The New Faculty Faces At The Top Business Schools

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Even adcoms get excited about home run faculty hires

Another highly experienced professor to leave one top school for another was Laurens Debo, who was hired by Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business away from Chicago Booth. Debo, spent six years at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper before spending six years at Chicago Booth. He then spent one year as a visiting professor at Tuck before being officially hired this past summer. “I was blown away by the quality of the MBAs,” Debo says of his year visiting Tuck, also noting he was commuting back and forth between Hanover, New Hampshire, and Chicago. “I was lucky enough to teach the same content at Tuck, but the students showed a deep intuitive understanding of the content.”

Laurens Debo of Tuck School of Business. Courtesy photo

Laurens Debo of Tuck School of Business. Courtesy photo

Debo says the challenge of teaching MBA students at both Booth and Tuck was something he wanted as a professor. “The one big difference is Chicago is slightly different from Hanover,” he jokes. “Not one is better, they’re just different.” For instance, Debo says home improvement projects get delayed because of Hanover’s distance from a Home Depot or Menard’s, but avoiding his more than an hour long commute from Chicago’s western suburbs is not missed. “I think if there’s serious congestion in Hanover, it’s a 10 minute commute,” he says, laughing.


Of course when one school hires a senior professor from a top B-school, that institution loses a senior professor. For this cycle, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management was the school poached the hardest by other top B-schools. This year, Anderson lost two tenured professors—Hanno Lustig to Stanford’s GSB and Sanjog Misra to Chicago Booth. Anderson also lost Manel Baucells, a visiting professor for the past seven years who earned his PhD from Anderson in 1993, to Virginia’s Darden. Lustig, who earned his PhD from Stanford, was in particular, a hit. He’d spent more than a decade at Anderson and for the past two years was the Academic Director for the masters in financial engineering program.

Anderson Dean Judy Olian told Poets&Quants that churn among the senior ranks is relatively rare. She says the school has only lost three tenured faculty members over the past five years, including an earlier hire by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Besides this year’s departures to rival schools, Anderson also lost a pair of faculty members to Uber and Amazon with both professors taking on economist roles. “This is telling you what a great faculty we have,” says Olian.

Jennifer Whitson, new assistant professor at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. Courtesy photo

Jennifer Whitson, new assistant professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Courtesy photo

To be sure, Anderson did woo a few rising faculty members from other schools and, in fact, hired a total of eight new faculty members with a combined 36 years of previous teaching experience. Jennifer Whitson, is one who has spent the past eight years at the UT-Austin McCombs School of Business, after earning her PhD from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. The school also has a commitment from another full woman professor at a top school that has not been made public yet. “It’s a fantastic school with a really amazing faculty,” Whitson says of Anderson, also noting she’s had an “embarrassment of riches” with the abundance of great faculty members at both schools.

For Whitson, who’s originally from Orange County, California, a lot of the move seems to be personal as well as professional. “This is homecoming for me,” she says. “I was actually driving on the freeway—a five-lane freeway—with palm trees on each side and the sun setting and it was a great moment where I thought, I’m home.”

Anderson was also able to land Cassie Mogilner, a former tenured professor of marketing from The Wharton School. Mogilner has a PhD from Stanford’s GSB and her research on happiness has been covered by nearly every major American media outlet.

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