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Campus Beat LogoDean Nancy Hayes smiles in a meeting. Student John Van Savage is seated to her right

Taking Care of Business

In August 2005 Nancy Hayes stepped into the role of dean of the College of Business, looking forward to "building a business school that is responsive to the needs of students and of local and global employers." The renowned business strategist and veteran of IBM's elite executive ranks wasted no time getting started.

"Dean Hayes has already made more connections in the downtown business community than any previous College of Business Dean," says John Gemello, provost and vice president of academic affairs. "She's made tremendous strides in strengthening our reputation as the city's university, especially among its business leaders."

Mary Huss, publisher of the San Francisco Business Times, says that Hayes is a tremendous asset to the college. "She has a very effective way of communicating that can form consensus and build teams. A good leader can relate to people on all levels -- up, down and sideways -- and she can."

At IBM, Hayes was responsible for a massive sales and services re-engineering effort that improved customer service and was later adopted by other IBM units throughout the world. She also demonstrated impressive leadership in the nonprofit sector, as CEO of the STARBRIGHT Foundation and president and CEO of WISE Senior Services.

"I like to help build organizations so people feel proud and fulfilled," Hayes says. "When they are proud, then the customer -- our student -- is satisfied." Her work at IBM took her across the globe to deal with different customers, organizational cultures and identities. Her goal today is the same: focus on the organization's core mission and achieve excellence while always looking to the future.

The dean's focus is intense, says Kathy O'Donnell, professor of marketing. "She is very straightforward and doesn't glamorize things."

Hayes reaches out to business leaders, many alumni among them, for feedback on courses or participation in symposiums on such topics as business ethics. Lately she has been preparing faculty to move their graduate courses to the downtown campus which will provide added convenience for students who are working professionals. "My job is to be a catalyst, to help create the infrastructure so that faculty and staff can perform their jobs," says Hayes, who is looking forward to continuing to raise her college's profile throughout the Bay Area. "I want to make sure that employers are aware that we have the kinds of graduates they need."

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