Kelley Prof Wins Four-Finalist Shootout For Colorado’s Leeds School Deanship

After four publicly disclosed finalists marched to the University of Colorado Boulder to pitch themselves for the deanship of the Leeds School of Business, an executive associate dean of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business has been declared the winner.

Vijay Khatri, who is approaching his 21st year at Kelley, will join CU Boulder effective July 1. The university said that Khatri, currently the executive associate dean for strategy, innovation and technology at Kelley, will hold the first named endowed deanship at CU Boulder, supported by a $5 million gift by Tandean Rustandy. The Rustandy Endowed Deanship provides additional resources for the dean to create and execute a vision that continues the school’s growth trajectory. In this week’s U.S. News ranking of the top full-time MBA programs, Leeds ranked 60th, up seven places from last year.

He won the job over three other candidates from Washington University’s Olin Business School, the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate Schoo of Business, and the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business. All four candidates participated in public forums and interviews in March.


The other three finalists were:

  • Sharon Alvarez, Thomas W. Olofson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
  • Kurt Dirks, director, Bauer Leadership Center, Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Mark Ferguson, senior associate dean for academics and research, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

Khatri will take over from Yonca Ertimur who has served as acting dean since May of last year. The search was assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.

The change will be a big one for Khatri who has spent his entire teaching and research career at Kelley. After earning his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in 2002, he joined the school as an assistant professor, moving up to associate and then full professor in 2018.

He chaired the school’s operations and decision technologies group for five years until 2021. He was an associate dean for information, instructional technologies, and academics for a year in 2021-2022 before moving into this current job as an executive associate dean. Khatri also has been co-director of Kelley’s Institute For Business Analytics for the past 12 years.


His appointment at Leeds occurs within weeks of Kelley’s announcement that interim Dean Ash Soni will begin a two-year term as permanent dean of Kelley while two other professors, the most likely successors to Soni, have been named vice dean.

“The Leeds School of Business is known worldwide as a vibrant learning organization for creating impactful research and developing transformational leaders,” Khatri said in a statement. “I am honored to have the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of the remarkable leaders whose work has made Leeds a leading national school of business and a center of innovation.”

“Dr. Khatri demonstrates a deep and compelling understanding of the critical interrelationship between promoting a strong and welcoming culture and developing strong academic programs,” Provost Russell Moore added in the statement. “He articulates a vision that is truly consistent with Leeds’ focus on ethics and social responsibility.”

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