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Yale President Richard C. Levin Appoints Joel M. Podolny Dean of the Yale School of Management

Yale President Richard C. Levin issued the following statement to the Yale Community on April 26, 2005.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Joel M. Podolny, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management and Director of Research at the Harvard Business School, and Professor of Sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed Dean of the School of Management for a term of five years, commencing July 1. Professor Podolny brings scholarly distinction, administrative experience, and an infectious enthusiasm that will serve us well.

Professor Podolny, an Ohio native, earned A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees in sociology at Harvard. On completing his Ph.D. in 1991 he joined the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he spent the next eleven years. He was promoted to a tenured position at age thirty and a chaired professorship four years later, in 2000. Later that year he was appointed Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In 2002 he returned to Harvard to assume his current positions.

As a scholar, Professor Podolny is best known for applying the sociological concept of status to the study of market competition. Over the years, he has examined status dynamics in a wide variety of industries, including investment banking, semiconductors, and venture capital. His research on market status has appeared in the leading sociology and organization journals, and he has just completed a book entitled "Status Signals: A Sociological Study of Market Competition," which will be published by Princeton University Press this fall. Professor Podolny is also known for work in which he brings a social network perspective to the study of technological evolution and to the study of individual mobility within organizations. Along with economists Garth Saloner and Andrea Shepard, he co-authored the textbook "Strategic Management." He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen business cases.

In 2004, Professor Podolny was invited to deliver the Clarendon Lectures in Management at Oxford University's Said School of Business; in those lectures, he explored how leaders infuse meaning into organizational activity. He is currently transforming those lectures into a book on meaning and leadership in organizations, to be published by Oxford University Press.

Professor Podolny has served on the editorial boards of the "American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Administrative Science Quarterly," and "Industrial and Corporate Change." In addition to being Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Stanford GSB, he was also head of that school's organizational behavior group. He has been the director of the doctoral programs in organizational behavior at both Stanford and Harvard as well as faculty director or chair of numerous executive education programs. Within Harvard College, he has taught an undergraduate sociology course entitled "Images of Truth," and a freshman seminar entitled "Visualizing the Social World." Both courses focus on visual imagery in the social sciences.

Outside the university world, Professor Podolny has recently concluded a term as board member of National Arts Strategies, a non-profit organization focused on nationwide leadership development in the arts. He is currently on the technical advisory board of Spoke Software.

Coming to Yale with Professor Podolny, an admirer of Yale's architecture, are his wife Tamara, their two sons Aaron and Asa, and their dog C.J. (short for Court Jester). The Podolnys intend to live in New Haven. I know you all will join me, and the SOM community, in giving the entire family a warm Eli welcome.

At this time I would like to offer my deep gratitude to the search committee, chaired so very skillfully by Professor Sharon Oster. Professors Judy Chevalier, Ravi Dhar, Jon Ingersoll, Ed Kaplan, Alan Schwartz and Jake Thomas joined Professor Oster in contributing their energy and good judgment to ensuring the future stewardship of the School. Gratitude is also due to the alumni advisory group, chaired ably by Corporation Fellow Linda Mason, and including Senior Fellow Roland Betts, John Howard, Ed McKinley, and Fred Terrell. I thank them for their advice and support during this important work.

No announcement of a new dean would be complete without an expression of profound gratitude to Jeff Garten, who over the last ten years has revitalized and strengthened the School of Management. He leaves as his legacy a vigorous SOM community, a strong and productive faculty, and an engaged and supportive alumni body. Although Jeff is always quick to credit others with the School's development, he was the architect of SOM's revival. It is to Jeff's leadership that the School owes its expanded and strengthened faculty in finance, accounting marketing, and strategy, a sharpened focus in the change of degree from MPPM to MBA, the creation of the many programs and centers that now help define the School's agenda in research and education, the broadening and deepening of the School's relationship with other parts of the University, the many improvements of student and research support services in the School, and the involvement of outstanding business leaders in two boards of external advisors. All of these initiatives, and more, have put the School on course to take its place among the world's leading professional schools of management. I know that all of you will join me in wishing Jeff a peaceful and productive sabbatical next year. In the fall of 2006, we will be pleased to welcome him back to full-time teaching and writing as the Juan Trippe Professor in the Practice of International Trade, Finance and Business.

Sincerely yours,

Richard C. Levin

Yale News Release:
Joel M. Podolny to Lead Yale School of Management >>