Dean Richard M. Durand has announced that he plans to retire in June 2011, leaving behind an expanded, strengthened and more interdisciplinary school than has ever existed in Kogod's 55-year history.
Durand has served as Robert and Arlene Kogod Dean since 2005. In that time, he encouraged the formation of a tight-knit, supportive community of empowered decision makers.
During his tenure, he secured first stability, then growth for the Kogod School of Business, and fostered relationships across campus, with alumni, and with business leaders across the world.
As a result of his administration's emphasis on a personalized student experience, Kogod has attracted a representation of diverse and female students well above national averages for business schools.
Under Durand's guidance, Kogod leaders opened a 20,000+ square foot addition, funded solely by donor gifts – the first of its kind at American University; created four new degree programs and revamped four others; and expanded study abroad opportunities and interdisciplinary education.
Dean Durand is known for his devotion to students; he often leads prospective students and their families on impromptu tours of the facilities after encountering them in the building.
It’s his dedication to students' desires and market-driven approach that prompted the creation of new programs including bachelor's degrees in Accounting; Business, Language, and Culture Studies; and Business and Music, as well as the master’s in finance program.
In fact, the student population as a whole has blossomed to more than 1,200 undergraduate students and over 500 graduate students. One-third of the population is comprised of international students.
A plethora of student services, directed at developing professional skills, have also been established in recent years, in career development, business communications, and co-curricular student programming. The Office of Academic Programs was restructured and was empowered to address students’ needs.
Durand has overseen the hiring of 18 new tenure-track faculty and established four Kogod Professorships, while increasing support for their research by establishing a $50,000 grant fund.
But Durand's work is far from over.
"My goal is to retire, but not retreat at the end of this academic year,” Durand said. "This will remain a year of growth and innovation for Kogod and AU."
In early 2011, Kogod will launch a Tax Center, which will research and serve small businesses and middle-class citizens – under represented populations for which there is a dearth of data.
Key community events will continue – such as the Annual Golf Outing on September 25 and Alan Meltzer CEO Leadership Speaker Series, slated for November 17. A second Speaker Series event will be held in March 2011.
Moreover, Durand's contributions to business education have extended beyond Northwest Washington, D.C. He has been a tireless contributor to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the accrediting body for business education. In addition to serving on and chairing accreditation visits, Durand is currently mentoring Inha University in South Korea.
A nationwide search for a new dean of the Kogod School will be underway this fall. Details on Durand's retirement will take form in 2011; for now Durand says he has too much on his plate to worry about retirement plans.