Greetings from Alison Davis-Blake

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Welcome to my first blog entry as the Edward J. Frey Dean at the Ross School of Business.

My appointment at Ross was effective July 1, 2011. I’ve spent the vast majority of my career at public universities – by choice – because I sincerely believe in the positive transformation of society that has been and is made possible through the widespread availability of public higher education. Most recently I served as dean at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. And prior to Carlson, I served 16 years on the faculty at the University of Texas (Austin) McCombs School of Business.

I am both humbled and honored to join this dynamic community. I know you will agree that the University of Michigan is an exemplar of what the public university is supposed to be. Michigan delivers access to true global excellence, which results in knowledge creation and technology transfer, job creation, and the upgrading of human capital through enrollment in degree programs and through lifelong executive education. The Ross School plays a significant role in that scenario both on campus and across the globe through the achievements of its incredibly talented students and alumni.

The role of business schools in society is more important than ever, as we find ourselves at a critical inflection point in history. Leadership, creativity, and innovation are at a premium as business plays an increasingly significant role in addressing the globe’s most pressing social and economic issues.

Business is an economic engine, of course. It creates jobs. It creates wealth. But in today’s society, business is – and can be – so much more. The great challenges of our day – whether they are related to financial systems, the environment, poverty, healthcare, or energy – can best be resolved through collaboration across multiple sectors.

Multidisciplinary thinking, the ability to learn quickly from experience, and cross-cultural teamwork are essential skills for today’s global business leader. And no school is better equipped than Ross to help individuals and teams hone those skills. I am thrilled to be a part of that mission and look forward to contributing to the impressive legacy that exists at the Ross School of Business.

 

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Alison Davis-Blake

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