Professor Kenneth Freeman to Step Down as Dean of the Questrom School of Business; Formation of the Dean Search Advisory Committee

November 15th, 2017

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Kenneth Freeman, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of the Questrom School of Business, has announced that he plans to step down from his leadership role in the Questrom School of Business in June 2018. Dean Freeman has served with distinction during his nearly eight-year tenure, including presiding over the transformative gift by BU Trustee Allen Questrom (Questrom’64, Hon’15), his wife Kelli (Hon’15), and the Allen and Kelli Questrom Foundation that led to naming the Questrom School of Business in 2015.

Under Dean Freeman’s leadership, the Questrom School of Business has transformed its undergraduate and MBA programs to include emphasis on ethics and global citizenship and has strengthened its research and curricular efforts in three key segments of the global economy: health and life sciences, digital technology, and sustainability and social enterprise. During his time as dean, undergraduate student enrollment in the Questrom School of Business has grown by nearly 30%, and he has overseen significant curricular revisions in response to changing student and employer needs.

He has led the expansion of graduate offerings in Mathematical Finance, Management Studies, and Digital Innovation and the development of innovative MOOCs (massive open online courses) in digital product management and digital leadership on the edX platform called Questrom Digital, enabling students from around the world to earn a MicroMasters credential. Enrollment in the full-time MBA and professional evening MBA programs has expanded during a period of intense competitive pressure regionally and nationally. Dean Freeman has led a significant effort to create an inclusive and collaborative culture among students, faculty, and staff grounded in transparency and accessibility. He has also spearheaded the development of plans to construct a graduate business education facility on Bay State Road adjacent to the Rafik B. Hariri Building.

Dean Freeman has been a leader in brokering crucial conversations about the future of business education, successfully engaging global thought-leaders from academia and industry and thousands of participants from around the world in the Questrom-hosted “Business Education Jam” in 2014. Regional Jams are currently underway to further refine and extend findings. Under his leadership, Questrom launched its first permanently endowed research institute – the Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy.

Dean Freeman has also shepherded the development of two emerging University-wide research institutes at the School: the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy. In addition, sixteen endowed professorships, the first permanently endowed faculty research funds, and more than fifty endowed scholarships and fellowships have been established. One of the oldest schools of business in the world, the Questrom School celebrated its 100th year in 2013, and Dean Freeman has been at the forefront of developing its reputation as an innovator in the rapidly changing landscape of business education.

Prior to joining Boston University as Dean in 2010, Dean Freeman had a four-decade long career in business. He began his career at Corning Incorporated in 1972, and joined Corning Clinical Laboratories in 1995. The company was spun off from Corning as Quest Diagnostics Incorporated soon thereafter. Dean Freeman led the dramatic turnaround of Quest Diagnostics as chairman and chief executive officer through 2004, transforming the company into the leading provider of diagnostic testing and services. In 2005, Dean Freeman joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), serving as a managing director and partner. In 2013, he was recognized as one of the 100 best-performing CEOs in the world.

Dean Freeman is a director of Laureate Education (NASDAQ: LAUR), a director and a former chairman of the Graduate Management Admission Council, a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Business Practices Council, and a director of the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSBA from Bucknell University, where he serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees. In the spring, we will hold an event to celebrate and honor Dean Freeman’s many contributions to Boston University and to the Questrom School of Business.

A national search is planned to identify the next Dean of the Questrom School of Business. The process for constituting a Dean Search Advisory Committee, outlined in the BU Faculty Handbook, specifies that: “the advisory committee shall consist of three faculty members elected by the faculty of the School for which a dean is to be selected, two faculty members elected by the Faculty Council from other Schools, and as many as three members designated by the provost.”

The faculty members who are appointed to serve on the Advisory Committee will have responsibility for directing the search effort and should be among our most thoughtful, engaged, and committed scholars, teachers, and leaders. Potential committee members should demonstrate the capacity to proactively attract and recruit outstanding candidates for the Questrom School deanship; the faculty most well positioned to carry out this work will be actively engaged in significant ways in their professional communities and within their academic disciplines. Please note that no member of the Advisory Committee may be considered for the position of Dean.

I am requesting that the faculty in the Questrom School organize internally to solicit nominations and to elect three faculty representatives to the Search Advisory Committee. Any individual who would have a role in overseeing the election within Questrom should neither wish to serve on the Dean Search Advisory Committee nor want to be a candidate for the Dean’s position. Accordingly, I have asked Senior Associate Dean Maria Anderson to organize the election to identify the Questrom representatives. I will hold a special meeting for the Questrom faculty on Friday, December 1, at 2:00 pm to discuss the search effort.

Boston University’s Faculty Council will also be sending an email communication to all members of the faculty on both campuses requesting nominations of candidates external to Questrom to fill the two elected seats on the Dean’s Search Advisory Committee. Nominations or expressions of interest can be sent to the Faculty Council (fafc@bu.edu). Please note that membership on the Faculty Council itself is not an eligibility requirement for election to the Search Advisory Committee by the Faculty Council. I request submission of the results of both of these elections by Monday, December 11, 2017. Following receipt, I will appoint additional members so that the Committee will be assembled and prepared to begin its work immediately.

The Questrom Dean Search Advisory Committee will be charged with responsibility for:

  • Proposing refinements to the initial position description;
  • Actively soliciting nominations for candidates from appropriate sources within the University and nationally;
  • Actively recruiting outstanding candidates who have a record of administrative leadership and achievement and an academic profile suitable for appointment at the level of professor at Boston University;
  • Evaluating the qualifications and assessing the strength of nominees and applicants;
  • Consulting with the faculty of Questrom and other school and university stakeholders on finalists; and
  • Recommending the names of 3-5 qualified candidates to me, outlining the strengths and limitations of each, for final selection by the President and me, with approval by the Board of Trustees.

The members of the Questrom Dean Search Advisory Committee should not vote as part of its process and deliberations. Rather, the work should be accomplished by discussion and consensus. Ideally, the committee will conclude its work and submit its recommendations no later than Friday, May 25, 2018.

Please join me in thanking Ken Freeman for his service to Boston University and to the Questrom School of Business. The formal appointment of the Dean Search Advisory Committee for Questrom is forthcoming and I appreciate your contributions to and support of the search effort.

Professor Kenneth Freeman to Step Down as Dean of the Questrom School of Business – 11.15.17

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