Dean Garth Saloner of the Stanford Graduate School of Business announced Monday that he plans to step down at the end of this academic year. His decision was prompted by increased media attention and scrutiny due to an ongoing lawsuit brought by a former professor at the GSB.
“As many of you know, the university and I have been vigorously defending a baseless and protracted lawsuit related to a contentious divorce between a current and former member of our faculty,” Saloner wrote in an email to faculty, staff and students. “I have become increasingly concerned that the ongoing litigation and growing media interest will distract all of you from the important work that you are doing and unfairly impact this stellar school’s deserved reputation.”
Saloner, who has been dean of the GSB since 2009, plans to return to his teaching and research as part of the school faculty, and made his announcement to allow time to plan for a smooth transition, according to the university’s statement.
“I thank you for your support, commitment and dedication and I will do everything I can over the next year to leave this great school in as excellent shape as it is now,” he wrote.
During his deanship, Saloner was instrumental in creating a new MBA curriculum, the opening of the sustainable Knight Management Center campus, and the launching of entrepreneurship and leadership programs in developing nations, Stanford News reports. The Stanford Graduate School of Business has raised over $500 million in private support since he became dean.
“It is with great regret that I accept Garth’s resignation, which I know was a difficult decision,” said Stanford President John L. Hennessy. “It has been a very successful tenure. Under his leadership, the business school has been a leader in transforming management education to address the world’s economic challenges. He has expanded its international impact and he implemented an academic vision to train insightful, principled leaders who can drive global change. We are grateful to Garth for his service and his many contributions as dean, and look forward to his continued contributions to teaching and research at the GSB for many years to come.”