1 | 2 | All | Print this article

Letter from the Dean

David Schmittlein John C Head III DeanDavid Schmittlein
John C Head III Dean

Dear alumni and friends of MIT Sloan,

Five years ago this fall, I was honored to become the eighth dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management and to join this extraordinary community. Reflecting back to those early months, I recall feeling energized and inspired by the School’s distinguished history and by the potential that the future held. I had great confidence that if we worked together, if we grew together, we would move rapidly toward the reinvention of the School’s three core characteristics: academic programming that offers customized value for leaders through all stages of their personal and professional lives; high-touch action learning within these programs; and the creation of knowledge that is valuable now and will stand the test of time.

Over the past five years, our world has experienced incredible political and economic upheaval. These are the times that call for principled, innovative leaders with the courage of well–found convictions—exactly the leaders we develop at MIT Sloan. I have watched with pride as our faculty, students, and alumni stimulate the thoughtful, sometimes controversial, but always principled change necessary. Their leadership is evidence of our School’s strength, growth, and positive future trajectory.

MIT Sloan faculty are pushing the boundaries of traditional research, developing ideas that break new academic ground, and responding to the world’s greatest challenges—this issue of the MIT Sloan Alumni Magazine celebrates some of this work. The School’s Finance faculty, long recognized for their contributions to the development of modern financial theory, share perspectives on how academia should play a larger role in policy development and in teaching the next generation of young leaders. This work will prepare our students, policymakers, and government officials by providing the analytical and ethical foundation necessary to manage our global financial system. We also share an excerpt from newly tenured professor and MIT Sloan alumna Katherine C. Kellogg’s book, Challenging Operations: Medical Reform and Resistance in Surgery. Her work challenges many previously held conceptions of how to spur positive reform in the workplace and provides a surprising look into the medical establishment in the United States.

This issue also honors two former deans, Glen L. Urban and Richard L. Schmalensee, who are stepping down from their full academic appointments. They are both change agents and service leaders, and their commitment to the School and their scholarship will continue to shape future generations of MIT Sloan students.

Finally, this issue provides us with a wonderful set of reflections on the MIT Sloan community outside of Cambridge. Many of you submitted your latest news, which is included in Class Notes. Others shared their perspectives on their relationship with the School through philanthropy and volunteerism. Take a moment to view the map of the world you’ll find on pages 14 and 15—which provides a snapshot of the events where more than 3,000 alumni and friends of the School came together during the past year.

MIT Sloan’s global network continues to expand its scope and impact through our faculty, our students, and you, our alumni.

Thank you for your commitment to the School.

Best regards,
David Schmittlein
John C Head III Dean