News Release

Acting Chancellor Appoints New Dean of Graduate School of Management
H. Rao Unnava of Ohio State's Fisher College of Business begins June 22

June 15, 2016

Sent on behalf of Acting Chancellor Hexter and Acting Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Burtis.

Dear Colleagues,

Professor Rao Unnava named new dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.We are pleased to announce the appointment of H. Rao Unnava as the dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) effective June 22, 2016. He is coming here after 32 years at The Ohio State University, where he arrived as a doctoral student and today serves as the W. Arthur Cullman Professor of Marketing in the Fisher College of Business. He served as the associate dean for the college’s Undergraduate Programs from 2004-2012, and before that served as the director of Doctoral Programs for six years. He is currently the Senior Associate Dean of Students and Programs.

Rao succeeds Ann Huff Stevens, professor of economics, whom we thank for her nearly two years of service as interim dean.  We are very grateful for the strong leadership Ann provided during an important period of transition for the GSM.

Ohio State’s Fisher College has an enrollment of 7,500 students in undergraduate, masters, Ph.D. and executive education programs. Rao’s teaching experience, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in the United States and abroad, ranges from marketing management and strategy, marketing research, and international marketing (export/import), to consumer behavior, promotional strategy and human memory processes. Rao has been voted Outstanding Professor by the American Marketing Association Student Chapter seven times, was presented the Westerbeck Undergraduate Teaching Award twice, and won the Outstanding Service Award at Fisher College of Business in 2014.

His research on topics such as brand loyalty, and consumer response to advertising and sales promotions has appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Letters, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of International Consumer Marketing and Advances in Consumer Research.

Rao holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India (1981), and a post-graduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management (1983). He worked as a senior marketing executive in India for about a year and a half before moving to the United States.

He was a graduate teaching and research assistant and a presidential fellow at Ohio State while earning his Ph.D. in business administration, submitting what the Academy of Marketing Science judged as the “best doctoral dissertation” of 1988. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor of marketing the same year.

Rao was also one of the founding members of Angie’s List, has served on company boards, and has testified as an expert witness several times. He is currently a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Consumer Psychology, two top-tier journals in Marketing.

Please join us in welcoming Rao to UC Davis and thanking Ann Stevens for her service to the GSM as she returns to her teaching, research and service as professor of economics and the Director of the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research.


Ralph J. Hexter, Acting Chancellor

Kenneth C. Burtis, Acting Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor