After only two weeks on the job, new Dean of the Business School Kim B. Clark '74 has already started utilizing his experience with technology and product development to implement significant changes at the school.
"I want it to become a truly outstanding school...not just against the standard set by others but against our potential," Clark said in an interview Monday morning from the conference room next to his Morgan Hall office. "I hope that when the president thinks of us he gets a nice warm feeling in his heart."
According to Clark, in the two weeks since he assumed the deanship he has launched several new technology initiatives. And later this week he will announce a restructuring of the personnel and organization of Harvard Business School (HBS) as part of implementing his overall vision of the school.
Such great changes after only two weeks in office are unusual. And the new dean attributes his ability to take on so much in just two weeks to the ideas his faculty has built up over time.
"We've been on hold so they've been chaffing at the bit," Clark said in his calm, yet energetic manner. "It's like taking a bunch of world-class thoroughbreds with great jockeys and not lifting the up the gate. My job is to say what track we are going to run on, what's the objective and then pull the lever."
The Business School has been subject to much criticism in the press that it has fallen behind the cutting edge of business education. And when he assumed the deanship last month, even Clark said he believed the school's technology was lagging and that he hoped to "speed things up."
"There is no question that this place is behind but it won't take us long at all to catch up," he said. "And then we'll forge ahead."
To that end the school will be moving to an Internet based-communications system in January. The system will give students their own
Clark said once this is accomplished the school will have gone from being behind other parts of the University in providing Internet access to taking the lead.
The school has previously given students e-mail and Internet access through the America Online service.
He added the effort had been fairly easy. "It took about a day for it to come together. We got the right people working on it and communicating...and we launched it.
Other technology efforts already underway in this area include the installation of computer terminals in Kresge and Shad Halls to provide students with easier Internet access.
The dean attributed the school's present technological lag to the timing of the popularization of the World Wide Web.
"The web became popular in the last three years at a time when the Business School was in a holding pattern because [former Dean John H. McArthur] was waiting for his successor to be named," Clark said. "John didn't want to commit for the future without knowing who would be here."