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World’s Best B-School Professors: Dana Muir

A former executive at Chrysler, Michigan’s Dana Muir is one of the world’s top experts in retirement planning and one of P&Q’s best business school profs

Dana Muir

Ross School of Management

Claim to Fame: Retirement planning


University of Michigan, JD

University of Detroit, MBA

At Ross Since: 1993

Before Ross: Executive at Chrysler Corporation and an attorney at Winston & Strawn and Dykema Gossett

Fun Fact: None of my former students have been jailed yet – so far as I know.

If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be … Owning and managing a SCUBA resort in Papua New Guinea

Best part of the job: The opportunities that Ross provides to participate in the formulation of policy, management thinking and legal decision making on a national and international level.

Worst part of the job: Pacing. Thought leadership = hare. Change = tortoise.

According to Michigan’s Dana Muir, saving for retirement goes beyond mere financial planning for individual workers; there are also macro affects that deserve consideration. Her stance on retirement savings plans as a driver of the economy has caught the attention of not one, but two U.S. Presidents: George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Under the George H.W. administration she was sought out to serve on the Pension Benefit Guarantee advisory committee. “That’s always a fun phone call to get,” Muir says as she remembers being contacted by the White House for the first time. “I remember the voicemail quite well: ‘This is White House personnel, please call us back,’” was all she heard on the other end as she listened to her messages that day. After accepting the offer and serving for three years, Muir was again called to duty to serve the same committee; this time by George W. Bush.

Muir’s interest in retirement plans goes back to the 1980’s when she was employed by Chrysler Corporation. Working in the company’s human resources department, Muir says she realized how important retirement planning was. Not only for the financial security of Chrysler’s employees, but as a key component of the national economy.

“You have trillions of dollars that go into these plans every year. Where does it all go?” Looking at retirement savings plans through this new macro lens, Muir’s interest was piqued. She headed to law school with hopes of having a greater impact on policy issues related to retirement planning. Following completion of her degree and a brief period practicing law, Muir headed to B-school to teach.

“I am very lucky to be able to work with MBAs. It allows me to merge my interests in economy and legal issues and to gain the perspectives and thoughts of talented students.”