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Q&A: Alan White, Senior Associate Dean Emeritus (continued)

As a member of our alumni community, a member of the School’s faculty, and our longest-serving administrator, you see the School through many lenses. How has our School evolved?

When I began at MIT Sloan, the School was somewhat unknown. It was a very relaxed place, and the administrative staff was quite small. The size of the community made it possible to know everyone, and those years were special.

I can remember deans’ meetings when all we discussed were what books we were reading or what movies we had seen! Over my time here, management education has become increasingly competitive, and our operations have needed to expand in order to meet our mission. That growth has changed the way we operate and, to some extent, the level of community connection. However, that growth has also expanded our ability to have a positive impact on the world. The accomplishments of yesterday and the promise for tomorrow are a great source of pride.

What qualities of community have remained constant?

MIT is a place that respects individuals. Faculty and staff treat one another with care and concern. Openness and fairness are values, and those who place merit in status and hierarchy would not be comfortable at MIT Sloan.

Another constant feature has been the exceptional contributions by very different deans. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with most of the deans, starting with Bill Pounds. Bill and all of his successors have made distinctive contributions to the development of the School, and all have been very successful. Not all organizations can make that statement!

In 2014, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Course XV. What makes you excited for the future of the MIT Sloan School of Management?

The 100th anniversary of management education at MIT gives us an opportunity to better understand and feature how our alumni and members of our community have made positive and significant contributions to society. Looking back, a clear pattern emerges—as the School has grown and developed, our global impact has broadened. The world needs greater expertise to bring to bear on society’s greatest challenges; we have been, and will continue to be, primary contributors. Our best days are ahead of us!