Johns Hopkins B-School Loses Its Dean

After serving as dean of three business schools, Yash Gupta took on the task to build a new global MBA program at John Hopkins.

Yash Gupta, a veteran B-school educator and dean of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, is leaving the school to become chief executive officer of a Montreal-based telecom company. His appointment becomes effective in early July.

The announcement, made today (May 16) by SDP Telecom, Inc., a private company founded in 1995, comes as a surprise. Only recently, Gupta had been campaigning to become the chief academic officer at the University of Iowa–before Carey graduates its first MBA class.

Gupta apparently had been known by the company’s two Indian founders, according to spokesman Michael Clayton. Asked why the company would hire an educator to be CEO, he said, “We are very focused on expanding into the Indian market. It’s a key part of our growth strategy. He brings a bunch of connections to help us do that.”

His departure is a major blow for the Carey Business School, which Gupta launched as the founding dean. He joined Johns Hopkins in January of 2008 to create a business school at the university, world renown for its schools of medicine and international affairs. It was one of only four elite universities—Princeton, Brown and CalTech–left without a business school and a full-time MBA program. The last major university to launch a business school in the U.S. was Yale in 1976.

A visionary B-school leader, Gupta also has served as dean of three other business schools, including the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. At Johns Hopkins, he helped to craft a highly innovative curriculum and an unusual approach to business school education (see The Anti-MBA Business School.) The school’s tagline gives a clue to its differentiation: “Where business is taught with humanity in mind.”

The Carey Business School only entered its charter class of 88 students in September so Gupta has yet to graduate a single class of MBAs. His relatively frequent job changes came up in the public forum in Iowa attended by about 90 professors, administrators, and students.

In a memo to faculty, Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels called Gupta “a tireless evangelist for the school.  “During his tenure, Dean Gupta has successfully recruited a core group of exceptional scholars and business practitioners to our faculty, hired a new administrative team, developed the policies and procedures necessary to get the school running administratively, and established the successful “Leaders + Legends” speaker series. Thanks to his determination, the charter class of the Global MBA program includes almost 90 students. The Class of 2013 appears equally promising in terms of quality, diversity and size.”

Gupta could not be reached for comment, and a spokesperson for the school referred all media calls to the university’s media affairs office.

Daniels said the university will soon initiate a national search for a new dean. Meantime, Executive Vice Dean Phillip Phan will serve as interim dean of the Carey Business School effective July 1, 2011.





  • Guiseppe

    Iowa dodged the bullet and avoided Gupta’s appointment, fair point to question Gupta’s nomadic career path in the presentation. BSchools want someone committed to the programme and Carey wants to find a big name with commitment. Doubtful that Gupta will be greatly missed at Carey. Interestingly another article describes Tuck’s Dean Danos and his long tenure.

  • Hopkins Student

    Dean Gupta was selected as the permanent Dean of Hopkins. It may not have been as easy to ‘fire’ him as we may think. But i do agree that we will get a bigger name for the future.

  • hopkinsstudent

    I believe hopkins knew about his application to Iowa, well I guess most of us did as well. President Daniels would probably not have kept him around for much longer anyway but his recent “rejection” from Iowa hurt his recognition both in and outside of hopkins. This would not have been good for a growing/new school like Carey. So you could say that this may have been “plan B” and agreed upon much in advance between Daniels and Gupta.

    Hopkins will most likely recruit a much bigger name as its next B school dean.

  • Anon

    According to a quote in Businessweek, Gupta’s goal since 2006 has always been to attain some type of president or chancellor position at any university. This is why he abruptly left USC before interviewing for the #1 position at University of Arizona. He did not get that position.

    After arriving at Carey in 2007, Gupta again applied for the #1 position at University of Tennessee in October, 2010. Then much recently applied to the #2 position at Iowa.

    I’m guessing there were other applications made elsewhere that we do not know about. After multiple failed attempts at getting those positions, I suppose he feels that it is time to leave academia and try his hand in the private sector.

    It is clear that Gupta is self-serving and was never committed to being a dean. In his defense, you can’t blame him for trying to further his career. In the long run, Hopkins will be better off without him.

  • Arthur Featherstonehaugh Dullsworthy

    Huckster was found out?

  • Anonymous

    The company is his brother’s company, so i doubt he was ‘snatched away’.

    I think once the going got hard at Carey he called it quits.

    As the Businessweek article rightfully points out:

    “the hard part about being a dean isn’t the beginning, it’s the middle—the struggle for accreditation, the climb up the rankings, the nonstop fund-raising, and the building of a world-class faculty.”

    He clearly felt he couldn’t accomplish these things at Hopkins, otherwise he would have stayed on.

    As far as Iowa goes, lets face it, he had no chance. His habit of leaving schools upon arrival was clearly called out there. Also, his presentation failed to go into any specifics. He also recently applied for the VCU position, and didn’t get it. His lack of commitment has been a big issue.

    He was better off going to the private sector.

  • Arthur Featherstonehaugh Dullsworthy

    What’s the story here? Was he snatched away, was he unhappy, or was he pushed? He seems to be three different guys.

  • Bruce,
    Sorry for confusion. I think the updated story clears everything up. That last sentence you quote was mistakenly inserted at the end of the story. I was writing this just as I was about to board a flight and was the last one on!

  • Bruce Vann

    I’m confused. “According to published reports, Gupta assured people that if he is chosen to be the university’s second-in-command, he would stay put at Iowa.” I thought Johns Hopkins was in Maryland. And he’s going to Montreal. So the point is that he’s definitely leaving Maryland? Is that correct?