The Paul Merage School of Business


UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business combines the academic strengths and best traditions of the University of California with the cutting-edge, entrepreneurial spirit of Orange County in the heart of America’s Tech Coast. Four dynamic MBA programs – plus Ph.D., undergraduate business and several specialized master’s degrees – deliver the school’s thematic approach to business education: sustainable growth through strategic innovation. The Merage School consistently ranks among the top 5% of accredited business schools in the U.S., and boasts a world-class faculty, strong alumni network and close individual and corporate relationships.

At the Merage School, we graduate leaders with the exceptional ability to help grow their organizations through strategic innovation — supported by analytical decision-making, information technology and collaborative execution, and enhanced by a highly-personalized learning environment. In-class and on-site experiences with real-world business issues give our students the edge needed to help companies compete in today’s global economy.

The school’s pioneering curriculum and world-class faculty are attracting the best and the brightest students – and some of the world’s leading companies to recruit them. Companies like Verizon, IBM, The Boeing Company, HBO, and 20th Century Fox recognize the quality of our MBAs. Our undergraduate program, which also provides a world-class curriculum, has quickly become one of the most rigorous and competitive programs in California.

Seven Centers of Excellence and Executive Education programs provide numerous and varied opportunities for students and the business community at large to enhance their educational experience as well as broaden and update their professional expertise.

The Merage School’s new building initiative, Building for the Future, is slated for completion during the 2014-2015 academic year. The initiative will take this remarkable business school to new heights of excellence in student learning opportunities, faculty research, community engagement, and facilities and grounds.

At the Merage School, we devote our resources and research to solving societal issues, and together with our alumni and business community, we are proud to launch the next generation of professionals who will have a positive impact in business as well as in society as a whole.

Dean Eric R. Spangenberg

Following nine years as dean of Washington State University’s College of Business, Eric R. Spangenberg became dean of the Merage School in June 2014. A recognized international scholar and committed fundraiser, he established at WSU entrepreneurial initiatives now generating multimillion-dollar revenue streams. In addition, Spangenberg oversaw historic increases in MBA and Ph.D. enrollments while strategically revising curricula. He led a team in developing and launching online MBA programs that were ranked No. 1 last year by U.S. News & World Report, and online undergraduate degree programs have grown by more than 50 percent during his tenure.

Spangenberg, 54, earned a Ph.D. at the University of Washington, with a major in marketing and a minor in social psychology. He began his career at WSU in 1990 as an assistant professor in the marketing department. He served in leadership positions on faculty senate and faculty affairs committees before entering administration and is an active volunteer for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the largest and most prestigious international accrediting body for business schools.

An award-winning teacher and accomplished researcher, he’s particularly well known for his work on the effects of olfactory and musical cues in the retail environment and the effects of self-prediction on people’s behavior. His research has been published in the field’s top journals and covered in The Economist, Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and on the BBC, CBS, Yahoo News, Salon and Boing, as well as numerous other international print, television and online media outlets.

Spangenberg and his wife of more than 30 years, Judy, have four children. In addition to his passion for education and family, he enjoys reading, cycling, golf and skiing.

Distinctions and Awards

The Paul Merage School of Business consistently ranks among the top 5 percent of accredited business schools in the U.S. In addition, the Merage School ranks 5th in the U.S. for students employed within 90 days of graduation (at 94%) and is the #1 school in the U.S. for percentage of women faculty and percentage of women students. Also, U.S. News & World Report announced in its 2013 rankings report that the Executive MBA program ranked 25th in the U.S.

A selection of recent rankings is available on the school website.

Eric R. Spangenberg, Dean

Dean Eric Spangenberg

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Lisa Lauducci