Fletcher in the News

Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti on Indian-born Deans in America's Top Business Schools

Bhaskar Chakravorti is a Senior Associate Dean at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Eastern Promises

When Soumitra Dutta, a professor of business and technology at INSEAD in France, becomes the next dean of the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University later this year, he will join a growing list of Indian-born deans at the country’s top business schools. Dutta, who graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology and received his master's degree and doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, becomes the first dean of a major U.S. business school to be hired from outside the country, the university said.

Dutta’s Indian contemporaries include:

Nitin Nohria, dean of the Harvard Business School, who is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, and has a Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sunil Kumar, dean of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, who has a master of engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dipak C. Jain, the current dean of INSEAD (an influential French business school), who was the dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management until 2010. Jain is a graduate of Gauhati University from northeastern India and received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Other names include Jaishankar Ganesh at the Rutgers School of Business-Camden and G. (Anand) Anandalingam at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

These appointments are usually well covered in India's media, sometimes with gushing profiles. But for the field of business, not known for being on the cutting edge of diversity in higher education, these and other hires mark a notable change. ...

... Though cultural reasons may have played a part in this emergence of Indian-born deans, the reason could be just the large number of trained faculty to choose from. “This goes back to the presence of Indians in the American higher education system,” said Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean for International Business and Finance at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. “I think the single largest non-U.S. faculty with links to one country might be Indians,” he said.

Chakravorti added that a dean who understood emerging markets would be an asset because there is an increasing concern that business education is not catching up with business reality. “The schools are playing catch-up. Look at the cases taught in the schools: they are domestic and U.S.-centric,” he said.