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  Dean Blount celebrates at the Academy of Management with (from left): J. Keith Murnighan, Maggie Neale, Paul Hirsch and Max Bazerman.

Dean Blount celebrates at the Academy of Management with (from left): J. Keith Murnighan, Maggie Neale, Paul Hirsch and Max Bazerman.


It Takes a Village to Make a Dean
August 12, 2010

One of Kellogg’s less recognized, but clear, strengths is in its doctoral education and post-doctoral training. Consider my home department, Management and Organizations, which educates the faculty who teach management and strategy courses at some of the world’s best business schools. Students who join our department benefit from Kellogg’s broad-based approach that balances the study of management with the study of markets. Our graduates sit as tenured professors on the faculty of major business schools in the U.S. (e.g., Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, Darden, Harvard, Stern, Wharton) and beyond (e.g., London Business School, Melbourne Business School, Rotman School in Toronto).  I have personally benefitted from the power of this “Kellogg Network” at many points in my career.

I was reminded of its power this past weekend when I was in Montreal to attend the annual meetings for the Academy of Management—the major academic society for our field. Kellogg hosted a reception at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday night to celebrate my appointment, a symbolic victory for the Academy.

It was a terrific party. The setting was beautiful, and so many people were there from around the world to celebrate with us. Maggie Neale and Max Bazerman, my two primary advisers from graduate school were there, as were other past and present Kellogg faculty and doctoral students. Faculty who toughed out the pre-tenure years with me at Booth were there, as well as my more recent colleagues from NYU Stern. And so many professors whom I have met at various academic conferences and university research talks over the years were there, too.

As I got up to the podium and looked out over the audience, I was awed by all the people I saw, remembering so many conversations and different ways that we had helped each other along the journey over the years. At one point, I found myself overwhelmed by memories and simply said “It clearly takes a village to make a dean.”

At that moment, it truly hit me how much attending Kellogg had changed my life. It set me on a path where I was able to do the research and teaching that I have loved, and I have met so many incredible people along the way. In some ways, this next chapter feels like a bonus round on what has already been an incredibly rich professional life . . . .

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