Last week the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan announced Alison Davis-Blake will become the first female dean of the school, effective August 22. For Ross, the announcement came after a ten-month-long search to find a replacement for Robert J. Dolan, who will step down after serving as dean for the past decade.
Davis-Blake will trade one cold-weather school for another: For the past five years she has served as the dean of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. At the University of Minnesota she made a name for herself by significantly improving the school’s fundraising efforts and improving the school’s overall national standing.
Ross professor Jerry Davis, who led Ross’s Dean Search Advisory Committee, had this to say about Davis-Blake in an announcement:
“She impressed the committee with her grasp of the broad competitive landscape of business education, its future trends, and the factors that distinguish Ross from the other top schools,” he says. “She has had great success working with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors at Carlson, and the school’s reputation has risen accordingly. She also has great experience with globalizing the educational experience of students at Carlson, managing alliances with schools in Europe and Asia, and implementing a required overseas experience for undergraduates.”
Just as was the case with Sally Blount’s appointment at Kellogg last year, much will probably be made of the fact that Davis-Blake is a woman, but her track record stands on its own regardless of gender. She has moved up through the ranks relatively quickly, starting out as an assistant professor of industrial administration at Carnegie Mellon before moving to the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in 1990. There she moved up from an instructor to eventually serve as the school’s senior associate dean for academic affairs before leaving f in 2006.
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