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Moving On

The bittersweetness of transitions

Dean Rich Lyons, BS 82, speaking at Culture Day in February, which marked the eighth anniversary of the Defining Leadership Principles.
Dean Rich Lyons, BS 82, speaking at Culture Day in February, which marked the eighth anniversary of the Defining Leadership Principles.

To have the opportunity to serve the institution that so transformed my own life has been a dream come true. When I arrived as a freshman in 1979, it was unimaginable that I could go on to join the faculty at Berkeley, much less serve as dean. Yet, Berkeley enables us to “be what we cannot see,” and does it again and again, for so many thousands of people. That Berkeley will be doing this long after any of us are still living is an important source of my confidence in the future.

Because of your support, we have a solid strategy and strong finances that will serve our school well in the years ahead. Our new Chou Hall, which is featured in this issue and is funded entirely by alumni gifts, will allow us to explore new programs and expand existing ones—a key element in ensuring our financial strength going forward. Our Defining Leadership Principles (DLPs) continue to set us sharply apart from peer institutions and are the #1 reason many applicants select Haas over other programs.

Codifying our DLPs with our community was an endeavor of great passion; but culture, like a garden, needs constant tending. Professor Jenny Chatman, PhD 88, and I co-wrote a case tracking the history of the DLPs and candidly assessing how to make them endure.

A second case is forthcoming that will clarify all that we have done this year to bolster ongoing support from us all.

For example, I’ve appointed a group of faculty, staff, and student Culture Champions to ensure our culture continues to thrive. Students in the Social Sector Solutions course are consulting to find ways that Haas can leverage the DLPs even further in the future. We’ve also launched the Haas Culture and Leadership Fund to sustain and expand the school’s culture efforts under future deans.

While often bittersweet, transitions are catalysts for growth. We can be proud of all we accomplished together these past 10 years. I look forward to the upcoming successes we’ll share as fellow members of the Berkeley Haas community. I cannot thank you enough for your support over these many years. It’s the greatest honor of my life to have served as your dean.

With gratitude,
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Rich Lyons, BS 82
lyons@haas.berkeley.edu | @richlyons

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