April 26, 2004

Robertson to head globalization initiative        

By Michael Terrazas

Dean Tom Robertson of Goizueta Business School will step down from his current post in January 2005 to assume a new position as head of the internationalization aspects of Emory’s strategic planning process, President Jim Wagner announced April 16.

The announcement comes just as Emory is gearing up for the strategic planning that will lead into a major fund raising campaign for the University. In informing the University community of the move, Wagner said Robertson is “uniquely qualified” to lead the facet of strategic planning that seeks to make Emory a truly global institution.

“His challenge will be to create a strategy for ‘Emory International’ in concert with our vice provost for international affairs [Holli Semetko] and, in his new role as special project director for the president, to coordinate implementation of this strategy across our schools, centers, institutes and programs,”
Wagner said.

“The objective,” Robertson said, “is to contribute to scholarship, health care and social action worldwide, and to develop the Emory brand internationally. This is a major untapped opportunity because Emory is not known well enough internationally.”

Before coming to Emory, Robertson served as deputy principal at the London Business School; before that he was Pomerantz Professsor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he also served as chair of marketing and associate dean for executive education. An expert in marketing strategy and innovation, Robertson has worked with clients all over the world, from AT&T to British Airways, to Dentsu Advertising (Japan) and Siam Cement (Thailand), to Rolls Royce (United Kingdom) and Schlumberger (France).

Robertson and Semetko both said the former’s appointment heralds great things to come for Emory in internationalization.

“Tom Robertson’s international network and leadership in the business world and higher education is absolutely essential for Emory to become a global player, with strong institutional partnerships abroad—and possibly even campuses abroad,” said Semetko, who came to Emory last August from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

“We make an excellent team for furthering the global branding of Emory as a destination university,” Robertson said. “We’ll be taking a high-level, strategic look at how Emory can gain advantage from internationalization, and we’re going to be looking at Universitywide strategic alliances, whether there should be fixed-based Emory initiatives in other countries, as well as the traditional issues of student exchange, enrollment of international students and selection of international faculty. We also believe international fundraising has even greater potential than we’ve realized so far.”

“We view this as a major attempt at scholarly entrepreneurship and one that will gain major strategic advantages for the University by pursuing new international directives,” Wagner said. “We think that Holli and Tom are a great entrepreneurial combination to develop new initiatives and work with scholars at Emory devoted to the international.”

Wagner said a search for a new Goizueta dean already is under way.