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BYU graduate Alison Davis-Blake is first female dean of University of Michigan business school

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 22 2011 12:12 p.m. MST

A BYU graduate was recently tabbed to head the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business .

Alison Davis-Blake, who graduated from BYU with a bachelor's in economics in 1979, then later returned to get a master's degree in organizational behavior in 1982, will be the firstfirst female dean in the school's 87-year-history.

Davis-Blake is part of a small — but growing — group of women who lead business schools. Data from the 2009-2010 school year show that women comprise 17.6 percent of all deans of business schools accredited by the Association to Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Currently, Davis-Blake is the dean of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management and has also been an associate dean at the University of Texas' McCombs School of Business. She will begin her new deanship in August.

A school's first female appointment to the dean's office is bound to grab headlines, just as Davis-Blake did in 2006 when she was appointed to the Carlson School of Management, and as Patricia Flynn did in the early 1990s when her appointment to Bentley University's Graduate School of Business made her only the sixth woman to be a dean in the country at that time.

Alison Damast, a writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, talked with Flynn about the experience of going from a quiet economics professor to an academic celebrity.

In 2007, Davis-Blake, who also holds a Ph.D. from Stanford, was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from BYU's Marriott School's William G. Dyer Institute for Leading Organizational Change.

— Sara Israelsen-Hartley

BYU's Marriott School's William G. Dyer Institute for Leading Organizational Change.

sisraelsen@desnews.com

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