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Urban to step down as Sloan dean

Glen Urban, dean of the Sloan School of Management, announced Monday that he will complete his five-year term as dean on July 1 and return to teaching and research.

"Under Glen Urban's direction, the Sloan School has launched a number of innovative programs, strengthened its international programs particularly in Asia, forged stronger links with all five schools at MIT, and fortified MIT's leading role in entrepreneurship," said President Charles M. Vest. "His direction has secured Sloan's position as one of the best business schools in the world, well-prepared to meet the management challenges of the 21st century. I am grateful for Glen's leadership and look forward to working with him in new capacities in the future."

Provost Joel Moses said Dean Urban "has been an outstanding leader and manager who set ambitious goals and achieved them. His vision and drive have boosted the MBA population by more than a third, doubled applications, expanded the faculty, and dramatically increased the school's organizational efficiency."

Professor Urban, 57, was named dean in 1993. He has been a member of the Sloan School faculty since 1966 and served as deputy dean from 1987-91. In the next few weeks, President Vest and Provost Moses will appoint a search committee to recommend a successor.

"The past five years have been exhilarating and satisfying for me personally and professionally," Professor Urban said. "The quality of Sloan's faculty, staff and student body is a great source of pride. But I see management as a relay race, not a marathon, and the time is right for me to pass the baton. Building on the initiatives of the past five years, a new leader can take the school to even higher levels of excellence."

A prize-winning researcher, Professor Urban plans to take a sabbatical year to write and focus on his research in the rapidly developing field of Web-based marketing. After the sabbatical, he will return to teach at Sloan, develop a course in creativity and innovation, and continue his research in Web marketing and new product development.

During Professor Urban's tenure as dean, the Sloan School has implemented a new MBA core curriculum, opened the first fully equipped trading room built on a university campus to allow students to study complex financial markets first-hand, and established and expanded the MIT Entrepreneurship Center.

He also worked with the School of Engineering to pioneer a joint degree program in System Design and Management. The joint program, which takes advantage of technology for distance learning, is a new partnership among industry, government and the Institute to educate technically grounded leaders of 21st-century enterprises. This past fall, Sloan launched two international MBA programs in collaboration with China's top universities, Fudan and Tsinghua.

Another way Professor Urban brought his creativity and individual style to Sloan was through the opening of a Dean's Gallery on the fourth floor of the Sloan School in 1994. The gallery is designed to showcase the diverse creative talents found both within the MIT community and New England.

Dean Urban earned the BS in mechanical engineering and the MBA from the University of Wisconsin, and the PhD in marketing from Northwestern University. He is co-author of five books, including Design and Marketing of New Products, Advanced Marketing Strategy, Essentials of New Product Management and Management Science in Marketing. He co-founded three companies and founded another two, most recently InSite Marketing Technology, an electronic commerce firm that develops tools to market on the Internet.

His research papers have won several prestigious awards, including two O'Dells -- in 1963 and 1986 -- for the best papers published in marketing research. In 1996, he received the American Marketing Association's Paul D. Converse Award for outstanding lifelong contributions to the development of the science of marketing, and the Journal of Marketing award for best paper.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 4, 1998.

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