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IIT alumnus named Dean of Cornell's business school

January 10, 2012 12:05 IST

IIT-Delhi alumnus Soumitra Dutta has been named the new Dean of the Ivy league Cornell University's business school, joining a growing list of noted Indian-origin academicians assuming leaderships roles at prestigious global universities.

Dutta, 48, is the first Indian-origin dean at the 66-year old Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. He will become the 11th dean of the New York-based Cornell University's business school when he begins his renewable five-year term on July 1.

He is currently a professor of business and technology and founder and faculty director of a new-media and technology innovation lab at INSEAD's French campus, where he has been for more than 20 years.

Johnson becomes the first major business school in the United States to hire a dean from a business school outside the country.

Cornell President David Skortan termed Dutta's appointment as a "natural fit" with Johnson's increasingly global outlook.

Dutta "has expertise in new and emerging media, he has studied the conditions that promote innovation and he has extensive experience on the international stage. Among other qualities, these prepare him well to oversee the education of our next-generation business leaders and entrepreneurs," Skortan said.

The University's Provost Kent Fuchs said Cornell used recruiting firm Spencer Stuart and a 12-person search committee comprising alumni, students and administrators to select the new dean.

Dutta emerged the winner out of the two finalists. Dutta received his Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology and did his Master's in business administration, computer science and a PhD in computer science from the University of California-Berkeley.

"This appointment is an exciting opportunity for me, in part because of Johnson's commitment to global perspectives, entrepreneurship and innovation, and business sustainability, but also because as an early adopter of approaches such as performance learning, the school itself exemplifies innovative thinking in business," Dutta said.

Indian-origin academicians are increasingly being named at the helm of prestigious universities in the US. In 2010, Harvard Business School named as its Dean Nitin Nohria, who became the first Indian-origin head of the top ranking business school. In the same year University of Chicago's Booth School of  Business had named Stanford University professor Sunil Kumar as its Dean.

Cornell University recently won Mayor Michael Bloomberg's competition to open a USD 100 million New York City engineering and applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island in partnership with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Yoshita Singh in New York
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