UVA Darden Taps Innovation Expert to Lead Degree Programs


By Dave Hendrick

Newswise — The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announced the appointment of Professor Jeanne Liedtka to the role of senior associate dean for degree programs.

Liedtka, who is United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration and has taught at Darden since 1990, will oversee all Darden degree programs and formats, helping move the School forward during a critical period for graduate business education globally. Her one-year term begins 1 July.

“Jeanne has already provided exceptional service as a scholar and teacher to Darden, the academy and industry during her distinguished career,” said Darden Dean Scott Beardsley. “This is a time of great momentum at the Darden School as we make continued progress toward our mission and ensure that Darden graduates are well-prepared for the future of work as responsible leaders. I’m confident Jeanne will help position the School for continued positive development.”

A strategist and leading thinker and expert in innovation, Liedtka is an authority on design thinking and its use to fuel innovation and organic growth. She has taught design thinking to more than 100,000 students and lifelong learners through Darden degree and nondegree programs and across the world through a series of popular online courses. Liedtka’s latest bookDesign Thinking for the Greater GoodInnovation in the Social Sector, explored the power of design thinking in nonprofit and purpose-driven organizations.

In 2017, Liedtka was a finalist for the Thinkers 50 Innovation Award, which recognized the thinker who has contributed the most to the understanding of innovation in recent years.

Liedtka has held a variety of leadership roles at the Darden School, previously serving as associate dean of the MBA program and executive director of the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In addition to her new role positioning the School for continued innovation and growth, Liedtka will lead a process to determine how Darden’s senior associate dean for degree programs role will be shaped for the future. She will also chair Darden’s MBA strategy committee, exploring new ways to meet the School’s mission through its degree programs.

“It’s a special time in Darden’s history, with a window of opportunity to think about the future of degree programs in ways that both honor our strengths and challenge us to consider how we might evolve to ensure we continue to prepare responsible business leaders for the workplaces of the future,” said Liedtka. “I look forward to leading an inclusive conversation with all of Darden’s stakeholders and potential collaborators as we position the School and its students to thrive amid the global leadership challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.”

Liedtka succeeds Professor Ron Wilcox, who will transition to the role of academic director of the Master of Science in business analytics (MSBA) program, which Darden delivers in partnership with the UVA McIntire School of Commerce. Wilcox’s three-year term included the launch of the MSBA program, partnerships with schools at UVA and outside the University to offer new dual-degree programs, and the expansion of the Executive MBA in the Washington, D.C., area, among other highlights.

Over the span of the past year, Darden has moved into the Top 10 in a pair of key rankings of global business schools, and in May received the largest gift in the School’s history, a donation delivering $82 million in impact that aims to position Darden as a preeminent provider of lifelong learning.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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