She has served as dean in an interim capacity since October 2012 and was recommended for the full-time position Thursday by Provost Lauren Robel.
She is an IU graduate and earned both a Master’s degree and Ph.D from IU. Her undergraduate studies were at Southern Methodist University.
“Being selected as the dean of the Kelley School is an honor of a lifetime for me,” Kesner said. “As a graduate of the school, I can say with certainty that the successes I have had throughout my career are attributable to the great education and countless opportunities afforded to me by the Kelley School and its alumni network of nearly 100,000 living alums.”
Prior to her interim post, Kesner was the associate dean of faculty and research and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management.
She has been at IU since 1995 when she arrived from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“The university conducted a thorough national search for a new dean at the Kelley School, commensurate with its reputation as one of the finest business schools in the world, and Idie Kesner was a clear and compelling choice for the role,” IU President Michael McRobbie said. “Idie is an internationally recognized business scholar and a renowned teacher who has played several vital leadership roles at Kelley during her 18 years at the school.”
If approved, Kesner will replace Dan Smith, who left the school after seven years to lead the IU Foundation.
“I know Dr. Kesner quite well,” Jonlee Andrews, clinical professor at the Kelley School of Business, said. “She will bring new energy to the School. Her focus on building awareness and understanding of the Kelley brand among prospective students and employers will help us to continue to maintain our strong reputation.”
A 14-person search committee reviewed a number of applications before selecting Kesner.
“Faculty, staff, students and alumni on both the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses were involved in engaging the finalists on their vision for the school,” Robel said. “Idie’s selection reflects her superlative capabilities and credentials, and I am delighted to pass on the committee’s recommendation to the trustees.”
Matthew Auer, dean of the Hutton Honors College and School of Public and Environmental Affairs professor, led the search committee and echoed Robel’s sentiment.
“The pool of candidates was outstanding, which shouldn’t be surprising because Kelley’s reputation is so strong,” Auer said. “Idie Kesner is quintessentially prepared for this job. She is superbly accomplished and is going to do amazing things for Kelley.”
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