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USC Moore School dean to step down

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Hildy Teegen, dean of the USC Darla Moore School of Business, announced she will step down from the university position. (Photo/James T. Hammond)Hildy Teegen, dean of the USC Darla Moore School of Business, announced she will step down from the university position. (Photo/James T. Hammond)

By James T. Hammond
Published Aug. 22, 2012

Hildy Teegen, who has lead the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business since September 2007, told her staff and faculty this afternoon that she will step down as dean when her successor has been appointed.

She said she intends to return to the University of South Carolina in some capacity following a one-year sabbatical.

Teegen told USC President Harris Pastides several weeks ago of her intentions, following “a lot of soul-searching,” she said in an interview with the Business Report.

When Teegen accepted the dean’s position five years ago, she did not have a specific timeline in mind, she said.

Teegen’s background

Department editor for the Journal of International Business Studies, institutions and comparative capitalism area

Editorial board member for Journal of International Management, 1999-2006.

International experience
Fluent in Spanish, Teegen has lived in Mexico, Portugal, the Dominican Republic and Grand Cayman Island

Taught international business at the George Washington University; The College of William and Mary; Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico in Mexico City; the University of Texas at Austin; Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico; and Universidade do Porto in Oporto, Portugal.

Palmetto Institute, a think tank devoted to improving per capita incomes

United Way of the Midlands of South Carolina

Center for International Private Enterprise, Washington, D.C.

Midlands Business Leadership Group in South Carolina

Founding executive board member of the Women of the Academy of International Business

Ph.D., international business, University of Texas, Austin, 1993

Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin, 1987

Bachelor of Arts, Latin American studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1987

But noting that the average tenure of a business school dean is about four years, she said she had come to realize that she misses elements of her former life, such as interaction in the classroom with students and research.

Teegen said the university plans to conduct a national search for her replacement, and that she expects to begin her sabbatical by fall 2013.

When Teegen was handpicked by the business school’s patron, Darla Moore, for the job, she was director of George Washington University’s Center for International Business Education and Research in Washington, D.C. She also held a joint appointment at the university as professor of international business at the School of Business and Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School.

Noting that she did not have the traditional administrative background of many newly appointed deans, Teegen said, “I remain grateful they were willing to take a chance on a non-traditional candidate.”

In a statement, Moore said it was a pleasure to work with Teegen over the years.

“She brought a fresh perspective, an energy that was contagious, and she connected the school to South Carolina’s businesses and leaders,” Moore said.

Teegen’s tenure has been marked by a wide-ranging reorganization of programs at the Moore School, and the start of construction on a new home for the business school at Assembly and Greene streets in Columbia.

Teegen said she believes those accomplishments put the university in a strong position to attract top-level candidates to succeed her.

“I think an institution benefits from new blood, new ideas,” she said. “It’s a good time for USC to go into the marketplace to find someone for this job.”

Teegen is looking forward to a new role at the university when she returns from her sabbatical, she said.

“Columbia has been a real bright spot for us. We love living here,” she said.

She expects to continue to focus on economic development issues, and the ways in which the Moore School and university at large can help improve economic growth and personal wealth in South Carolina.

“I’m interested in the interplay between business, government and nonprofit institutions and how they contribute to economic development,” she said.

But she said she’s asked Pastides and Provost Michael Amiridis not to define her future role until she returns from sabbatical.

“They’ve been extraordinarily supportive,” she said. “I’d like to be somewhat involved in faculty life. But I have other skills and interests. I like being involved in institution building.”

Among the institutions, Teegen said she’s most attracted to business because “business is the big tool that you can leverage most broadly to change people’s lives.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” she said. “Our state needs the best efforts of our universities in economic development. It’s a really interesting time to look at how we can use business schools to advance economies and improve lives.”

Teegen said the involvement of Darla Moore, who has donated $75 million to the university, was “a big appeal” when she was offered the dean’s post in 2007.

“We have an extraordinary donor with very specific ideas about how the business school plays a role in economic development,” Teegen said.

Teegen will not be able to return to her academic disciplines right away. She will remain dean until her successor is on board, she said. She said she hopes the university will hire her replacement by the end of the year. She is planning for some overlap; she said that former Dean Joel Smith’s help was invaluable to her when she took the job.

“I feel really good about this decision,” she said. “I didn’t know at the beginning what was the right timeline. Now I’m convinced I can be even more valuable in a new role.”

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