winter-spring 2001

letters
news
features

Highlights of the Hamada Years

class notes

business week
Lesson in Leadership: When the GSB dropped in the 1996 Business Week rankings, Hamada showed his skills as CEO, formulating and implementing a plan to address the school’s shortcomings.

Engineering the Business Week Rebound

By Allan Friedman
Director of Communications and Acting Chief Marketing Officer

Immediately after the 1996 Business Week ranking of business schools came out, Dean Hamada developed a plan to fix the problems that caused the GSB to drop to No. 8 from our previous position as No. 3 in 1994. Days later the plan was implemented. Those staff members who participated in this fix––we returned to No. 3 in 1998 as Business Week touted our “impressive rebound”––received a lesson in leadership as we watched Dean Hamada act decisively and quickly.

He may deny that he functions as the CEO of the school, but as someone who was in the trenches during this period, I would say that he was indeed our chief executive, taking responsibility and calling the shots.

These included:
Creating the position of Deputy Dean for the Full-Time M.B.A. Program to provide “immediate high-level attention to issues concerning this program and all services that support it.” A first assignment for the new deputy dean was to develop and implement a plan to improve interaction between the GSB and recruiters.

Making the M.B.A. career services office an immediate budget priority. Dean Hamada formed and chaired an advisory council of recruiters and a separate advisory council of students on career services. Valet parking was introduced to accommodate recruiters during campus visits, as was a concierge service. These “little things” turned out to have a big impact.

Directing all staff to “perform at levels that would be expected at the best private sector professional organizations,” requiring a significant culture change within the GSB.

Moving the student affairs office from Edelstone to Walker so students wouldn’t need to cross the Midway every time they needed assistance. Until the move was completed, the dean directed the immediate creation of a resource center in Stuart Hall, where students could “obtain the vast majority of administrative papers needed to navigate through life at the GSB.”

Announcing publicly his commitment to build a new campus classroom building.

Many more changes followed. Was it fun to be a member of the staff back then? Hardly. But it gave me an opportunity to see CEO Hamada strut his stuff. Obviously, Business Week noticed, too.

Next: Leading Strategically

Main Menu: Highlights of the Hamada Years

Visit the Chicago GSB archives.
Send us your class notes. Chicago GSB welcomes your news. E-mail the editor.