Top 10 Haas stories of 2018

It was a year of milestones, of changes, and of new beginnings here at Haas. As we prepare to welcome our new Dean Ann Harrison next month, here’s a look back at the Top 10 stories of 2018.

1. Dean Rich Lyons wraps up his term; Laura Tyson steps in as interim dean

(L) Former Dean Lyons, (R) Prof. Laura Tyson

After Rich Lyons wrapped up his 11-year tenure as dean with a guitar-powered “Berkeley Leader: Live!” worldwide tour, Laura Tyson stepped in as interim dean July 1. Having served as dean of the Haas School from 1998 to 2001 and on the Haas faculty since 1990, Tyson is a steady hand at the helm.

2. Renowned Wharton economist Ann E. Harrison named as dean

Photo: Noah Berger
Photo: Noah Berger

Ann E. Harrison, a renowned Wharton economist and Berkeley alumna, will begin her term on January 1, 2019. Harrison, the William H. Wurster Professor of Multinational Management and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has deep Berkeley roots. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley with a double major in economics and history in 1982. She also served as a professor of Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics from 2001 to 2011. Her initial priorities: Grow the faculty in key areas, increase the number of cross-school programs, and increase the diversity of the student body and faculty.

3. Chou Hall is dedicated, on track to be nation’s first “zero waste” academic building

Chou Hall dedication ceremony

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and University of California President Janet Napolitano came out to help dedicate Chou Hall, the newest campus addition, in March. The $63 million building, which opened last August, was funded entirely by donations from alumni and friends. Chou Hall is currently on track to become the first TRUE Zero Waste certified academic building in the U.S.

4. Haas adopts a new diversity, equity & inclusion plan; hires new director of inclusion and diversity 

Haas adopted a new diversity & inclusion action plan

Hired last January from UCSF, where she directed the Multicultural Clinical Training Program, Élida Bautista is charged with setting school-wide strategy for inclusion, diversity, and equity efforts focused on students. This past October, Bautista helped senior Haas leaders deliver its first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan, which provides concrete ways to bolster enrollment of underrepresented minorities at Haas and to develop a more inclusive environment school-wide. The plan is a direct response to a decline in the number of African-American students enrolled in the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program over the last two years.

5. 8th anniversary celebration for the Defining Leadership Principles

Rich Lyons and the Defining Leadership Principles

It’s been eight years since Rich Lyons codified the school’s culture in four Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Beyond Yourself, and Students Always. The school celebrated with its first annual Berkeley Haas Culture Day in February. To commemorate how deeply they’ve been embedded in school culture, the four DLP’s were carved into the walls along the Piedmont Avenue entrance.

6. Janet Yellen leaves the Fed after achieving “near perfection”

Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen

Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen, who taught generations of Haas students from 1980 to 2004, retired in early February after a four-year term as the first woman to serve in what’s been called the world’s most powerful economic job. Under Yellen’s guiding hand, unemployment fell steadily, inflation stayed low even as the economy built up a head of steam, and, to add icing to the cake, financial markets went on a tear.

“Yellen is on a glide path to near perfection, as she will probably end her term achieving the Fed’s dual mandate better than any other chair in history,” George wrote Mason University economist Scott Sumner as Yellen ended her term.

7. Faculty rack up a stream of honors

Faculty award winners

Members of the Haas faculty racked up a host of awards for their teaching, research, and service throughout the year. Assoc. Prof. Panos Patatoukas won Berkeley’s most prestigious teaching award, and Sr. Lecturer Sara Beckman was honored with a graduate student mentoring award. Outgoing Dean Rich Lyons received the Berkeley Citation for his outstanding service to the campus community, while Prof. Andrew Rose was honored with the Williamson Award for his service at Haas. Assoc. Prof. Jonathan Kolstad was named as a top health economics researcher under 40 and a top business leader under 40, and Asst. Prof. Juliana Schroeder was recognized as a “rising star” by the Association for Psychological Science. Prof. Laura Kray’s article on women as negotiators garnered an outstanding paper award, and a paper by professors Nancy Wallace and Rick Stanton won a prize for best paper in financial management.

8. Rankings recognition

The year brought a few rankings highlights for the Full-time MBA program, which rose to #6 in Businessweek’s Best B-Schools ranking. The Evening & Weekend program ranked #1 (again!) and our undergraduate program tied for #2 among US schools, both in the US News ranking. The Economist ranked our Berkeley MBA for Executives (EMBA) program #4 in the world.

9. Haas welcomed three rising academic stars

Three new assistant professors joined the Haas faculty

Three new assistant professors joined the Berkeley Haas faculty, with research interests that range from how financial news influences markets to the unintended consequences of mortgage market regulations to developing more accurate ways to predict consumer behavior. Left to right: Anastassia Fedyk and Matteo Benetton will join the Finance Group, while Giovanni Compiani will be part of the Marketing Group.

10. Milestones in sustainability and social impact

<em>Cleantech-to-Market student Jahon Amir practices his presentation for his team, Opcondys.</em>
Cleantech-to-Market student Jahon Amir practices his presentation for his team, Opcondys.

Haas had long led the way on incorporating social impact and sustainability into business education. Twenty years ago this fall, five Haas MBA students founded the Global Social Venture Competition, which has helped 6,500 teams from 65 countries move closer to their vision for a better world (the 20th annual competition will take place in the spring). Also this fall the Center for Responsible Business celebrated its 15th anniversary, and the the Cleantech to Market (C2M) Program marked its 10th year of pairing student teams with scientists to push promising technologies to market.