Yash Gupta says he doesn't play basketball, but he
understands teamwork and chemistry.
Sitting in his office in Homewood's Shaffer Hall on
day one of his tenure as inaugural dean of
the new Carey Business
School, Gupta rhetorically asks why it is that a team
wins one day and loses
the next against the same opponent?
"Chemistry. They just didn't have it. You need to
create a rhythm and keep it going," says Gupta,
a man who exudes both enthusiasm and optimism.
He was talking about how to manage people in a
business, but he just as easily could be referring
to the daunting task that lies before him: taking the helm
of a startup and turning it into one of the
most innovative and prominent schools of business in the
How does one start this process? He listens, a lot.
Gupta's appointment calendar for the next two months
is already bursting with meetings with
students, faculty, directors and deans. He says he wants
feedback to help shape the school's
curriculum and guide what he calls "the planning process,"
a period of four to five months that will
ultimately result in a mission statement. This statement,
he says, will clearly articulate the vision for
the new school and a strategy for reaching milestones.
"I want to be able to communicate what the school will
look like, what form it will take," says
Gupta, who before joining Johns Hopkins spent 14 years as
dean of three prominent, established
business schools. He most recently served as dean of the
University of Southern California's Marshall
School of Business, from 2004 to 2006. Gupta also headed
the University of Washington Business
School and the College of Business and Administration at
the University of Colorado at Denver.
Gupta's first week at Johns Hopkins, not unexpectedly,
was a hectic one. He attended dozens of
meetings, all amid "housekeeping" matters such as getting
his J-Card and going over his university
benefits with a human resources representative. There was
also an informal welcome breakfast — a
chance to meet and greet Carey Business School staff in
Shaffer Hall — and a condensed tour of the
The Carey Business School, built on a tradition of
business education at Johns Hopkins that
dates to 1916, was launched last January on the strength of
a $50 million gift from trustee emeritus
William Polk Carey through his W.P. Carey Foundation. The
new school already collaborates with other
Johns Hopkins divisions to offer, for instance, joint
master's/MBA programs in biotechnology; nursing;
public health; communication, information and
telecommunications systems; and government.
Gupta anticipates more such collaboration in the
future and is eager to start building
relationships with other deans and directors. He says the
university aims to build a school that
purposefully teaches students not only business skills but
also critical cross-disciplinary knowledge
taught in other Johns Hopkins divisions.
"I want to see what we can do together," Gupta says.
"These are top-notch schools, so why
wouldn't we want to hitch our car to their wagon? We are
the new kids on the block, and we need help
from these schools. From liberal arts here we can learn
mental flexibility, from engineering we can
gain technical understanding, and from medicine we can get
health care knowledge. I see us building
upon the strengths at Johns Hopkins to create something
unique, not copying what others have done."
Gupta says that year one of his tenure will focus
heavily on recruiting world-class faculty, a
process that has already begun.
"Our faculty must reflect Johns Hopkins' quality and
support the brand," he says. "We must be
outstanding in this regard, and I'm dedicated to this
Gupta also wants to help recruit an "outstanding"
advisory board that will include luminaries
from the business world.
"I see this as very critical to our future and
success," he says. "These will be people who will
help provide leadership and vision."
In terms of curriculum, Gupta says his meetings with
faculty and students will start to bring
into focus what elements need to stay, what need to go and
what need to be added.
He did say, however, that the curriculum would likely
reflect what he describes as three major
trends in business education: globalization, the business
of knowledge/innovation and changes in world
He points to the year 2050, when the world population
is expected to reach 9.5 billion people.
"How will we deal with this large workforce, and
provide services for this number of customers,
the majority of which will be outside the United States?
These are questions we need to be asking,"
he says. "And innovation is very important. How can we take
new ideas and make the most of them?
How do you perpetuate innovation? This is some of what we
need to be teaching."
Gupta says that he realizes much work lies ahead to
get where the school wants to go. Asked if
people should be patient, Gupta laughs and says he would
never ask that. "No, we're in a hurry," he
says. "Well, as much in a hurry as you can be in