Kelley Names New Interim Dean

by John A. Byrne on

Idalene "Idie" Kesner is the new interim Kelley dean

Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business today (Sept. 6) named an award-winning master teacher the new interim dean of the business school.

Idalene “Idie”  Kesner, currently associate dean of faculty and research, teaches strategic management at Kelley. She succeeds Dan Smith, whose eight-year stint at dean comes to an end Oct. 1 when he takes over as president of the IU Foundation. Kesner’s appointment is subject to approval of the Board of Trustees.

Kesner is the latest in a series of women who have gained the deanships of prominent business schools recently, including Sally Blount at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Alison Davis-Blake at the University of Michigan’s Ross School, and Sri Zaheer at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School.

“Idie brings deep experience, national recognition, and the trust and respect of the Kelley faculty to the role of interim dean,” said Lauren Robel, IU executive vice president and provost of the Bloomington campus, in a statement. “Her administrative experience will ensure that Kelley does not lose a beat as it searches for its permanent new leader.”

“Professor Kesner is an excellent choice to serve as interim dean,” added Smith in a news release announcing the change. “As an associate dean, she has played an important role in all major decisions related to the school’s strategic direction. She is well regarded by faculty and staff, and has deep knowledge of the Kelley School’s programs. Idie also brings a strong global orientation and has helped us implement key initiatives in Korea and India,” Smith continued. “Idie will bring sound judgment to the position along with an amazing work ethic. I fully anticipate the school will continue to thrive under her leadership.”

The university also announced that M.A. Venkataramanan, associate dean of academic programs at the Kelley School of Business, has been named vice provost for strategic initiatives on the Bloomington campus. He helped to develop Kelley Direct, the school’s highly successful online MBA program and, more recently, its Institute for Business Analytics.

Kesner joined the Kelley School faculty in 1995, coming from a titled faculty position at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

An accomplished educator and administrator, she was chairwoman of the Full-Time MBA Program from August 2003 to August 2006, and chairwoman of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship from October 2006 to June 2009. From 1996 to 2003, she co-directed the school’s Consulting Academy.

She received both her MBA and Ph.D. in business administration from IU; her doctorate was awarded in 1983. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in 1979.

“Having graduated from this school is one of my greatest sources of pride. As such, I am honored to accept this role,” Kesner said in a statement. “I’m very happy to serve the school in any capacity I can because of all that IU and the Kelley School has done for me.”

Kesner repeatedly has been recognized for her teaching, winning more than 20 teaching awards from the Kelley School and while she taught at Kenan-Flagler. Most recently, in 2012, she won a teaching award from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, which has a joint MBA Program with the Kelley School.

The school said she has taught in more than 100 executive programs and served as a consultant for many different national and international firms working on strategic and board related issues. Her research has focused on the areas of corporate board of directors, chief executive succession, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions.

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