Dean Abruptly Gone At GWU B-School

Doug Guthrie is no longer dean at GW's business school

Doug Guthrie is no longer dean at GW’s business school

In a terse, five-sentence announcement, George Washington University abruptly said today (Aug. 22) that the dean of its business school was no longer in his job. It was unclear whether Doug Guthrie, who was recruited from New York University’s Stern School to become dean in August of 2010, was fired or resigned of his own accord.

“Fundamental differences about financial and operational performance were significant enough to warrant a change in leadership,” said Provost Steve Lerman in the statement. “I wish to thank Dr. Guthrie for his contributions as dean, including hiring talented faculty, attracting students with stellar records from around the world and launching innovative programs.’

A university spokesperson told the student newspaper, The GW Hatchet, that the differences between the dean and the university were “too great to surmount.”

“I will tell you that as the University did our regular budget process of closing out the fiscal 2013 books, that’s where issues were discovered,” the spokesperson, Candace Smith, added. “The administration and Doug Guthrie have been unable to reach a common understanding of how the business school should operate in the future.”

Guthrie, who was paid $532,464 in total compensation in 2012, was brought to the business school with a mandate for radical change. When he arrived at the school, it was operating in the red. Guthrie helped to launch online business programs and expanded the school’s executive education offerings. Those changes reportedly helped to put the school on a more secure financial footing.

Yet, the vague comments by the provost and university spokesperson suggest that financial issues were core to why Guthrie is no longer in the job.

Prior to joining GW, Guthrie served as Professor of Management at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He also held a joint appointment as Professor of Sociology on NYU’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and was Director of Executive Education at NYU-Stern from 2007-09.

Guthrie has held visiting positions at Harvard Business School, INSEAD and the graduate schools of business at Stanford University, Columbia University and Emory University. He served as Director of the Business Institutions Initiative at the Social Science Research Council (1999-2003) and was the academic director of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership from 2008-11.

Guthrie is expected to stay on at GW as a tenured professor.


  • Nels

    Hey Renault, Do check the Cornell vs Yale comparison that was featured in CNN Fortune magazine, and was also presented by Poets and Quants. It clearly shows that Cornell is ahead of Yale in terms of MBA.

  • IvyToo Tired Of Conversation

    I don’t have any more time for this conversation, but I will reiterate that you are wrong about my background. You are correct that the Big 3 do care about school background and it is difficult for those outside of the top 15 or so schools to get a foot in the door, even if the education is relatively similar. I attribute this not to curricula necessarily but primarily to the self-fulfilling prophecy of having leaders of these firms support their alma maters by sending their juniors to certain MBAs after 2-3 years and then rehire them.

  • IvoryTower

    You moron, you! You think I’m just going to buy your “I worked for one of these companies” mantra. If you really worked for one of them you’d know how incredibly snobbish they are about school prestige. How about you trying going to a school outside of Cornell Johnson and see how easy it is to break into MBB.

  • IvyToo

    And by the way, the elementary school playground reference was to the comments on this site, just to clear up your confusion.

  • IvyToo

    Actually, I worked for one of these companies. So, I think I do know what I’m talking about.

    And if you were hired as a consultant for my company and you spent your time with your colleagues focused on B-School rankings rather than your $250,000 deliverable, I would ensure that your office would be blacklisted.

  • Ivy-ed

    I went to grad school with GW kids and I was pleasantly surprised (and I have no affiliation with GW). Quite a few are pretty smart, at least the top ones I’ve dealt with. Don’t know about the average student. I tended to stay on the metro when I passed by Foggy Bottom station.

  • IvoryToo

    Commentary by other posters doesn’t warrant that their logic is any better informed than you. And, sadly, this is a major reason why the comments on this site venture into such pathetic territory.

  • IvoryTower

    Sure if you consider BCG, McKinsey, and Bain an “elementary school playground.”

    There is imagination and then there is reality. You’re still hovering around the former.

  • IvoryToo

    You are wrong. I just hate people that are so elitist for such (relatively) unimportant matters. Considering the serious issues of the business world, the focus on what schools are “better” seem really crass and better suited for an elementary school playground.

  • Guest

    And what ever level I place certain schools on above others has already been justified by numerous other posters on this site. Just do a quick search, which you’re probably not used to.

  • IvoryTower

    You must be a bitter Darden alum or a Johnson graduate suffering from some helpless inferiority complex. Either way it’s eating at your ability to use reason to properly place these schools on the levels they belong.

    Have fun finding reality.


    And what ever level I place certain schools on above others has already been justified by numerous other posters on this site. Just do a quick search, which you’re probably not used to.

  • Rationalist

    It would be nice if the stats of these schools were more frequently updated. A lot of schools’ data is very old and inaccurate.

    And, John, how about decreasing the focus on rankings, HBS, and Sandy’s elitist views about his favorite institutions by 95%? There are more good schools out there than just in Harvard Square and Palo Alto.

  • IvoryToo

    I meant Quasimodo…wrote too fast…

  • IvoryToo

    IvoryTower’s comments are not on the same level as cogent, well-formed comments by others on this forum.

    Who are you to make simple statements? And let’s be careful not to point to a ranking difference of 1 or 3 spots as justification.

    Your comments are not much to see, Quasimoto.

  • Columbian

    That’s simply not true. Cornell has been ahead of Yale in rankings (except by orgs that aren’t familiar with grad business education.) Nevertheless, they are both great schools with great education and that’s most important.

  • NotHBS and I Don’t Care

    No one cares about you egotistical HBSers either. Does HBS have to be in every article for you to keep your noses in the air?

  • Chuck

    i guess what worked for the undergraduate program at GWU (build fancy buildings, focus on rich kids who can pay bills and cut back on outreach, increase tuition massively and fiddle with admitted students’ stats) doesn’t work for GWU BSchool. It doesn’t have any strong areas, is overpriced, career center is poor and strong students go to other BSchools. GWU takes anyone with a pulse.

  • Renault

    What do you base your “Cornell is better than Yale” statement on? I don’t know a single non-Cornell person who feels the same way. They’re quite clearly peer schools, and Yale has the advantage when you look at the rankings.

  • Nels

    I may agree that USC is no match to that of UCLA. But Cornell is better than Yale and Duke and Darden are very much comparable. Besides, USC and UCLA are Los Angeles specific programs. I would really like to see future smackdowns for a variety of business schools as promised earlier by John.

  • IvoryTower

    Cornell is not on the same level as Yale.
    Darden is not on the same level as Duke.
    USC is not on the same level as UCLA.

    Not much to see there.

  • Nels

    when can we get the B school smackdowns John? Duke Vs Darden, UCLA Vs USC, Cornell Vs Yale and so on…….

  • HBSmofo

    No one cares about this crappy school John!