Mark Ranalli, the current executive director of the Tufts Gordon Institute (TGI), has resigned from his position of four years. Ranalli will be the new Dean of Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship starting July 6, according to an email sent to the Tufts community by Dean of Engineering Jianmin Qu on April 17.
Though he will no longer be on the Tufts campus, the impact he has made on the Gordon Institute and the students with whom he has worked will remain.
Ranalli has contributed in many ways to the development and growth of the TGI. One in particular is his role in creating the MS in Innovation and Management (MSIM), a graduate program established in 2016 to provide students with new opportunities in business and management.
“This program prepares STEM graduates to become high impact innovators and entrepreneurs and is differentiated from other programs though a curriculum model in which students complete fast-paced, immersive projects called Innovation Sprints,” Nancy Buczko, the director of marketing and admissions for the Gordon Institute, told the Daily in an email.
Alex Rappaport (E ’17), who will graduate from the MSIM program after the summer 2018 term, emphasized the positive aspects of the program: the quality of its faculty, the wide range of resources it made available and the educational opportunities it provided.
Rappaport also outlined the personal impacts of Ranalli’s leadership on students.
“Mark had deep, hard-earned wisdom about business development & startup strategy that he readily shared with his students. It was amazing how much you could learn from a one-on-one session: finance, negotiations, value creation, marketing language, pitching, investment strategy, you name it,” Rappaport told the Daily in an email. “Mark could provide immediately useful guidance on an array of business issues.”
During Ranalli’s tenure, the TGI grew in other ways. New support structures for student entrepreneurs were founded, like the Venture Lab co-working space and and the Summer Accelerator program, a 12-week paid summer curriculum for new undergraduate ventures, according to Rappaport.
Ranalli’s contributions to the TGI will endure not only through the success of the Institute and the programs he implemented, but also the students whose success he has promoted, according to Rappaport. Rappaport is just one of hundreds of Ranalli’s students who has benefited from his devotion to the Institute, as the classes he taught in entrepreneurial leadership garnered a wide following, according to Qu.
“Professor Ranalli has provided tremendous energy and strategic vision … Undergraduates flocked to courses on entrepreneurial leadership, and TGI-led initiatives like the $100K New Ventures Competition,” Qu added, stressing that the competition continued to grow during Ranalli’s time at Tufts.
Qu is currently in charge of creating a committee that will find and appoint an interim director.