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Stanford GSB Dean to Take Sabbatical

Stanford Graduate School of Business dean Garth Saloner

Stanford Graduate School of Business dean Garth Saloner

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Dean Garth Saloner has announced he is going on sabbatical for January and February of next year. “I am looking forward to taking the time to recharge, to read, and to think about the future of management and by implication of management education,” Saloner writes in an email to staff.

Saloner, who has been in the job since September of 2009, provides no word on why he’s taking some down time. In a tweet about his sabbatical, Saloner seeks recommendations for “Must Reads” as he ponders the future of business education.

Saloner’s sabbatical comes after his five-year contract was renewed by the university. During his firm term, he suffered some personal tragedy. Saloner’s wife, Marlene, died in June of 2012 after a long battle with cancer. But as dean he also has experienced the joy of presiding over the graduation ceremonies of two of this three daughters: Romy Saloner received a Stanford MBA in 2013, while Amber Saloner Tennant earned her MBA at the school in 2010.

DURING HIS FIRST FIVE YEARS AS DEAN HE PRESIDED OVER THE GRADUATION OF TWO MBA DAUGHTERS

A former director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Stanford, Saloner was hailed, upon taking the GSB deanship, as a leader in the evolution of management education, by provost John Etchemendy. Before taking over the top leadership role at Stanford, he had led a faculty team that ushered in major revisions to the MBA curriculum.

Under Saloner’s leadership, the school has surfed the top of the entrepreneurial wave, continuing to leverage the Silicon Valley ecosystem to become the leading business school incubator for startups. This year, 17% of the graduating MBAs launched new businesses, higher than any other business school. The school also remains the most highly selective in the U.S., accepting just 6.5% of applicants.

STANFORD SAYS THERE IS NOTHING UNUSUAL ABOUT TAKING A SABBATICAL WHILE HOLDING A TOP LEADERSHIP JOB

Though no dean of a prominent business school has taken a sabbatical while in the job in recent memory, GSB spokeswoman Helen Chang says there’s nothing unusual about a Stanford dean taking some time off. She notes that Stanford president John Hennessy did so in 2012, for most of the spring quarter.

Senior Associate Dean Madhav Rajan will serve as acting dean until Saloner returns March 1.

DON’T MISS: AN INTERVIEW WITH STANFORD DEAN GARTH SALONER