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Dean to Conclude Service in Fall

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Message to Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Friends:

I am writing to inform you that effective October 16, 2010 I will transition from my role as Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business and become the President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

Serving as dean of the Wisconsin School of Business for the past 8+ years has truly been an incredible experience. Thanks to the tremendous support of our students, faculty and staff and the outstanding commitment of our alumni and friends, we have made substantial progress in the quality of our programs, people, facilities, and financial resources during a period of time when many institutions have retrenched. I am proud to have been part of what we have accomplished  together.

While I have enjoyed many aspects of my work here as dean, nothing has given me greater satisfaction than engaging alumni and friends in support of our mission in many new and different ways-through our advisory boards, as guest speakers and mentors, and in providing financial support to our school. The support alumni and friends have provided for our MBA centers, faculty chairs, the new wing of Grainger Hall, the growing annual fund, and our unprecedented Wisconsin Naming Gift have been among the highlights of my time here. My new role will enable me to focus more energy on facilitating support on behalf of the entire university.

The UW Foundation is widely recognized as one of the leading public university foundations in the nation, and its role in the university's future will only become more vital at this time of global economic uncertainty and challenging state fiscal conditions. I look forward to building on their proud traditions and am fortunate to start with a deep understanding of the university itself and extensive relationships with alumni, friends, and corporate partners throughout the state and beyond. We are involved in a very worthy endeavor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and it is a great honor to take on a key role in harnessing support for all that we do here.

I am very pleased to announce that our Vice Dean, Joan Schmit, will serve as the school's interim dean. Chancellor Martin will issue an announcement soon detailing plans for the international search for the next Albert O. Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business. I am confident that the school is poised for further progress in important areas and that Dean Schmit will provide the principled and dedicated leadership needed to keep the school moving forward over the next year. Dean Schmit has played such a prominent leadership role in all aspects of the school that it would be inaccurate to view this year as a transition; it will most definitely be a year of continued progress.

Thank you for all you have done to build a better business school for our many stakeholders. I look forward to assisting you in achieving even higher aspirations in the future. As you can imagine, I feel very fortunate to have found a second great opportunity to work on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On, Wisconsin!

Michael M. Knetter
Albert O. Nicholas Dean
Wisconsin School of Business