Idalene “Idie” Kesner, an associate dean and professor of management at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, will become the school’s next dean pending approval by the board of trustees, it was announced Thursday.
Kesner has served as interim dean since October, after Dan Smith left to become president of the IU Foundation, the school’s fundraising arm. She will be the first woman to lead the school, and one of only a small handful of female business school deans in the United States. Lauren Robel, IU executive vice president and provost of the Bloomington campus, said she will recommend Kesner to the trustees at the board’s June 20-21 meeting.
Kesner’s appointment comes at the end of an exhaustive national search. University President Michael McRobbie said in a statement that Kesner was “a clear and compelling choice” for the job, citing her accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, and leader during her 18 years at the school.
Kelley’s full-time MBA program, which Kesner chaired from 2003 to 2006, is currently ranked No. 15 by Bloomberg Businessweek . Like many top programs, Kelley’s suffered a steep decline in applications last year. Kelley has about 5,600 full-time graduate and undergraduate students on the Bloomington campus, 1,600 in Indianapolis, and nearly 1,000 in it’s Kelley Direct online MBA program.
Kesner joins a small cadre of female business school deans, including those from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.