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International mergers expert, long-term faculty member
U.Va. President Taps Dean Robert F. Bruner To Lead The Darden School

November 15, 2005 -- University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III announced today the appointment of Robert F. Bruner as dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

Bruner, who began a one-year term in August, has accepted a new, five-year appointment. An internationally known mergers and acquisitions expert, Bruner is a 23-year veteran of the Darden School, and its Distinguished Professor of Business Administration.

“Bob Bruner quickly began aggressively to pursue the Darden School’s global aspirations and to outline an exciting business agenda for the future,” Casteen said.  “He has articulated his strategic vision for the school’s next 10 years, and included alumni, parents and students in that vision.” 

Bruner also has targeted Asia as an area in which Darden would like to increase its admissions efforts and to connect with its alumni. He plans to travel there in early December. Next June, he will help launch Darden’s MBA for Executives, an innovative 21-month program for those who want to continue to work while studying for an advanced degree.

Casteen pointed to Bruner’s many strengths -- including his scholarly works, his expertise in the classroom, his study of entrepreneurship and his international reputation -- for setting him apart from the more than 270 applications and nominations received by the search committee. “Bob is simply the finest candidate to lead the Darden School as it faces the challenging task of preparing women and men to tackle a complex global economy,” said Casteen, who chaired the three-month search.

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, and he is an often-quoted expert in the national news media. 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. He was named one of Business Week’s “masters of the MBA. classroom.”

"As a career-long member of the Darden community, I remain deeply honored by this opportunity to serve my institution. I will continue to build on what we have started here together,” Bruner said. “Darden is a community of high touch, high tone and high octane. High touch is the unparalleled level of interaction between students and faculty. High tone refers to the core values that Darden embodies. -- values shaped by our diverse community, the influences of Thomas Jefferson and the U.Va. Honor Code. High octane refers to our strong sense of community and the rigor embedded in our MBA program.”

Bruner said he plans to focus on a number of priorities throughout his term. First, he will oversee the launch of the new MBA program. Second, he will continue to lead the school's 50th anniversary two-year celebration. And third, he will build the Darden School’s brand in the eyes of the public, potential applicants and its many audiences.

 “Along with my distinguished Darden colleagues,” he said, “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 MBA. from Harvard University in 1974 and a DBA from Harvard in 1982. He is married and has two children.

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ABOUT THE DARDEN SCHOOL

Named for Colgate Whitehead Darden, Jr., former Virginia governor, congressman and president of U.Va., and one of the school's greatest advocates, the Darden School of Business was founded in 1954. Darden develops people who lead, create and transform organizations. Darden faculty focus on six broad issues that impact business today: innovation and entrepreneurship, e-business, sustainability, the extended enterprise, post-merger integration, and diverse leadership teams. 

Technology at Darden is among the most advanced of any leading graduate business school and permeates every level of the MBA experience. More than 4,500 high-speed network connections are available in virtually every room on the Darden Grounds. Wireless networking is available in many locations including learning team rooms, the café and the library. Darden’s technological offerings help extend the school’s educational reach beyond Charlottesville. Using videoconferencing and Internet technology, speakers, conferences and even classes at other business schools are beamed into Darden classrooms.

Contacts: Ken White, Darden School Communications Office, (434) 924-3220, or on cell, (434) 249-2343; Carol Wood, University Relations, (434) 924-6189.

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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