Stephen M. Ross School of Business (University of Michigan) Records and Publications

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Stephen M. Ross School of Business (University of Michigan) Records and Publications

This Deep Blue collection forms part of a larger record group for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business held at the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index of materials, consult the following online finding aids:

Researchers may also be interested in additional material related to the Stephen M. Ross School of Business found in the University of Michigan Web Archives:

For additional assistance, contact Reference and Access Services at the Bentley Historical Library.

Academic unit at the University of Michigan with degree programs in Accounting; Business Economics and Public Policy; Finance; Law, History, and Communication; Management and Organizations; Marketing; Strategy; Technology and Operations. Materials in the Bentley Historical Library's digital repository include archived versions of the school's Website.

The first formal reference to commercial education at the University of Michigan was made in 1900-01, with courses offered through the College of Literature, Science and the Arts' Department of Economics. The number of commercial courses in the department expanded steadily, and in 1904-05 a "Certificate of Commerce" was authorized for those who had specialized in the field. Growth, both in terms of students and courses continued, with a sudden upswing of interest immediately after World War I leading to the decision to create a separate School of Business Administration. Preliminary plans for the school were begun in 1922, but significant progress occurred after February 1923, with the hiring of Edmund Ezra Day as chairman of the Department of Economics. Day came to Michigan with an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He was authorized to found the new school which was formally established in 1924, with Day serving both as dean and also as Economics chairman. Day's tenure, however, was relatively short. He took a leave of absence during 1927-28, and formally resigned his post soon afterward to join the Rockefeller Foundation.

In Day's absence Clare E. Griffin, who was professor of marketing, was first named acting dean, and was formally appointed to the post in 1929. Griffin had received his undergraduate degree from Albion College and a Ph.D. from Illinois in 1918. Under Day and Griffin the school's curriculum was largely patterned after that of Harvard, focusing upon graduate education. Admission to the school was preceded by three years study in the liberal arts. The school awarded two degrees, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a doctorate (beginning in 1935). Perhaps because of the focus upon graduate education, the school did not follow the custom of the day in recruiting businessmen to serve as part-time faculty. Rather, a full-time, academically-trained, staff was retained.

In addition to normal classroom activities Day and Griffin oversaw the creation of two special bureaus. The Bureau of Business Research was founded in 1925. Its purpose was to facilitate research by members of the faculty through the publication of scholarly work and also to facilitate teaching by developing and publishing case studies useful in class work. The Bureau of Industrial Relations was founded in 1935. Made possible by a gift from the Earhart Foundation, this Bureau was established in response to the growing complexity of employee-employer relations. At its annual conference, and through other devices, it brought together corporate representatives to discuss issues in labor and personnel relations.

In 1944 Russell A. Stevenson replaced the retiring Griffin as dean. Stevenson had received his bachelor's degree from UM in 1913, studied at the University of Iowa from which he received a Master's degree in 1915, and then returned to Michigan for his doctorate, which was awarded in 1919. From 1920 to 1926 he headed the Department of Commerce at the University of Cincinnati. In 1927 he became dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of Minnesota, the position he held until he came to Michigan.

Stevenson refocused Michigan's curriculum towards undergraduate education. A Bachelor of Business Administration degree had been established in 1942, primarily to meet the needs of the Armed Forces. Stevenson developed and expanded this program, capitalizing on the influx of post-war students to build enrollment to a peak of 1,249 in 1949. Stevenson began the school's first off-campus credit program, improving the non-credit offerings that had been first made available through the university's Extension Service in 1938. By 1960, credit courses were being offered in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Midland.

Despite his emphasis on undergraduate education, Stevenson did modestly expand the overall scope of the school's graduate program. In 1954 a new Master's degree in Hospital Administration was created, and in 1957 a Bureau of Hospital Administration was founded. Stevenson also obtained for the school its first adequate physical facilities. At its founding the school had been located in Tappan Hall, a site it shared with the College of Education and that, even in the 1920's was considered inadequate. Despite Tappan Hall's inadequacies, the school remained there until after World War II, when a new building was constructed on Monroe St.

In addition to his academic activities, Stevenson served in several organizations and businesses. He was active in both the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business and the Economic Club of Detroit. He also served as a director for several commercial enterprises, most notably for Lear, Incorporated.

In 1960 the retiring Stevenson was replaced by Floyd A. Bond. Like his predecessor, Bond had Michigan roots. All of his academic degrees were awarded to him by UM, a bachelor's degree in 1938, a master's in 1940 and a doctorate in 1942. Bond served on the UM Economic's faculty from 1938 until 1946. From 1946 to 1948 he taught at Carleton College, and from 1948 until 1960 he served at Pomona College.

Bond returned the Michigan's business administration program to its original emphasis upon graduate education. The MBA and Ph.D. programs were invigorated, and off-campus education was strengthened on the Dearborn and Flint satellite campuses by applying the same admission standards there as were used in Ann Arbor, both for day and evening students.

Bond also established a number of new programs within the school. An Institute for International Commerce was established in 1966. Its creation, while not directly linked to other programs in the school, complemented foreign based outreach programs established with the National Chengchi University in Taiwan, the Netherlands School of Economics, and involvement in the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia. The school's long-standing interest in bringing prominent individuals to campus to address students and faculty was furthered by the establishment of the Executive in Residence and Actuary in Residence program, as well as the creation of the McInally Lecture Endowment Fund, designed to establish an annual lecture at the school by a business figure of stature. In addition to the intellectual changes Bond brought to the school, he also oversaw the enlargement of the school's physical facilities. In 1972 an Assembly Hall, which included Hale Auditorium, was dedicated, and in 1976 the Paton Accounting Center was opened.

In addition to his academic responsibilities, Bond served his profession in several other capacities. He was extremely active in the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, serving on the Standards Committee (1962-66), and Executive Committee (1963-71) and being elected president of the organization for 1968-69. Bond was a longtime member of the Economic Club of Detroit's Program Committee. He also served for a brief period (1959-60) as the director of the Center for Economic Development's Business-Education Division. In addition to these activities, in 1960 Bond travelled to the Soviet Union as part of a delegation of economists invited to visit that nation by the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

In 1979 Bond reached the mandatory retirement age for university administrators. While he continued to serve the school as a professor, he was succeeded as dean by Gilbert A. Whitaker, Jr. Whitaker had received his BA from Rice University, and his master's and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in 1958 and 1961 respectively. Between 1960 and 1966 he served on the faculty at Northwestern University. In 1967 he joined the faculty at Washington University at St. Louis and in 1969 he was named the associate dean of the business school. In 1976 he left St. Louis to become dean of the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University. Whitaker was appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1990, and was succeeded by B. Joseph White.

White served as dean from 1991 to 2001 and was succeeded by Robert J. Dolan. In 2005 the School of Business Administration was renamed the Ross School of Business in honor of Stephen M. Ross, a 1962 graduate of the school.

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