letter from the dean

The New Crop

Sunil Kumar, Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management

Dean KumarThe pomp of convocation is behind us, yet summer brings its own excitement as we welcome the next crop of faculty and students to Chicago Booth, as well as the newest group of graduates to our alumni community. It is a time when the institution renews itself in a fundamental way. As new people enter our campuses, the topics studied and taught change and the methods used to study and teach change; the intellectual conversation changes in a lasting way. That said, if we have done our job well recruiting faculty and students, our new crop will easily live up to our standards of rigor, evidence, and open debate.

Thus far we have 12 new faculty members joining us in the next academic year: one full professor and 11 assistant professors. Factoring in departures, we expect a net gain of seven faculty members. They come from fi elds ranging from accounting and economics to marketing and statistics. There is no doubt in my mind that our new crop will help enhance and broaden the school’s intellectual footprint.

Two of our “rookie” hires were offered jobs at Booth last year. They chose to defer joining so that they could spend a year in industry bolstering the applied side of their work. They spent last year at eBay and Google, respectively, acquiring practical insights to complement their outstanding academic training. I see this approach, where new members of the faculty invest significant time at the beginning of their careers in industry, as a very positive development.

Summer is bittersweet. We congratulate and bid adieu to our graduating students. In turn, we welcome our latest alumni. As you will read in this issue of Chicago Booth Magazine, the career choices of Booth graduates continue to diversifywith marketing, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, and general management featuring prominently in addition to consulting and financial services. The last two industries continue to account for more than half of the class job placements, but graduates’ interests - and their options - are broadening.

At the time of writing this letter, we have not yet finished admitting the class of 2014. All indications are that this will be another excellent class in terms of objective metrics like the median GMAT score and GPA. Matriculating students not only come from a variety of backgrounds and have diverse work experiences, but they also intend to use their Booth experience in a variety of ways to support their aspirations. So far, our incoming students hail from 50 different countries.

Finally, summer is a good time to experiment with new ideas. One such idea is LaunchPad, a workshop intended to help younger alumni with entrepreneurial ambitions get started on putting their plans together. More experienced alumni serve as mentors and judges; Booth faculty run the workshop. We have done a few such workshops in Chicago, and, this year, we are experimenting globally. This summer we will run a LaunchPad workshop at the University of Chicago’s Beijing Center and one at Booth’s London campus. We see this initiative as one effective way to support younger alumni globally and bring them closer to more experienced alumni and the school.

While Chicago Booth is in great shape, we cannot afford to sit still. Given the breadth of career aspirations of our students and alumni, and the range of issues confronting businesses today, it is evident to me that for Chicago Booth to get better, we have to get broader. It is important we do this without sacrifi cing our strengths and values. Each year, the new crop brings us closer to this end. Please join me in welcoming our new faculty, students, and alumni. I eagerly look forward to our community’s future accomplishments.

Sunil Kumar
Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management

Photo by Matthew Gilson

 

Last Updated 9/27/12