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Service, leadership, scholarship: Celebrating two extraordinary careers

Richard L. Schmalensee

Glen L. Urban and Richard L. Schmalensee—back-to-back MIT Sloan deans who grew the School’s faculty and staff and built the iconic E62 building—have retired.

Urban, a marketing professor, will continue large-scale research by helming a project with General Motors to quantify the value of new media advertising and a project with Suruga Bank on the effectiveness of apps in building trust and generating consideration. In addition, Urban and his wife, Andrea, gave a $1 million gift to MIT Sloan this past summer to establish a PhD fellowship at the School. Schmalensee will continue his research in energy and environmental economics, as well as teaching the required social science course in MIT’s Energy Studies minor for undergraduates.

MIT Sloan’s sixth and seventh deans, respectively, Urban and Schmalensee led the School from 1993 to 2007—a period of unprecedented growth—making MIT Sloan one of the world’s top management schools.

Glen L. Urban

During Urban’s tenure as dean from 1993 to 1998, MIT Sloan grew the faculty, scaled up the School’s MBA program, established partnerships with Tsinghua University and Fudan University in China, and fostered the culture of entrepreneurship the School is heralded for today. Schmalensee continued that growth as dean from 1998 to 2007, restructured the School’s financial relationship with the Institute, and launched the School’s non-degree Executive Education programs.

In addition to the innovations in curriculum and programming that both men brought to MIT Sloan, they took on the task of bringing MIT Sloan’s facilities up to par. “It was clear to both of us that space was our main problem,” Schmalensee said. He recalled an accreditation review from the mid-1990s, after which a member of the accrediting committee remarked that, “You’ve really got everything you need here—except for the facilities.”

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