Professor Jennifer Chatman named interim dean of Berkeley Haas 

photo of a woman standing in front of Chou Hall on Haas campus
Professor Jennifer Chatman has been appointed interim dean of Berkeley Haas, effective August 1. Photo: Jim Block

Professor Jennifer Chatman, who is known for pioneering research in organizational culture, has been appointed interim dean of Berkeley Haas.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Rich Lyons and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Ben Hermalin announced the news today.

Chatman’s appointment, effective August 1, 2024, follows Dean Ann Harrison’s announcement that she will step down at the end of July after a successful five-year term, including being named Dean of the Year by Poets and Quants in 2023. Harrison will continue her teaching and research as a half-time Haas faculty member. 

Harrison was enthusiastic in her endorsement of Chatman, noting her profound impact as an academic expert and effective leader. “Jenny has been an inspiration to many at Haas, including myself. Her appointment as interim dean ensures that Haas is in capable and visionary hands,” she said. 

Chatman said, “It will be my honor to serve the school and campus, and I look forward to hearing your ideas and concerns so that we can accomplish great things together in the year ahead. Let’s continue to let our Defining Leadership Principles inspire the best in us.”

The search for a permanent Berkeley Haas dean will begin in early fall. 

Commitment to Berkeley

Chatman, the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, joined the Haas faculty in 1993. She has served on numerous school and campus committees and was associate dean of academic affairs from 2022 to 2024. Chatman was instrumental in helping Haas significantly increase the size and diversity of its faculty. From October to December 2023, she led the school as acting dean during Dean Harrison’s sabbatical. 

Chatman has a strong connection and commitment to Berkeley. A double Bear, she earned her BA in psychology and her PhD in business administration from Berkeley. Her connection to academia has deep roots as well. She followed in the footsteps of her late father, Seymour Chatman, a first-generation college student and former faculty member at Berkeley, who was influential in the fields of film, literature, and rhetoric.

Award-winning research

Chatman’s research has garnered numerous accolades, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Management. Her work has shown, for example, how emphasizing innovation within a strong organizational culture can increase a firm’s financial success and how narcissistic leaders create organizational cultures with less collaboration and integrity.

During her tenure at Haas, Chatman has consistently received high praise for her teaching, reflected in her membership in the “Club 6” for high teaching evaluations. She also won the Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching and was named among the “World’s Best B-School Professors” by Poets & Quants. She has led numerous programs as part of Berkeley Executive Education, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Program and Leading Strategy Execution Through Culture Program, shaping future leaders by translating her research insights into practical knowledge.

Chatman’s influence extends into the corporate world where she advises top companies across various industries on real-world cultural challenges. She is widely recognized for her expertise in fostering effective organizational cultures and its impact on the success of the organization, co-creating one of the most widely used tools to assess organizational culture.

She co-founded and co-directs the Berkeley Center for Workplace Culture and Innovation with Haas Professor Sameer Srivastava. In March 2024, they launched a podcast, The Culture Kit with Jenny and Sameer, in which they apply insights from current research to help solve listeners’ workplace culture problems.

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