Dean of SOM to step down

School of Management Dean Jeffrey Garten will step down in June of 2005, when his second five-year term comes to a close, he said Monday.

Garten will spend the coming year working to strengthen the school by recruiting more students and faculty, further involving alumni with the school, and working with the advisory board established earlier this year to plan a strategy for the SOM’s development, he said. Students, faculty and alumni said they believe Garten will leave the school poised to become one of the top business schools in the nation.

Yale President Richard Levin will soon begin the search for a new dean, Levin said in an e-mail sent Monday to SOM students, faculty and alumni.

Garten’s time at the SOM has been enjoyable, Garten said, but he never expected to stay longer than 10 years. He said he is not sure of his future plans.

“I think the school is on a real roll and that after 10 years a new person would be better than me in taking it to the next stage,” Garten said.

Among his accomplishments as dean, Garten said his initiatives to create strong links between the SOM and other schools at Yale, his additions to the faculty, and the increased number and quality of applicants to the school have made him most proud. He said continuing these efforts will be among the greatest challenges for his successor.

Although Garten outlined areas where there is room for the school to improve, many SOM students, alumni and faculty said he has brought the SOM a long way since becoming dean in 1995.

“When [Garten] came in nine years ago, the SOM was really suffering,” SOM Board of Advisors Chairman and Yale Corporation member Linda Mason SOM ’80 said. “It had lost a lot of alumni support and many faculty members. In nine years, he has put it on an amazingly strong trajectory across almost every domain.”

In the next few days, Levin will create a committee of faculty members to advise him on the search for a new dean, he said in the e-mail. Levin said in an interview Monday that the new dean should be conscious of both the school’s goals for its students and its role in greater society.

“I think we want a leader who connects well to the academic mission of the school — who can relate well to the faculty, but can also relate well to the outside world,” Levin said.

Garten said he sees an opportunity for the new dean to further globalize the school, teach students to benefit the communities in which they work, and give students an understanding of increasingly important connections between business and world politics.

Professor Art Swersey, who has worked at the SOM since the late ’70s, said he thinks it will be important to find a successor who can communicate effectively with the faculty as Garten has.

Despite the praise, Garten said he has sometimes been frustrated by a lack of time to devote to building personal relationships with members of the SOM community.

“My big regret is that as a dean I didn’t have more time to get to know more students individually and to act as more of a mentor,” he said.

Some students, however, said Garten has devoted a great deal of time and attention to interaction with them.

“One thing that attracted me to the SOM was Dean Garten,” Adam Balukonis SOM ’04 said. “I thought he was an interesting guy with an interesting background.”

Balukonis has served on Garten’s student advisory council, a group of 10 students appointed each year in order to facilitate communication between the student body and the administration.

“He’s been a good motivator, he’s been a good role model, and he’s someone that I hope to be able to have ongoing contact with throughout my career,” Balukonis said.

School of Management Dean Jeffrey Garten announced Monday that he will step down in June 2005.
Stephanie Dziczek
School of Management Dean Jeffrey Garten announced Monday that he will step down in June 2005.

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