Harry Davis Named Interim Dean

Published on July 29, 2010

Harry Davis, Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management, continues his legacy of service to Chicago Booth as interim dean until January 1, 2011. A faculty member since 1963, Davis is an expert in leadership, strategy, creativity, and innovation, and has introduced programs at Chicago Booth that have left a lasting imprint on business education.

Davis served as deputy dean from 1983 to 1993, a time when advancements in technology, globalization, and workforce diversity required new managerial skills. Davis responded to the change by working with students to develop an experiential course addressing personal leadership.

The outcome was Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD). The first core leadership program at any top-rated MBA program, LEAD, is facilitated by second-year students who have the responsibility for creating and delivering the curriculum to the entering students.

Faculty unanimously agreed that LEAD should become a permanent feature of the curriculum, and 20 years later, it remains the only required course for students in the Full-Time MBA Program.

“It was the ultimate grass roots program,” said Davis of the collaboration with students that produced LEAD.

Davis also pioneered the Management Laboratories, experiential learning courses that offer students an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in real-world situations. Introduced in 1978 as the New Product Lab, it continues to provide teams of students with the opportunity to work with faculty and senior executives to solve real-world business problems. Firms such as American Airlines and Honeywell International have been among the more than 80 corporations that have engaged Chicago Booth talent through these laboratories.

In addition to expanding Booth’s curriculum, Davis also was instrumental in increasing Booth’s global presence, helping to establish the school’s first international campus, in Barcelona, in 1994. With facilities now in Chicago, London, and Singapore, Booth remains the only business school with permanent campuses on three continents.

Davis will work with deputy deans Mark Zmijewski, Leon Carroll Marshall Professor of Accounting; Richard Leftwich, Fuji Bank and Heller Professor of Accounting and Finance; and Stacey Kole, clinical professor of economics, who will continue in their roles.

“We are grateful to Harry for his deep commitment to Chicago Booth and the university and his willingness to serve in this role,” said University President Robert Zimmer and Provost Thomas Rosenbaum in announcing Sunil Kumar as the school’s new dean.

—Kate Fratar