Tufts University administrator named dean of MSU business college

Posted at 8:54 AM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 10:54:24-04

BOZEMAN — An administrator and professor from Tufts University will be the next dean of Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

MSU officials announced today that Mark Ranalli has been named dean after a national search. Ranalli will begin at MSU July 1.

“We are confident Mr. Ranalli will be an extraordinary leader for the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship,” said Bob Mokwa, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “His experience as an administrator and professor, as well as his experience in business, is evidence of his innovative approach – an approach that will translate well to our business college.”

Ranalli’s experience at Tufts University includes serving since 2014 as associate dean of the School of Engineering, as professor of the practice and as executive director of the Tufts Gordon Institute, which encompasses two graduate degrees, a minor, an entrepreneurial leadership studies program and the university’s entrepreneurship center. Ranalli helped secure space for the Tufts entrepreneurship center, was a driving force behind a university-wide strategic initiative to define a long-term strategy for entrepreneurship at the university, and helped launch a new master’s program of innovation and leadership. Enrollment across the programs he managed more than doubled during his time there.

In the realm of business, Ranalli co-founded and served as CEO of Basessix, an internet professional services agency. He later founded and led Helium, a crowd sourcing content marketing and publishing company, which was later sold to the marketing firm RR Donnelley, which Ranalli served as managing director of the company’s digital solutions group. Ranalli led a new business unit and provided strategic leadership for the firm. He also oversaw merger and acquisition efforts for new technologies and worked to integrate businesses and products into the firm.

Ranalli has a master of business administration from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in computer science from Stanford University.

Mokwa expressed appreciation for the search committee members and the search committee chair, College of Education, Health and Human Development Dean Alison Harmon.

“I am grateful to Dean Harmon and the members of the search committee for their outstanding efforts to engage the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the broader MSU community in the search process,” Mokwa said. “We had an impressive group of excellent candidates, thanks in large part to their hard work and dedication to this important undertaking.”

Ranalli succeeds Kregg Aytes, who announced in 2017 that he was stepping down as dean at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year to return to teaching. Aytes will occupy an available tenure-track faculty position within the college.

The MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship offers four undergraduate options of study, including accounting, finance, management and marketing, as well as five minors, including accounting, business administration, entrepreneurship and small business management, finance, and international business. The college also offers a master of professional accountancy degree, a business certificate and entrepreneurship certificate. Last fall, the college reported an enrollment of more than 1,500 students. More information is available at