Business school deans are more than administrative figureheads. Their character and leadership often reflect an MBA program’s unique culture and sense of community. Today, we focus on David Schmittlein from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
David Schmittlein first came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2007 after spending almost 30 years in the marketing department at Wharton. Upon joining MIT, Dean Schmittlein announced his top priorities in a press release: “to enhance MIT Sloan’s visibility and engagement with leaders of the business community, regionally and globally, especially among the school’s alumni. MIT Sloan should be a wonderful focal point for the professional lives and development of Sloan alumni and others in the broader MIT community who are engaged in business and innovation.”
In addition to enhanced global visibility, a significant focus of Schmittlein’s deanship thus far, according to MIT’s website, has been “to work with the faculty in creating new high-quality management education programs, to develop enhanced educational opportunities for current students, and to develop and disseminate business knowledge that has impact and that will stand the test of time.” In an interview with mbaMission, the school’s assistant dean of admissions at the time, Rod Garcia, remarked that one noticeable change since Schmittlein entered the position is that “the dean has placed a huge emphasis on concept-based action learning. We have our Entrepreneurship Lab, our [Sustainable Business] Lab, our China Lab, … among others. The movement toward these labs has accelerated during the dean’s tenure as he has engaged with our alumni around the world.”
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