The bittersweetness of transitions
Dean Rich Lyons, BS 82, speaking at Culture Day in February, which marked the eighth anniversary of the Defining Leadership Principles.
To have the opportunity to serve the institution that so transformed my own life has been a dream come true. When I arrived as a freshman in 1979, it was unimaginable that I could go on to join the faculty at Berkeley, much less serve as dean. Yet, Berkeley enables us to “be what we cannot see,” and does it again and again, for so many thousands of people. That Berkeley will be doing this long after any of us are still living is an important source of my confidence in the future.
Because of your support, we have a solid strategy and strong finances that will serve our school well in the years ahead. Our new Chou Hall, which is featured in this issue and is funded entirely by alumni gifts, will allow us to explore new programs and expand existing ones—a key element in ensuring our financial strength going forward. Our Defining Leadership Principles (DLPs) continue to set us sharply apart from peer institutions and are the #1 reason many applicants select Haas over other programs.
Codifying our DLPs with our community was an endeavor of great passion; but culture, like a garden, needs constant tending. Professor Jenny Chatman, PhD 88, and I co-wrote a case tracking the history of the DLPs and candidly assessing how to make them endure.
A second case is forthcoming that will clarify all that we have done this year to bolster ongoing support from us all.
For example, I’ve appointed a group of faculty, staff, and student Culture Champions to ensure our culture continues to thrive. Students in the Social Sector Solutions course are consulting to find ways that Haas can leverage the DLPs even further in the future. We’ve also launched the Haas Culture and Leadership Fund to sustain and expand the school’s culture efforts under future deans.
While often bittersweet, transitions are catalysts for growth. We can be proud of all we accomplished together these past 10 years. I look forward to the upcoming successes we’ll share as fellow members of the Berkeley Haas community. I cannot thank you enough for your support over these many years. It’s the greatest honor of my life to have served as your dean.
Haas welcomes new director of diversity and inclusion
Berkeley Haas Director of Diversity and Inclusion Élida Bautista
It was a chance friendship with a Taiwanese girl who offered to share her elementary school bus seat that gave Élida Bautista, incoming director of diversity and inclusion for Berkeley Haas, her first experience of “otherness.”
“My friend was a Buddhist, and she was the first person I was aware of who didn’t believe in a Christian god,” says Bautista, one of five siblings in a Mexican family who grew up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago. “Until then, everyone in my world was a Catholic.”
After that day, Bautista says she stopped assuming things about people—and her life became an exploration of culture, language, food, and games of her classmates, who hailed from a wide range of countries from Korea to Greece.
Bautista comes to Haas from UCSF’s Department of Psychiatry, where she spent 15 years developing programs focused on social justice, diversity, and inclusion.
At Haas, she will set schoolwide strategy for inclusion, diversity, and equity-related efforts focused on students, equipping them to lead in diverse workplaces. She’ll also support students, faculty, and staff to build an inclusive school environment.
“A climate that supports and values everyone is the climate that will continue to attract the best students to Haas,” she says.
First female Fed chair oversaw economic growth, drop in unemployment
Berkeley Haas Prof. Emeritus Janet Yellen
Leadership of the Fed has been called the world’s most powerful economic job. The nation’s central bank decides interest rates that are critical in determining how fast the economy can grow, how readily jobs are available, and how quickly prices rise. Many economists believe Haas Prof. Emeritus Janet Yellen, who retired in early February, performed the job more effectively in her four-year tenure than any previous Fed chief.
Under Yellen’s guiding hand, unemployment fell steadily, from 6.7 percent at the beginning of her term to 4.1 percent when she left. Inflation stayed low even as the economy built up a head of steam. Financial markets also went on a tear, sending stock prices to new levels.
It fell to Yellen to wean the economy from an extraordinary stimulus program initiated a decade ago by her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, during the country’s recession. Move too fast and the recovery could sputter. Go too slow and a dangerous bout of inflation could take hold.
Yellen chose to keep rates rock bottom far longer than conventional wisdom considered safe, presiding over just small increases in the Fed’s benchmark interest rate. Her genius was to recognize that the rules of the past no longer applied. The evolution of the global economy meant that much lower interest rates could be tolerated without triggering inflation.
Yellen will now serve as a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. The new Fed chair, Jerome Powell, is expected to closely follow the course Yellen set.
New Alumni Council Leaders Aim to strengthen Haas Network
Francesco Rockwood, MBA 93, and Emily Walling, MBA 08
As leaders of the Berkeley Haas Alumni Council, Chair Emily Walling, MBA 08, and Vice-Chair Francesco “Frank” Rockwood, MBA 93, are dedicated to deepening alumni involvement with the Berkeley Haas Alumni Network.
“I benefit from my experience at Haas every day,” says Walling, the head of brand at life insurance tech startup Ladder. “I would love to ensure that the majority of our graduates feel as passionately about Berkeley Haas today as they did 5, 10, 25, or 50 years ago as students.” She aspires to increase attendance at events, promote career services, and boost Haas Fund support.
Rockwood, president and co-founder of real estate services firm Rockwood Pacific, also wants to keep our Defining Leadership Principles “front and center” as Haas transitions to a new dean.
Both Walling and Rockwood are longtime Haas volunteers and encourage alumni to reach out with questions or concerns—and to complete the alumni engagement survey this fall. “Your voice and energy are needed and valued more than ever,” says Rockwood. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Berkeley Haas graduate programs have scored high in several recent rankings, one boosted by alumni salaries.
Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) rank nationwide, by QuantNet
MFE rank for employment outcome three months after graduation, by QuantNet
Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program rank, by U.S. News & World Report
Worldwide rank for the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program (FTMBA), by The Economist
FTMBA program rank, by U.S. News & World Report
Nationwide rank for FTMBA program, by the Financial Times, with a worldwide rank of #10—a jump from #13 thanks to strong alumni salaries
Among the highest-paid MBAs in the world, for the FTMBA Class of 2014, as per the Financial Times.