Tag: Dean Mahendra Gupta

Nicholas Dopuch working with a student in 1988.
Nicholas Dopuch, 1929-2018

Nicholas Dopuch, 1929-2018

Olin Emeritus Professor Nicholas Dopuch, a transformational figure in the world of accounting research who past deans credit with profoundly elevating the business school’s profile, died on Sunday. He was 88.

Praise for Dr. Dopuch’s influence as a researcher, mentor, teacher, and friend poured into Mahendra Gupta’s email inbox following the news. Former colleagues and students from the University of Chicago, Stanford University, the University of Illinois, and numerous other institutions expressed their sorrow at Dr. Dopuch’s passing and appreciation for his work and influence.

“I owe my career to him,” said Gupta, Olin’s former dean and Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting. “He was a mentor, a father-figure and he was a great guide, not just to me, but to every PhD student, faculty member, and others at the school.”


Dr. Dopuch with former dean Bob Virgil.

Dr. Dopuch with former dean Robert L. Virgil.

Dr. Dopuch was born Nov. 15, 1929, in St. Louis, the son of Serbian parents who emigrated to the United States as teenagers. After a lackluster high school career at McKinley High, he worked for Anheuser-Busch and attended classes part-time at Washington University.

“I never anticipated an academic or professional career,” Dr. Dopuch said in a profile by the Accounting Hall of Fame. “In fact, were it not for the Korean War, I might have stayed with Anheuser-Busch because of the various ‘fringe benefits’ that went with the job.”

After his tour of duty with the US Air Force, he was persuaded that an education could benefit his long-term future. He went to college near his parents’ farm at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1957; and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois in 1959 and 1961, respectively. Prior to his tenure at Washington University, Dopuch taught at the universities of Chicago and Illinois and Indiana University.

Dr. Dopuch came to Olin in 1983 after a long tenure at the University of Chicago, where he was editor of the influential Journal of Accounting Research. Robert L. Virgil, who hired Dr. Dopuch when he was dean of WashU’s business school, said his stamp on accounting research resounded around the globe as he insisted on rigorous research to advance the field.

Introducing rigor into accounting research

Dr. Dopuch and former dean Mahendra Gupta.

With former dean Mahendra Gupta.

“Up to that point, it was armchair theorizing,” Virgil said on Monday. He said the impetus began in the 1960s with data on magnetic tapes the University of Chicago received recording price and volume information on securities trading. Research on that data spawned a revolution in empirical, data-driven accounting research that transformed the field.

“Frankly, he was just amazing,” Virgil said. “He read every paper. He made comments and suggestions. Those that were accepted, he made comments on. In that way, he really had influence on all of the accounting faculty around the country and around the globe.”

Both Virgil and Gupta credited Dr. Dopuch with bringing that intellectual rigor and influence to Olin when he came to the faculty. “When Dean Virgil hired him, he needed someone who could change the culture and set Olin on a different research trajectory,” Gupta said. “Nick did that for the business school.”

When he was hired, Dr. Dopuch became the first to assume the chair as Hubert C. and Dorothy R. Moog Professor of Finance. He directed Olin’s PhD program from 1986 through 2003, and continued as editor or co-editor of the Journal of Accounting Research while he was on Olin’s faculty until 2001, retiring from that post after 34 years.

Since 2008, Dr. Dopuch’s name has been attached to an annual accounting research conference Olin has hosted for 30 years, designed to create an environment where accounting research is the focal point, and drawing faculty participants from renowned business research institutions across the country.

Influence on students

Beyond his influence on accounting research, former colleagues and students recall Dr. Dopuch as a tough but caring professor who challenged students to challenge themselves.

Emails sent to Gupta on Sunday night hailed Dr. Dopuch for the “substantial effect” and the inspiration he had on the lives of students and fellow researchers, noting that his “contributions to the accounting profession and the academy, in particular, are unmatched.”

That influence was evident in the string of awards he received over his long career, including his 2001 induction into the Accounting Hall of Fame; two-time winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Accounting Literature Award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; and the Olin Business School Dean’s Medal in April 1995.

Dr. Dopuch was also one of four Washington University faculty members to receive a Distinguished Faculty Award on Founders Day in 2004.


A Service of Witness to the Resurrection for Dr. Dopuch will be February 12, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Glendale Presbyterian Church, 500 N. Sappington Road, Glendale MO.

