School of Management dean search winds down

Five months after the search process for a new dean began at the Yale School of Management, administrators are winnowing a field of potential candidates.

University President Richard Levin said the faculty search committee charged with replacing Dean Sharon Oster — who stepped up after the October 2008 departure of former Dean Joel Podolny — should reach a shortlist “within the next month or so.” Levin said he hopes to name a successor to Oster by the end of calendar year 2009.

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“We’re looking for a leader who is ambitious about building the school’s program and its global reputation,” Levin said in an interview Sunday.

The search for the next dean of the SOM began in April, when Levin announced the formation of an eight-person faculty search committee. That committee is working alongside a seven-member alumni advisory board, and both bodies are gathering input from the SOM faculty, staff, students and alumni. The University also hired an executive search firm to advertise the position domestically and internationally, the SOM announced in a July release that did not name the firm.

Management professor James Baron, who heads the faculty search committee, said Monday that regardless of where the next dean comes from, he or she will need to strengthen the SOM’s reputation to match the University’s.

In 2009, the SOM rose to No. 10 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual evaluation of business schools, up from No. 13 in 2008. To continue this trend, Baron said, the SOM will need to take better advantage of Yale’s intellectual resources.

“As SOM tries to enhance its global footprint, [it] won’t happen in a significant way unless SOM leverages everything else in the University,” Baron said.

The next dean will need to oversee the construction of the school’s new campus, Baron said. Work on the 246,000-square-foot complex has been delayed due to weak fundraising, the University announced in January, and a planned 2012 opening date is unlikely. Baron also said the new dean will need to push forward with the SOM’s unorthodox, interdisciplinary curriculum, launched by Podolny in 2006.

In addition to Baron, the faculty search committee includes management professors Rick Antle, Nicholas Barberis, Judith Chevalier ’89, Ravi Dhar, Gary Gorton, Edward Kaplan and political science professor Frances Rosenbluth.

Yale Corporation Senior Fellow Roland Betts ’68 chairs the alumni advisory board, which also includes Charles Ellis ’59, Ellis Jones SOM ’79, Linda Mason SOM ’80, Edward McKinley SOM ’79, Ranjani Hopkins Nagaswami SOM ’86 and George Wyper SOM ’84.

Oster, who took over as dean after Podolny unexpectedly resigned in October 2008 to become dean of Apple University, will step down in June 2010. She plans to return to her role as a senior faculty member at the SOM after leaving the post.

Paul Needham contributed reporting.

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