Babson Olin Graduate School of Business Names Keith Rollag New Dean
Earlier this month, the Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business named its new dean: Keith Rollag. A management professor with over 17 years of experience teaching entrepreneurial leadership at Babson, Rollag was chosen for his campus leadership and his vision for the graduate school’s future.
When speaking about the appointment, President Kerry Healey said in a press release, “We are thrilled to welcome Keith Rollag to his new role as Dean of Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.” She continued saying, “Keith’s leadership will help ensure that Babson remains at the forefront of business education and continues to innovate and educate entrepreneurial leaders who will have a positive impact on the world.”
About Keith Rollag
Rollag is a professor of management and the former chair of the Management Division at Babson. His depth and breadth of experience covers organizational behavior, teamwork, leadership, newcomer socialization and training, and social networks. Within those realms, Rollag has written a book titled, What To Do When You’re New: How to Be Confident, Comfortable, and Successful in New Situations. The book was named from the ten “Best Books of 2015” by Success magazine and was featured by Barnes & Noble under “New Non-Fiction Release.”
Beyond his book, Rollag has also published a variety of articles in leading educational publications including the Harvard Business Review, MIT/Sloan Management Review, Journal of Management Education, and more. He’s also been featured in The New York Times, Forbes Inc., Fortune, and others. As for his background, Rollag earned his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Stanford University after working as a product development manager at Procter & Gamble.
Rollag will bring all this experience and more to his new role as dean of Babson Olin. To get a better idea of what to expect of his appointment, we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his experience, his plans for the future, and what students should be most excited about.
Here’s what he had to say.
MetroMBA: How do you feel that your background and experience has prepared you for being dean?
Keith Rollag: I’ve been teaching leadership at Babson for the past 17 years, and have been chair of our Management Division for six of those years. I’ve also led or co-led several of our major curriculum revisions in both our graduate and undergraduate programs. Prior to Babson and graduate school, I was a diaper designer at Procter & Gamble. I’m not sure how that prepares me to be a dean, but I guess in both cases I sometimes deal with messes!
Metro: What do you hope to bring to Babson Olin as dean?
KR: I’m blessed with a wonderful team and terrific colleagues across the college. Collectively, we hope to make our graduate programs more attractive, engaging, and impactful to our graduate students, who in turn will go on to improve the lives of millions of people through their future careers and ventures. Part of this success will come from being a good steward of our Babson community—a vibrant ecosystem of students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers, and employer partners all dedicated to creating economic and social value everywhere. Of course, there will be enrollment, ranking, and financial goals, but ultimately, I hope I can help preserve the growth-oriented fun we have at Babson that makes our success possible.
Metro: What is the one upcoming development or change at Babson Olin that you are most excited about and why?
KR: We just spent the past year engaging the entire Babson community in a quest to re-imagine the MBA, and recently received Faculty Senate approval to make some major changes to our curriculum. Starting in Fall 2019, our MBA will have a smaller core and a bigger portfolio of new, innovative, experiential electives. We will also expand the number of intensity tracks that help students both learn, network, and achieve success in areas like new venture creation, social innovation, analytics, and technology. Overall, these changes not only re-imagine and improve the learning experience, but make both our full-time and working professional MBA programs more flexible, convenient, and quicker to complete.
Metro: What is one thing you’d like students to know about your upcoming tenure as dean?
KR: Our collective success will come from following our own philosophy of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action©. While other schools teach you to learn mostly through thinking and analysis, we help you develop the mindset and habit of also learning through action. And in this uncertain world, whoever learns fastest wins. As dean, I will never stop learning and trying new things, and I’ll try my best to encourage and enable others to do the same. It’s going to be a fun ride…
Read more about Keith Rollag’s new role as dean here.