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The Power of 10

by Weezie Mackey

The Vanity Fair-inspired photo shoot of new faculty in Gibbs Gallery at McNair Hall included the senior leadership team — Peter Rodriguez, dean; Jing Zhou, deputy dean; and Barbara Ostdiek, senior associate dean. Not pictured; Amy Dittmar, provost and professor of economics and finance.

From left to right: Süleyman Kerimov, Jung Youn Lee, Barbara Ostdiek, Daan van Knippenberg, Peter Rodriguez, Sora Jun, Jing Zhou, Nicola Secomandi, David Zhang, Robert Dittmar, Yiangos Papanastasiou, and Tommy Pan Fang


Rice Business welcomes a record 10 tenured and tenure-track professors.

Competition is tough at the top of the business school market. Hiring high-caliber faculty to match enrollment growth is one of the biggest challenges we face as a school. The 10 newest faculty members who joined Rice Business as of July meet the challenge and bump our number of tenured and tenure-track professors to 63, an increase of nearly 50% over the last 10 years.

Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty by Year

Former Deputy Dean Jeff Fleming, who was in charge of the hiring, said, “We had great success with faculty recruiting last year, hiring many new Ph.D. graduates who were at the top of their recruiting markets, and attracting several fantastic tenured faculty from other institutions. We look to continue the momentum this year. We still have a lot of needs and recruiting the best faculty in the areas in which we need to grow and compete is a balancing act. Fortunately, Peter’s built a strong foundation for the school as dean and we now have a deep core of outstanding faculty. The school has rapidly become a place where other top faculty want to be.”

Faculty contributions in research, teaching and service are critical to fulfilling our mission, as is creating a supportive atmosphere where faculty are able to pursue their research while engaging with a vibrant business community in Houston. This year’s new faculty range from highly published and tenured to fresh out of Ph.D. programs at Harvard Business School, Stanford, Northwestern and London Business School with research under their belts. Their research spans finance, operations management, organizational behavior, strategy and marketing, and they will be teaching across all programs.

“Our programs have seen tremendous growth over the years — including our newest business major for undergraduate students — and we wanted to bring in strong scholars to support that growth,” said Rice Business Dean Peter Rodriguez.


“We want to hire the best professors from any region and background to teach our students and enhance relationships in Houston and beyond. This group of chaired full professors and first-appointment assistant professors brings a wealth of diverse knowledge, experience and insight to our campus and the city.”

Jing Zhou, the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Management and Psychology, assumed the role of deputy dean of academic affairs for Rice Business July 1.

As Jing Zhou steps into her role at the new deputy dean during this sustained period of growth, her perspective still carries the weight of a professor who has been in the classroom at Rice Business since 2003. “There has never been a better time to work and study at Rice Business. We have experienced amazing growth, and this group of new colleagues further adds to our vibrant research enterprise. Our faculty are thought leaders in their fields. Their knowledge will benefit anyone who is interested in becoming an effective leader and making a positive difference.”

While faculty and program growth go hand in hand, so too does accommodating professors and students with a building and staff that fit their needs. Today, all of this is happening simultaneously: more faculty, students and staff, plus a plan to expand McNair Hall. And the dean is ready for it.

“Within about six months when I first arrived, I came to the conclusion that we probably needed to be twice as big as we were to compete with the very best schools on a national stage.” The dean admits that twice as big is simple on paper. Paying for it, implementing it and adapting the school for growth is the hard part. 

“The trick is, you can’t be the best and trade off quality for quantity. It’s much easier to grow without that constraint. We’ve set a high bar. Best students. Best faculty. Rice and Houston are ripe for that.”

Meet the Faculty

To learn more about our growing roster of high-caliber faculty members and their research, visit

Daan Van Knippenberg

Daan van Knippenberg, Houston Endowment Professor of Management, is a highly published researcher focused on organizational behavior whose expertise also includes leadership, diversity and inclusion, team performance, and creativity and innovation. He has been a professor at Drexel University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he also received his Ph.D.

Nicola Secomandi

Nicola Secomandi, Houston Endowment Professor of Management, focuses on operations management and the energy industry, with the energy transition of specific interest. Prior to Rice, Secomandi was the head of the Ph.D. program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. He earned an undergraduate degree from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and a master’s in computer science and Ph.D. in operations research and statistics from the University of Houston.

Robert Dittmar

Robert Dittmar, professor of finance, joins Rice Business after serving at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. His research focuses on theoretical and empirical issues in the pricing of fixed income securities and how different assets affect a firms’ equity. He earned his Ph.D. in finance from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jung Youn Lee

Jung Youn Lee, assistant professor of marketing, focuses on how firm or governmental policy affects distribution or efficiency. Her research aims to understand how consumer data, fairness constraints and consumers’ privacy preferences shape credit market outcomes. Lee received her Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and completed her bachelor’s in economics at Rice.

Tommy Pan Fang

Tommy Pan Fang, assistant professor of strategic management, received a Ph.D. in business administration from Harvard Business School and bachelor’s degrees in economics and computer science from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include the economics of digitization and entrepreneurship — how digital platforms affect growth and performance.

Yiangos Papanastasiou

Yiangos Papanastasiou, associate professor in management, focuses on operations management and has made significant contributions to the understanding of online platform and marketplace operations. He will teach MBA courses on business analytics, data analysis and statistics. In addition to operations management, his research interests include pricing and revenue management and business analytics. Papanastasiou completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge, where he also earned a master’s degree in computer and information engineering. He completed his Ph.D. in management science and operations at the London Business School.

David Zhang

David Zhang, assistant professor of finance, focuses on real estate and household finance. He graduated with a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s in economics and mathematics from Amherst College. Before starting graduate school, Zhang was a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Consumer Payments Research Center.

Sora Jun

Sora Jun, assistant professor of management, focuses on organizational behavior and teaches the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business course in Rice’s MBA program. Her research employs psychological perspectives to study social hierarchies and inequality, workplace discrimination and intergroup relations. Jun’s research also investigates when and why leadership fails to recognize racial discrimination and sexual harassment. She received a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce and Finance degree from the University of Toronto.

Süleyman Kerimov, assistant professor of management, focuses his research on operations management as well as market design, matching theory and applied probability. He holds a Ph.D. in operations research from Stanford University and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Bilkent University in Turkey.

Amy Dittmar

Amy K. Dittmar, provost and professor of economics and finance, is a distinguished scholar of corporate finance, governance and gender economics. She served as senior vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan. Dittmar earned her B.S. in finance and business economics from Indiana University and Ph.D. in finance from the University of North Carolina.


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