Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business Dean Roger Huang has announced his intention to step down on June 30 after more than five years in the role. Huang, a professor at Mendoza since 2000, will take a year-long sabbatical before returning to his endowed professorship in finance. K.J. Martijn Cremers, professor of finance at Mendoza since 2012, will serve as interim dean during the search for a permanent replacement for Huang.
Huang has been a part of Notre Dame Mendoza’s leadership team for many years. Before becoming dean, he served in that capacity on an interim basis from 2012 to 2013; prior to becoming interim dean he was associate dean for three years and spent eight years as chair of the college’s Department of Finance.
“Everything has an expiration date,” Huang wrote in a “Dean’s Letter” in the spring 2018 issue of Mendoza Business magazine. “And after a decade serving as part of the Mendoza leadership, mine is long past. … I feel truly blessed to have been associate dean, interim dean, and then dean of this great institution.”
‘BREAKING’ ONE RANKING, MIXED RESULTS IN OTHERS
Huang wrote that as he leaves the Mendoza deanship, he is “struck by how much we have indeed achieved.” In particular, he is proud of having “broken” a certain undergraduate B-school ranking.
“It’s a common saying that people overestimate what can be accomplished in a year and underestimate what can be done in a decade,” Huang wrote. “When I first became dean, we were ranked as the No. 1 undergraduate business school by Bloomberg Businessweek, an honor we continued to claim for five consecutive years from 2010 to 2014. In response, BBW suspended the ranking, reconfigured the methodology, issued one more year (we ranked No. 2), then quit the undergraduate rankings business altogether.
“I like to think that we broke the ranking, especially since the one criteria that consistently put us over the top was student satisfaction. Our undergraduates commented about the passion of the faculty, the incredible efforts of our Undergraduate Advising and Career Services teams, the importance of our mission, the innovative coursework and the support of our amazing alumni network. More than any number, those words define success.
Mendoza continues to impress in undergraduate rankings: In Poets&Quants‘ undergrad ranking, the school landed second overall in 2016 and No. 4 last year. But the college’s MBA program has had a rougher time lately. Though it has held steady in the P&Q ranking at No. 24 the last years, it has slipped in the U.S. News & World Report ranking from 25th in 2016 to a tie for 31st this year.
‘BEING A DEAN MEANS OWING MANY PEOPLE A HUGE DEBT OF GRATITUDE’
Huang’s term as dean had other highlights. Among them: a “pioneering” Master of Science in Management for non-business majors launched in 2013 that the dean deems “an unqualified success”; two Chicago-based master’s programs in finance and business analytics that followed in 2015 and 2016, bringing Mendoza’s graduate offerings to seven; a new undergraduate major in business analytics, introduced in 2017, that was immediately popular; and a new dual MBA/MSBA, where students earn two master’s degrees in two years. Looking ahead to 2019, the college plans to introduce a residential MSBA, as well.
“Globalization and rapid advances in technology necessitated changes in the way we educate, especially in the demand for one-year specialty programs,” Huang wrote. Meanwhile, “There have been many organizational changes to support these programs … But as dean, I’m proud of the thought leadership of our people and the constant focus on innovation.
“Mostly, I’m humbled. There is another saying, that it is easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others. Being a dean means above all owing many people a huge debt of gratitude for devoting their time, experience, intelligence, and talents to making these accomplishments possible.
“It is also true that regardless of what changes, we must always hearken to what does not: our mission. Programs will come and go. People — even the dean — will come and go. But we all must continue to uphold the ideals of our faith and of business as a force for good in this world. Therein lies our confidence for Mendoza’s bright future.”
CREMERS IS AN EXPERT IN INVESTMENTS & CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Huang’s interim replacement, K.J. Martijn Cremers, joined the University of Notre Dame as professor of finance in 2012. Prior to that, he was a faculty at Yale School of Management from 2002 to 2012 after obtaining his Ph.D. in finance from the Stern School of Business at NYU. Hailing from the Netherlands, Cremers’ undergraduate degree in econometrics is from the VU University Amsterdam (1993-1997).
According to his Notre Dame Mendoza bio, Cremers’ research focuses on empirical issues in investments and corporate governance. His academic work has been published in top academic journals such as the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, Stanford Law Review, and Northwestern Law Review. His research has also been covered in newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and numerous others. Since 2010 he has been an associate editor at the Review of Finance and previously was an associate editor of the Review of Financial Studies and of European Financial Management.
At Notre Dame, Cremers teaches courses on investments and corporate governance to MBA and undergraduate students. His paper, How active is your fund manager? A new measure that predicts performance (published in 2009 in the Review of Financial Studies) introduced a measure of active management named Active Share, which is based on a comparison of the holdings of a fund with those of its benchmark. The Active Share measure has become widely used in the financial industry and was incorporated in Morningstar Direct and FactSet.