From the Dean


Maintaining the Momentum

Harry Davis, Interim Dean

Image by Matthew Gilson

I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me following the announcement that Sunil Kumar will be our next dean beginning January 2011 and that I will serve as interim dean until then. As I mentioned in my remarks to the graduating MBA and PhD students at convocation last spring, this university means a great deal to me - its values and, most importantly, its faculty, students (past and present), and staff. My role over these five months is to maintain the momentum that this organization now has and to reinforce the qualities that are the underpinning of Chicago Booth’s distinctive role as a professional business school. It is indeed a privilege to be at the helm of an institution that is in great shape!

In accepting this role, I will reach out to all of the school’s many constituencies and engage in wide-ranging discussions. This period provides a productive space in which to surface enduring themes from our long history, celebrate core values that are non-negotiable, and
discuss aspirations as we consider the immediate and longer-term future.

Sunil has been an active partner in many of these conversations to date. The three deputy deans - Richard Leftwich, Stacey Kole, and Mark Zmijewski - have shared their deep knowledge and continue to perform in their roles with real mastery. Together, we have met with students in our full-time and part-time MBA and PhD programs. We have engaged with the entire faculty, senior staff, members of our Council and Global Advisory Board, university officers, and trustees. We also have reached out to many alumni and will continue to do this both in the United States and elsewhere throughout the world.

I look forward to meeting with many of you during this interim period and beyond. I often tell my students that leaders benefit enormously from listening carefully rather than talking continuously. Listening is high on my agenda this fall, and I look forward to your engagement.

This issue of the magazine features interviews with recipients of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Awards. These graduates symbolize the rich diversity of talent within our community. I had the honor of presenting their awards at the Alumni Celebration in Chicago on October 1.

Those of us who work in the academic world look forward to the opening of each new school year. The new faculty who arrive enrich the vibrant research culture that is the very foundation of this enterprise. Newly admitted students bring their energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity into the classroom and to many extracurricular activities. Thus, we all have the opportunity to begin anew each autumn, and I hope to inspire in each of you that same sense of optimism in the self-renewal of this great community.


Harry Davis
Interim Dean


Last Updated 11/19/10