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Robert S. Harris, U.Va. Dean Of The Darden Graduate School Of Business Administration, To Step Down At End Of Academic Year

September 9, 2004 -- University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III announced today that Robert S. Harris, dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, will step down from that post effective July 31, 2005. Harris, 54, will resume research and teaching as a member of the Darden School faculty.

"I have decided not to seek a second term as dean," Harris said. "As Darden approaches its 50th anniversary, a major initiative will be the launch of a capital campaign that will last through 2011. My stepping down allows selection of a new dean to lead the school through the campaign and to collaborate closely with our trustees in that effort."

As dean, Harris has expanded the school’s global presence, improved its educational technologies, expanded use of the school’s research to address critical business issues, and increased the diversity of faculty and students. His accomplishments also include overseeing a 25 percent increase in the size of Darden’s MBA program and a major expansion of the school’s facilities, including a 470-seat auditorium.

“Bob Harris has guided the Darden School through a period of significant transition,” Casteen said. “Under his leadership, the school has completed one of the most ambitious capital projects ever undertaken by a business school, has achieved financial self-sufficiency, and has grown its student body by one-fourth. Any one of these accomplishments would challenge the most capable leaders. Bob’s successes in all of these endeavors will ensure the Darden School’s strength and vitality for many years to come.”

Other initiatives launched under Harris' leadership include the Virginia School Turnaround Specialists Program, a partnership with the University’s Curry School of Education to teach business management skills to educators as a means to help raise the achievement levels of low-performing schools. During Harris’ tenure, the Institute for Corporate Ethics was created. This is a $3 million program based at Darden to teach practical ethics to business leaders and sponsored by the Business Roundtable and 12 leading business schools.

Darden continues to rank among the nation's finest graduate business schools, placing 11th in the Financial Times rankings and 12th in both the Business Week and U.S. News & World Report most recent rankings. It also is respected nationally for its customized, executive education programs for dozens of global corporations.

“Bob Harris has showed uncommon dedication and commitment not only to the Darden School, but also to the University as a whole,” said Gene D. Block, senior vice president and University provost. “I am grateful that he will continue to serve the University as one of our outstanding teachers and scholars.”

Harris joined Darden’s faculty in 1988, after serving on the faculties of the University of North Carolina and the University of Pennsylvania, and as a visiting professor at the London Graduate School of Business Studies. He served as Darden’s associate dean for faculty from 1990 to 1993.

At the time of his appointment as dean, Harris was the C. Stewart Sheppard Professor of Business Administration at Darden and vice president and chief learning officer of United Technologies Corp., directing global educational programs for the Hartford, Conn.-based manufacturer, a position he had held since 1998.

Harris received his bachelor’s degree in economics, summa cum laude, from Davidson College and his doctorate in economics from Princeton University.

He has taught corporate finance and valuation in financial markets for Darden’s MBA program, and the strategy and implementation of mergers and acquisitions for the school’s executive education program.

His research has focused on corporate finance, financial markets, and mergers and acquisitions. His work has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance, Management Science, Financial Management, the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance and Financial Analyst Journal. He also has written financial textbooks, computer tutorials, and a series of business cases and teaching notes.

Contacts: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189 or Ken White, (434) 924-3220

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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