B-School Deans On the Move?

These are tough times in the economic hot seat, Forbes says, as turnover of business school deanships is at an all-time high. Analysis of the top 40 schools in the most recent Forbes Best Business Schools ranking shows that one in four replaced its dean last year, and 38% have had their current deans for less than two years, the article states.

So what makes a successful business school leader? According to the longest serving among them, Dean Paul Danos of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, “A dean must balance the interests and aspirations of several important constituents–students, faculty and alumni being the primary ones.”

“One key is to have a forward-looking plan that shows momentum in adding prestige to the school, and a dean must be willing to spend time convincing the relevant communities that that vision is the right one.”

When reflecting on the current economic crisis, Danos urges students to stay positive and trust in the value of their education and degrees. Inevitable disappointments in the job market mustn’t shake their confidence in that they have made a fundamentally good investment in their education, Danos says.

The story goes on to examine the role of dean at INSEAD, London Business School, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in Belgium and Yale School of Management. In a time where schools are scrambling for income same as any corporation, and business schools must defend their own role in the current financial meltdown, this is a very timely, interesting read.

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