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Laura Tyson to resign as dean of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business in December for new position in London
13 August 2001

By Ute Frey

Laura Tyson (photo Jeanne Strongin)
Berkeley - Laura Tyson, dean of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, has announced plans to resign from her administrative duties on December 31, 2001. Tyson, a long-time professor of economics at UC Berkeley, has accepted a position as dean of the London Business School in England.

Tyson, 54, was appointed dean of the Haas School in July 1998. She is the only woman currently leading a major business school in the United States.

"Laura Tyson has shown wonderful leadership as dean of the Haas School. She has led the school to new levels of prominence and fostered an innovative learning environment that will continue to greatly benefit today's business students. We wish her the best in her new position and I am delighted that she sees a return to Berkeley in her future plans," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl.

Berdahl announced that professor Benjamin Hermalin, who has been serving as associate dean for academic affairs and chair of the faculty at the Haas School since 1999, has been appointed interim dean. Hermalin, 39, is the Willis H. Booth Professor of Banking and Finance and has been with the Haas School since 1988. He has a joint appointment with the Department of Economics and is a co-founder and director of the private online academic publishing company Bepress.

The campus will undertake a national search for the permanent deanship, said the chancellor.

Tyson will be on leave from her faculty position at UC Berkeley and said she plans to return to the campus at some point in the future. She has been a professor at the Haas School since 1990 and at the campus since 1977.

"I have been offered the possibility of fulfilling a long-held dream of spending a few years in London and doing so in a way that I believe will enhance my skills as a professor and university administrator," Tyson said in her communications with her Haas School faculty colleagues.

"I have truly enjoyed my experience at the Haas School, and I am proud of the progress it has achieved during my tenure as dean," said Tyson. "In all my efforts, I have relied on building a strong, professional staff and encouraging a cooperative management culture."

Tyson said the London appointment will provide her with a perfect vantage point from which to study the globalization of business. She became known for her research in international economics, including her widely acclaimed book, "Who's Bashing Whom - Trade Conflict in High Technology Industries."

Before becoming dean of the Haas School, Tyson served from January 1993 through December 1996 in the Clinton Administration, where she was a key architect of the President's domestic and international economic policy agenda during his first term in office. Between January 1993 and March 1996, she served as the 16th chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Between February 1995 and December 1996, she served as the President's National Economic Adviser and was the highest ranking woman in the Clinton White House.

During her tenure as Haas School dean, Tyson successfully negotiated a path-breaking agreement with the university administration to grant the Haas School greater financial and operational autonomy. As a result, the Haas School has been able to improve significantly its ability to attract and retain world-class faculty by paying market-rate salaries.

As part of granting the Haas School greater financial flexibility, the campus administration challenged the business school to develop new revenue-producing programs and enroll more students. The first program to meet this challenge is the new master's degree in Financial Engineering, which was launched in April 2001. Two additional revenue-producing degree programs are in development and are expected to be announced this year.

Among Tyson's other accomplishments:

* The entrepreneurial, technological, and global programs that help make the Haas School distinctive expanded significantly under her leadership. They include the extension of the Management of Technology Program across three campus departments, a fast growing entrepreneurship program, and additional international study opportunities for students.

* She oversaw the reorganization and expansion of the Center for Executive Development, which dramatically increased its program offerings and its revenues. This year, its custom programs were ranked among the top 10 in the United States by the Financial Times.

* Under her leadership, the Haas School developed closer ties with departments across the Berkeley campus, especially with the College of Engineering, the School of Information Management & Systems, the School of Law and the School of Public Health.

* The entrepreneurship program at the Haas School gained new energy through the inauguration of two new business plan competitions. Organized by MBA students, the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition with the College of Engineering and the Haas Social Venture Competition produce dozens of innovative business proposals that result in new businesses each year.

* New partnerships with other business schools help to diversify the school's educational offerings. Last year, the business schools of UC Berkeley, University of Virginia, and University of Michigan began sharing courses via videoconferencing for MBA students at all three institutions.

* She initiated significant improvements in student services, including substantial upgrades in the school's technological infrastructure and significant enhancements in its career services.

* Finally, under Tyson's leadership the school exceeded its capital campaign goal of $75 million and achieved a total of $93 million.