Wall Street Journal article, September 5, 2012. By MELISSA KORN
Rich Lyons, dean of University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, thinks a lot about numbers. He calculates degree programs' profit margins and seeks new ways to improve "applicant yield," or the proportion of admitted students who enroll. But Mr. Lyons wants his students to care about more than just math.
At Haas since 1993, excluding a short stint as chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Mr. Lyons became dean in 2008. After taking the helm he introduced four "defining principles"—question the status quo; confidence without attitude; students always; beyond yourself— to provide a more articulate message about the school's strategy, which he says goes far beyond teaching the business side of business.
Rich Lyons, the dean of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business "[Academically,] there is nothing we do that no other business school does," the dean says. It's the culture—one that prizes humility, creativity and curiosity—that sets Haas apart, he adds. Mr. Lyons, 51 years old, spoke with The Wall Street Journal about gaining financial independence from the university and the battle for student talent. Edited excerpts: