Garten creates SOM Board of Advisors

As part of the School of Management’s effort to raise funds and gain recognition as one of the world’s top business schools, Dean Jeffrey Garten announced last week that he has created a new Board of Advisors to guide the SOM.

Garten said the 40-member board, which will hold its first meeting Feb. 3, includes an unprecedented number of SOM graduates and others who hold degrees from Yale.

“The School of Management has reached a new stage in its evolution,” Garten said. “It’s deeply integrated in Yale University and it has a large number of graduates who have experience to apply to the future growth of the school.”

Garten said one of the council’s main goals will be to strengthen mutually beneficial links with other parts of Yale, particularly with respect to Yale programs that deal with globalization. The board includes members from Moscow, China, Mexico, Argentina and the United Kingdom.

In addition to guiding the school’s growth, Garten said the board will also work to expand the SOM’s facilities as well as gathering financial support for faculty chairs and research.

“We are looking to [the board] for direct participation in fund-raising, we’re looking to them for help in mobilizing funds from other sources, and we’re looking to them for advice in terms of the fund raising strategy,” he said.

Board members include Yale President Richard Levin and will be chaired by Yale Corporation member Linda Mason SOM ’80. Nearly all board members hold some type of Yale degree and approximately 20 are SOM graduates. Members serve as executives in a variety of sectors, including finance and non-profit organizations.

Some SOM faculty members and students plan to participate in the board’s day-long initial meeting as well. Professors said they are eager to consider the outside perspective that the council is expected to provide. Faculty and student liaisons will also share school-related news with board members.

SOM Professor William Goetzmann said one of the most helpful aspects of the board will be connections members intend to build between the school and people working in industries that hire SOM graduates.

“Information about the current status of the investment industry, for example, can help us design our classes to accommodate new needs,” Goetzmann said. “At a professional school, one of the goals is to have a connection to the profession.”

One of the board’s stated goals is to contribute to the strategic vision of the school. Professor Dick Wittink said he believes the board can contribute valuable perspectives on how to use the SOM’s new research centers to build connections with the rest of Yale, become better known, and help address problems in business and society.

While officials anticipate the board will exist for three years, with group meetings twice a year as well as individual meetings between board members and SOM administrators, Garten said members could be added in the future and the board’s term could be extended.

“Theoretically, maybe every year we would add a contingent and some people would drop off,” he said.

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