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After 60 years at Chicago Booth, Harry L. Davis retired to professor emeritus status at the end of Spring Quarter 2023, while maintaining an active teaching schedule—in true Harry fashion. Davis, the Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Creative Management, has made many contributions to the Chicago MBA experience, from lab courses to LEAD to international expansion. Along the way, he transformed leadership education at Booth and beyond. His time is marked by some notable achievements:

1963

Graduated from Northwestern University with a PhD in marketing and joined the Booth faculty.

1978

Took part in launching Booth’s first laboratory course, New Products Laboratory, in which MBA students work with real companies on real problems.

1983–93

Held the role of deputy dean. During this period, plans for international expansion took shape.

1989

Collaborated with students to create the Leadership Effectiveness and Development course, the first leadership program of its kind at a top MBA program and the only mandatory MBA course at Booth.

1992

Published “Rethinking Management Education: A View from Chicago” with Robin Hogarth. This landmark paper argued that business education should focus on action and insight skills as well as on conceptual knowledge.

1994

Played a key role in the opening of Booth’s Executive MBA Program in Barcelona, which gave Booth the distinction of having the first executive MBA program with an international campus.

2010

Became the namesake for the Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership, which provides ongoing leadership learning for students and alumni.

2019

Launched the Leadership Studio course with Nancy Tennant, adjunct professor of leadership. The course likens leadership to the performing arts and has students split their time between attending traditional lectures and conducting character-development exercises with professional actors and musicians.

2023

Earned a place in retirement as one of the longest-tenured faculty in school history. Davis continues to work full time, teaching five sections of the MBA Leadership Studio, as well as Executive Education’s Advanced Management Program and Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program.

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