Kellogg looks for replacement dean, new building

Christina Chaey

A slew of changes are in store for the Kellogg School of Management: Dean Dipak Jain’s resgination will go into effect Sept. 1; Interim Dean Sunil Chopra will head the school till Jain’s replacement is found; and plans for a potential location for the school’s new building could provide Kellogg students with outstanding views of the lakefront and the Chicago skyline.

Jain, who will have served as dean for eight years when he formally steps down in September, has done “a fine job of preserving and extending Kellogg’s excellence,” University President Henry Bienen wrote in an e-mail in May.

“The success of Dean Jain is evident in the success of Kellogg,” wrote Provost Daniel Linzer in an e-mail. “The school is thriving. It is ranked among the very best business schools in the world, it recruits and retains outstanding faculty and students, the scholarly work of the faculty has an enormous impact and the alumni are well-placed in their chosen career paths.”

During his time as dean, Jain established a Kellogg campus in Miami, developed a Kellogg-run undergraduate certificate program, helped set the groundwork for a new building and created the Kellogg alumni network, sources said.

A national search for Jain’s replacement is already in the works, and Bienen and Linzer are in the process of putting a search committee together, said University Spokesman Al Cubbage.

“They’ll do their work in the next school year,” Cubbage said.

Linzer said Kellogg is in a position to bring real change to the school and the university as a whole.

“We are extremely well positioned to attract to the deanship someone who will build on what Dean Jacobs and Dean Jain have accomplished to maintain and enhance Kellogg’s role as a top business school,” he wrote.

In the meantime, Linzer has appointed Sunil Chopra as interim dean of Kellogg, university officials announced Tuesday. Chopra, who has been the senior associate dean for curriculum and teaching for Kellogg since 2006, will assume his position as interim dean when Jain steps down.

“He’s been associate dean for at least three years now,” Cubbage said. “He’s obviously very involved in the day-to-day running of the school already.”

Jain will return to the faculty after a year’s leave of absence, according to a press release.

With the announcement of the school’s interim dean also came talk of the newest developments regarding the construction of a new Kellogg building. However, those building plans have been in the works for years, as they have always been contingent on the success of a capital campaign run by the school, Bienen said in October.

“They’re talking about very large complex new buildings,” he said. “But we’ve always said you have to go ahead and raise a lot of money before we agree to go ahead and they haven’t done that yet. They’re working on it.”

The funding for the new Kellogg building is still not secured, Bienen said in an interview in April.

“With the best of luck, if we get a lead gift and there’s other funding in place, maybe you could start construction a year or so from now,” he said. “That would be really optimistic.”

Although university official announced in April that they would reveal the location of the new Kellogg building during the course of Spring Quarter, official plans were never publicly revealed. But though the announcement was delayed, Bienen said larger building projects, like the one for Kellogg, were never going to occur overnight to begin with.

“None of it is imminent,” he said. “It’s not that it’s getting postponed. It wasn’t going to happen tomorrow anyway, and I think it will give us some time to get the money raised, as some of these are very expensive projects.”

Recently, there has been talk over whether the former site of NU’s Lindheimer Observatory is among the serious contenders.

“Kellogg and the university are still looking for the new building,” Cubbage said Wednesday. “Obviously, we’re going to continue raising money and planning for the future and plans for the building will continue to move forward.”

There has not been extensive public talk about possible sites for the Kellogg bulding, though Bienen said in October that moving Kellogg downtown would not be an option, nor would a spot on the campus’ lagoon be very likely.

“I’m not prepared to say quite at this point where I think the best place is,” he said.

The observatory, which was demolished in 1995, would provide Kellogg students with a waterfront view of the Chicago skyline and make space for more social science departments in the Donald P. Jacobs center, Kellogg’s current home. And although it is a possible spot that officials are considering for the new building, it is in no way a definite, Cubbage said.

“It takes time to make decisions of this import,” Cubbage said.

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Sean Collins Walsh, Matt Spector and Andrew Scoggin contributed reporting.