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Harvard names Srikant Datar the new dean of its business school

Harvard names Srikant Datar the new dean of its business school

Harvard has promoted professor Srikant Datar to be the next dean of Harvard Business School, taking over for Nitin Nohria when he steps down at the end of the year. Harvard President Larry Bacow announced the promotion on Friday.

Datar has played a number of key roles at the school since joining the faculty in 1996, overseeing varied responsibilities such as faculty recruiting and development, executive education, research, and, currently, university affairs. He has also served since 2015 as the faculty chair of the Harvard Innovation Labs, or the “i-Lab,” and has been instrumental in the school’s transition to a “hybrid learning” model during the COVID-19 pandemic. And he has been a prominent thinker and researcher on the topic of the future of business education.

Datar will become the 11th dean in the business school’s 112-year history. Nohria announced last November that he would wrap up his deanship in June after 10 years in the job, but agreed to continue through the end of the year because of the pandemic.

“I am equal measures humbled and honored to take on this role,” Datar said in a prepared statement. “Harvard Business School is an institution with a remarkable legacy of impact in research, education, and practice. Yet the events of the past year have hastened our passage to an unforeseen future. I look forward to working with colleagues and friends of the School — including throughout Harvard, in our Boston community, and around the world — to realize our mission in what undoubtedly will be an exciting new era.”

Datar is a native of India and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Bombay in 1973 before getting two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Stanford University. He worked at Stanford’s business school from 1989 to 1996, before joining Harvard.

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Harvard Business School Names New Dean

Harvard Business School Names New Dean

Harvard Business School named Srikant Datar as its new dean, turning to a veteran to steer it through the coronavirus pandemic that has upended much of higher education.

Mr. Datar joined the faculty as a business professor in 1996 and currently is the associate dean of university affairs at Harvard Business School. He will take the helm of the 112-year-old institution at the start of next year and has played a key role in developing and implementing the school’s response to Covid-19, Harvard President Larry Bacow said Friday.

“He is a leading thinker about the future of business education,” Mr. Bacow said. “He has served with distinction in a range of leadership positions over his nearly 25 years at HBS.”

Harvard Business School, one of the most influential and largest M.B.A. programs in the world, had been searching for a new dean since November, when current dean Nitin Nohria announced he planned to step down in June after 10 years on the job.

Because of the pandemic, the school said in March that Mr. Nohria would stay on through the end of the year as the public-health crisis forced campuses to move courses completely online and created uncertainty throughout the academic world. Harvard Business School was one of the most prominent business schools to experiment with a hybrid model of teaching for this fall.

Mr. Datar’s appointment follows Harvard Business School’s recent reckoning with what it has called its past mistakes involving race. The school said last month it would boost its enrollment of Black students in future classes, hire a chief diversity officer and build more issues of race and inclusion into its case-study method of teaching.

Several stakeholders of Harvard Business School had been pushing the university to choose a new dean who would use the school’s clout

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