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to Glendale Presbyterian Church, the Shriners, or Washington University (in support of the Dopuch Accounting Research Conference at Olin Business School), Campus Box 1202, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.

He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara Scholl Dopuch and two sons, Nicholas E. Dopuch Sr. and Michael Dopuch; He is survived by a grandson, Nicholas E. Dopuch Jr. and several nephews and nieces.

The value of empowering employees to make decisions is well known. So is the importance of holding workers accountable. And employers often go to great lengths to provide incentives for great performance among team members.

For the first time, however, research suggests that companies simply cannot achieve optimal performance without a balance of all three components: empowered decision making, accountability for performance, and incentives for strong work.

Using purchasing card data from 586 organizations, Olin Professor Mahendra Gupta and his coauthors analyzed the effect of a balanced deployment of these strategies. The findings showed companies that delegated decision-making, used a performance measurement system, and provided managers with incentives outperformed the companies with a different organizational structure.

Purchasing cards or “P-cards” allow corporate managers to make company purchases on a credit card that aggregates company purchases, allowing the firm to pay a single invoice for such company purchases. The P-card data gave researchers an entry point into the question by allowing them to examine the effects of delegating decision-making to a purchasing card administrator, as well as using a performance measurement system to track the administrator’s performance, and incentives to nudge the administrator’s behavior in the right direction.

“The study provides unique empirical evidence on the relevance of organizational architecture as a concept to explain organizational performance,” the authors wrote.

Gupta, former dean and Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting, said the findings show the three components are akin to a three-legged stool. If any leg is missing, the structure cannot stand.

Update: View a recording of Mahendra Gupta’s presentation below. Read a deeper summary of the research paper on Olin’s Research that Impacts Business page.

I do a little bit of everything behind the scenes of Marketing & Communications, and part of that “little bit of everything” is analytics: Google analytics, Twitter analytics, Facebook insights, etc. So of course I was curious to see which blog posts piqued the most interest in 2016—and unsurprisingly, several of them had to do with leadership changes at Olin, as Dean Gupta stepped down and Dean Mark Taylor joined the Olin family. IMHO, the list is very reflective of the most important and influential moments from 2016.

Take a look back at Olin’s eventful 2016 through our 10 most popular blog posts:

10. A chance encounter with Tom Cruise

When a group of students studying abroad in February visited a London pub to watch the Super Bowl, they didn’t expect to sit next to Tom Cruise. “About 20 minutes into the game, we realized all at once that the man sitting at the table not 5 feet to our right was Tom Cruise, intently watching the game with some friends. Like a group of pre-teen girls at a One Direction concert, we were kind of freaking out; enough, in fact, that the manager of the restaurant came over to our table informing us with a wink that we were not to take pictures ‘of any guests,'” wrote then-Junior Colin Wells. However, the group did end up with a photo—and a great story from their time abroad. This was also pretty popular on social media—apparently, this attracted the attention of several Tom Cruise fan groups on Twitter.


9. Revised MBA rankings

A mathematical error led to a revised Poets & Quants MBA ranking and a 7-spot jump for Olin to #23. Poets & Quants’ annual ranking “combines the five most influential rankings and weighs each of them by the soundness of their methodologies,” according to P&Q editor John Byrne. Rankings are always a popular subject for current and prospective MBA students—particularly when they come with “Top 25” bragging rights.

8. The reality: 2 years after business school

“Real talk” is always popular, especially about something that is a large investment of your money and effort—and some weekends—like an MBA. MBA alumnus Abhishek Chakravarty reflected on the two years since he graduated from Olin’s Full-Time MBA program, and what he’s learned in post-grad life (This includes one of my favorite nuggets: “You don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s okay.”)

7. Student startup wins multiple top honors

Medical device startup InVitro Select had a very successful year. By April the student-founded startup had already won top honors in three competitions. We are always excited to see students finding success—and the readers of the Olin Blog appear to be, too.


6. Gupta to step down June 30

The year started off with some unexpected news. Dean Gupta announced in January 2016 his decision to step down and focus on his teaching and research. Gupta, who was appointed as dean in July 2005, has served on the Olin faculty since 1990. During his 25 years at the school, he has continued to teach and has been awarded nine Reid Teaching awards by students. Dean Gupta left a legacy of international collaboration, high student job placement rates, a refocusing on entrepreneurship, and new experiential learning opportunities.

