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Ira Weiss is inaugural recipient of Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean’s Chair

Ira R. Weiss, dean of the NC State University Poole College of Management, is the inaugural recipient of the newly established Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean’s Chair in Poole College.

The recognition was announced on September 23, 2014, by NC State Chancellor Randall Woodson while also announcing that Judy and Stephen Zelnak, Jr., had created the endowed position at NC State.

Photo of Dr. Ira Weiss, Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean's Chair"I am very honored that Judy and Steve have made it possible for me to be the inaugural recipient of the Zelnak Dean’s Chair,” Weiss said. “In making this endowed gift, they are providing vital resources for ongoing investment in the college now, and have created a huge legacy to attract and support future leadership of the college,” he said.

“What they have done here mirrors what Judy and Steve did at the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech, Steve’s alma mater, and reflects their commitment to supporting quality management education,” Weiss said.

Weiss has served as Poole College’s third dean since December 2004, succeeding Jon Bartley, who served from 1999 through the summer of 2004. Richard Lewis, the founding dean, served from 1993 until 1998.

The college was established in 1992 to provide management education to complement NC State’s strengths in engineering and technology. Its graduate programs were named the Jenkins Graduate School in 2007 and the college itself was named the Poole College of Management in 2010. In each case, the donors cited the college’s emphasis on applied learning and its focus on management education for a technology driven global economy as a reason for their investment in the college.

During his tenure as dean, Weiss has focused on strengthening the college’s academic programs in accounting, business management and economics, as well as its Executive Programs.

He also has championed global business awareness through international programs that enable students to progress toward their academic degrees while studying business topics in another country. He currently is in his second term as president of the International Partnership of Business School, whose partner schools offer dual international business degree options.

As part of the 2010 naming gift from Lonnie C. Poole, Jr., founder of Waste Industries, Weiss established a Sustainability Initiative which is engaging students, faculty, and business and industry through outreach, education and research related to sustainability. The college's graduate programs were named the Jenkins Graduate School in 2007, in recognition of a naming gift from Ben Jenkins, vice president and chairman of the General Bank, Wachovia (retired).  

Prior to joining NC State, Weiss served as dean at Northeastern University in Boston and dean of The Madrid Business School in Spain. He previously was vice president and chief information officer of the University of Houston, and held faculty positions in accounting and information technology at New York University and the University of Houston. Weiss received his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and his master of science and doctoral degree from the University of California-Los Angeles.

Weiss has extensive business experience both as a practicing CPA and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies. He has lectured extensively throughout the world on topics ranging from globalization to competitive advantage through technology and breakthrough innovations.


Judy and Steve Zelnak, Jr., make $4 million gift to create Dean's Chair in Poole College