Snyder to Step Down as Dean at Chicago Booth

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on December 10, 2009

On the heels of Harvard Business School’s announcement last week that Dean Jay Light would be retiring, Edward Snyder, dean of University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business announced today that he will be stepping down from his post, effective June 30, 2010. In his ten years as dean at Booth, Snyder has overseen the move of the business school into a new facility and has worked hard to enhance his school’s presence and impact globally. As part of this vision, Snyder announced a $300 million gift from alumnus David Booth late last year and renamed the school in Booth’s honor. Also, in his decade as dean, Snyder has led Chicago to the top of BusinessWeek’s ranking of top MBA programs, due greatly in part to the fact that he has been able to retain elite faculty and attract top students with financial aid and scholarships.

“It is a great privilege to be a part of this community of faculty, students, alumni, and staff,” Snyder said in a note to the Chicago community this afternoon. “I am most pleased by our efforts to, in the words of former Dean George Shultz, “preserve the integrity of the school.” We have done so by taking a different path from many other schools. We have invited everyone in our community to be part of the best values system of any university, and to understand that pushing for the next “best provisional” idea is what leads us to positively impact society. We have also set high expectations of everyone in our community.”

The election of a faculty search committee for a new dean will take place in coming weeks.

Snyder’s note, in its entirety, can be found after the jump.

December 10, 2009

To: Chicago Booth Community

From: Edward A. Snyder

As the calendar year draws to a close, I have reflected on all we have accomplished as a community. Our outstanding faculty and alumni continue to show the power of Chicago Values in action, across all sectors and parts of the globe. Support for students and alumni continues to be a hallmark of Chicago Booth, with Career Services maintaining our leading edge in providing professional development opportunities. Our school is also celebrating the first anniversary of our historic naming.

Truly we have accomplished much since 2001. With that in mind, and as I look at what is next for Chicago Booth and for me, I have decided to conclude my tenure as Dean on June 30, 2010.

By way of background, I am in my ninth year as Dean. Since World War II, no Dean of the school has served more than two five-year terms. No surprise to you, I understand that the option to deviate from standard practice is valuable. However, given the strong state of our school and what we have accomplished, I believe now is the right time for the school to search for its next Dean. On the personal side, I look forward to taking some time to (a) reflect on the challenges facing management education, (b) analyze some major public policy issues, and (c) to consider my future.

You will be hearing from President Zimmer and Provost Rosenbaum shortly about the search for a permanent replacement. I fully expect that we will have a good transition and will continue our strong focus on supporting our students and alumni in their professional development and career exploration efforts.

It is a great privilege to be a part of this community of faculty, students, alumni, and staff. I am most pleased by our efforts to, in the words of former Dean George Shultz, “preserve the integrity of the school.” We have done so by taking a different path from many other schools. We have invited everyone in our community to be part of the best values system of any university, and to understand that pushing for the next “best provisional” idea is what leads us to positively impact society. We have also set high expectations of everyone in our community.

I want to take this opportunity to thank several groups of people. I work most closely with Deputy Deans Stacey Kole, Richard Leftwich, and Mark Zmijewski, and they constitute the best group of colleagues one could have and – on performance grounds – the best team around. I also want to recognize our superb Senior Staff: the Associate Deans who lead major components of our programs and the Executive Directors who run large parts of the Chicago Booth enterprise. They are extraordinary in their ability to work effectively within an academic setting where competitive challenges are as keenly felt as in many businesses. I have benefited greatly from the many people to whom I report, including President Bob Zimmer, Provost Tom Rosenbaum, and those who guide and support the school in their roles on the University’s Board of Trustees, our Council and our Global Advisory Board. Chicago Booth is a proud part of the University of Chicago and, unlike many business schools that have moved to peripheral positions at their respective universities, we benefit through our strong integration with the University. Finally, it is simply terrific to be around our great faculty, our students, and alumni, whose energy and aspirations keep me feeling positive about our school and the world.

I want to thank David Booth for his beyond-extraordinary support for this enterprise. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, "They aren't lookin' to dissect us or inspect us; they aren't lookin' to confine us, define us, or design us." David and his family simply offered us this stunning level of unrestricted support for what we are, and thus conveyed in the most dramatic terms their wish that we become yet more.

I wish everyone a productive end of the Fall Quarter and an excellent holiday season.


*********************************
Edward A. Snyder
Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Economics
Chicago Booth

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