As Dean of NYU’s Stern School of Business, Peter Blair Henry is, in some ways, not what you might expect. The youngest person to hold the position, Peter arrives at the Dean’s Suite each day by climbing eleven flights of stairs carrying not a briefcase but a backpack (in NYU purple). But the climb also embodies the continuing story of NYU Stern as Peter sees it—a story of “hope, energy, and dynamism,” as quoted in the article that introduced Peter to Stern’s alumni and demonstrated his readiness to lead the school into the 21st century.
Stern’s vision under Peter’s leadership begins with people and ideas—students and faculty who challenge themselves and redefine what business can do to create value for shareholders and for society. It is also a global, interconnected vision.
“What I’d like to see,” says Peter, sharing a glimpse of The Bigger Picture with Sarah Murray of the Financial Times, “is for Stern to play a bigger role and to become an international hub and convening place for conversations between business, government and society.”
In May 2013, Stern’s global vision comes into sharper focus, as it launches the new Master of Science in Business Analytics—the first degree program offered at NYU’s Shanghai campus, as well as at Washington Square. The program is but one of many ways Stern lives up to its new tagline, “An Education in Possible,” unveiled not long after Peter took over the deanship.
An Education in Possible starts with the realization that imagination is the only constraint to innovation, and that opportunity lies hidden in every problem. The ability to translate problems into opportunities requires both rigor inside the classroom and engagement beyond its four walls.
It is this intersection of scholarship and public engagement that ultimately moves Peter, and Stern, Beyond the Ivory Tower (Dean’s Column, Financial Times): “Universities exist to expand the boundaries of knowledge, bringing new information into the classroom. Business schools just happen to be at the material end of the educational spectrum. Producing big ideas—and leaders who use them to create value—is what business education should be all about.”
Driven by a profound belief that business can be a force for good, Stern empowers students to use business to improve the world.