Duke Turns To Insider For Fuqua Deanship

Fuqua Dean William Boulding

After considering more than 100 candidates for the deanship of the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University today (Feb. 5) gave the job to a long-time faculty member who has served as interim dean of Fuqua for the past 18 months.

William Boulding, a 57-year-old marketing and management professor, who has been serving as dean for the past 18 months since August 2011, will now serve out a full term.

Boulding, 57, was named initially to a two-year term to succeed Blair Sheppard, who stepped down in 2011. A 17-member search committee led by finance professor David Robinson and made up of faculty, students, administrators and a representative of the school’s Board of Visitors recommended Boulding’s full appointment after evaluating candidates from around the world.


“Bill Boulding combines powerful idealism about what business schools can do for the world with immense practical skill in executing toward these goals,” Duke President Richard H. Brodhead said in a statement.  “A great teacher and community builder, he is ideally suited to lead the Fuqua School in addressing the leadership needs of a changing world.”

The Fuqua School is ranked tenth best in the U.S. by PoetsandQuants. The school’s highest ranking is from Bloomberg BusinessWeek which placed Fuqua sixth among the best MBA programs in the U.S. last year. Fuqua’s lowest ranking is from The Economist which puts the school at 19th among U.S. institutions and 29th globally.

The school said that Boulding “has strengthened Fuqua’s programs at its home campus in Durham while also engaging with students, faculty and alumni at its sites in China, India, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Boulding also has worked closely with faculty and administrators at the school and across the university, and has been a leader in Duke’s efforts to promote interdisciplinary scholarship and learning.”


“I am enormously pleased that the search committee has recommended Bill to us for a full term as dean,” said Provost Peter Lange in a statement. “He is an outstanding scholar and teacher who has also accomplished much for Fuqua over the past 18 months. In that time, he has also traveled extensively to increase the breadth and depth of connections with Fuqua’s growing and globally dispersed alumni network.”

In addition, added Lange, Boulding has “spearheaded the effort to stabilize the school’s budget and bring in new resources, to continue the modernization of its educational programs fully to meet the challenges of a globalized world in which the demands of business are rapidly changing and to sustain the Fuqua faculty’s outstanding record of research,” said Lange. “This has built a base on which he can now lead Fuqua toward leadership among business schools through innovation in teaching, learning and research.”

Boulding joined the Duke faculty in 1984. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published research in many leading journals, often at the intersection of management, marketing and strategy. He also has served on a number of editorial boards and professional organizations.


“We considered over 100 candidates from all over the globe,” said search committee chair Robinson. “We saw many people with strong academic leadership skills, with strong international management skills, with strong fundraising skills. But finding all these skills in a single candidate is challenging. That’s why we’re so pleased to have Bill Boulding as our next dean. He has the whole package, plus he knows Fuqua and Duke intimately.”

Boulding is a past recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the Bank of America Award, Fuqua’s highest faculty honor for excellence in teaching, research, leadership and service. He has been recognized for writing one of the 20 most influential papers over the previous 25 years in the field of marketing.

“It is an extraordinary honor and privilege to be a part of Fuqua and the broader Duke community,” Boulding said. “In this incredible community there is a genuine sense of purpose to make a difference in the lives of others by generating the insights and producing the leaders of consequence the world so badly needs.”

Boulding is married to Elizabeth Wirtz, a landscape architect. They have two children: Luke, age 23, and Emma, age 20.