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…