San Jose State Names New Business Dean

David M. Steele, former president of Chevron Latin America and dean of the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University, has been appointed dean of the College of Business at San José State University. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Carmen Sigler selected Steele after a national search that focused on candidates with substantive experience in both the corporate and academic arenas.

“Dr. Steele’s global perspective, engineering and business expertise, proven track record as a corporate and academic leader, and unquestionable integrity make him ideally suited to succeed within our college, campus and community,” Sigler said. “I am confident he will take San José State’s College of Business to a new level of excellence in providing our students with the academic and professional training they need to prosper in Silicon Valley and beyond.”

A resident of Melbourne, Fla., Steele will begin at San José State in July 2008. He will succeed former Dean Bruce Magid, who left San José State in June 2007 to head the International Business School at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Steele was attracted to San José State’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley as well as its excellence, diversity and international emphasis, all supported by two recent major gifts, $10 million in 2006 from alumni Donald and Sally Lucas and $5 million in 2007 from alumnus Gary J. Sbona.

“I have a driving desire to culminate my career at an academic institution that has a vision of excellence, an international focus, a vibrant business community and where I can pass on to others the knowledge and cultural sensitivity I acquired as a global business executive,” Steele said. “I believe that San José State University will provide that dynamic environment.”

Steele was dean of the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University from 2002 to 2005. The largest private university in New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson has a total enrollment of more than 11,000 students and a large international student body on two campuses and four off-site corporate locations. Steele was also professor and dean of the College of Business at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. Founded in 1958 to train professionals working at what is now the Kennedy Space Center, the institute has a total enrollment of more than 5,100 students.

“My objectives were to build on the colleges’ strengths by enhancing academic quality and student welfare; dramatically increase external funding and strengthen ties with corporate, employer and industry associations; strengthen the quality of the faculty; and improve communications and teamwork,” Steele said. “Improved academic programs tailored to employers’ needs and actively engaging faculty were the two principal drivers of change.”

Steele has over 25 years of richly varied executive experience in global business development, finance and engineering in the petroleum and IT industries. He rose through the ranks of Chevron Corporation to become president of Chevron Latin America. Based in Venezuela, he managed projects with huge capital investments in countries with difficult social, economic and political environments, and chaired the operating committee of an international petroleum consortium.

Born in Venezuela of Hispanic heritage, Steele attended Birmingham University in England, receiving bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering. He later completed graduate business training at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the Wharton School. He has achieved distinction as an industry leader for programs on safety, educational and environmental issues. He was awarded the Rafael Urdaneta Medal for outstanding public service in Venezuela. He has also been active with Junior Achievement and was a guest lecturer at the California Polytechnic University. Leading a very active lifestyle, Steele enjoys travel, sailing, scuba diving and skiing. He is married, has two married sons and has resided in seven foreign countries.

San José State’s College of Business is Silicon Valley’s largest with approximately 6,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The college sends around 1,400 graduates into the workforce annually, most of whom settle in the San Francisco Bay Area. The college includes the departments of accounting and finance, management information systems, marketing and decision sciences, and organization and management. The Gary J. Sbona Honors Program provides top undergraduates the opportunity to work in cross-disciplinary teams on real assignments for corporate and government clients. The program includes international travel so students can experience the global business environment.

The Donald and Sally Lucas Graduate School of Business offers part- and full-time MBA programs, and master’s degrees in accounting, taxation and transportation management, all with an emphasis on international studies. The College of Business also encompasses the Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship, Mineta Transportation Institute and the High Technology Tax Institute.