Spring/Summer 2008

In Brief

Professor and Former Acting Dean Richard Lyons Named 14th Dean of Haas School of Business

Richard K. Lyons, the chief learning officer of Goldman Sachs and a former acting dean of the Haas School, has been selected to lead the school as its fourteenth dean.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced the selection of Lyons, 47, to the Haas School community on June 19, following a national search. Lyons commenced his post on July 7, succeeding Dean Tom Campbell.

"I am thrilled that our dear friend and colleague Rich Lyons has been named the new dean of the Haas School," Campbell said. "Rich served as dean during my leave as finance director for the state of California. He did an outstanding job then, and I know he will be a truly extraordinary leader for our school in the future."

Lyons held the acting dean position from 2004 to 2005 while Campbell served as finance director under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lyons also held the Sylvan Coleman Professorship in Finance and served as executive associate dean from 2005 to 2006, when he joined Goldman Sachs. Lyons graduated with highest honors from the undergraduate business program at UC Berkeley in 1982.

"Just imagine getting the opportunity to come home to your alma mater, in the same department no less, and serve in this way. My wife, Jen, and I couldn't be more excited," said Lyons, who joined the Haas School faculty in 1993.

As dean, Lyons will oversee the Haas School's efforts to expand its faculty to its largest size ever. He also will work on continuing to enhance student services and improve the school's curriculum; build the endowment; and develop a plan for a new building. He is taking the helm of a business school that has grown to 2,200 students in six degree programs and more than 35,000 alumni.

Lyons says he will continue to sharpen the school's strategic positioning, which he spearheaded as executive associate dean. As chief architect of the new strategy, Lyons built a strong consensus within the Haas School community and helped begin implementing new initiatives to make it a reality.

As chief learning officer of Goldman Sachs, Lyons' main responsibility was directing a part of Goldman Sachs called Pine Street, the group charged with developing leadership among the firm's managing directors and partners. "Goldman Sachs is known for attracting and developing leaders, many of whom have gone on to public service or to run other firms," Lyons said. He cited several examples, including US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in the public sector, as well as John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch, and Duncan Niederauer, CEO of New York Stock Exchange Euronext, in the private sector.

"I learned that you can't overestimate the importance of great people in building great firms. And that's the business we're in here at Haas," Lyons said. "I'm also fortunate to have experienced where the leadership 'puck' is going. Haas, with its broad-based strengths, is in an excellent position to skate toward it."

Among academic peers, Lyons is best known for his pioneering work in international finance and foreign exchange. His book, The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates, published by MIT Press in 2001, broke away from the tradition of analyzing exchange rates using a macroeconomic approach. Instead, Lyons focused on the economics of financial information and how conceptual frameworks within a field called microstructure finance help to clarify the types of information most relevant to exchange rates. His book offered new insights on how puzzling exchange rate behavior can be explained.

"Rich has been an outstanding contributor on all three of the usual dimensions of faculty performance: research, teaching, and service," said Jim Lincoln, outgoing associate dean for academic affairs and a member of the dean search committee. "His impeccable credentials as researcher and teacher, combined with his successful past track record as associate and interim dean, will serve him extremely well in taking Haas to the next level of business school excellence."

Known as both a tough grader and as one of the most popular teachers on campus, Lyons was awarded the Haas School's Teacher-of-the-Year Award (Cheit Award) six times by his students in the Full-time MBA, Evening & Weekend MBA, and Master's in Financial Engineering programs. In 1998, UC Berkeley honored him with the highest teaching honor on campus, the Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award. In his nomination for the Berkeley award, one student wrote, "If he were teaching a course on the history of the cucumber, I would take it."

Before joining Haas, Lyons was a faculty member at Columbia University's business school from 1987 to 1993, first as assistant and then as associate professor. Prior to Columbia, he worked as an intern at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board and as a research assistant for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. After graduating from Berkeley's undergraduate business program, he worked as a research analyst for SRI International in Menlo Park.

Lyons has been granted several National Science Foundation Awards, including a graduate fellowship from 1984 until 1987, the period when he earned his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Lyons has consulted with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank, and Citibank. He has served as a director for Barclays Global Investors iShares and as chairman of the board of Matthews Asian Funds. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Toulouse, France; Stockholm University, Sweden; London School of Economics, UK; Foundation for Advanced Information and Research, Japan; and the University of Aix-Marseille, France.

In addition to being fluent in French, Lyons is a talented musician who holds several musical copyrights. Between classes, he has accompanied students' Challenge for Charity fundraising efforts on his guitar and was a regular participant in the campaign's annual talent show.

"Rich enjoyed the support and adoration of the student body and specifically the student leaders during his time here, and that support never wavered during the dean search process," said Clifford Dank, MBA 08, president of the Haas School MBA Association and a member of the dean search committee. "Haas is so lucky to be able to welcome Rich home. His energy and student-focused approach will benefit Haas both immediately and for years to come."

Haas School Deans

1898 - 1916 Carl Copping Plehn

1916 - 1920 Henry Rand Hatfield

1920 - 1927 Stuart Daggett

1928 - 1937 Henry Francis Grady

1934 - 1936 E.T. Grether, acting dean

1937 - 1941 Robert Calkins

1941 - 1961 E.T. Grether

1961 - 1966 John W. Cowee

1966 - 1976 Richard Holton

1976 - 1982 Earl F. Cheit

1982 - 1990 Raymond Miles

1990 - 1991 Earl F. Cheit, acting dean

1991 - 1998 William A. Hasler

1998 - 2001 Laura D'Andrea Tyson

Spring 2002 Benjamin E. Hermalin, interim dean

2002 - 2004 Thomas J. Campbell

2004 - 2005 Richard Lyons, acting dean

2005 - 2008 Thomas J. Campbell

2008 Richard Lyons



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Dean Richard Lyons

Newly appointed Dean Richard Lyons began his new post at the Haas School on July 7.