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Sally Blount to step down as Kellogg dean

Led Northwestern business school’s seven-year transformation, completing $365 million fundraising milestone
Sally Blount

EVANSTON - Sally Blount, dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the first woman to lead a top business school, will step down at the end of the 2017-18 academic year after solidifying Kellogg’s place among the world’s premier business schools, Provost Jonathan Holloway announced today.

"Since becoming dean in 2010, Sally Blount has been a bold leader for Kellogg and an inspirational trailblazer in business education and beyond. She has expanded Kellogg’s global reach and reputation and laid a strong foundation for its future,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro.

Blount’s announcement, see video here, coincides with the successful completion of Envision Kellogg, the strategic plan she initiated in 2010.

“Under Sally Blount’s leadership, the school launched and recently completed a seven-year plan to transform Kellogg and the future of business education, including the construction and opening of a new state-of-the-art home for the school, reshaping its degree portfolio, recruiting dynamic faculty and staff, and setting records for fundraising and alumni engagement,” Holloway said. “We have appreciated her exceptional service, her collaborative approach and her dynamic stewardship of Kellogg and are excited to have her leading the school for one more year.”

Blount is also the Nemmers Professor of Management and Organizations at Kellogg, where she plans to rejoin the Northwestern faculty after a one-year sabbatical during the 2018-2019 academic year. Next summer will mark 30 years since she joined the Kellogg community as a graduate student. After completing her master’s degree and Ph.D. at Kellogg, she joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she served for nearly a decade. Prior to becoming dean of Kellogg in 2010, Blount served as dean of New York University’s Stern Undergraduate College of Business and special advisor to NYU’s president and provost for global integration.

“By expanding our global reputation, we have succeeded in securing our place as a destination for the world’s best students and faculty. As Kellogg enters a new era, it is an ideal time for me to step aside and allow a new leader to take the reins,” Blount said. “In the year ahead, I am laser-focused on supporting Kellogg through this transition and working with Provost Holloway, the University and the Kellogg team to ensure that the upward trajectory continues. It has been my privilege to be dean and part of this innovative and entrepreneurial institution.”

During Blount’s tenure, Kellogg launched four strategic initiatives that spurred new levels of cross-disciplinary innovation, research and teaching, strengthened its distinctive brand and culture and expanded the school’s premier executive MBA program by developing a new partnership with Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, enhancing Kellogg’s international standing. In addition, the school’s $350 million Transforming Together campaign set new fundraising records for Kellogg, exceeding its goal by more than $15 million.

A crowning achievement earlier this year was the opening of the Kellogg Global Hub, for which Blount led the fundraising, oversaw the design and guided the move-in. The stunning 415,000-square-foot lakefront building on Northwestern’s Evanston campus provides a multitude of collaborative spaces, two atriums, flexible classrooms, faculty offices and conference space, all of which enhance Kellogg’s strong academic and professional programs.

Dean Blount has been a director of Abbott Laboratories since 2012 and has recently been appointed to the board of the Joyce Foundation. She also sits on the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Chicago as well as on several advisory boards for international business schools affiliated with Kellogg.

Holloway will oversee an international search to select Blount’s successor during the coming academic year.