SMG and SHA Deans to Retire
Louis Lataif elevated and improved SMG; James Stamas led SHA expansion| From Commonwealth | By Art Jahnke
In the slide show above, revisit SMG Dean Louis Lataif’s undergraduate years at BU.
Louis Lataif, former top Ford Motor Company executive and dean of the School of Management for eighteen years of climbing enrollment and ratings, will retire at the end of the 2009–2010 academic year. Lataif, the school’s first Allen Questrom Professor and Dean, says he is stepping down to allow the appointment of a new dean who can provide continuity as the school moves into a multiyear capital campaign.
“I am thrilled to have been a part of the school’s transformation, particularly curricular reforms that fuse the art, science, and technology of business,” says Lataif (SMG’61, Hon.’90).
Lataif first came to BU as an undergraduate in the fall of 1957. In 1961, he was chosen as the University’s 1960–1961 “Man of the Year.”
After a twenty-seven-year career with Ford Motor Company, where he became Ford’s youngest corporate vice president in 1981, vice president of North American sales operations in 1986, and president of Ford of Europe in 1988, he returned to the University as SMG dean.
During Lataif’s tenure, the number of undergraduate applications to SMG soared, from 1,943 in 1991 to 4,305 for this year’s class, and average SAT scores of accepted students rose more than 200 points. The year before his arrival, the school was not even ranked by Business Week. This year, the publication placed the school’s offerings among the top forty-five full-time M.B.A. programs in the United States. Under Lataif’s deanship, the University built what was at the time the largest school of business building project — 595 Commonwealth Avenue — and the most technologically advanced business school of its day.
Stamas To Step Down August 31, 2010
James Stamas meant to retire more than a decade ago.
After a long and successful career with two major hotel chains, Stamas left his position as senior vice president with Omni Hotels to become an industry consultant. Then BU’s School of Hospitality Administration — at the time a subsidiary program in Metropolitan College — came calling, asking him to chair the advisory board, and then in 1995, to become the school’s first dean.
He agreed, with three goals in mind: increase the number of students, make SHA its own school, and build a new facility.
“I told them I’d be here for three years,” Stamas jokes. “In my arrogance, I thought I could get everything done.”
The timeline extended, but Stamas, who announced his retirement in September, has checked everything off his list. The student population has doubled to more than 400, SHA is one of BU’s independent schools and colleges, and a new classroom and office building opened in 2006, at 928 Commonwealth Avenue. In addition, he’s used his industry knowledge and connections to develop a curriculum that adjusts to industry needs and offers students work experience as soon as they arrive.
“I feel good about where the school is, and I feel good about what we’ve accomplished,” says Stamas, who will leave BU on August 31, 2010.