Trouble viewing? Open in web browser.

Journalist Resources Stanford News Stanford Experts Contact Us
Stanford University homepage

News Service

September 25, 2008

Robert Joss to step down as Stanford Business School dean

Robert L. Joss, dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, announced today that he will step down at the end of the current academic year. Joss will have served 10 years as dean.

Joss' major achievements include the development of a new MBA curriculum and groundbreaking of a new 360,000-square-foot, environmentally sustainable Business School campus scheduled to be completed in 2011.

"Bob Joss has led the Stanford Graduate School of Business in its evolution to become a 21st century business school," said university President John L. Hennessy. "The innovative vision for the Business School ranges from new curricula, to greater global impact, to cross-disciplinary collaboration with Stanford's other six schools. Under Bob's leadership, the impact of the Business School has been greatly magnified, and many generations of students from across the university will benefit. Bob has Stanford's deep gratitude for the contributions he has made."

During his tenure, the Business School added two new joint degrees - the MBA-MS Environment and Resources and MBA-MA Public Policy. In addition, faculty developed a new four-week Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship for non-business graduate students designed to help them understand business and startup needs. Also, under Joss' leadership, the Business School's endowment grew from $387 million in 1999 to more than $1 billion in 2008.

A $105 million gift from Nike founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, MBA '62, believed to be the largest gift ever to a business school, will serve as the naming gift for the new business school campus—The Knight Management Center.

"The end of this coming academic year will mark the end of my second five-year term appointment," Joss, 67, wrote in an e-mail letter to faculty, staff, students and alumni. "I remember so well when our third dean, Ernie Arbuckle, finished his term in 1968, saying it was good for the individual and the institution to "re-pot" every 10 years - allowing new leadership, energy, and innovation to emerge. I could not say it any better than Ernie."

Joss added that over the next year he will be actively engaged with faculty recruiting, curriculum innovation, alumni engagement and the Stanford Challenge. He plans to remain as chair of the Business School's campaign steering committee after becoming dean emeritus.

A search committee, chaired by Provost John Etchemendy, will begin the process of finding Joss' successor later this fall.

Joss was no stranger to the Business School when he took the deanship in 1999. He was a part of what is now the Sloan Master's Program, and earned his MBA in 1967 before receiving his PhD in 1970. He went on from Stanford to work in Washington, D.C. as a White House Fellow and deputy to the assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury department before joining Wells Fargo Bank in 1971. He held a variety of posts at the financial institution, rising to vice chairman in 1985. He left Wells Fargo to become CEO and managing director of Australia's Westpac Banking Corporation in 1993.

"Back in 1999, I never could have imagined how much we would have accomplished through the creativity of our faculty, staff and alumni," said Joss. "I believe we are at a defining moment in the school's history. When future generations look back on this first decade of the century, I hope they will see that we laid the foundation for teaching and learning for the increasingly fast-paced and integrated global economy and for the team-based, cross-cultural nature of management that will characterize the years ahead."



Barbara Buell at 650 723-1771 or


Update your subscription

  • Email:
  • Phone: (650) 723-2558

More Stanford coverage

Facebook Twitter iTunes YouTube Futurity RSS

Journalist Resources Stanford News Stanford Experts Contact Us

© Stanford University. Stanford, California 94305. (650) 723-2300.