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Last week, MIT’s Sloan School of Management named David Schmittlein, deputy dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, to fill its vacant dean’s post. And Tom Campbell, dean of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is to stand down next summer, after completing his term of office.

Meanwhile, Thomas Robertson, former dean of Emory’s Goizueta Business School, is weeks into his new post as dean of Wharton.

That the changes have all occurred so close together is merely coincidence, but any time a school announces a new leader it usually means new priorities and goals for that institution.

Prof Schmittlein, who has taught marketing at Wharton for nearly three decades, plans to enhance Sloan’s visibility among leaders of the business community. He also intends to increase Sloan’s engagement with its alumni.

Sloan’s MBA programme is well regarded but is in the shadow of its cross-town rival, Harvard Business School. Sloan, with 101 faculty members and 750 full-time MBA students, is much smaller than Harvard. Prof Schmittlein plans to expand Sloan’s faculty by at least 10 per cent and the student body by more than 10 per cent.

Even Prof Campbell has plans for his final academic year as dean. He intends`r to expand Haas’s permanent, full-time faculty and offer more courses. He will also ensure the teaching of ethics in business is embedded into the curriculum.

Wharton’s Prof Robertson is an expert in marketing strategy and innovation, credited with positioning Goizueta as a leading international business school.

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