Tufts Gordon Institute was pleased to welcome Mark Ranalli this September as the new associate dean and executive director of Tufts Gordon Institute. The founder of several innovative businesses, Ranalli joins Tufts with over 24 years of experience as a business executive and entrepreneur. We recently sat down to ask Mark a few questions including what made him interested in transitioning to higher education, how he sees TGI playing a role in developing leaders and points of advice he would share with aspiring entrepreneurs.
Tufts Gordon Institute: After spending 25 years in industry as a business executive, what made you interested in making the transition to higher education?
Ranalli: As with most journeys, my path to academia started many years ago when I was student. I was fortunate to be able to attend Stanford University, where I earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, and later and Dartmouth, where I completed my MBA. Both experiences provided me with a tremendous appreciation for the value of higher education.
Education enriches peoples’ lives – their ability to be creative, to pursue intellectual interests and to seize opportunities. I see higher education as a massive industry that is at a crossroads and in need of transformation. The cost continues to outpace inflation and real wage increases; student debt level exceeds $1 trillion; and student loan defaults are skyrocketing, yet the higher education industry continues on with status quo – isolated from and ignoring the coming tsunami. By joining the ranks of higher education, I hope my entrepreneurial skills and corporate experience can become an asset to the University, while I simultaneously have the opportunity to learn and gain insight into the workings of this vital sector.