‘We Have to Stay on Top,’ Says New Sloan School Interim Dean

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Steven D. Eppinger ’83 has been appointed as the interim dean for MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Eric D. Schmiedl­—The Tech

Steven D. Eppinger ’83, professor of Management Science, has been appointed as the interim dean of MIT Sloan School of Management, effective July 1. The former dean of Sloan School Richard Schmalensee ’65, professor of economics and management, stepped down at the end of the Spring 2007 term after nine years as dean.

Eppinger was the Sloan School’s deputy dean for the last three years before being asked to step in as dean. He managed Sloan’s undergraduate, doctoral, and executive programs. “I enjoyed the position. Having enjoyed it, I felt that I can keep an eye on things, so I agreed to step in and help out.” Eppinger said.

As the new interim dean, Eppinger said he hopes to follow through with all the projects and programs the former dean had initiated.

“We’ve just broken ground on the new Sloan building. The designs are still being detailed, and the contracts are still going out,” Eppinger said. “This is one example of an ongoing project that cannot wait for the new dean to step in.”

Another job Eppinger holds as the interim dean is continuing the summer educational and executive programs offered through Sloan.

“As a top business school, we have to stay on the top,” Eppinger said. “This is incredibly competitive; we’re fighting tooth and nail for every faculty and every MBA, doctorate student we get.” According to Eppinger, Sloan constantly updates and revises its curriculum to adapt to the fast-paced business world.

“Lately, we’ve been focusing on putting more practicing management, which include applied projects, applied industries, and global projects,” Eppinger said. “We are also trying really hard to integrate leadership skills into the curriculum.”

According to Eppinger, another challenge for the Sloan School is to keep up with the increasingly globalized world.

“Business management is about managing global enterprises, and we have to integrate international business into our curriculum as much as we can,” Eppinger said. He hopes to see more of these improvements within the school in the future.

Eppinger’s expertise lies in product design and development, teaching 15.783J Product Design and Development, a graduate course. He co-authored the book Product Design and Development with Karl T. Ulrich ’84. Currently, he is researching how product development processes are globally distributed and how complex engineering projects can be structured.

According to the MIT News Office, a faculty search advisory committee and external advisory committee are still in deliberation to appoint the next dean of MIT Sloan. A decision is to be made within the next few months.