After a highly successful 13 years as dean of Spain’s IE Business School, Santiago Íñiguez de Onzoño is giving up his job to become executive president of IE University. His successor as dean is expected to be named at the beginning of 2017.
The announcement signals the end of one of the most successful deanships in a generation. Since becoming dean of IE in 2004, Santiago Íñiguez de Onzoño has transformed a sleepy regional player in business education into an highly innovative global powerhouse. When he accepted the assignment as dean, the school’s MBA experience was ranked 35th best in the world by the Financial Times. Within seven years, IE placed sixth right behind INSEAD and ahead of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. This year, IE’s MBA program was 12th best in the world, according to the FT.
Almost single-handedly, he put IE on the map as one of the leading players in business education. His soft-spoken nature belies an intense personality who revels in being something of a rebel. He was among the first deans to embrace online education, creating an Internet MBA program when most schools looked with disdain on distance education. Íñiguez de Onzoño forged novel alliances with unusual partners, including Brown University and the Financial Times. And he became the first dean of a non-U.S. school to be named this summer as chairman of AACSB, the leading accreditation agency for business schools.
A NEW UNIVERSITY-WIDE STRATEGY ROLE
His new post, effective in January of 2017, will put him in charge of strategy for the five schools comprising IE University. According to the announcement, Íñiguez de Onzoño will also be “driving further internationalization coupled with a special focus on developing new formats for the integration of learning and technology, consolidating long-life learning projects, establishing international agreements to create learning platforms with leading universities, and setting up new programs that attract talent and further raise levels of diversity on campus.”
Íñiguez de Onzoño’s resume contains a collection of degrees, including an MBA from the school he leads, along with a degree in law and a Ph.D. in moral philosophy. He was a Recognized Student at the University of Oxford, UK. He has co-authored several books on moral and political philosophy as well as articles and case studies on business management, and is also a LinkedIn Influencer. His book, The Learning Curve: How Business Schools Are Reinventing Education, deals with the future challenges of management education and was published by Palgrave McMillan in November 2011.
He joined IE Business School in 1991 as a professor of strategic management. He served as director of external relations from 1995 to 2004, when he was appointed dean of the school. He may well be the only head of external relations to gain the top job at a business school. The school said that a selection committee, chaired by Íñiguez de Onzoño, has been working since last July on the succession process and will be appointing the new Dean at the beginning of 2017.
IE University, which is ranked by Times Higher Education among the top 25 universities in the world for graduate employability, runs education programs with an international focus in the fields of management, law, architecture, international relations, human sciences and technology. IE University has campuses in Madrid and Segovia, and a student body comprised of 131 nationalities.
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