Financier Ernest Rady Commits $100M to UC San Diego Business School

Ernest Rady is the San Diego gift who just keeps on giving.

After donating $30 million to UC San Diego in 2004 to support the university’s newly established School of Management, with another $5 million for campus expansion, the billionaire philanthropist and his wife Evelyn have agreed to donate an additional $100 million to recruit and retain faculty at the business school that bears their name.

Last year Ernest and Evelyn Rady donated $120 million to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, which is affiliated with UC San Diego, to sequence and analyze the genome of every pediatric patient admitted there. The commitment followed a $60 million gift in 2006 from the Rady family and American Assets, the private company Rady founded in 1967 that manages and controls a group of financial services, investment management, and real estate companies.

Rady moved to San Diego in 1966 with his family from Winnipeg, in Canada’s Manitoba Province, where his late parents are memorialized by the Rose and Max Rady Jewish Community Centre. He also serves as chairman and president of the San Diego-based Insurance Company of the West, and as chairman and CEO of Irvine, CA-based Westcorp (NYSE: WES), which operates one of the nation’s largest independent automobile finance companies, and Western Financial Bank, a Southern California community bank.

Much of Rady’s donation will be used to create endowed professorships and other financial packages to attract and keep top scholars, according to a statement from UC San Diego.

The Rady School of Management has 27 full-time faculty, according to an account by U-T San Diego reporter Gary Robbins. That number is expected to eventually rise to 65.

The school is competing for business faculty with such rivals as Stanford, Berkeley, and UCLA, and the demand for professors in finance and accounting is especially keen. According to Dean Robert S. Sullivan, the basic annual salary for a new assistant professor in finance is $200,000 to $210,000.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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