Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., is interim dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management, overseeing the institution’s primary objectives to conduct essential research, educate students and serve the community. Previously, he served as senior associate dean, with oversight of a variety of key initiatives for the school, including resource development, alumni relations, corporate initiatives and executive education.
Osborne also holds an appointment as Professor of Global Economics, Management and Entrepreneurship and is the founder and faculty director of the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The Price Center serves to organize faculty research, curricula and student activities related to the study of entrepreneurship and new business development at UCLA Anderson.
As interim dean, Osborne hopes to foster a collaborative atmosphere, rooted in his beliefs regarding management education and the impact it has on the world.
“If I were to pick an area of focus, it would be the empowerment of those whose futures we aim to influence, namely students, in an informed and active way,” says Osborne.
Specifically, he says, he is interested in leadership development, “how young people in this turbulent world can find their voice and develop the ability to influence a challenging environment by being powerful. This speaks to my theme of moral, value-based leadership, with an active practice of achieving desired outcomes in constructive and collaborative ways.”
Osborne’s areas of academic expertise include social entrepreneurship and the development of a leadership approach that applies business models and methodologies to the nonprofit world. Under his leadership, the Price Center created a number of management development programs, including five in partnership with health care giant Johnson & Johnson: the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Head Start Management Fellows Program; the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Advanced Management Institute for Head Start; the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute; the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program; and the Management Development Institute (MDI) for health care organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Several related, innovative programs include the Institute for the Study of Educational Entrepreneurship (ISEE) and the UCLA/Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) Head Start Leadership Institute.
A deep belief in the value of entrepreneurship has guided Osborne’s vision for what is possible throughout his decades-long tenure at Anderson. In addition to founding the Price Center, he facilitated infusion of an entrepreneurial approach to leadership into the Anderson culture and curriculum, including and transcending the notion of business startups.
“Societies that don’t innovate are destined to die,” Osborne says. “My view was that our MBA students could benefit from understanding things from an entrepreneurial point of view.”
Osborne combines his emphasis on innovation with a deep belief in the value of a broad-based diversity that includes demographics but, just as important, a wide range of ideas.
“The value of cognitive diversity ― the acceptance of different points of view as expressed typically by different ethnicities, genders and cultures ― is the secret sauce of the American experience,” he says.
“I think we need to respect and cherish more of that. Life experiences shape peoples’ perspectives, and someone who grew up in a different culture is the gist of construction, connection and valuable conversations. I am a product of that diversity, coming to this country from Panama. My goal is simply to encourage people to get out into the traffic of ideas and collide with somebody with a different point of view. Physicists tell me there’s no work unless there’s friction and there’s no power or energy without collisions. Let’s collide in a more inclusive and respectful way,” he says.
Osborne is an active participant in the business community, serving as a director of Kaiser Aluminum, Wedbush Inc., and First Pacific Advisors (FPA) family of mutual funds. His nonprofit affiliations include serving as a trustee of the Geffen Academy at UCLA, Fidelity Charitable, the Harvard Westlake School, and the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation. He served many years on the corporate boards of the Times Mirror Company, US Filter Corporation, Greyhound Lines Inc., Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc., First Interstate Bank of California, Nordstrom Inc. and K2 Inc., among others.
While on sabbatical from UCLA in the 1970s, he was an economic fellow at the Brookings Institution and directed studies at the Securities and Exchange Commission that contributed to changes in Rule 144, Regulation D and other exemptive requirements to the securities laws designed to lower costs and improve liquidity and capital market access to venture capitalists and emerging growth firms alike.
Osborne’s research interests also include venture capital and private equity, family and closely-held business, and the role of boards of directors in private, public and not-for-profit organizations.
A corporate governance expert, he established a Director Education and Certification Program designed to help officers and directors of public, private and nonprofits prepare for the fiduciary duties and legal responsibilities of governance. This program also addresses best practices and topical issues confronting directors.
Ph.D. Business Economics, 1974, Stanford University
MBA Finance, 1971, Stanford University
M.A. Economics, 1971, Stanford University
B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1968, Stanford University