The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business today (Sept. 19) said it hired a Financial Times reporter to help promote the research of the school’s faculty. Hal Weitzman, a 12-year veteran of the British newspaper, will join the school as executive director of intellectual capital on Sept. 24.
It is rare for a university, never mind a business school, to announce the arrival of what is essentially a public relations staffer in a news release. But the newly created position reflects an attempt by the school to more aggressively tout the work of its prestigious faculty, long a powerful force at the business school. Weitzman will report to Steven Davis, deputy dean for faculty.
In February, Booth also established a television studio in its building to more easily beam the ideas and opinions of its professors to broadcast news outlets. The school has since done 91 interviews from the studio with FOX News, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, BBC, PBS, Bloomberg TV, CNN-International, The Wall Street Journal Television Network, ESPN, Reuters Television, and other media outlets.
In addition to Weitzman’s job to disseminate faculty research and program materials to alumni, the news media, and the general business community, the FT journalist also will “build and lead a team that will also create and manage content based on exemplary student experiences and alumni accomplishments,” according to the school.
Most recently Chicago bureau chief for the FT, Weitzman has occasionally written stories on the business school, including articles on its executive MBA program, the school’s initiative in entrepreneurship, and former Dean Edward Snyder departure for Yale’s School of Management. Previously he was chief of the newspaper’s bureau in Lima, Peru and a news editor at its London headquarters where he focused on coverage of North and South America.
“We have found in Hal someone who combines considerable business knowledge and domain knowledge, writing capability, and leadership and collaboration skills with solid journalism experience,” said Booth Dean Sunil Kumar in a statement. “These skills will be assets as we move to enhanced the school’s impact and reputation in all of its intellectual endeavors.”
Weitzman is a graduate of Oriel College at the University of Oxford where he received a master’s degree in politics. After Oxford, he attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as the Frank Knox Fellow. He earned an undergraduate degree in politics and parliamentary studies at the University of Leeds where he was awarded first class honors and interned at the British House of Commons and U.S. House of Representatives.
Weitzman also is the author of the book “Latin Lessons: How South America Stopped Listening to the United States and Started Prospering,” published by Wiley earlier this year.