UW President Mark Emmert has extended the search for a dean to lead the business school, rather than choosing from finalists who toured campus late last year.

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University of Washington President Mark Emmert has extended the search for a dean to lead the business school, rather than choosing from finalists who toured campus late last year.

“Everybody’s goal for the school is for us to be in the top 10,” said Dave Burgstahler, acting business-school dean. “I think he’d like the next dean to take us into the top 10.”

Emmert couldn’t be reached for comment.

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The business school has lacked a permanent leader since former dean Yash Gupta left in June to become dean of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

His successor, interim dean Vance Roley, accepted a post as dean of the University of Hawaii’s business school in Honolulu in January. Burgstahler then took over.

Burgstahler said the school had made “great strides” and was ranked 27 in the country last year by U.S. News &World Report, up from 49 in previous years.

“There’s a lot of attention paid to rankings and especially MBA programs,” he said.

In December, the university brought in four finalists chosen from a pool of applicants assembled by a search firm.

The four were Dennis Ahlburg, senior associate dean of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota; Dick Wittink, professor of management and marketing at the Yale School of Management; David Stewart, professor of marketing at the Marshall School; and William Fowler, retired chief financial officer at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in New York.

Fowler and Stewart were invited back in January, Burgstahler said.

Afterward, Emmert decided to extend the search rather than making a hire.

Burgstahler said the university will go back to the original pool of candidates, in a process that could take six months.

The earlier sifting of candidates was hampered by the need to disclose the candidates’ names because some sitting deans identified in the initial pool didn’t want their interest publicized, he said.

“We’ll be talking to candidates who were unwilling to be part of the public process,” Burgstahler said. “I think it’s very uncertain what the (interview) process is going to be.”

He said the search also is likely to include internal candidates overlooked earlier.

“I don’t think they looked seriously at internal candidates in the first round,” he said.

Alwyn Scott 206-464-3329 or ascott@seattletimes.com