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.


  • Charlie

    Fuqua deserves more recognition on this website.

  • Harish

    Bruce — you do realize people can see your fb profile and your photos etc right? I would be a bit more cautious about putting my identity out there, especially if I am going to make dumb comments. You wouldn’t want potential recruiters and others judging you based on your posts here, especially about topics such as affirmative action, which seem completely unrelated to the discussions on this stream.

  • Robert Bard

    Bruce Vann – I got a funny feeling you applied to and were rejected by Duke. It’s quite common in that case to hold a grudge and vent in this fashion. Good luck to you at Darden and try not to get too consumed by all those case studies and assignments and the bootcamp. I think so fresh air will do you a world of good. Take care my friend.

  • ColoradoCourage

    Bruce: I go to Darden (2nd year MBA student) and absolutely hate it. If I could go back to that moment when I submitted my deposit, I would never have accepted Darden. I’m sure there are people who love it here but I personally hate it and think these two years have been a waste of time. I feel like the people here have a stick up their behind. I can’t comment on Duke because I don’t know the program intimately, but Darden sucks – end of story.

  • laplayadelherman

    Bruce- you are idiot! No body outside USA knows Darden. I go to INSEAD in France and our classmates and me know Duke, Kellogg, HSW, but no one speaks of Darden because it unimpressive. You wasted time and your money. Ask for refund of degree and go to real school. But dont apply to INSEAD because we won’t want you.

  • Dukie

    Haha, the classic Darden response. Bruce, I don’t hate on Darden; I actually think it is a fantastic school. I’m sorry to see you don’t believe in Duke. Kellogg I would agree is better in core metrics (although significantly older than Duke too), but I will not agree with you on Tuck. I would argue that Darden is stronger than Tuck, overall.

    On a side note, what are you talking about regarding affirmative action? Seems like a comment out of left field…

  • Ben Franklin

    I go to Wharton now and didnt apply to either Fuqua or SOM. However, I have to say as a 3rd party, Fuqua wins this debate. Fuqua is better than SOM, as a whole.

  • It won’t. I will never for the life of me understand why Fuqua ever ranks higher than Darden. Other schools I can kinda see but on the core metrics we tend to beat them. That aside Duke would need to put some distance between itself and other schools on some of those core metrics in order to even beat Kellogg and Tuck, let alone be in the top 5. SN: Folks sure do hate on affirmative action. Would you rather wealth be redistributed or something?

  • Dukie

    Wow. “Y’all are dumbos.”

    Ummmmm, I don’t even know where to begin on this person’s post – lol. I repeat, wow.

  • TuckHanover

    Y’all are dumbos. Tuck is the number 1 business school in the world. Many say it is better than Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg. Who cares about Duke or Yale or Sloan…Tuck!

  • NoNameBSchool

    I went to a sh**y business school, so I am no one to talk. But Shanique, Yale probably has more scholarship money for “affirmative action” people like you. Assuming you are one of them. Some things to consider…

  • Dukie

    Sassafras, I couldn’t agree more with you. No recruiter is going to pass on a student from a top business school (being that Duke and Yale are both top schools). At the end of the day, it is what you do at the school that counts. Although, I can say that Duke has been amazing from a resource standpoint (I’m sure Yale is too). Fuqua has allowed me to do whatever I want to do…love it.

  • Dukie

    Shaniqua “Big Bootie” James, thanks for your input. I am not doubting there are brilliant guys at Yale, who said that? The issue at stake was prestige of business school. As someone who now works for Bain (although Deloitte and Accenture are both great shops also!), I think there is a bit of a difference between Duke and Yale with Duke being stronger (at the moment).

    I am sure there are dumbas*es at every business school (harvard included) and smart guys at every business school. I definitely think Yale has potential but isn’t quite there yet. And, risk all you want with Yale… 🙂

  • Shaniqua “La Bootay” James

    I’d rather risk Yale than risk Duke’s “Fuq U” School of Business. Sorry, that’s cruel, but there are some brilliant guys at Yale: Schiller, Metrick, Geanakopolos and Gorton. But that might not mean much to a guy at Deloitte or Accenture.

  • As with any school, Yale has its strengths and weaknesses. The idea that any school is objectively better in all aspects is flawed. Management consultants may prefer Duke to Yale in one metric (e.g. number of hires), but I doubt they would pass anyone up from Yale because s/he went to SOM. Business school is a stepping stone; it doesn’t make or break a person’s career. Someone who can get into HBS will likely do fine without the MBA; the MBA just gets you there faster.

  • Dukie

    Going to Yale for business school is like going to Harvard for engineering. Sorry to disagree but Yale is not known for its business school. The business school is the like the red headed step child of Yale University. Ask any employer…

    And if you go there, I mean no disrespect, clearly Yalies have great opportunities but that reputation has been tarnished by certain people submitting video resumes…I agree that both Duke and Yale have a great future, but sorry, I don’t agree at all the Yale is better than Duke as far as b school is concerned. As someone in management consulting now, I think my perspective is validated.

  • Honey Boo boo

    Duke is a really good school. But to answer another poster, yes, Yale does have a better brand and better ranked b school as per FT, USN, Forbes, etc. (BW rankings outside of the top 5 are surprising at best and nonsensical at worst.) But I do think schools like Fuqua and SOM have strong tailwinds that may have them unseat previously entrenched top 10 schools.

  • Dukie

    Yale has a better brand? Huh? Undergrad or b school. Undergrad I agree but b school I couldn’t disagree more. I would agree Yale nonprofit management but that’s about it. Fuqua > SOM, hands down mate.

  • Oz

    Fuqua has so much potential. I can’t wait to see them break into the elite tier. All the Fuqua grads I’ve met have been great blokes. The school really seems to pride itself on its collaborative spirit and team mentality. Good on ya Duke!

  • Hugo

    Yale has better brand and started almost in the same time with Duke, why Duke progressed to be tier 1 and core school for top employer, while Yale didn’t even break into top 20s?! It is about the smart management and excellent leadership..

  • P&Q

    Fuqua also benefits tremendously from the powerful Duke brand which not too many other schools can compete with.

  • CAllen

    I think Fuqua is widely considered a top 10 business school. Using P&Q rankings, it is number 10. The question should be, will this appointment get Fuqua into a top 5 ranking. Also, not to bash on Tuck, but I think there are fueled debates on which school (out of Tuck and Duke) is better. My gut tells me Duke given the breadth of its programs.

  • CAllen

    I think it is right on the cusp of being in that Booth, Wharton, Kellogg tier. Keep in mind, it is not at old as the other schools we are comparing it to…truly an apples to oranges comparison. Some of these other b schools have 60-70 years time advantage…give Fuqua time…it will be an elite 8 school in due time…

  • tiger

    Duke is already better than SOM, Stern, and Haas. It needs to try to get to the level of Booth, Sloan, Wharton etc.

  • alvin roth

    I think it will.

  • AIG_Quant

    Very curious as to how this will effect Fuqua’s rankings in the next few years. Will selecting an insider for deanship be helpful in solidifying its top 10 status? Will he be able to get them past SOM,Stern, Tuck, or even Haas?