Sacramento State business dean will leave post

The dean of Sacramento State’s high-profile College of Business Administration announced Monday he is stepping down.

Sanjay Varshney won’t serve as the business dean at California State University, Sacramento, after this school year, but he will help with the transition over the summer as the university begins a search for his replacement.

Varshney will return as a member of the faculty in the fall.

“I put in a good 10 years, so I think it’s time to refocus on many things, especially my family,” Varshney said. The father of 7- and 11-year-old boys said he is looking forward to band practices and soccer games.

During his decade as dean, Varshney, 46, has increased the visibility of the university’s business school. He added programs, strengthened community partnerships and offered widely cited economic analysis and forecasts.

“I’m so proud of everything we accomplished,” Varshney said Monday. “We also saw the Great Recession, but we did extremely well.”

He counts the College of Business Administration’s MBA program in Singapore, a business honors program and the Sacramento Business Review – a twice-annual business forecast – among his signature projects. Varshney said he will continue to work on these efforts and others as a professor.

Varshney’s tenure hasn’t been without controversy, however.

In 2009, Varshney produced research that predicted cutting greenhouse-gas emissions would eliminate 1.1 million jobs and cut the state’s economic output by nearly 10 percent. His report was paid for by the California Small Business Roundtable, an advocacy group, and some economists called the report unreliable.

In 2010, the dean again came under attack for the validity of his research on the cost of regulatory measures to state businesses. The Legislative Analyst’s Office and other experts questioned a study’s conclusion that state regulations cost California small businesses 3.8 million jobs and $493 billion.

Varshney defended the studies and suggested politics were behind the criticism.

The dean has published research in numerous academic journals including the Journal of Economics and Finance, Journal of Management Research, Studies in Economics and Finance, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Contemporary Finance Digest, Advances in Financial Economics and the Journal of Applied Business Research.

Before coming to CSUS, Varshney served as dean of the school of business at the State University of New York in Utica. Before that, he worked at the University of San Francisco. A native of India, he earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and financial management from Bombay University, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate in finance from Louisiana State University.

Varshney serves on a number of boards including the Metro Chamber of Commerce, Northern California World Trade Center, Comstock’s Magazine and Wells Fargo Northern California.