Update on HBS Dean Light's progress since Harvard Dean Summer's departure
Plotting a course of continuity Hired in period of upheaval, Harvard business dean looks to build existing programs
By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff | October 12, 2006
Call him Mr. Continuity.
Harvard University is still recovering from its president's resignation last winter. Harvard Law School is scrapping an approach to first-year studies dating back over a century. And elite business school rivals like Stanford and Yale are overhauling their curriculums.
By contrast, Jay O. Light , who was named the ninth dean of Harvard Business School in April, is the model of stability. Light sees his priorities as building up the school's programs in globalization and health care -- programs launched by previous deans with whom he worked closely -- while strengthening ties with the rest of Harvard.
``It's a continuation of what we know we really ought to do given the changes going on in the world," Light, 65, said in an interview, noting that business is becoming ever more international and health care has emerged as a fast-growing sector. ``And to some extent, it's driven by what's happening around us in the institution as a whole."
To some, the appointment of Light is viewed as a sign that Harvard is reluctant to make dramatic changes at its venerable business school while the university is searching for a new president and coping with the aftermath of Lawrence H. Summers's departure in June following clashes with the faculty. Before Summers said in February that he'd be stepping down, Light, who is uncomfortable in the spotlight, hadn't been viewed as a candidate. There was speculation Summers would name an Indian-born professor as business school dean, a move that would have underscored the school's increasingly global profile. Read the rest of the article