Raymond Miles, a former Berkeley Haas dean and professor emeritus whose leadership has had a deep and lasting impact on the Haas campus and community, passed away on May 13 in Albany, California. He was 86.
Miles is credited with growing the school’s thriving alumni network, securing a campus that invites community, and hiring prestigious faculty members who have included two Nobel Laureates. As a scholar, he was a trailblazer in strategic management, defining human resource management styles commonly taught today.
Born in Cleburne, Texas, in 1932, Miles became interested in management while working nights for the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad to pay his way through the University of North Texas. After earning an MBA at UNT and a PhD at Stanford, Miles landed in Berkeley in 1963. During his career, he became an early pioneer in thinking about how companies could align their strategies with the goals they were trying to accomplish, and his breakthrough 1978 book,Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process, has become a classic in the management strategy field.
As dean of Haas between 1983 and 1990, Miles commissioned the design of what is now the Haas campus and helped secure the then-largest gift in UC Berkeley’s history to build it. By growing the Cal Business Alumni Association (now the Berkeley Haas Alumni Network) into an active, thriving community and hiring the school’s first full-time development director, Miles increased outreach to alumni and brought the vision of a Haas campus, which opened in 1995, to fruition.
As dean, Miles also boosted the school’s academic potential and prestige. He helped double the number of endowed chairs to 24 and recruited such luminaries as Nobel Laureate Oliver Williamson. He advanced the field of business education by supporting new interdisciplinary programs in organizational strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation, and international competitiveness.
In 1989, Miles started the Boost@Berkeley- Haas program to allow local high school students, many from underrepresented populations, to learn about business and entrepreneurship. The program has seen hundreds of its students, many first generation, attend college.
In honor of the significant impact Miles has had on Berkeley Haas, the Cal Business Alumni Association created the Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award in 1990. This annual award is presented to an alum who exemplifies superior volunteer leadership.