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Daniel I. Linzer, provost of Northwestern University, presents incoming Kellogg Dean Sally Blount with a Kellogg sweatshirt.

Sally Blount

Kellogg extends a warm welcome to incoming Dean Sally Blount

‘I can’t wait to begin,’ Blount tells the Kellogg community

By Rachel Farrell

4/1/2010 - The news was eagerly anticipated — and well worth the wait.

On the morning of March 30, Northwestern University Provost Daniel I. Linzer announced that Sally Blount, dean of the undergraduate college and vice dean of the Stern School of Business at New York University, would take office as the dean of the Kellogg School in July.

That same day, Blount made her first appearance on the Evanston campus. The Kellogg community was excited to meet the incoming dean — and, by all accounts, pleased with the selection by the distinguished search committee.

At a morning reception, Kellogg senior administrators and department chairs greeted Blount with a standing ovation as she took to the podium in the atrium of the James L. Allen Center. In the afternoon, a crowd of Kellogg students, faculty, staff and friends — including Blount’s daughter Haley White, son Cameron White, stepdaughter Missy Thrasher-Lyon and sister Susan Blount — filled the atrium in the Donald P. Jacobs Center to await her arrival. As Blount entered the room, the Kellogg audience erupted in cheers and applause.

Blount reciprocated that enthusiasm.

“I feel a deep sense of honor to be following in the footsteps of great deans like Don Jacobs and Dipak Jain, as well as pride and gratitude,” she said. “But most of all, I feel excited to be here with all of you — to be returning home to Evanston and Northwestern where I began building both my academic career and my family a little more than 20 years ago.”

Dean Sally Blount
Incoming Dean Sally Blount speaks to faculty, staff and students in the Jacobs Center Atrium. Blount recalled the years she spent at Kellogg as a student and her commitment to collaboration.
Blount, 48, is a widely respected leader in global business education. After graduating from Kellogg with a Ph.D. in management and organizations in 1992, Blount joined the faculty at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she was consistently rated among the top MBA and executive education professors. She joined New York University in 2001 and was named dean of the undergraduate college and vice dean of the Stern School of Business in 2004. Three years later, she was appointed by the university president and provost as special advisor for global academic integration.

At NYU, Blount set fundraising records, secured the school’s first-ever $15 million gift and led Stern to become a recognized innovator in undergraduate business education. Under her leadership, the average SAT score of the entering freshman class increased by nearly 50 points, and student participation in global semester study abroad increased from 25 percent to 75 percent. Blount also initiated several curricular innovations, including a required four-course social impact core and two global degree options.

Blount said she intends to bring the “hard-won skills” she developed at Booth and Stern to Kellogg, an institution that she describes as her “intellectual home” and “the world’s finest global management school.”

Janice Eberly, the John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Finance and chair of the dean search committee, said that Blount is the right person for the job. “We always knew that Kellogg deserved great leadership, and we also knew that great leadership would find its way to Kellogg,” she said. “Sally is ready to take Kellogg to the next level. She knows that great things begin here.”

Eberly also thanked the dean search committee for its “integrity, enthusiasm and high expectations” during the search process, and recognized Interim Dean Sunil Chopra for his “unfailing service to Kellogg.” Linzer echoed those sentiments. “I want to extend our deep thanks to Sunil for stepping in as interim dean and doing an outstanding job for the academic year,” he said.

Later that day, Linzer and Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro hosted Blount at a reception at Hardin Hall, which was attended by Northwestern senior leadership.

Chopra was in New York on Kellogg-related business but sent his regards via a video message. “I’m excited to be back [teaching] in the classroom and excited to help Dean Blount lead Kellogg to new heights,” he said.

In her first few months at Kellogg, Blount plans “to do a lot of listening and integrating,” she says. “I want to spend time with all of our students across our broad portfolio of programs. I want to build and strengthen the sense of collaboration and partnership that’s so important to the Kellogg experience. And I want to work with our faculty to think deeply about what we believe management research and education should be in the 21st century and Kellogg’s second century.

“There is much work to do,” she concluded. “I can’t wait to begin.”