Posted by: Louis Lavelle on June 28, 2011
Carolyn Woo, dean of the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business (Mendoza Undergraduate Business Profile), will leave the school to serve as president and chief executive officer of Catholic Relief Services, effective Jan. 1, 2012. The joint announcement was made Friday. Associate Dean Roger Huang will serve as interim dean until a permanent replacement is found.
The decision to leave comes after “six months of intense and ongoing discernment,” she wrote in an email to colleagues. She continued to write it “is extremely difficult” to leave the university and hoped her colleagues wouldn’t think she had let Mendoza or Notre Dame down.
Catholic Relief Services is the official Catholic international humanitarian agency in the U.S., according to the press release. Woo served on the board of directors from 2004 through 2010. She succeeds Ken Hackett, who is retiring after 18 years as CEO and president.
In her email to the Mendoza community, Woo said she sees her departure as consistent with values Notre Dame tries to instill in students:
“It is the Notre Dame lesson that I often speak of to our students: To have eyes, ears and heart that recognize where needs are and the confidence that comes basically from a lifetime of blessings to leave what is comfortable for what we are asked to do. We have also reminded our students that their business education can be used to bring about the greater good. I have spoken the words and now I am given the opportunity and challenge to live them at another level.”
During her 14 years (2011-1997) as dean, the Mendoza school received accolades for its undergraduate business program, which is currently ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg Businessweek. Mendoza’s full-time MBA and executive MBA programs are highly ranked as well.
—by Kiah Lau Haslett