Huntsman Post

Dean Anderson writes about the past, present and future of the Huntsman School of Business

Dean Douglas D. Anderson
Photo by Sterling Morris

At the beginning of the year, many of us take time to evaluate our progress and look to the opportunities we can create for the coming year. I’d like to let you in on some of the thoughts I’ve had when I assess where we are and what we can accomplish together in 2011.

It’s easy to talk about the strategic advantages of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

Let’s start with our name.

Jon M. Huntsman is a visionary leader and an extraordinary entrepreneur whose commitment to principles of ethical leadership is known throughout the world. (See Winners Never Cheat.) His historic gift in December 2007 gave us two incredible assets: a very significant infusion of financial resources and equally as important—perhaps even more so—a name that embodies the aspirations and values we want our students to emulate.

But that’s just the beginning. Take, for example, our school motto, “Dare Mighty Things.”  We borrowed the phrase from President Theodore Roosevelt. We want our students to have the courage to experiment with bold, innovative ideas and to aspire to greatness. Fortunately, they do not have to look far to find outstanding models of fresh, innovative thinking. In addition to our many alumni who are making a difference around the world, and who often return to campus to visit, our students are privileged to learn from world-class faculty and staff right here at the Huntsman School of Business.

One obvious example is Stephen R. Covey, who became the Jon M. Huntsman Professor of Leadership in February of 2010. How many business schools can talk about a professor having the kind of world-wide impact that Dr. Covey has had? We are announcing in this Huntsman Post the appointment of Dr. Eytan Sheshinski as the first Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Visiting Professor. He is a respected, internationally-known professor who has held faculty positions at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, MIT and Princeton. Specializing in research on annuity theory and annuity markets, he has consistently published his research in leading economics journals and for five years he was the chair of the board of directors for Israel’s largest conglomerate. You can read more about him here.

Our Huntsman Alumni Magazines and our electronic publication, The Huntsman Post, are filled with examples of our students, alumni, faculty and staff taking leadership roles, being innovative and having an impact around the world.

Shortly after I became dean in 2006, we decided our focus needed to center on developing ethical leaders, inspiring entrepreneurial spirit within each of our students and helping them gain a global vision of what they can accomplish. Subsequently, we articulated a fourth area of emphasis. It’s vital that our students develop mastery in communication and critical-thinking skills. We call this focus “analytical rigor.” These four areas are now often referred to as the four pillars of the Huntsman School of Business.

This strategic framework has helped us make important decisions about where to invest our resources at this pivotal time for the Huntsman School of Business. (Please see my talk “Vision 20/20” for more on the School’s strategic plans.) Against the backdrop of a struggling economy, we are creating a business school that is more innovative and effective than ever before. It is gratifying to know that so many successful business leaders think our emphasis is in the right place and are willing to invest in our students. By clicking here, you can see an impressive list of the men and women who have visited our campus to talk with our students in recent months, including Dr. Stephen Covey, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Jim Davis, Roger Martin, Henry J. Eyring and Ed Prescott.

If you missed those visits, we invite you to watch them online where we post our Dean’s Convocations. We believe these connections with top leaders provide our students with a crucial link to the world of business and public affairs. They often share insight that would benefit even those who have been working for many years.

At the Huntsman School of Business, we are on a journey to become a top-tier college of business—a school that will serve as a career accelerator for our students and an engine of growth for our community, the state, the nation and the world.

Jon Huntsman’s visionary commitment has emboldened our aspirations. But we need everyone’s help. We expect our students to contribute in two ways: one, to “own” their education and prepare themselves with the tremendous resources available to them right now for the opportunities that will come to them throughout their careers; and two, to remember an obligation to give back once they graduate. We expect our faculty and staff to put forth their very best efforts to serve our students through the creation and dissemination of knowledge. And we need alumni help as well. The continued financial support and encouragement from our great alumni and friends are vital to our success.

Working together, we’ll develop a culture of excellence and innovation that will sustain our journey for generations to come. With your help we can ensure that when our students do opt to “Dare Mighty Things.” The opportunities will be there, along with the support that will create another generation of exemplary leaders.

Douglas D. Anderson
Dean and Professor