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Business Schools Seeking Corporate Deans

Monday, September 27, 2010
“While nowhere near commonplace, some business schools are beginning to recognize the benefits of recruiting a leader with corporate experience,” according to Witt/Kieffer Diversity Practice Leader Howard Jessamy.
The Bloomberg Businessweek article highlights Witt/Kieffer placement Neil Braun, former-CEO of Viacom Entertainment and ex-president of NBC Television, as  the new dean at Pace University's Lubin School of Business.  The firm also recently placed Ed Grier, formerly President, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA   as the new Dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business.
“Private sector CEOs have experience in raising an organization’s visibility and shaping its future and today’s business school deans have similar responsibilities,” says Jessamy, “Corporate leadership skills may someday be considered as beneficial as academic leadership in helping a business school realize its vision.”
Nevertheless, corporate expertise does not always evolve seamlessly into a role in higher education, according to Witt/Kieffer consultant Oliver Tomlin. “Our business school clients still find they need strong candidates from the academic world.  Oftentimes it takes leaders with years of academic experience to address compelling challenges facing a business school – fierce competition, increasing financial pressures, dwindling endowments and relationships with trustees, faculty and donors.” “It remains to be seen if recruiting deans from the business world becomes a trend,” Tomlin says. “Meanwhile, most of the firm’s business school dean placements still come from an academic setting.”
The full Bloomberg Businessweek article is in the August 2, 2010 issue.

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