Dr. Raghu Tadepalli joined Elon in July 2012. He comes to Elon from Babson College in Massachusetts where he served as Murata Dean and Professor of Marketing in the F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business, successfully leading a major overhaul of the MBA curriculum at a school renowned for its graduate programs in entrepreneurship and business administration.
Where did you go to college? What degrees do you have? What, if any, further degrees or certifications are you pursuing? Do you have any other special training that has prepared you for your career?
I completed my bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Commerce with a major in Cost Accounting from Andhra University in India. I then completed my MBA from Arizona State University and my Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. My training for the dean’s position came from managing our family businesses.
Where have you worked before this job?
I have taught at University of Illinois at Chicago, North Dakota State University, Xavier University, and Babson College prior to joining Elon. Both Babson and Elon took me straight into administrative positions.
What honors/awards have you received?
As a student, I graduated first out of a graduating class of 607 in the Master of Commerce program. I was inducted into Sigma Iota Epsilon (national management honors fraternity) and Beta Gamma Sigma (national honors business fraternity. I have won numerous awards for my teaching, research, and service at North Dakota State University and Xavier University.
Could you give some personal background (single/married, children, etc.)?
I have been married since 1980 to Dr. Rekha Tadepalli, a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist who works at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro. We have two sons – Avi, who is a project manager, and Raghav, who is in his final year of anesthesiology residency at New York University.
Are you involved in any community organizations (charities, church, etc.)?
Not yet but will do so once I get more settled. I used to volunteer at the Temple while in Boston and Cincinnati.
What are your hobbies?
I read a lot and like to walk my dog Zeus.
Where did you grow up? Did you move around a lot?
I grew up in Vijayawada, India. When I was growing up there were no schools for boys that taught in English so at the age of 7 I was sent to a boarding school in Hyderabad about 160 miles from my hometown.
List your favorites (book, movie or play, quote, poem, website, type of food or individual dish, music genre, song, band or individual musician, perfume, clothing style or designer, etc.).
Books : 1776, Catch -22, Plain Speaking, General of the Army, and Robert Caro’s superb four volume series on Lyndon Johnson
Movies: Chariots of Fire, Tender Mercies
Musicians: Alison Kraus, Neil Diamond
Where have you traveled?
Lots of countries except I haven’t been to any African country yet. I have traveled all over Asia and Europe and to several countries in South America.
What attracted you to Elon?
A strong commitment to liberal arts and engaged learning. Strong and sustained leadership with a focus on achieving goals.
What is most rewarding about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?
Working with students. The students (and their parents) trust us to provide an outstanding education and we have to. That’s our duty.
So far what’s been your most embarrassing moment?
Mercifully, none yet!
What is the newest, freshest approach you are bringing to your job?
You will see me engaging a lot more with students, both undergraduate and graduate.
What is the next skill or knowledge set you want to add to your repertoire to make you a better?
I want to take up a hobby (pottery) and learn Spanish.
Name one thing about yourself that most people do not know.
My little dog Abby has me twisted around her little paws!
Did you have specific goals as a youth? How did you go about achieving those goals?
Academic success was expected and I come from a family where my three sisters were over-achievers so I had to work very hard to keep up with them.
Has there been a defining moment in your life that made you decide to take the direction in life that you did?
My father died suddenly when I was 23-years-old and in the days following I learned a lot about love, friendship and trust.
Who was the person who most influenced you?
My mother, Dr. Sarojini Tadepalli.
Do you use Twitter? If so, what is your Twitter handle?
I use Twitter a lot. My Twitter handle is Raghu_Elon.
Do you have advice to offer people who are aspiring to be as successful as you?
Seize opportunities as they come and be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
Anything else you would like to add?
I want to get to know MBA students and welcome ideas on how best to meet them. I am sorry I missed the tailgate party at Homecoming due to an unavoidable obligation.