Latest News

UCD College of Business Alumnus and Professor, Michael MacCormac, posthumously recognised by US-based AACSB as 2018 Influential Leader

  • Date: Thu, Feb 8, 2018

Share this article


Professor Michael J MacCormac, pictured middle of front row in group photo.

Professor Michael MacCormac (RIP) of UCD College of Business has, today, been posthumously recognised at the AACSB’s 2018 Deans’ Global Conference for his outstanding contribution to the development of business education in Ireland.

The award from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is the world’s largest business education network, celebrates the positive impact business school graduates have made and are making in communities around the globe. As an annual initiative, it honours notable alumni from accredited schools whose work serves as an inspirational model for the next generation of business leaders.

Professor Michael MacCormac was a true pioneer of business education in Ireland and, in 1964, he founded the Master of Business Studies (MBS) and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees at UCD, the latter being one of the first MBAs to be established in Europe. It was his belief that business education was key to Ireland’s future success, and the MBA programme was developed to provide business courses to people who hadn’t completed undergraduate business, such as engineers and scientists. Speaking before his death in 2010, Professor MacCormac said, “I wanted them to broaden themselves to business, to get some knowledge of the total business world. It worked very well and that was the root of the MBA.” In its first year, the course received 200 applications for just 15 places, with the first graduates completing their executive MBAs in 1966.

Now in its 54th year, the UCD Smurfit MBA programme has helped shape over 3,900 business leaders and entrepreneurs, many of whom have been prominent figures in Irish and international business. Consistently ranked in the world’s top 100 MBA programmes by both the Financial Times and the Economist Intelligence Unit, the MBA programme at UCD Smurfit School is a testament to the vision and legacy of Professor MacCormac. Last week, it remained the only Irish business school in the Financial Times Global MBA top 100 rankings, a position it has held for the last 19 years, one of fewer than 50 schools worldwide to do so.

Professor Anthony Brabazon, Dean, UCD College of Business, said: Since its establishment over 100 years ago, UCD College of Business has sought to be at the cutting edge of the delivery of business education in Ireland and to be recognised among the very best in the world. Professor MacCormac’s vision, drive and commitment 54 years ago to create the Master of Business Studies (MBS) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes has and continues to be an inspiration to faculty, staff and students as we continue to strive to be one of the world’s best business schools. It is fitting therefore that AACSB has chosen to honour Michael’s work as an influential business leader.”

“My father would have been both honoured and humbled to be recognised for his contribution to Irish business education.” Lucy McCormack, Professor MacCormac’s daughter said on hearing the news of her late father’s award: “He was a committed and energetic man, and his goal was that UCD would evolve its business education offering to reflect both international best practice and the needs of the Irish business community. On behalf of my mother, Patricia, and I, we extend our sincere thanks to UCD College of Business for continuing to honour his vision, as it continues to shape future business leaders. We would also like to thank the AACSB for posthumously acknowledging his life’s work in Irish business education.”

“Each honouree from the 2018 class of Influential Leaders reflects the mindset, knowledge, and passion that impactful business leaders must embody to impart positive change in today’s society,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “We would like to thank and posthumously honour Professor Michael MacCormac for demonstrating the true excellence and leadership we wish to see in the world, and we congratulate UCD College of Business for their role in helping to mould a new generation of global business leaders dedicated to driving impact that results in global prosperity.”


For more information on the AACSB’s Influential Leaders Challenge and to view a full list of honourees visit

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations