Darden School Names Head Of $84 Million Entrepreneurial Center
6, 2000 -- The
University of Virginias graduate business school, The Darden
School, today announced the appointment of Distinguished Professor
of Business Administration Robert F. Bruner as Executive Director
of the Batten Institute.
caps an extensive search for an individual to head the Batten Institute,
which has an $84 million endowment and focuses on how leaders create,
transform, and add new value to organizations. The University of
Virginia, named recently by U.S. News & World Report
as the nations top public university, in 1999 honored Bruner
with the Harrison Award, the Universitys most prestigious
award for teaching excellence. A consultant to dozens of global
organizations and the author of more than 250 case studies--many
focusing on corporate finance and corporate transformation--Bruner
will assume his new responsibilities immediately.
Less than a year
ago, Virginia entrepreneur Frank Batten Sr. donated $60 million
to Darden, challenging the school to become a preeminent source
of knowledge and insight on business transformations driven by technology,
innovation, and entrepreneurship. The focal point of his gift, the
largest ever to a business school, is the Batten Institute.
"In the very
near future, the people developed at Darden with the benefit of
the Batten Institute programs will be transforming entire industries,"
Darden Dean, Edward A. Snyder, said. "Thats a reasonable
objective when you bring together an $84 million endowment, one
of the countrys leading educators and analysts in the area
of value creation, and a curriculum focused on innovation."
Since its inception
in January, the Institute has launched the Progressive Incubator,
which supports students in bringing business plans to market; expanded
Dardens digital pedagogy; and started work toward the establishment
of an on-line business journal and an on-line panel of business
executives offering insight on significant marketplace issues. In
addition, the Institute has attracted faculty members to Darden
and brought the leading journal on entrepreneurship to the school.
It has held conferences on diversity, supply chain management, and
mergers and acquisitions, and hosted thought-leaders as Batten Fellows.
The Batten Institute
is also the focal point of Dardens presence in the Northern
Virginia high-technology corridor. Through its Reston location,
the Institute supports case-writing activities, serves as a base
of operations for numerous student business projects undertaken
for corporate clients, and will offer education programs to the
Bruner joined the
Darden faculty in 1982. Holding both M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from
Harvard University, his credentials include work as a venture capital
analyst and advisor to entrepreneurial firms. Over the course of
his academic career, he has earned more than ten awards from faculty
and students for teaching and six awards and recognitions for case
writing. For 20 years he has researched mergers and acquisitions
and corporate finance.
In accepting the
position, Bruner said he intends to attain Frank Battens goal
for the Institute of integrating both thought leadership and
educational leadership. He used the words of Mohandas Gandhi to
outline his approach to his new position: "You must live the
change you want to see."
He also discussed
his plan to draw on Darden students, faculty, staff, corporate partners,
University of Virginia partners, and management practitioners to
join him in leading the Institute. Bruner acknowledged the leadership
and contributions of Wendell E. Dunn, III, who will continue with
the Batten Institute. "Wendell has been, and will continue
to be, an invaluable resource to the Institute," Bruner said.
by noting the urgency the Institute must demonstrate in implementing
its programs. "Excellence is a moving target," he said.
"Lets get to work."
Snyder quoted Batten
as saying, "We could look for a long time inside and outside
Darden and not find anyone better." Snyder added, "Most
here know of Bobs legendary talents in teaching, research,
and case writing. A few words always come to mind when people think
about Bob Bruner: quality, productivity, and respect."
Contact: Chris Allerton,