Letter From the Dean

Outgoing interim WSB Dean Barry Gerhart addresses a graduation ceremony
Barry Gerhart has served as interim Albert O. Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business since January 2018.

Commencement is among my favorite times of the academic year. It’s a celebratory season here at the Wisconsin School of Business (WSB) as we recognize the accomplishments of our graduates and send them off for their next phase of life—whether that’s starting a first job, advancing into a more senior position, or continuing on to graduate school or some other endeavor. Whatever comes next, commencement signals the start of a new period for our graduates.

This spring’s commencement also signals an exciting new season for WSB. In a few months, we’ll welcome Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy as our next Albert O. Nicholas Dean. He’s already been engaged here at WSB, and I am confident in his ability to lead the School forward. I invite you to read more about him.

We are also looking forward to the launch of three master of science degrees this fall in the areas of business analytics, supply chain management, and real estate. These programs will help fill industry demand and create a wider array of WSB graduate degree opportunities to meet the evolving needs of today’s students. Our faculty continue to deliver groundbreaking research, conducting studies in places like the BRITE Lab and helping shape the way industry makes decisions.

As I write this last letter as interim dean, I continue to be inspired by our alumni network. The stories that follow capture the essence of our talented, high-achieving alumni—from recent graduates like Max Fergus, to rising mid-career professionals like those in our 8 to Watch feature, to C-suite executives like Julie Howard. Every one of you has left WSB and made a mark on this world, and I have been honored to serve as your dean for the last year and a half.

Thank you for your ongoing support and engagement. Please join me in welcoming Samba, and in working together to advance WSB into our next era of business education.

Together Forward,

Barry Gerhart (PhD ’85)
Interim Albert O. Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business
Professor of Management and Human Resources
Bruce R. Ellig Distinguished Chair in Pay and Organizational Effectiveness

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Tim Hotchandani (BBA ’04)

was recently named one of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Forward under 40. Hotchandani counsels companies through Rothschild & Co., one of the world’s largest financial advisory firms. His Wall Street career has also included roles at Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, and Thomas Weisel Partners. Hotchandani stays involved with the School by mentoring students in the Investment Banking Club, an organization he co-founded during his time at WSB.More Class Notes »

Mark Burns (BBA ’09)

joined fellow UW–Madison alums at The Onion after graduation and later became a producer at The Second City comedy theater. The unique combination of these three institutions has sculpted his strange, dynamic skill set. He has now started his own company, Punch Up Creative, which uses its comedic expertise to help corporate clients tell their stories in a more entertaining fashion.More Class Notes »

Catherine Quinlan (BBA ’13)

was named a 2018 Rising Young Professional by the Minneapolis business publication Finance and Commerce. Nominated by her peers, Quinlan, a commercial banker at BMO Harris Bank, was among a small group of Twin Cities professionals chosen to receive the award that recognizes the honorees’ professional achievements and their community involvement and contributions. More Class Notes »