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Our Story

Being a Dean in today’s modern university is one of the most challenging jobs in higher education.


With ever changing tensions and pressures from conflicting constituencies, the job can be both overwhelming yet intensely invigorating at the same time.


However, by design, it’s also one of the most lonely jobs in the Academy.


Where can one turn for confidential advice?


Turn to the Deans Counsel for advice and information including our podcast where we interview Business School Deans in a peer-to-peer format to hear their perspective on a wide variety of pressing issues.

Listen to the latest episode or follow us on your favorite platform using the links below.

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Deans Counsel leadership team

Your Podcast Moderators

Deans Counsel Panelist James Ellis

Partner & Moderator

James Ellis

Jim Ellis was Dean of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California from 2007-2019. During that time, Marshall introduced nine one-year, specialized master’s degrees, a Master of Business for Veterans, a World Bachelor in Business degree (involving three universities on three continents), and introduced a number of collaborative programs with other USC academic units. Jim helped raise over half a billion dollars in philanthropic support, a portion of which went to supporting a new building. Prior to that, Jim was Vice Provost for Globalization at USC, charged with raising the university’s worldwide profile and also served on the faculty as a Professor of Marketing.

Deans Counsel Panelist David Ikenberry

Partner & Moderator

David Ikenberry

Dave Ikenberry served as Dean of the Leeds School of Business at The University of Colorado Boulder for five and half years. During that time, he fundamentally revamped the School’s strategic plan substantially advancing both faculty scholarship and student success. Philanthropy grew rapidly grew under his leadership along with the School’s overall reputation. Leeds launched several academic programs on his watch, including a remarkably structured business minor which today supports nearly 2,000 undergraduates in addition to the School’s 5,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Today, he is a member of the finance faculty and is helping mentor academic leaders.  

Deans Counsel Panelist Ken Kring

Partner & Moderator

Ken Kring

Ken Kring is a leader of Korn Ferry's Education Practice and has been personally responsible for significant leadership transitions at public and private universities, with a strong concentration in recruiting enterprise leaders, deans of professional schools and top functional administrators to mission oriented institutions. He and his Korn Ferry team have extensive recent experience supporting senior level appointments at two thirds of all very high research universities. Ken has co-authored thought leadership articles entitled Building on the past: A new approach to higher education finance ; and The business school dean redefined: New leadership requirements from the front lines of change in academia.

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