Berkeley Haas Dean Ann Harrison to Step Down

Under Harrison's leadership the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business made gains in diversity and sustainability — and also scored transformative donations.
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Published on May 24, 2024
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Ann E. Harrison, dean of the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business, will be stepping down on July 31, 2024. Photo by Noah Berger, courtesy of the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business.

  • Ann E. Harrison, dean of the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, will step down on July 31, 2024.
  • Harrison wants to spend more time with her New York-based family and also focus on her research, according to a school press release.
  • Harrison's leadership saw Berkeley Haas undertake new sustainability efforts and push for diversity and inclusion.
  • The business school also scored major donations under Harrison, including the largest single gift in school history.

The dean of the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business (Berkeley Haas) will step down at the end of July, capping a transformative tenure at one of the country's top business schools.

Ann E. Harrison has served as dean of Berkeley Haas since January 2019. She will remain on the faculty, according to a school press release.

What really motivates me both as a leader and soon-to-be faculty member are the transformational opportunities we provide for our students, staff, faculty, and alumni, Harrison said in the release. We provide opportunity for everyone, at a scale that is unequaled among the private schools. What a powerful mission.

Sustainability has been a focal point of Harrison's leadership. That includes the launch of a dual master's degree program in business and climate solutions with the Rausser College of Natural Resources, as well as a sustainability certificate and a summer minor in sustainable business and policy.

Sustainability has emerged as a top priority for students and employers alike in recent years — and Harrison has helped to infuse sustainability across Berkeley Haas programs during her tenure.

Katherine Baird, associate director of sustainability at Berkeley Haas, underscored the broad focus of sustainability across the business school in a previous interview with BestColleges.

When we talk about sustainability across (Berkeley) Haas, what we're not talking about is a kind of siloed topic area or issue or set of classes that a few students take, Baird said. What we're really seeing is it being an integral component of our business education.

That means that every student who comes to Haas graduates with some level of climate literacy and sustainability knowledge, Baird said.

Harrison also appointed Haas' first chief diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officer, according to the school press release.

In addition to that historic appointment, Harrison also orchestrated a major diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging (DEIJB) effort that broadened the profile of the school's faculty, board, and student body, and created learning opportunities and anti-bias training for the entire Haas community, according to the release.

Harrison's leadership at Haas also saw major fundraising wins. The school has raised $236 million since 2019, including the largest single gift in school history.

That $30 million gift from Haas alum Warren “Ned” Spieker and his wife, Carol, in 2022 expanded Haas' undergraduate business program from two to four years. The first four-year cohort of students will head to Haas in August 2024.

Berkeley Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Ben Hermalin will soon announce details about an interim dean appointment for Haas, according to the release, and hopes a dean search will get underway in early fall 2024.

For anyone who has had the pleasure of working with her, Ann is wonderful to partner with, Hermalin said. She is full of innovative ideas that go beyond Haas; hence, not only has she made Haas better, but she's also made the campus better. Her leadership will be sorely missed.

It has been an incredible honor and joy for me to serve as dean of Haas, Harrison said in a note to the Haas community. I am proud of what we have accomplished together.