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Tufano Stepping Down As Oxford Saїd Dean

Peter Tufano, dean of Oxford University’s Said Business School

After a highly successful ten-year run as dean of Saїd Business School at the University of Oxford, Peter Tufano will be stepping down at the end of this next academic year on June 30th, 2021.

“This coming year is not one for hesitation,” Tufano said in a statement. “While the search for my successor will begin immediately, we cannot put things on hold for a year. Rather, we need to work together even more closely in the coming year to ensure that we deliver the absolute best experience for our students, continue to do excellent research, and use our power to try to address the fallout of Covid-19, Brexit, an economic depression, severe inequality, racial injustice and a climate emergency.”

Recruited to Oxford in 2011 from Harvard Business School, where he was a senior associate dean and a professor of finance, Tufano will be the longest-serving dean in the 24-year history of Saїd. At Harvard Business School, Tufano oversaw the school’s tenure and promotion processes, its campus planning, and advised the university on financial and real estate matters. He was also the founding co-chair of the Harvard innovation lab (i-lab), a cross-university initiative to foster entrepreneurship. Tufano, who earned his Ph.D., MBA and AB in economics from Harvard, is a potential successor to current HBS Dean Nitin Nohria who is expected to step down from his post at the end of this year.


Under Tufano, the Financial Times ranking of the school’s one-year MBA program has made significant gains, rising to rank 21st in the world this year from 27th in 2011 when he became dean, though in the FT’s latest 2020 ranking the school plunged eight places from 13th in 2019. In Poets&Quants‘ composite ranking of the best international MBA programs, Oxford Said has maintained its ninth-place finish from 2011, two spots below rival Cambridge Judge.

In making the announcement of his pending departure, Oxford noted that perhaps the school’s “most remarkable achievement” u under Tufano’s leadership is the progress it has been made in attracting diverse cohorts. “When Tufano became Dean in 2011, 24% of the cohort were women, and 5% were African. In 2019-20 MBA cohort, 44% are women, and 13% of the cohort are from Africa,” according to the school.

“Dean Tufano’s leadership has been transformative. The School built upon the first 15 years of its history, turning the ambition of becoming a world-class business school that tackles world-scale problems into reality, and creating a force for justice in business.  Since 2011 significant progress has been made in developing the School’s teaching programmes, research, professional services, executive education, facilities, University relations and faculty compensation.


“Notable successes have included: a new Executive Education building; the conception and  launch of the Oxford Foundry (the entrepreneurship centre available to students across the University);  innovative programmes and modules such as GOTO, 1+1 MBA, open digital programmes, Creative Destruction Lab; impactful events series (most recently the Leadership in Extraordinary Times broadcasts).”

Tufano is the fourth dean in the school’s history, having been preceded by Colin Mayer (2006-2011), Anthony Hopwood (1999-2006) and John Kay (1996-1998).

The University will begin the search for a successor.

DON’T MISS: Oxford’s Saïd Business School: Hardly A Stuffy Downton Abbey or Good News For Oxford On The Job Front As It Prepares For A Year Unlike Any Other

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.