Widgets Magazine

GSB dean Garth Saloner to step down at the end of academic year

(Graduate School of Business)

(Stanford Graduate School of Business)

Garth Saloner ’81 M.S. ’82 Ph.D. ’82, dean of the Graduate School of Business (GSB) since 2009, announced on Monday that he will be resigning from his position at the end of the 2016 academic year.

According to a press release from the University, Saloner feared that controversy surrounding a wrongful termination lawsuit from a former faculty member will bring negative media attention to the GSB and will distract students and faculty members. Saloner is heavily implicated in the lawsuit.

“I have decided that it is in the best interests of Stanford and the GSB, two institutions that I love, that I step down,” Saloner wrote in an email to the GSB community on Monday.

“As many of you know, the University and I have been vigorously defending a baseless and protracted lawsuit related to a contentious divorce between a current and former member of our faculty,” he added. “I have become increasingly concerned that the ongoing litigation and growing media interest will distract all of you from the important work that you are doing and unfairly impact this stellar school’s deserved reputation.”

During Saloner’s six-year tenure as dean, the GSB has raised over $500 million in private support. As one of two faculty members who has won the Distinguished Teaching Award at the GSB, Saloner was a lead figure in overhauling the MBA curriculum to allow more flexibility and customization in students’ coursework. Diversity in the GSB’s faculty has also increased during his time, with 54 percent of new faculty hires in the past two years being women.

Other accomplishments during Saloner’s time as dean included the ongoing construction of Highland Hall, a new residence hall for GSB students that will be completed in spring 2016 and will accommodate 280 students, and the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies in 2011, which aimed to improve quality of life through entrepreneurship and innovation coaching in developing areas such as West Africa.

“It is with great regret that I accept Garth’s resignation, which I know was a difficult decision,” said President John Hennessy in the University press release. “It has been a very successful tenure. Under his leadership, the business school has been a leader in transforming management education to address the world’s economic challenges.”

“We are grateful to Garth for his service and his many contributions as dean, and look forward to his continued contributions to teaching and research at the GSB for many years to come,” Hennessy added.

A search committee appointed by Provost John Etchemendy will search for Saloner’s successor.

Saloner said he plans to return to teaching classes on entrepreneurship and business to undergraduates, MBA students and Ph.D. students, as well as executive programs around the world.

“I thank you for your support, commitment and dedication, and I will do everything I can over the next year to leave this great school in as excellent shape as it is now,” he wrote.


Contact Jeremy Quach at jquach ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Jeremy Quach

Jeremy Quach is a sophomore Desk Editor for the Student Groups beat and is from Kansas City, Kansas. He can often be found smiling, stuffing his face full of french fries, and mumbling Beatles lyrics to himself. He can be contacted at jquach ‘at’ stanford.edu.
  • Stanford Alum

    While what Poets & Quants reports happening at the GSB seems a bit over the top, I am not surprised it happened either. It’s been a few years that I graduated from a different Stanford school and already back then I heard stories of nepotism and favoritism among faculty members. I also heard stories of male faculty members having affairs with young female graduate studies. I guess that it’s a byproduct of the tenure system: absolute power corrupts absolutely. A dean at any of the Stanford schools enjoys as close to absolute power as there can be at any professional environment in the United States. So it’s kind of expected. Professors working at elite schools like to think of themselves as Nietzsche’s super humans, incapable of doing any wrong. I am afraid they forget the lesson of the founding of the republic. The reason the founding fathers created a system of checks and balances is not that they were concerned about those who would succeed them, rather, they were first and foremost suspicious of each other, as knowledgeable and smart as they were. Smarts and ethics are orthogonal qualities. This story shows this crude fact probably more than any other.

  • Dude. Everyone at GSB knew about the lawsuit for years. There is no new development that warrants Saloner’s stepping down. Did the Daily even look for ways, beside the lawsuit cover-up, that Dean Saloner failed GSB students? The Nazis did invent the Autobahn…

  • rick131

    He and GSB are going down on this one.

  • marcus

    haha… you’re still a safety school.. get used to it

  • Samuel

    Was he really doing Deborah Gruenfeld, another Stanford faculty member, before she separated from Jim Phils, who was himself a Stanford faculty member for a time before going to Apple University? Not a very cool thing do, and assuredly not professional behavior. It appears Deborah Gruenfeld may have been working directly under Mr. Saloner in some very literal sense. If so, this is probably fodder for some pretty good jokes among Stanford Business School students. I have no first-hand knowledge of any of this and this post relies on today’s Yahoo article. The article strongly implies Phils, legally or illegally, may have obtained possession of what sounds like some pretty incriminating e-mails from Deborah Gruenfeld’s computer that don’t make Gruenfeld or Saloner look like Paragon’s of moral virtue. If so, Phils’ claim that Dean Saloner forced Phils off the Stanford faculty might well have some merit. After all, if the cat is away, the mice can play. Mice are small little animals and Gruenfeld and Saloner are looking more and more like moral midgets.