As the search for the School of Management’s new dean reaches the interview phase, SOM community members reflect on the business school’s broader values and issues that they would like their new leader to address.
Dean Edward Snyder announced last spring that he would step down from his position after the 2018-19 academic year. University President Peter Salovey tasked the SOM Dean Search Advisory Committee, a group chaired by finance professor Andrew Metrick ’89 and comprised of nine other University faculty members, with finding a new dean. According to committee member and Deputy Provost for International Affairs Pericles Lewis, the committee identified several contenders for the position after gathering feedback from SOM faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Metrick told the News that he cannot disclose the number of candidates who are under consideration, but the count is “a single-digit number.” At the end of the process, his committee will give a short list of candidates to Salovey, who will make the final choice.
“Being in a dean search has been a welcome time for reflection by all members of the community about who we are, how far we’ve come, and where we want to go,” management professor and member of the advisory committee Amy Wrzesniewski wrote in an email to the News. “The operationalization of what it means to push forward on our mission in the coming era will be an exciting time. There is sure to be active discussion about how best to continue to move forward. But a moment in time to appreciate what we’ve accomplished as a school has been important and helpful to the process.”
Metrick explained that each candidate considered in the process was pulled from one of three categories. Some candidates came from the SOM itself, some came from other business schools or had experience closely related to business schools and others, whom Metrick called “non-traditional” candidates, are leaders in the business world and other sectors.
Each of the groups still has candidates in the running, Metrick added. But most remaining ones belong to the second category, as the number of internal candidates is finite and nontraditional candidates can be hard to pin down.
According to Metrick, the committee solicited feedback from the SOM community by conducting surveys and several town halls. At least four of the town halls took place on campus, Metrick said, while others were led in London, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Washington and online. A separate 16-member Alumni Consultative Committee was also helped with the search along with staff and student committees.
Dean Search Advisory Committee members interviewed by the News said that SOM community members told them that they want a new dean that will embody the school’s mission: “To educate leaders for business and society.”
Metrick pointed out that SOM is “somewhat unique” in the United States. He explained that although it is often categorized as a business school, it is built around the idea that management itself as a discipline is fluid and can be applied to all sectors, including public and nonprofit.
He added that the SOM has always recognized that there is more to success than “having the highest stock price at your company.”
“We believe that the world is catching up to us,” he said, noting that now was the time for the school to “double down” on its broader mission.
Accounting professor and committee member Rick Antle said that he was surprised by the school staff’s commitment to this mission.
He said that in his conversations with them, he found that they did not believe they were merely “working at a business school,” but rather were concerned with the school’s bigger aims.
Metrick added that members of the SOM community often brought up issues of diversity and inclusion during feedback sessions. He pointed out that the committee has not only put together a diverse list of candidates, but has also paid attention to how those candidates said they would handle issues of diversity at the school and how they would incorporate discussions about them into academic programming.
Metrick framed the dean search as a good opportunity for the school’s community to reflect on its current state and its goals for the future. He stressed that the SOM’s mission means different things for different community members, and added that it will be important for the next dean to spend time understanding those perspectives.
“I think that what I’m taking away is that the management school is just in a great position right now,” Antle said. “The school is viewed as a place where deanship is attractive on so many dimensions, and not just because it’s Yale.”
The Yale School of Management was established in 1976.
Asha Prihar | firstname.lastname@example.org