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U.Va. President appoints long-time faculty member
Robert F. Bruner, International Mergers Expert, To Lead Darden Graduate School Of Business Administration

August 1, 2005 -- University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III announced today that Robert F. Bruner, an internationally known mergers and acquisitions expert named as one of Business Week’s “masters of the M.B.A. classroom,” has been given a one-year appointment as dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

Bruner, a 23-year veteran of the Darden School and the school’s Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, replaces Robert S. Harris, who stepped down July 29 after four years at Darden’s helm.

“Bob Bruner brings many remarkable strengths to one of the University's most important and most challenging jobs,” Casteen said. “His scholarly works, his expertise as a teacher and recognized master of the case study method of instruction in graduate business, his formative influence on The Batten Institute and the study of entrepreneurship generally, and his international reputation all have immediate value to the Darden School as it prepares for its next stage of growth.”

Casteen noted that the selection of Bruner will complement the legacy left by Harris who is known for his sound planning for the future of executive education, including the Darden School's first-ever Executive M.B.A. program, along with significant new commitments to international study and research into matters affecting the global economy. “To this solid foundation, Dean Bruner brings his own extensive experience within the Darden School and on the national scene,” Casteen said.  “I cannot imagine a more appropriate leader for the near future or one better prepared to position the Darden School for the first decade of its second half-century.”

Bruner, a member of the University faculty since 1982, served as executive director of The Batten Institute, an endowed foundation within the Darden School that focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and corporate growth, from 2000 to 2004. His areas of teaching, research, and writing include corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, investing in emerging markets, innovation and technology transfer. Bruner is the author of 16 books — most recently, “Deals From Hell: M&A Lessons That Rise Above the Ashes” — plus 18 peer-reviewed journal articles and some 277 case studies.

"As a career-long member of the Darden community, I am deeply honored by this opportunity to serve the institution. I take up the responsibilities with enthusiasm and optimism for the future of the Darden School and its educational programs,” Bruner said.

"There are a number of priorities in the coming year that will focus my attention. First, we must continue to deliver outstanding educational programs.  The school is already recognized for the strength of its M.B.A. program; we must sustain the momentum for program innovation.  In that vein, Darden also will launch its Executive M.B.A. program this year.  Second, in September, we will celebrate the school's 50th anniversary, a key milestone in Darden’s history. And third, we will build the Darden School’s brand in the eyes of the public, potential applicants and our many stakeholders. Along with my distinguished Darden colleagues, I will vigorously advocate to the world the strength of our programs and what it is that sets the Darden experience apart from every other business school.”

In addition to his teaching and writing, Bruner has been a consultant to corporations and government entities throughout his career. At Darden, he has been the leader of the school’s annual conference, “Investing in Emerging Markets.”

Bruner, 55, earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1971. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1974 and a D.B.A. from Harvard in 1982. He is married and has two children.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-1400

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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