Founding IBS dean to step down
Peter Petri, the founding dean of the International Business School (IBS), announced Wednesday that he will resign his post at the end of this academic year and return to teaching, according to a University press release. Petri said he plans to spend next year on sabbatical to focus on research and "thinking up courses to teach" before he resumes teaching as a professor of international finance. Serving as dean, he said, "is very hard work and you begin to miss research and teaching."
"The school is in very good shape. All the things are going right. Now is exactly the right time for a change."
Petri, who has served as dean for 12 years, helped build IBS from the ground up when he began as the director of the Lemberg Program in International Economics and Finance, a graduate program within the economics department.
Lemberg, which he said began with approximately 50 students, formed the base of IBS, now has 400 students from 60 countries. Today the Lemberg program is housed in IBS alongside two other master's programs and a Ph.D. program.
Prof. Rachel McCulloch (ECON), who co-wrote a chapter with Petri for the 1998 book Capital Flows and Financial Crises said that "without his vision and energy, the expansion of our graduate offerings from the original Lemberg Program to today's IBS would not have been possible."
Petri attributes the strength of IBS to the school's effective teaching of skills necessary to work in today's global market. And because businesses and policy makers have to deal with partners from all over the world, "International skills are essential for business," he said. "All core pieces of the school have been built with this idea in mind."
Petri, who began at Brandeis as an assistant professor in 1974, has consulted for both the World Bank and the United Nations and has traveled extensively doing policy research. He has published six books and more than 50 articles that focus on international trade and investment, with emphasis on the Pacific Rim.
He previously served as a Fulbright Research Scholar and Brookings Policy Fellow, and is a member of the U.S.-Asia Pacific Council, the International Advisory Group of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and the Pacific Trade and Development Forum International Steering Committee.
"It was very exciting, very creative, and very challenging, as well as very hard" to build up the school, he said. "It made me develop skills I had never had before, like management and fundraising .... There's not a minute I'd do differently.