New Dean to take Office at Stanford GSB Amidst a Scandal and Drop in Ranking

Stanford University | Admissionado

Last month it was announced that Dr. Jonathan Levin, the former Chair of the Stanford Department of Economics will become the next Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) in September 2016.

Levin, who became a Stanford faculty member in 2000, is a renowned scholar in the field of industrial organization, with significant research experience in a range of topics from marketplace design to the economics of organizations. He is a professor at GSB, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and director of the Industrial Organization Program at the National Bureau for Economic Research.

Levin will succeed Garth Saloner, who is resigning after seven years and significant controversy. Last fall, Saloner was discovered to be having an affair with Deborah Gruenfeld, a GSB professor who was married to another professor at the school. Moreover, Saloner reportedly remained involved in the decision to dismiss Gruenfeld’s husband, Jim Philis, who later sued the university for firing him unfairly. The lawsuit also brought to light a seemingly “troubled culture” at GSB that is rife with personal agendas, favoritism and fear, as nearly 50 former GSB employees accused Saloner of creating a hostile, intimidating workplace that blatantly discriminated against older women.

Levin was chosen not only for the ‘stellar academic credentials’ he will bring, but also for “a fresh perspective and leadership skills that will help the GSB maintain its preeminence for years to come,” said search committee co-chair Mary Barth, the Joan E. Horngren Professor of Accounting. Levin will aim to restore the collegial atmosphere at GSB, as well as the school’s reputation and image, as 2016 marks the first in seven years that Stanford failed to hold first place on its own or in a tie with another school in U.S. News’ MBA Ranking.   

Stanford GSB is devoted to transforming lives by preparing future leaders to change organizations and change the world,” Levin said. “It will be an honor to join such a committed, dedicated faculty and to support their mission of applying both academic rigor and real-world relevance to their research. Deepening our understanding of management and bringing that knowledge into the classroom couldn’t be more exciting.”

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