The Bryan School of Business and Economics

Office of the Dean

Abbreviated Biography of McRae C. Banks, Ph.D.

Dr. McRae (Mac) C. Banks joined the Bryan School of Business & Economics as dean and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy in July 2011. Since that time the Bryan School has grown its undergraduate and graduate enrollments substantially, expanded its relationships with businesses, increased the quantity and quality of faculty publications, increased fundraising, and enjoyed rankings success from organizations such as Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News,, RePEc, College Factual, and Value College, among others.

Banks came to the Bryan School from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute School of Business (WPI), where he served as professor of entrepreneurship and strategy from 1995 to 2011. During that time, he was head of the Department of Management, a dean-level position that had oversight for all business and industrial engineering programs.

When he stepped down from his administrative role in 2010, WPI was ranked the #1 part-time MBA program in the U.S. by BusinessWeek and had garnered many other honors, accolades and rankings. The business school had established student consulting centers on Wall Street and in London and Shanghai; substantially grown the quantity and quality of faculty publications and research grants; increased both major and annual gifts; boosted enrollments and raised student quality.

Prior to WPI, Banks held academic appointments at Mississippi State University (1987-1995) and Radford University (1982-1987), where he founded the Small Business Institute and taught a course in small business consulting.

Although he has a distinguished record as a scholar — including published articles in top journals, best paper awards, and both government grants and business research contracts — Banks is much more. In addition to his academic interest in entrepreneurship, he founded two small businesses in the service sector and held managerial and executive positions in small manufacturing and small retail organizations, working directly with the founders in both.

In the academic sector, he founded the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (WPI), and centers for small business consulting, and training and development (Radford University). Additionally, he served as Acting Director of the Agribusiness Institute (ABI) at Mississippi State University, a joint venture between the Colleges of Business and Agriculture that he co-founded, and was one of three co-founders of the Mississippi Furniture Manufacturing Quality Conference and the Furniture Manufacturing Management Program. Banks also has held elected senior leadership positions in three different professional societies.

Approaching five years as dean of the Bryan School, Mac Banks is leading the school on a path to become the premier business school among the top regional public universities in the nation.