Dr. Thomas Arnold Named as the Founding Dean of Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management 

Vanguard University is thrilled to announce the appointment of Thomas Arnold (DBA, JD, MBA, CFA, CAIA, MRICS) as the founding dean of the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management, with the position to begin on June 1, 2024. Arnold is recognized as a top global professional with roles as assistant dean of the Argyros College of Business and Economics at Chapman University, senior advisor at McKinsey & Company and global head of real estate at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). Building upon VU’s business program’s 50-year legacy, Arnold will lead the next chapter in the university’s history as the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management launches in Fall 2024 to house the accounting, business administration, communication, management, marketing, organizational psychology and people operations programs.

“After conducting a comprehensive national search, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Tom Arnold as Vanguard University’s inaugural dean of the Patty School of Business and Management as he leads our programs in developing character-rich business leaders prepared to make a positive impact in Southern California and beyond,” said VU President Michael J. Beals, Ph.D.

“Dr. Tom Arnold brings forth a breathtaking history in his profession, education, and leadership experience,” said Patty Arvielo, CEO of New American Funding and the namesake of VU’s business school. “That statement merely speaks to the logistical expertise he possesses. He is truly a brilliant and insightful expert who is well prepared to share his virtuosity with the upstanding faculty and students at Vanguard, strengthening the pathways for young professionals who aspire to a future in business.”

From private equity on Wall Street to sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East to the halls of academia, Dr. Arnold brings extensive academic achievement, an impressive business background that has made him a sought-after real estate consultant and a demonstrated ability to strengthen and grow university programs. For more than 10 years, Arnold oversaw one of the world’s largest real estate investment platforms, where he tripled AUM and internalized management, successfully hiring 124 professionals and managing direct reports from 32 nationalities. He has also led private equity funds, real estate and portfolio management at several investment firms in New York City. 

“The mission, the values, the students, the deeply committed faculty and staff—not to mention the inspirational leadership of Patty Arvielo—all contributed to my interest in Vanguard University,” said Arnold. “I believe my professional and educational experiences have prepared me for this role, at this crucial time. I am a natural and tireless advocate for all students and I will passionately champion student success and an appropriate heart posture for our students to shape our community with ability, love, and effectiveness.”

“I consider the opportunity to serve Vanguard a calling, rather than an appointment, and I feel so fortunate to have been offered this pivotal role,” said Arnold.

As founding dean, Arnold will serve as the chief academic and administrative officer, as well as the primary ambassador for the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management, continually advancing the school forward in educational impact, internal health and innovative growth. He will assemble and continually develop a first-class faculty and develop and ensure current, pertinent and rigorous programs that align with Vanguard’s identity and mission. He will lead the school in cultivating relationships with business and community leaders to extend the School’s reach, enlarge the school’s network, and expand institutional support. 

“As we prepare to launch the Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management this fall, we look forward to what the future holds under Dr. Arnold’s leadership,” added Provost Ryan T. Hartwig, Ph.D. “We see expanded graduate program offerings, the growth of deep connections in the Orange County business community, and initiatives that will strengthen our programs for undergraduate, professional, and graduate students, and make a Vanguard business education more accessible to students. Additionally, we see great synergy between Dr. Arnold’s real estate expertise and the industry impact of Patty and Rick Arvielo, co-founders of New American Funding, to establish Vanguard as a leader in real estate development education in Orange County.”

Arnold carries a multitude of educational degrees and experience in the fields of business, economics, law, finance, and higher education organization and theory. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration, a Juris Doctorate and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Florida; a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College; a Master of Law (Taxation) from New York University; a Master of Higher Education Administration from Georgetown University and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

His impressive education is only an introduction to his work experience as a licensed attorney and a holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) designations. 

“I consider the opportunity to serve Vanguard a calling, rather than an appointment, and I feel so fortunate to have been offered this pivotal role,” said Arnold.