Business school deans are more than administrative figureheads. Their character and leadership is often reflective of an MBA program’s unique culture and sense of community. Each month, we will be profiling the dean of a top-ranking program. Today, we focus on Paul Danos from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Paul Danos has served as Tuck’s dean since 1995, making his tenure one of the longest among the deans at the top-ranked business schools. His previous appointments at Tuck have included associate dean, director of the Paton Accounting Center, and the Arthur Andersen & Company Professor of Accounting. Danos is also considered an authority on business school administration, serving as the chairman of the trustees of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and having previously served on advisory boards for the University of Notre Dame College of Business Administration, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Graduate Rassias Foundation Board of Overseers, and the LEAD Council of Deans.
Danos has overseen a number of strategic changes to Tuck’s curriculum during his deanship. One development, enacted as part of Tuck 2012—the school’s strategic plan—has been the inclusion of a mandatory mini course in the area of ethics/social responsibility. A September 2010 feature in Tuck Today titled “The Road Ahead” notes that the school’s inclusion of an ethical component was not in reaction to the 2008 financial crisis and was in fact under way a year prior.
In a February 2012 U.S. News & World Report article, Danos explained that business education requires a more holistic reevaluation of pedagogy in the wake of the financial crises, stating, “No matter who is ultimately to blame, lessons for anyone who purports to be educating leaders abound, and because so many of the bankers involved had MBA degrees, business schools must analyze the whole series of causes and effects, and try to draw conclusions about appropriate modifications to their own programs.” Consequently, in addition to requiring that students complete a mini course in ethics and social responsibility, Tuck introduced its research-to-practice seminar format, which integrates faculty research, an intimate class size (fewer than 20 students) and an emphasis on critical analysis. This integrated approach embodies what the aforementioned Tuck Today article refers to as “the Danos Doctrine—a recognition that an increasingly complex business world demands more varied and different skills of its leaders.”
Earlier this year, Danos announced that he would step down from his role as dean after the completion of his fifth term in June 2015.