News & Events

Dean Dipak C. Jain’s letter to Kellogg students

Jain thanks students for partnership: “My interactions with you have made my job a true joy.”

By Dipak C. Jain

6/2/2009 - Dear Kellogg School Students,

It is with mixed emotions that I share this news with you: Effective Sept. 1, 2009, I will be stepping away from my role as dean.

After 13 years in this office — five as associate dean working alongside Dean Emeritus Donald Jacobs and the last eight years as dean — I have decided that it is best for me now to devote more time to my family and my scholarly pursuits. To that end, I will rejoin the Marketing Department full time and, more broadly, continue to explore how I can contribute enduring value to management education.

Northwestern University will conduct a global search to appoint a new dean. Until then, it will designate an interim leader to ensure continuity during this transition. As these changes occur, you can be certain that Kellogg is in great shape and positioned to remain among the world’s most prestigious institutions.

This was not an easy decision for me, especially since my interactions with you have made my job a true joy. I looked forward each day to working on behalf of the school. As I reflect on my tenure — the equivalent of two presidential terms — I am pleased to say that my colleagues and I have strengthened the global Kellogg brand and expanded the Kellogg Alumni Network, in addition to instituting many academic innovations and enhancements.

These were key goals that I communicated upon assuming the deanship in 2001. Today, I believe that our efforts to move Kellogg from being individual-driven to being institutional-driven have positioned the school very strongly as it begins its second century. Student input and collaboration between the Office of the Dean and the KSA have been important factors in our achievements.

The Kellogg brand is unique and sharp, as indicated by the top quality of our student applicants and the recruiters who look to us for the best graduates. In fact, in 2008 nearly 250 widely varied companies recruited on campus here — a testament to our school’s academic diversity. This balanced strength across all areas has become a Kellogg hallmark and is an attractive quality that has helped our faculty recruitment and retention, both of which have been outstanding. Others continue to recognize our achievements, including mainstream rankings that consistently place Kellogg among the world’s top management schools.

Also, in terms of our global brand reputation, our recent Centennial celebrations held around the world have shown that our efforts to promote a new kind of leadership education are being well received. Our graduates and others say that our mission of creating leaders who are successful and who make significant contributions to the world is one that they find very appealing. I know this enthusiasm is evident inside Kellogg, too, among you and your student peers, who display a real passion for putting your talents to work in meaningful ways.

This desire to make a positive difference is also evident in your professors and in the Kellogg staff, which is why we have been able to achieve much over the last several years, including expanding our Alumni Relations and Development offices to provide greater service and benefits. In fact, when I became dean, Alumni Relations had a staff of 2 people. Today, a team of 21 people in that office handles many aspects of alumni engagement. Perhaps the most visible example of our outreach has been Reunion, which has increased in attendance each year. This spring, for instance, a record 2,000 graduates and family members joined us for this event.

Other efforts include the creation of the Kellogg Alumni Network, the online portal offering graduates the opportunity to connect with the school and each other, as well as a host of valuable information to sharpen their skills. Similarly, we have allocated additional resources to our Development office, significantly expanding our fundraising so that Kellogg remains among the very best leadership schools.

These efforts will matter even more to you as you graduate and join our global alumni network, now some 50,000 strong.

Looking back, I remember that when I first assumed the deanship I remarked that I felt as if I had been given responsibility to care for a beautiful plant. The plant was healthy, but our job was to grow the roots stronger and the branches longer.

I believe we have done this, and now Kellogg is thriving.

It has been my honor to serve in the Office of the Dean, and I want to thank you for your partnership. I wish you all the best as you find fulfillment in a career that is both successful and significant. Your achievements, example and ongoing support will ensure that Kellogg is not only the best business school in the world, but also the best business school for the world.

Warmest personal regards,
Dipak C. Jain