$5 million gift funds Johnson chair at Cornell NYC Tech

Rob Dyson

A $5 million gift from the Dyson Foundation of Millbrook, N.Y., will support the founding faculty chair for a new MBA program at Cornell NYC Tech, offered by the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. The gift was made on the recommendation of Rob Dyson, MBA ’74, trustee emeritus of Cornell University and chairman and CEO of the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp.

“The foundation’s gift comes at a key moment, as we strive to build our faculty presence in New York City,” said Soumitra Dutta, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of Johnson. “This chaired professorship will allow us to attract top-quality faculty to our programs at Cornell Tech, and to help ensure their success.”

In May, Johnson will welcome the inaugural class of its one-year MBA program at Cornell Tech, in which students will gain an advanced business education through the lens of the tech industry. The program begins on the Ithaca campus, where students complete a business fundamentals and leadership curriculum, before continuing the program in New York City.

Dyson was inspired to get behind Cornell Tech and Johnson’s presence there by the power of Cornell University, Johnson and the city itself.

“Cornell Tech is a logical outreach for a great university like Cornell and its world-class business school. It’s a statement of commitment that Johnson is creating a presence in the most important metropolitan area for business in the U.S. and, arguably, the world,” said Dyson, co-chair of the Johnson NYC Steering Committee. “I wanted to help Johnson lead in educating MBAs who are ready in a real-world sense to succeed in technology- and entrepreneurship-focused businesses.”

Johnson is conducting searches for several faculty positions for the New York City-based MBA program.

“Achieving the results we seek for our students requires uniquely qualified faculty members who are steeped in the research and skills needed to create business leaders for the digital economy,” said Doug Stayman, associate dean for MBA Programs. “Recruiting them to our program is critical to our success, and having a chaired professorship to offer a top candidate is a strong draw.”

Like Stayman, Dyson believes the professorship at Cornell Tech demands a particularly energetic and distinctive faculty member. He is inspired by the work of Brain Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an adjunct professor at Johnson.

“If you take what Brian has done for his students and Cornell, that is the impact I want from the chaired position at Cornell Tech,” Dyson said. “A real scholar, a real teacher, a real thinker – and keen as hell.”

Shannon Dortch is associate director for public and media relations at Johnson. 

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