Business School Dean McArthur to Retire

McArthur Says He Will Await Successor, Search Committee to Be Named Soon

After 15 years as Dean of the Harvard Business School, John H. McArthur announced yesterday that he will step down form his post as soon as a successor is chosen.

McArthur and President Neil L. Rudenstine made the announcement to Business School faculty at a regularly scheduled meeting yesterday afternoon. The meeting had been innocuously billed as an opportunity to "re-introduce" President Neil L. Rudenstine's to the school's faculty.

Instead, McArthur, with Rudenstine by his side, dropped a bombshell. The pair announced a few minutes into the meeting that the dean was leaving. The faculty then gave McArthur a 10-minute standing ovation, according to those present.

Business School students found out as the news spread quickly across this school's Allston campus yesterday afternoon. McArthur said students would be told of the decision in a letter he and Rudenstine wrote to students yesterday.

In an interview yesterday in the plush sitting room of the Dean's House, McArthur, 60, said he will leave "when the new dean is ready to start." McArthur, who lives in Wayland, is the first dean in the school's 87-year-old history not to live in the mansion.


"I've had 15 years to do anything," McArthur said. "Now what I ought to do is get out of the way."

McArthur said he hopes that a successor will be in place by the beginning of the University's next academic year.

Rudenstine added that September was the goal, though he said "[I] don't want a rigid dead-line."

The search committee has not yet been formed, but will be formed within a few days and will begin meeting within a few weeks, according to Rudenstine.

Rudenstine said a "advisory committee" will be set up to take suggestions for the search from the Board of the HBS Alumni Association, the Board of Directors of the Associates of the Business School and the school's visiting committee.

The president added that he as already written to "every person in the school...inviting them to write a personal, confidential letter on the direction for the school and any candidates they might want to suggest."

Rudenstine said that there will be no bias towards internal candidates when choosing the next dean,

"We'll look both out and in we always do" Rudenstine said. "I do not [have a bias]...I think we will take advice and look and see where it comes out."

McArthur said he will have no role is choosing his successor.

In a letter dated yesterday Rudenstine wrotethat he would be losing a "friend, counselor andcolleague." And he continued to laud McArthur atthe joint press appearance yesterday.

"Personally, there is just a tremendous amountof wisdom sitting on my right, just a whole lot don't run the Harvard BusinessSchool for 15 years without being absolutelyextraordinary," Rudenstine said. "Its a moment topay tribute to the kind of career that does nothappen very often in any walk of life andcertainly not among academic deans."