New Stern Dean Seeks to Implement New Ideas



New Stern Dean Rangarajan Sundaram discusses his plans for the future of NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Sarah Jackson, Deputy News Editor

Recently appointed as the dean of the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, former Professor Rangarajan “Raghu” Sundaram seeks to maintain the business school’s current prestige, while also taking into account student and faculty ideas for growth.

Sundaram joined Stern in 1996 and has served as the Dean Richard R. West professor of Business as well as the Edward I. Altman professor of Credit & Debt Markets and professor of Finance. He has also filled the role of vice dean of M.B.A. programs since 2016.

Sundaram assumed the position on Jan. 1, according to a university press release.

In an interview with WSN, Sundaram said he plans to begin his term by assessing what changes others hope to see in Stern.

“For the next few months, I’m going to be mostly in listening mode, trying to understand a lot about the school in terms of people’s expectations before I fully develop and formulate my own set of plans for the school,” Sundaram said.

The announcement credits Sundaram with spearheading the expansion of the Executive M.B.A. program to Washington, D.C., as well as the creation of the Andre Koo Tech M.B.A. program and the Fashion & Luxury M.B.A. program, among other achievements.

Sundaram said he hopes to capitalize on Stern students’ advantageous location in the city by incorporating more real-world applications in the classroom.

“We’re in the most exciting city in the world for finance, entertainment, media, fashion and, more recently, also for technology and entrepreneurship,” Sundaram said. “All of these are areas in which we want to prepare our students as well as we can, and we want to continue to further integrate ourselves into the New York ecosystem. We want to bring the changes rippling through businesses into the classroom.”

Although new programs are in the works, Stern’s guiding principle will remain unchanged.

“Innovation has always been the hallmark of Stern,” Sundaram said. “I want that innovation to continue.”

He also affirms that the school’s commitment to inclusion will not waver.

“At the heart of NYU Stern has long been the issue of inclusivity,” Sundaram said. “We have aspired to be a place where everyone belongs, and we are very mindful of continuing that tradition.”

Sundaram took care to emphasize that the development of new projects will not compromise the quality of the school’s current academic offerings.

“Implementing new programs does not at any point mean that we are taking our eye off the ball on existing programs,” Sundaram said. “Our flagship M.B.A. program and undergraduate program will continue to remain at the center of our attention. They are vital programs for us in terms of reputation.”

The 2007 winner of the Stern Distinguished Teaching Award, Sundaram was one of several candidates reviewed by a search committee led by Batia Wiesenfeld, the Andre J.L. Koo professor of Management and chair of the Department of Management and Organizations. The committee was created after former Dean Peter Henry resigned last year to focus on teaching.

Email Sarah Jackson at [email protected].