Snyder restructures SOM administration

Under SOM Dean Edward Snyder, the school has added administrators in an effort to increase its focus on individual programs.
Under SOM Dean Edward Snyder, the school has added administrators in an effort to increase its focus on individual programs. Photo by Daniel Sisgoreo.

As School of Management Dean Edward Snyder pursues his agenda of raising the school’s national and international prominence, he has increased the size of his administrative team in an effort to place greater focus on each of the school’s initiatives.

The hires began before Snyder even took office in 2011, when he appointed Jeanette Gorgas as a senior associate dean, and have continued with the arrival of two high-profile administrators from competing business schools. The changes have compartmentalized responsibilities in a way rarely seen at small business schools like SOM, outside experts said. Snyder told the News the changes would add manpower to a previously “lean” administration, which he said would help the school handle increases in student body size and variety of programs.

“I think [the restructuring] gives people the confidence that we’re actually going to do it,” Snyder said of raising the school’s prominence. “I think [the new administrators] in turn take action and make investments and get things going. We didn’t want to wait until the needs become pressing.”

This summer, SOM announced the appointments of Anjani Jain, senior associate dean for the full-time MBA program, and David Bach ’98, senior associate dean for executive MBA global programs. Jain arrived from 10-year term as vice dean at the Wharton School, and Bach arrived from a deanship at IE Business School in Spain.

The business school news website Poets and Quants described the appointments as “something of a coup,” because the new deans come from long tenures at prestigious competing institutions.

“Rarely if ever does a business school recruit and hire leadership talent of this caliber, particularly at the sub-dean level,” John Byrne, the website’s editor, wrote last June. “Both Jain and Bach have played high-profile roles at their schools for years and either of them could just as easily landed a full deanship at another business school.”

Snyder added that having a greater number of administrators at SOM will benefit the school by allowing the administrators to devote themselves more fully to their areas of responsibility. Jain, for instance, will have the time to evaluate the Silver Scholars program, which caters to students who have just graduated from college, Snyder said. He added that “no one has really had the capacity” to evaluate the program in the school’s previous administration.

Bach’s responsibilities will include oversight of SOM’s Global Network for Advanced Management, a web of partnerships with Yale and 21 international business schools, Snyder said.

Asked why they came to Yale, both new administrators said Snyder’s arrival and their potential role in shaping the school’s future drew them to SOM. Both Jain and Bach said their salaries are roughly similar to those at their previous institutions, adding that they did not receive any notable financial incentives to come to SOM.

Snyder said the new appointments will address a perception that SOM offers fewer degrees than it actually does. Many people unaffiliated with the school think it only offers a full-time MBA and are unaware of its doctoral degree, executive MBA program and master of advanced management degree, he said, and administrators’ more individualized focus on the various programs should make them more visible.

He added that the school plans to change its website — currently mba.yale.edu — to make its degree offerings clearer and further dispel misconceptions over its degree offerings.

Alan White, a senior associate dean at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said administrative positions that focus explicitly on international initiatives, like Bach’s, are becoming increasingly necessary as business schools continue to globalize. He added that faculty members or academic deans would often be unfit to occupy such positions given the time commitments of traveling internationally.

Valerie Suslow, a senior associate dean at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said schools with fewer high-ranking administrators can face difficulty in addressing all administrative needs. She compared the job of a dean working in such an administration to that of a college student taking six courses.

“It’s quite complicated to run degree programs and run them well,” Suslow said. “You need someone whose job it is to watch over that on a day-to-day basis, and you need someone who is both tending to the details and also looking at things from a school-wide perspective to make sure that if the school has a particular emphasis, that’s coming through in all degree programs.”

There are currently five senior associate deans at SOM, including Jain and Bach.

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