Interim dean named dean of Carlson School

Srilata Zaheer will take over as dean-designate pending the approval by the Board of Regents.

New Dean of the Carlson School of Management Sri Zaheer speaks about her vision for the school at a press conference Thursday morning at the Carlson School.  Zaheer has been acting as the interim dean of the school since July.

Mark Vancleave

New Dean of the Carlson School of Management Sri Zaheer speaks about her vision for the school at a press conference Thursday morning at the Carlson School. Zaheer has been acting as the interim dean of the school since July.

Evelina Smirnitskaya

Srilata Zaheer was named the 12th dean of the Carlson School of Management Thursday.

She will begin work at her new post immediately, pending approval from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, expected at their meeting Friday.  

Zaheer was appointed as Carlson’s interim dean in June 2011, taking over after former dean Alison Davis-Blake left for the Ross School of Business. She has worked in various roles at the school since 1991.

“I am deeply touched by the faith placed in me by the search committee, by all of you,” Zeheer said during the announcement ceremony in the Carlson atrium.

The University of Minnesota began its worldwide search for the new dean last summer. Beginning in late January, the University conducted on-campus interviews with four finalists, which included Zaheer.

“Sometimes it felt like nine months of interviewing,” she said.

University of Minnesota Provost Karen Hanson said Zaheer has many qualifications that fit the role of dean.

“She has tremendous energy and she has a great passion for the school,” Hanson said. “She’s played many roles at Carlson that have kept the school moving forward.”

Zaheer was welcomed by the applause and cheers of students and faculty on all four levels of the atrium in Carlson.

Zaheer said it was a long process, but she is eager to begin her work at Carlson.

“I will listen to everyone I can,” Zaheer said. “I want to find out what their aspirations and dreams are for the school and where they want to see the school going in the future.”

Zaheer said she has a positive outlook for Carlson students and the school.

“Carlson students are an amazing group of students,” Zaheer said. “It’s a fantastic school and we can make it even better than it is now.”

Andrea Gorman, the undergraduate representative to the panel that selected Zaheer, said Zaheer is well-known and well-liked at Carlson.

“She’s a bright light here at the school,” Gorman said. “Students absolutely adore her. She’s a genuine person and she’s really engaged with the student body.”