Kellogg Names Sally Blount New Dean

According to a news release put out by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management early this morning, Sally Blount, the dean of the undergraduate college and vice dean of the Stern School of Business at New York University, has just been named dean of the school, effective this coming July. (The Wall Street Journal picked up the story, and quoted Veritas Prep in its article today.)

Blount, who is currently the Abraham L. Gitlow Professor of Management and Organizations at NYU Stern, is an expert in the fields of negotiation and behavioral decision making and has extensive international experience in higher education. In 2007 she was appointed by NYU’s president and provost as their special advisor for global academic integration.

In this morning’s news release, Northwestern Provost Daniel I. Linzer said, “Dean Blount brings a remarkable combination of strong academic achievement and proven administrative experience at both the business school and university levels. She is someone who has a demonstrable record as both a scholar and as a leader in the field of global business education. We are very excited to welcome her back to Kellogg and Northwestern.”

Blount will actually be returning to Kellogg, where she earned her PhD in management and organizations in 1992 after earning a joint bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s engineering and Woodrow Wilson schools in 1983. After earning her PhD, Blount taught for nearly a decade at Chicago Booth (back when it was called Chicago GSB), where she she consistently earned high teaching marks from MBA and executive education students.

Not lost in the excitement of the announcement was the fact that Blount will be one of the very few female deans at a top business school. Today’s Financial Times led with this headline: “Kellogg Appoints Female Dean,” which unfortunately downplays all that she’s accomplished but nonetheless points out just how rare is its for a woman to lead a business school. (Judy Olia at UCLA Anderson and Sharon Oster at Yale are the two other examples of women leading top-ranked MBA programs. Former Chicago Booth dean Edward Snyder will take over for Oster next year.) went so far as to say, “Prof Blount will arguably become the most influential female dean in the US.”

This sounds like great news for Kellogg, which has been in a bit of a holding pattern under interim dean Sunil Chopra ever since Dipak Jain stepped down last year. That’s no disrespect to Chopra; it’s simply hard for a school (or any organization) to aggressively break new ground while its top leadership is anything other than permanent and 100% dedicated to the task at hand. Hopefully now the school can forge ahead with is plans for a new building and continued international expansion.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check out our Kellogg Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!