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Eppinger named MIT Sloan interim dean, deputy deans appointed

In a pair of announcements today, Steven D. Eppinger was named the interim dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management and Professors JoAnne Yates and S.P. Kothari were named as the school's interim deputy deans. Additionally, Professors Roberto Fernandez and Robert S. Pindyck will serve as the heads of the school's behavior and policy sciences and economics, finance and accounting areas, respectively, for the coming academic year. All five appointments are effective July 1.

In an announcement to MIT faculty and staff, Provost L. Rafael Reif noted that as interim dean, Eppinger, currently one of the school's two deputy deans, would "ensure continued strong leadership during this exciting period in the School's development." Eppinger, whom Reif called "respected for both intellectual and administrative leadership," is the General Motors Leaders for Manufacturing Professor of Management and a Professor of Engineering Systems in MIT's Engineering Systems Division. He served as faculty co-director of the Leaders for Manufacturing and System Design and Management Programs from 2001 to 2003 and as co-director of the Center for Innovation in Product Development from 1999 to 2001.

Eppinger received S.B., S.M. and Sc.D. degrees from MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering before joining the MIT Sloan faculty in 1988. His educational initiatives have included the creation of an interdisciplinary product development course in which graduate students from engineering, management and industrial design programs collaborate to develop new products; he also teaches product development in MIT Sloan's executive programs.

Reif noted that the May 15 groundbreaking for the school's new facilities had provided "a fitting capstone" to nine years of service by Professor Richard Schmalensee, who announced in September his intention to step down at the end of the academic year as the school's John C Head III Dean. A faculty search advisory committee and external advisory committee are continuing their wide-ranging search to identify the next dean, and an appointment is expected in the next few months.

Shortly after Reif's announcement, Eppinger announced to the MIT Sloan community the appointments of Yates, Kothari, Fernandez and Pindyck to their new roles. As deputy deans, Yates, the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and an expert on communication and technology use in organizations, will have responsibility for the school's degree programs, while Kothari, the Gordon Y Billard Professor of Management and an expert on financial reporting and capital markets, will work on faculty issues, including hiring, promotion, mentoring and research. Eppinger noted that it had been a privilege to work closely with Paul Osterman, the Nanyang Technological University Professor of Human Resources and Management, who is stepping down as deputy dean after serving in that role since 2003. Eppinger will continue to oversee executive programs, while Senior Associate Dean Alan F. White will retain oversight of international initiatives.

Fernandez is the William F. Pounds Professor of Management and an expert in organizational behavior and social networks. Pindyck is the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Professor of Economics and Finance and an expert in investment decisions. The school's management science area will continue to be led by John R. Hauser, the Kirin Professor of Marketing.

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