In an open letter to the Stern School of Business community, Stern Dean Peter Henry announced that he will step down from his position on Dec. 31 after eight years of fundraising and administration.
Henry, who arrived at Stern in 2010 as an economist specializing in global economy, said in the letter that he has decided to continue his research on the global economy and resume his teaching as a faculty professor at Stern. He led the external economics advisory group for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, and currently is on the boards of Citigroup and General Electric.
In an interview with Washington Square News, Henry said that after stepping down he will teach courses on the global economy to rectify the wrong impression on emerging economies.
“There is a perception in the media that the fortunes of developing countries and advanced countries are at odds with each other,” Henry said. “In other words, when China, India and Brazil grow faster, that comes at the expense of United States and Europe. This is simply not true. There is a positive sum outcome to economic growth, but this message is entirely lost in the media and politics.”
Henry said that between now and December, he will focus on fundraising and driving Stern forward. He believes that Stern needs to be as important to the new economy of Silicon Valley and tech entrepreneurship as it has been to Wall Street for the last 50 years. Henry said that he will continue to drive forward that vision.
NYU spokesman John Beckman said that Henry’s decision to step down resulted from thoughtful discussion with President Andrew Hamilton. He said that the university is fortunate that Henry will remain on the Stern faculty.
“Most faculty who serve in senior administrative positions find that the demands of those duties make it impossible to carry on all the activities they took on as faculty,” Beckman said. “Returning to the faculty from a deanship permits them to resume scholarship, full teaching loads, or other activities — such as policy engagement — that simply are [not] compatible with the time-demands of being a dean.”
Beckman also said that the university is in the process of forming a search committee for the next dean.
Stern freshman Kennah Genovese said that Henry’s presence at the university has been overwhelmingly positive, and she thinks that he has done a fantastic job as Dean.
“He really made the Stern community feel connected and always kept us up to date on the most recent news and events happening at Stern,” Genovese said. “My friends had a similar positive experience having him as our Dean, and we’re sad to see him go.”
Henry said that when he assumed the role as Dean in the middle of the 2010 financial crisis, he had expected a challenge. However, he said that he never anticipated the personal relationships that he would form with students, faculty and alumni.
“I’m humbled by the willingness of our community to contribute, financially and non-financially to to giving help to others,” Henry said. “I was born in Jamaica, moved to [the United States] when I was nine and education has really transformed my family’s life. To be part of the process of generating scholarship to help students to go to school and transform their and their family’s life is very rewarding.”
Henry said that before his resignation he wanted to send his gratitude and advice to the Stern community.
“First, thank you for your support as we work really hard in the last eight years to position Stern to be the most important business school in the world,” Henry said. “Second, never underestimate your capacity as an individual, but more importantly, work with others to use business as a force for good to drive the change in the world.”
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