Erika Hayes James To Lead Emory Business School

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A female, African-American Ph.D. will become Emory’s Goizueta Business School next dean — a first in school history and a first among top business school programs.

Erika Hayes James, a former senior associate dean for executive education at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, will assume her new role at Emory on July 15. James earned her Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and built a career by connecting her knowledge of organizational psychology with executive leadership. She also has served as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies, according to the Emory announcement.

While three minority women are currently deans at American colleges of business, James will be the first to lead a full-time MBA program at a top-25 business school, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The full-time MBA program at Goizueta is ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek for job placement. Four of the school’s degree programs rank in the top 25.

Claire Sterk, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory, made it clear that James’ race and gender were not driving factors in the school’s hiring decision. Breaking a glass ceiling of sorts by bringing her into the top business school role is just a bonus, she said.

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