Douglas D. Anderson, Photo by Russ Dixon
By any measure, progress at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business during the last five years has been extraordinary—thanks to the generous support and diligent efforts of our many friends, faculty, students, and staff. Notwithstanding the severe economic downturn of the last three years and the corresponding reduction of legislative funding, our financial picture has never been better.
Our somewhat tired and inadequate business building has undergone a sparkling $3 million renovation, and the planned $30 million addition of the new Huntsman Hall will give us a wonderful new, state-of-the-art facility. Our administrative infrastructure is vastly improved and focused on student success. The mixed motives and lack of integration in the Economics Department that were the result of a decades-long dual reporting structure have been eliminated by a structural change that has given us a charged up, highly energetic, and much improved Department of Economics and Finance. Faculty quality and productivity have improved in each of our four departments. Student engagement and quality are up. The change is real. It is noticeable, and it is significant.
Yet we can, and we must improve. We must be driven by a relentless and restless desire to raise our standards. We must banish any sense of self-satisfaction. Rather, a new culture of diligence and excellence that has characterized our efforts during the last five years needs to become even more deeply embedded and “hard wired” into every aspect of our School.
Fundamental to that effort is our commitment to recruit the very best faculty we can find to teach our students. This year we are indeed fortunate to welcome five stellar new faculty members: James H. Davis, William F. Shughart, Mike Glauser, Christine Rigby Arrington, and Eric Schulz. Each one of these individuals is an outstanding leader in his or her respective discipline, and you will meet them in this issue.
Recently I read Atul Gawande’s excellent book, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance. Dr. Gawande writes, “People underestimate the importance of diligence as a virtue. . . It is the constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken… [It is] the prerequisite of great accomplishment.”
The diligent pursuit of excellence in ethical and entrepreneurial leadership characterizes many of our school’s most accomplished alumni: Jim Quigley, CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and co-author of this issue’s “Required Reading” As One; Young- Chul Hong, CEO of the very international Kiswire Trading, Inc.; Jonathan Bullen, successful real estate investor and president/CEO of Eagle Gate College; Ron Labrum, CEO of Fenwal, supplier of blood transfusion products and technologies; Ron Jibson, CEO of Questar Corporation, the natural gas giant; and Elder Steven E. Snow, general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These alumni leaders, along with Crystal Maggelet, Jeff Clark, and Scott Walker, who are also featured in this issue, have faced tough strategic decisions and complex ethical issues as they have sought to grow and sustain their organizations. There is much we can learn from them. I think you will enjoy reading about how their diligent commitment to excellence and balance in leadership has made our world a better place.
As Dr. Gawande has written: “Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all it takes a willingness to try.”
With your continued support, we will be “Better!”