Winter 2006

Feature Story

Professor and Alumnus Richard Lyons Takes the Helm of the Haas School

Richard Lyons, BS 82, associate dean for academic affairs, began his new role as dean of the Haas School of Business on December 1 and has been hard at work meeting alumni and stakeholders of the school and laying vigorous plans for the school's advancement.

Lyons was appointed acting dean by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau after Dean Tom Campbell went on leave to become California's director of finance.

Lyons holds the Sylvan Coleman Chair in Finance at the Haas School and is an alumnus of its undergraduate program. As associate dean, he directed the hiring of new faculty, negotiated faculty promotions before campus, and oversaw the school's research activities. He joined the faculty in 1993

"How fortunate we are to have in Rich Lyons someone of such skill and experience to head the Haas School as acting dean," said Birgeneau in making the announcement. "He knows the school well and assumes the job with the support and respect of Haas faculty and students."

Lyons has already started an all-out effort to meet members of the school's extended community. Over the next few months he plans to visit alumni and donors across the nation and will play an active role at upcoming Haas School events.

In addition he is advancing the vision set forth by his predecessor Tom Campbell. Top priorities include fundraising; increasing the size of the faculty; expanding the school's production of leading-edge research; continued improvement and innovation in the curriculum; enhancing the school's services for students; building the endowment; and planning for a new, second building. He presented the State of the School address to the Haas community on February 9.

"The opportunity to serve as acting dean is a great honor. I am grateful," said Lyons. "As an undergraduate product of Berkeley and its business school, I share the kind of deep appreciation for the place that I see in so many other members of the Haas community. The momentum that Dean Campbell has created, along so many lines, makes the opportunity even better. I look forward to working with everybody to maintain those lines of momentum, and, if we do our jobs right, create new ones as well."

Among academic peers, Lyons is best known for his seminal work in international finance and foreign exchange. His book, The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates, published by MIT Press in 2001, focuses on the economics of financial information and how conceptual frameworks help to clarify the types of information most relevant to exchange rates.

Known as both a tough grader and as one of the most popular teachers on campus, Lyons was awarded the school's Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching 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 its highest teaching honor on campus.

He is a talented musician, who holds several musical copyrights.

He received a Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987. From 1987 to 1993, he was on the faculty of Columbia Business School.

He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and associate editor of the Haas School's California Management Review and of the Journal of Financial Markets. He has consulted with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the European Commission. He is on the advisory board of the Economic Policy Review (NY Federal Reserve Bank), serves as a director/trustee for Barclays Global Investors' iShares, and is chairman of the board of Matthews Asian Funds.

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