Saloner Upbeat About the Future

Thursday’s issue of the Stanford Daily featured an interview with the new dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business, Garth Saloner, as he prepares to take over the reigns from Dean Robert Joss September 1.

Here are some excerpts from the article, which can be seen in its entirety here.

Does the leadership switch from global banking executive (Joss) to professor and economist (Saloner) indicate a reaction to our current economic climate?

In his interview, Saloner emphasized that the passing of the deanship “is not a turnaround” for the school. “My guess is I was chosen because I would continue this terrific trajectory we’re on and not because there was something that needed fixing.”

How has Stanford’s MBA curriculum adapted to the ethics crisis hitting other business schools?

Conspicuously introducing ethics into the MBA curriculum early on, Saloner said, has “set a tone” for the rest of the program. “The goal was to educate principled, critical, analytical thinkers, not functional experts in finance or marketing or operations,” he said. “Now, in response to the crisis, we’re ahead of the curve and don’t have to be reactive in particular.”

Will the GSB encourage MBAs to shun finance and look toward other career options instead?

“That’s not our role,” he said. GSB students should take advantage of their two years to “reinvent” themselves as leaders across all sectors, “geographical and cultural boundaries” and according to their passions.

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