 schools MOREMar 17, 2014 12:10 PM ET
Through free online courses from the likes of Wharton and Stanford, ambitious types can conceivably skip the student loan debt and get a B-school education for nothing.
By Jeff Schmitt
(Poets&Quants) -- So you want an MBA, but you can't afford to take two years off and invest upwards of a quarter of a million on tuition, books, living expenses, and lost wages?
Boy, do I have a proposition for you.
Now, it's MOREDec 23, 2013 9:43 AM ET
The latest disappointing data about America's skill shortage underline the need for more American companies to provide on-the-job training and education.Oct 25, 2013 10:36 AM ET
Atari founder Nolan Bushnell discusses the evolution of his management style and his recently published book, Finding the Next Steve Jobs.Oct 22, 2013 2:24 PM ET
Baroness Shriti Vadera discusses the concerning economic impact of the growing skills gap in the United States at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C.Claire Zillman, reporter - Oct 16, 2013 2:17 PM ET
Singularity University is a novel response to the need for continuous, lifelong learning among professionals in today's working world.
By John Hagel and John Seely Brown
FORTUNE -- Singularity University may well be the future of higher education. With backing from an array of high tech corporate partners, it isn't what you typically think of when you imagine a school. In fact, this fledgling Silicon Valley institution holds powerful lessons for MORESep 16, 2013 5:00 AM ET
Who needs the humanities? The answer: We all do, including every American business leader who has even a shred of ambition.Jun 20, 2013 4:14 PM ET
The rapid decline of China's labor supply in the coming two decades could throw a wrench into the nation's economy. How the Chinese government can respond.
By Minxin Pei
FORTUNE -- Not too long ago, the mere mention of the "China price" could send shivers down the spines of executives in developing countries trying to compete for outsourcing contracts.
Typically, Western multinationals would demand the lowest price possible, which in reality was bench-marked by MOREFeb 6, 2013 10:23 AM ET
Grand Canyon's strategy for financial success includes a real campus for its long-distance learners.
By Richard McGill Murphy, contributor
FORTUNE -- Founded in 1949 as a Southern Baptist college, Grand Canyon University was insolvent and ready for the educational scrap heap by 2004, when a group of investors bought the school and converted it to a for-profit institution. Today Grand Canyon (LOPE) is the country's only for-profit Christian university. Publicly traded MOREDec 18, 2012 5:00 AM ET
|Regulators pave way for Internet "fast lane" with net neutrality rules|
|What stumps Warren Buffett? Minimum wage|
|Analysts offer no apologies for missing Apple's Q2 2014 earnings beat|
|Facebook profit triples on mobile growth|
|Apple reports its quarterly earnings for fiscal Q2 2014|