Mark Ranalli

Mark Ranalli

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The dean of Montana State University’s business school announced this week he plans to leave his position at the end of the spring semester.

The university on Tuesday announced the departure of Mark Ranalli, dean of the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, who is leaving academia to “pursue opportunities in the private sector.”

“Dean Ranalli has shown a laser-like focus on student needs and made available many opportunities for them to grow and be better prepared for their careers after graduation,” Robert Mokwa, MSU’s executive vice president of academic affairs, said in a statement announcing the departure.

Ranalli has served as dean of MSU’s business school since 2018. He was previously associate dean at Tufts University’s School of Engineering and executive director of the Tufts Gordon Institute.

During his time with MSU, Ranalli is credited with launching two entrepreneurial venture competitions, the Big Idea Challenge and the MSU $50K Venture Competition. He also helped secure donor funding for a program to keep freshman enrolled and on track to graduate, according to the university. A new master of science in innovation and management was launch by Ranalli and will have its first students enroll this fall.

Ranalli also co-founded BaseSix, an internet and professional services agency, and Helium, a crowdsourcing content marketing and publishing company.

Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship personnel were informed of his departure in an email from Mokwa sent Monday afternoon.

In the email to staff, Mokwa said he will be reaching out to meet with faculty, staff and student representatives to discuss future opportunities and a transition plan for the business college.

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Liz Weber can be reached at or 582-2633.

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