University President Peter Salovey announced that University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy professor Kerwin Charles would serve as the next dean of the School of Management — the first dean of color at the helm of the SOM.
Salovey’s announcement comes almost exactly a year after School of Management Dean Edward Snyder announced that he would step down this summer. Charles will assume the post in July, as Snyder steps down from his eight-year tenure. In the Universitywide email, Salovey praised Charles’ “distinguished scholarly career” researching earnings and wealth inequality; conspicuous consumption; and labor market discrimination, among others. Charles has also held many leadership roles, running various programs within the Harris School of Public Policy and serving as the school’s deputy and interim dean, Salovey added.
“I have gotten to know Professor Charles over the past few months, and he is quite remarkable,” Salovey said in an email to the News. “He is a gifted educator, a committed scholar, and a warm individual. Most importantly, he embraces the School of Management’s special mission and will be an inspiring leader.”
The search to name Snyder’s successor was conducted by the SOM Dean Search Advisory Committee — chaired by finance professor Andrew Metrick ’89 and comprised of nine other University faculty members. A separate 16-member Alumni Consultative Committee, co-chaired by CEO of Ripplewood Holdings Timothy Collins ’82 and former PepsiCo CEO and trustee Indra Nooyi SOM ’80, helped with the search, along with student and staff committees.
In an email to the News, Snyder said he is delighted by Salovey’s announcement and added that Charles will have “a profound impact on SOM, the Yale community and beyond.”
In a Thursday email to the SOM community, Metrick emphasized that “the engagement of so many stakeholders in the search process” demonstrated the strength of the school’s community.
“Prof. Charles arrives at a school that has built up remarkable momentum and clarity of direction under the leadership of Ted Snyder,” Metrick wrote in the email. “Prof. Charles understands deeply the mission that drives us and unites us as a community and the potential that’s still out there for us to have greater impact. … I am confident that Kerwin Charles will be a terrific dean for SOM, and I invite everyone to give him a warm welcome when he visits later this month.”
In an email to the News, accounting professor and a member of the search committee Richard Antle said the School of Management should “intensify our focus on the mission set for us by our founders, our alumni and the University” and added that Charles has the background, experience and abilities to lead such a process.
According to Metrick’s email, Charles will host an open forum for the SOM community later this month. At the meeting, students and faculty members can ask questions about Charles’ vision for the school and get to know him better, the email stated.
In an interview with the News last October, Metrick said the committee was considering internal candidates from the School of Management and other business schools, as well as “non-traditional” candidates who are leaders in the business world.
Metrick added that the committee wanted a dean who would embody the school’s mission — “to educate leaders for business and for society” — and was soliciting feedback from the SOM community through surveys and town halls. Many raised issues of diversity and inclusion during the feedback sessions, and the committee put together a diverse list of candidates and considered how those candidates would incorporate discussions of diversity into academic programming, Metrick told the News in October.
“We are extremely enthusiastic about this outcome,” SOM deputy dean and another member of Metrick’s search committee Edieal Pinker wrote in an email to the News. “Professor Charles has built his career around rigorously and critically analyzing complex socioeconomic issues nothing could fit the spirit and mission of SOM better. We believe that he will be a passionate and articulate advocate for SOM and its mission as well as an inspiring leader for its faculty and staff.”
In the announcement, Nooyi said Charles understands that the SOM community’s belief that “businesses can accomplish more when leaders develop a deep understanding of the points of intersection between business and society.” Charles’ research interests in labor economics; economic inequality; and racial and gender discrimination demonstrate his willingness to take on the “most daunting and meaningful challenges,” Nooyi added.
When Charles assumes the deanship in July, Snyder will return to full-time teaching and research at the School of Management.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Ted Snyder for his exemplary leadership as dean during the past eight years,” Salovey said in the University-wide email. “There will be other opportunities to express our appreciation to Ted; in the meantime, I look forward to the continuation of his legacy of academic excellence and global influence under Professor Charles’s tenure in the deanship.”
In an interview with the News in November, Snyder said that the school has become “stronger and strategically positioned” under his leadership. During his tenure, Snyder said he successfully increased alumni engagement, connected the school with the wider Yale community and expanded the entrepreneurship curriculum, Masters-level programs and non-degree programs. He added that the school’s faculty recruitment and retention have been “excellent” and that the student applicant pool has grown in recent years.
According to Deputy Dean for Academic Programs and Management professor David Bach, Snyder helped SOM go from “being perhaps the least international top U.S. business school to the one that is most globally connected.” In 2012, Snyder established the Global Network for Advancement Management — a network of 32 business schools throughout the world — and in 2014, he introduced global studies as a requirement for all Master of Business Administration and Master of Advanced Management students.
SOM’s Senior Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations Joel Getz added that under Snyder’s tenure, the school’s alumni donations have reached record levels. In 2016-17, 53 percent of the school’s alumni gave to SOM — a number that broke the University’s own record for individual school giving and was significantly higher than most of SOM’s peer business schools, Getz said.
Charles is a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research and an elected Fellow of the Society of Labor Economics. He serves on the boards of the National Opinion Research Center and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.
Serena Cho | email@example.com