Stanford Names New Dean for Graduate School of Business
The Stanford Graduate School of Business (image: naotakem)
by: Pete Carey
The new dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business is Garth Saloner, an economist, popular teacher and a leader in management education.
Saloner, 54, takes over as the school seeks to expand its reach into the global economy and launches construction of a new 360,000-square-foot campus slated for completion by 2011.
A Stanford faculty member since 1990, Saloner is known for forging contacts between the school and the business leaders of Silicon Valley, and has promoted collaboration between students in the business school and those in other departments.
“We’ve been working hard to eliminate boundaries between the schools and disciplines,” he said Tuesday. “We are really trying to promote the free flow of ideas, students and faculty across the schools.”
He takes over as dean Sept. 1 from Robert Joss, who is stepping down after 10 years. Saloner’s research is in entrepreneurship and network effects that underlie electronic commerce.
Saloner was a founder of the Stanford Computer Industry project, funded by the Sloan Foundation, and helped found the university’s Center for Electronic Business and Commerce.
In 2006, Saloner led a task force that completed a major revision of the school’s curriculum. In about three weeks, the school will graduate the first students to complete the curriculum.
“Our view of the MBA has evolved over time,” he said. “A significant fraction of our entering class comes to us today having already learned much of what we used to teach 10 or 20 years ago.”
The new curriculum begins by introducing students to “broad and difficult management issues,” he said, “to provide a perspective on what management education is about.”
The curriculum also recognizes that students come from different backgrounds and experiences, ranging from businesses to nonprofit organizations. More than a third of the graduate school’s students are foreign-born. “It’s an enormous diversity of experience,” he said.
Future MBAs “are going to have to go beyond mastery” of basic areas such as management and finance “to really think deeply” about the world, he said.
“He has a global mindset,” said John Roberts, a Stanford business school economist who co-chaired the search committee that made recommendations to Stanford President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy.
The new curriculum Saloner helped forge is “truly reinventing the path to an MBA,” Etchemendy said in announcing Saloner’s appointment Tuesday.
A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Saloner previously was on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and its Sloan School of Management. He received his first degrees in business — a bachelor’s and master’s — from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
He holds three degrees from Stanford — master’s in statistics and economics, and a doctorate in economics, business and public policy.
A little less well-known is the fact that Saloner and his three daughters will soon have seven Stanford degrees among them. Two of his daughters have undergraduate degrees and the third is in her freshman year. The eldest just enrolled in the business school’s MBA program.
“It’s quite a family affair,” he said.