This fall, Yale’s School of Management will welcome a new dean, Edward Snyder, who previously served as dean of the University of Chicago’s top-ranked Booth School of Business. Jeanette Gorgas assumed her post as senior associate dean for the MBA program this Monday, just days after being hired. The two sat down to talk to the News on Wednesday about their goals for the school, their plans for SOM’s admitted students weekend and how Snyder spent his year off.
Q What are you most excited about?
ES I’m most excited about continuing the momentum of the school. This school has extraordinary students, and the profiles of the students to me are really interesting. Since it’s a smaller MBA program, I look forward to simply getting to know the students. On the faculty side, we have a lot of stars, and I’m excited about continuing that effort to strengthen the faculty — retaining and developing people we have, and recruiting new people. These challenges get harder the better your faculty members are, so that’s going to be a big challenge.
JG This is just my third day, so I’m taking it all in. I’ve had some terrific opportunities to meet with students and faculty. I can already see the leverage the University has as a whole, and that’s great. I can see how passionate the students and faculty are; many have stopped by to say hello. I have also been struck by how people talk about understanding and partnerships between different areas of the University.
Q Do you have any specific plans for the school?
ES Right now, it’s been a combination of throwing out ideas and listening to what people have to say. Yale SOM has the potential to be known as the business school that is most integrated in terms of its relationship with its home University.
Q Dean Snyder, how did you spend your sabbatical?
ES I wrote a couple of scholarly pieces, and I have a research project in suspended animation. I’ve actually done some additional research on business schools, which has really helped me. I can’t say my golf handicap is any lower, but I got to play some terrific golf courses. It’s gone by fast. I appreciate Dean Oster’s willingness to continue for another year — she’s done a great job.
Q What will you do at the School of Management’s Admit Weekend?
ES Dean [Sharon] Oster asked me to spend some time with the admitted students. I appreciated that offer because I think it will be a really good chance to begin dialogue with them. Not all of them will come, but we expect most of them to … I’m also meeting with some student groups, including the outgoing and incoming student government leaders. This transition will be two-dimensional: On the one hand, we will be honoring Dean Oster, and on the other, welcoming a new dean.
JG I see it as a chance to meet the incoming class, many of whom I will be spending quite a bit of time with. I want to meet them in person, and hopefully a lot of them will join us.
Q What has impressed you most about Yale?
JG I went to one of the school’s admissions events before I was hired. I was just impressed by the enormous variety of interest among these folks and their passion for their particular areas of interest — their hunger and intellectual curiosity, and their deep desire to take that next step into business school.
ES I’ve been impressed by the series of contacts I’ve had with people who want to be involved with the University and the school. I had one today when a senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry contacted me. This person happens not to be a Yale alum, but he wants to be involved. And this type of interaction has happened just about every week since it was announced that I was going to come here. I’ve just been struck by the power of the Yale network.