Golden Age

In an extraordinary 14 years as dean, Jim Jiambalvo has led the Foster School into the global elite

It usually takes the expansive scope of history to determine a “golden age.”

Yet it sure seems like the Michael G. Foster School of Business is in the heart of one right now.

The past 14 years has been a remarkable time by any measure. To wit, the infusion of more than $400 million in philanthropy from legions of generous donors. The construction of PACCAR and Dempsey Halls, to be followed soon by Founders Hall. Expanded centers, programs and initiatives. Six new master’s degree offerings. A measurable elevation of student and faculty caliber.  Strategic partnerships with the prime engines of Seattle’s economic boom. Best-in-class career management. An historic rise in the rankings.

But every golden age needs a catalyst, a champion. For Foster, Dean Jim Jiambalvo has been the person with the Midas touch.

To a fault, he prefers to distribute credit far and wide for the Foster School’s considerable achievements. “Great faculty, great staff, great students,” he repeats, like a mantra. “Great alumni, great donors, great corporate partners.”

Yet no one doubts that these successes would not have been possible without Jiambalvo’s essential, authentic leadership.

Now it’s time to pass the torch. As he approaches the end of his tenure as dean June 30, look for a series of retrospective articles over the coming days. The series continues with The Jiambalvo Effect on every facet of Foster (June 25), Jim’s reflections on a Heckuva Run at the helm of the most productive era in school history (June 26), a 360 Review of his tenure by alumni, advisors and faculty (June 27), and Jim’s own final thoughts on some big upcoming Transitions as he turns over the keys to Frank Hodge and returns to the Department of Accounting faculty after some well-deserved time off (June 28).