5. New Dean named; Dirks to serve as interim

In May, Chancellor Wrighton announced that then-Dean of Warwick Business School Mark Taylor had been appointed as Olin’s next leader, following Dean Gupta’s announcement in January. “In Mark Taylor we have found a strong leader with the vision, wisdom and experience to take Olin Business School to new heights,” Wrighton said. “He is well qualified not only as a scholar, but also as a practitioner in global business and finance. I have no doubt he will strengthen Olin’s presence and reputation in the domestic and international arenas.”

4. Risks of sole-sourcing

This blog post from 2013 continued to gain enough pageviews in 2016 to land it a #4 spot in our Top 10 Most Popular Posts. Eli Snir, lecturer in management, analyzes the fragmentation of the supply chain and answers the question, “When does sole-sourcing make sense?”

3. Grad programs in U.S. News top 25

Olin’s Professional MBA, Full-Time MBA, and Executive MBA programs ranked in the Top 25 of U.S. News’ Best Graduate Schools rankings, with PMBA earning #19, MBA earning #21, and the EMBA landing #20. PMBA, in particular, jumped 5 spots from the previous year.

2. New hours for Bauer Cafe, Starbucks, Einstein’s

It might seem out of place for a post on Bauer Cafe, Starbucks, and Einstein’s to be one of the most read blog posts this year. But due to my own love/dependency for Starbucks’ Lattes and Einstein’s Asiago bagels, I understand.

1. Olin ranked #1 undergraduate business program by Poets&Quants

Earning the #1 spot in Poets & Quants’ new ranking of Best Undergraduate Programs was a great way to end the year (and head into our Centennial), and it happened within a week of Olin welcoming Dean Mark Taylor. Plus, a #1 ranking is always a great excuse to eat Ted Drewes, celebrate with friends, and take full advantage of a selfie booth.

What big changes are in store for Olin next year? I anticipate that when we dive into analytics next year, many of 2017’s most popular posts will be related to our Centennial (and hopefully more top rankings). Instead of waiting for a roundup, I’d encourage you to follow and engage with the Olin community in real time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (and of course, submit to the Olin Blog). See you next year!

Mahendra R. Gupta, PhD, dean and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, will conclude his deanship June 30, 2016.

Gupta, who was appointed as dean in July 2005, has served on the Olin faculty since 1990. During his 25 years at the school, he has continued to teach and has been awarded nine Reid Teaching awards by students. He will remain at Olin as a member of the accounting faculty and continue his research.

“During the past 11 years with Mahendra at the helm, Olin has improved upon its reputation as one of America’s leading business schools,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “Under his leadership, the school has continued to attract the best and brightest students from across the country and around the world with excellent faculty and outstanding academic programs.

“Mahendra has established international collaborations with world-class partners that will be of lasting benefit to our students and faculty. He leaves his post as dean with a remarkable legacy. I and the rest of Washington University thank him for his innumerable contributions, his academic passion and his resolute pursuit of excellence.”

During his decade as dean, Gupta led Olin through an era of innovation, expansion and growth. The Executive MBA program has expanded beyond St. Louis and Shanghai to campuses in Kansas City and Denver. Last fall, classes began in Mumbai, where Olin established the first U.S.-India joint Executive MBA program in cooperation with the Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM) at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Olin’s Specialized Masters Programs have expanded beyond finance to include accounting, supply chain management, leadership, and customer analytics. The school also launched its Global Master of Finance program, partnering with universities in Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Germany and Spain, to offer students a world-class curriculum and training targeted to the global financial markets.

Gupta oversaw an increase in experiential learning and expanded the school’s focus on entrepreneurship. Innovations include a new undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship, which is open to all Washington University students; an MBA platform in entrepreneurship; and direct involvement with the St. Louis startup community. Other program innovations included the addition of a sports minor through the Joseph S. Lacob Business of Sports Program, and a major in healthcare.

“We are indebted to Mahendra for his leadership, boundless energy, and steadfast dedication to Olin and Washington University,” said Provost Holden Thorp, PhD. “During his tenure as dean, he has demonstrated tremendous vision for the school and its students, embracing experiential learning and the highest standards of scholarship and teaching. We cannot thank him enough for all that he has done.”

The expansion under Gupta’s leadership was not limited to academic programs and innovation initiatives; as dean he helped spearhead the construction of Knight Hall and Bauer Hall from its initial vision to completion. The $90-million expansion more than doubled Olin’s space on the Danforth Campus, and both LEED Gold-certified buildings were dedicated in 2014. He also planned and implemented the recently completed renovation of Simon Hall.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Olin’s dean,” Gupta said. “Our dedicated faculty, staff, alumni and business community partners have all contributed to the growth and momentum that attract top students to our programs. Olin has secured its reputation as a top business school and is poised to begin its second century as a leader in business education.”

Olin’s top-ranked reputation is reflected in student job placement rates. Ninety-days post graduation, undergraduate students report 99-percent employment and MBA students report 97-percent employment, which places Olin among the best in the nation for business schools.

Gupta’s research interests include strategic implication of cost information in e-commerce, technology, new ventures, manufacturing, healthcare, marketing and service sectors. His work has been published in leading national and international academic journals.

He has served on several editorial boards, including those of The Accounting Review, The Journal of Management Accounting Research, Canadian Accounting Review and Accounting Horizons. He is a frequent speaker at research workshops and conferences worldwide and has been a consultant to various firms and government agencies. He serves on Caleres Company’s board of directors and its audit committee; and previously he served on the board and as chair of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

Gupta grew up in India, where he attended Bombay University and earned a bachelor’s degree in statistics and economics. He went on to earn a master’s degree in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University. Before pursuing an academic career, he held various managerial positions at companies in India. In 1986, he moved back to the United States to attend Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he earned his doctorate. In 1991, his dissertation was awarded first place in the American Accounting Association’s doctoral dissertation competition for best work in managerial accounting.

Ralph Quatrano, PhD, former dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, will lead the national search for Gupta’s successor as dean.


Every year, more than a thousand people volunteer their time to enhance the Olin experience and support students by helping them develop into the best employees. We call these important volunteers, “Friends of Olin.” They are formal and informal mentors, case competition judges, practicum sponsors, speakers, employers hiring fresh talent and much more. They provide meaningful real world experiences for our Olin students.

Dean Mahendra Gupta and Olin invited these wonderful people on May 28 to the Atrium of Knight Hall for a reception to say, “thank you.” More than 100 attended.

Alex Goldberg (BSBA 2016)

Alex Goldberg (BSBA 2016)

After Dean Gupta’s welcome, there were three speakers.

Alex Goldberg, BSBA 2016, spoke about the opportunities presented to him through many memorable examples, some included student group speakers, company visits, and formal mentoring programs.

Michelle Duguid, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Olin Business School

Michelle Duguid, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Olin Business School


Professor Michelle Duguid spoke of the inaugural Women in Leadership class she led as well as other projects, speakers and faculty research partners.



Rodney Kinzinger, Managing Partner, Deloitte

Rodney Kinzinger, Managing Partner, Deloitte

Rodney Kinzinger, Managing Partner at Deloitte, spoke on behalf of corporate partners who engage with Olin on a regular basis. “Any one of you could be up here,” he commented, looking around the room.

Around the room were screens displaying quotes from students and pictures of events and visits from various corporate friends throughout the year. See those slides here.

Below are some pictures from the event:

Kim Shaw Elliott (EMBA 96) and Anne Elliott (PMBA) with Mike Ferman (BSBA 68)


Michelle Brady (EMBA 08) and John Bacilek (EMBA 08) with Alex Goldberg (BSBA). In the back are Dean Meyer (EMBA) and Steve Degnan (EMBA 08).


Tim Mickelson and Nick Bhambri (EMBA 07).


Kurt Dirks, Christopher Gaskin and Michelle Duguid


Jim Klingler, Marvin Anderson and Jacob Siewert (BSBA 13)


Olin friends, students, faculty and staff had a great time reconnecting and networking.

Steve Degnan (EMBA 08), Dean Mahendra Gupta, John Bacilek, and Gil Bickel (BSBA 66)


Nick Bhambri (EMBA 07), Bob Balk (BSBA 67) and Associate Dean Steve Malter

Ken Hunt (BSBA 51)

Ken Hunt (BSBA 51)


Dick Mahoney, Sean Arp, and Dan Feder look on with the crowd as the speakers present.

The Friends of Olin Reception 2015 was a great success. We thank all of you who have participated with Olin in broadening the education of our students and helping our faculty with their research.

The Friends of Olin Reception 2015 was a great success. We thank all of you who have participated with Olin in broadening the education of our students and helping our faculty with their research.