New business dean hopes to raise rankings

Incoming School of Business Dean Doug Guthrie said he plans to take the GW School of Business to new heights with a vision to improve the school’s ranking.

Guthrie comes from the No. 5 New York University’s Stern School of Business where he is a professor of management. He is also a professor of sociology at the school’s College of Arts and Sciences.

In order to improve the school’s ranking, he said he will build alliances with high-profile organizations and to expand the school’s media presence, adding to the reputation of its programs. GW was ranked No. 55 in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s April 2009 ranking of best graduate schools. GW is also ranked as a top 25 program from the U.S. News for International Business. According to the Financial Times ratings, the school is No. 30 in the nation.

“In Washington, when anything happens, the financial crisis or G20 talks – the business school has to have something to say about it,” Guthrie said. “We should be clogging the media airwaves on it and that will give us airtime and that will start to move the bar in the rankings because peer rankings matter.”

Guthrie – who will replace Susan Phillips after she spent 12 years as dean – said GW will take advantage of the intersection of “business and policy” by focusing on three core areas in its curriculum: internationalism, leadership and ethics.

“For so long, we have taught business that narrows the core of thinking,” Guthrie said. “To argue that there should be people who study the social world and then people who focus only on business on the other side, it does a great disservice to what business can be.”

Guthrie said GW’s location is one of its biggest strengths in improving the school’s rank.

“GW has the opportunity to really bring these things together under the banner of business and politics,” Guthrie said. “Given our geography and given our institutions that we have access to, I just think that there is no other school that can beat us if we do that right.”

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Lehman said he was confident Guthrie would dramatically improve the school’s ranking over time.

“He knows what it means to be at a top business school and he will really help us… move us up into the top 25,” Lehman said.

Although he has a “clear set of ideas and opinions” for when he takes over the school, Guthrie said he is appreciative of the work that outgoing Phillips has done for the University.

“I’m coming in with an exciting new vision and an exciting set of ideas – but this is a sandbox that only exists because there’s been a lot of hard work under Susan,” Guthrie said. “Everything is there for us to jump the curb to the next level.”

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