Yale SOM receives largest gift in its history from The Broad Foundation

Funded by a $100 million gift, the Broad Center at Yale SOM will develop initiatives devoted to strengthening leadership in America’s public schools.
Evans Hall

The Yale School of Management (SOM) has received a landmark gift from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to develop innovative teaching and research programs devoted to strengthening the leadership of America’s public school systems, Dean Kerwin K. Charles announced today. The $100 million gift will fund The Broad Center at Yale SOM and enable the creation of a tuition-free master’s degree program for emerging education leaders, advanced leadership training for top school system executives, and an extensive research endeavor aimed at assembling the premier collection of data on public education leadership.

The Broad Center at Yale SOM will become a platform for reimagining how skilled management practices can improve the performance of public school districts and thereby create benefits for schools, students, teachers, administrators, and communities across the country. The center will advance the strategic direction pioneered by The Broad Center over the last 20 years; its placement at Yale SOM will enable its programs to draw on the input of management and business scholars and the resources of Yale University.

School of Management sign
(Photo credit: Dan Renzetti)

Charles began discussions with The Broad Foundation shortly after starting his term as the Indra K. Nooyi Dean and Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Economics, Policy, and Management on July 1. The plans for The Broad Center at Yale SOM that emerged from those talks, he noted, fit squarely with both the school’s mission to educate leaders for business and society and his own long-held research interest in how to overcome barriers to economic advancement and human flourishing.

We are simply awed by the generosity of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and by the commitment to improving the lives of all in America that is reflected in their philanthropy,” said Charles. “Those outside our community may be surprised to see a business school dedicate a major program to public education, but this is exactly the type of issue our school has always cared about — one where leadership informed by systemic thinking, rigorous analysis, and compassion can make a real difference for communities. We share this core vision with The Broad Foundation, and I am excited to see how the strengths of this school and the strengths of The Broad Center can combine to help us realize it.”

Through 20 years of investing in public education, The Broad Foundation has come to believe that schools alone can’t solve the inequities, indignities, and challenges facing students from underserved communities. To best serve students, leaders at the district level need the skills to excel, inspire, and empower others in their organizations. The new Yale SOM center will seek to give leaders of the country’s large, urban school systems rigorous insights and frameworks to address challenges and create new opportunities for some of the most underserved students. The work of the center will place an ongoing emphasis on equity and inclusion in both research and teaching.

Incredibly exciting’: Dean Charles welcomes The Broad Center to Yale SOM

Eli Broad, who established The Broad Foundation with his wife Edythe, said, “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last 20 years and I can think of no better future for The Broad Center than Yale University.”

The new Yale SOM center will offer a one-year master’s degree in education management for early-career leaders who want to have an impact on large school districts. It will also offer an advanced executive training program for senior district leaders, such as superintendents and CFOs. Together the two programs will train approximately 50 leaders each year. Both will be tuition-free, to ensure that cost doesn’t deter promising education leaders from participating. The master’s degree program and executive training program will succeed The Broad Residency in Urban Education and The Broad Academy, respectively, leveraging SOM faculty expertise in organizational behavior, economics, operations, and data analysis, and drawing on areas of expertise across Yale University, such as psychology, law, sociology, political science, and public health. In addition to these teaching programs, The Broad Center at Yale SOM will generate new knowledge about effective school system leadership through rigorous research and inform the public debate around education by sharing the results of surveys, colloquia, and other research.

Yale President Peter Salovey expressed confidence that Yale SOM would  make a positive impact on public education through the work of The Broad Center. “I am honored that The Broad Foundation is entrusting Yale to carry out this important part of Eli and Edye’s philanthropic legacy. Educating leaders who will serve all sectors of society is part of Yale’s mission, so it is fitting that the Yale School of Management is creating a master’s degree program for emerging and current executives of school systems. The school’s dedication to leadership education and cultivation is unmatched. Its track record of producing transformational leaders across a range of fields speaks to the tremendous promise of the new Broad Center at Yale SOM.” 

Over the last four decades, Yale SOM has trained thousands of business leaders in its core M.B.A. program; it has also developed distinctive expertise in delivering rigorous management education to leaders in fields that have broad societal impact, including healthcare, sustainability, central banking, and asset management. In all of its endeavors, the school seeks to train leaders who are attuned to urgent needs, both globally and in their local communities; who take accountability for creating positive change by applying rigorous approaches to assessment and decision making; and who engage in the work of management with passion, energy, and caring. The new programs at The Broad Center at Yale SOM will build on this heritage of using management and leadership tools to achieve social progress.

The gift from The Broad Foundation will enable the school to create new faculty positions for leaders in social science research related to education and to build out a research infrastructure that can benefit all scholars interested in the field.

Yale SOM already has a strong core of students, alumni, and faculty engaged in education, which will be augmented with the addition of more than 850 leaders and managers, from 150 urban school districts, public charter school networks, and state education agencies nationwide, who have passed through Broad Center programs. Together, these practitioners and passionate advocates for education will provide critical input and feedback to further the work of the center. This is one of many ways in which the center’s efforts in teaching, research, and policy will reinforce each other, as ongoing research informs curriculum design and the experiences of alumni and practitioners help focus the center’s continuing inquiry.

David Bach, the school’s deputy dean for executive programs, said, “We at Yale SOM have a deep conviction that values-based and skillful leadership can empower the organizations that serve a community and increase their impact. Our programs through The Broad Center at Yale SOM will benefit from 40-plus years of experience teaching leadership for all sectors, as well as the input of a wide array of stakeholders, from Broad and beyond, who have hands-on experience making public education systems work better. I am confident that the school, Broad Center alumni, and all those who care about the future of public education in this country will be encouraged by the impact The Broad Center at Yale SOM will have in decades to come.”

Joel Getz, the senior associate dean for development and alumni relations at Yale SOM, said that the partnership between Broad and Yale SOM reflected a close alignment of interests and ambitions. “It was clear from early on that Dean Charles’ vision for Yale SOM and the aspirations of The Broad Foundation were a strong fit. The fact that the largest gift in SOM’s history is being devoted to a non-traditional topic for a business school — but one of obvious importance to the greater society — feels both appropriate and telling about the school’s values.”

The Broad Center has been committed to evaluating and evolving its work since it was founded — continuous improvement is in our DNA,” said Becca Bracy Knight, executive director of The Broad Center. “Organizational leadership has a direct effect on school quality, which is why The Broad Center has worked for two decades to elevate the field of public education management. We look forward to new opportunities to increase our impact by combining each organization’s unique and complementary strengths in service of our shared mission to improve public education.”

The Broad Center at Yale SOM will commence operations this year by beginning a search for new faculty and staff and planning future programs. The current cohorts of Broad Center fellows and residents will complete their programs within the existing structure of The Broad Center; starting in 2020, new cohorts will begin their studies at The Broad Center at Yale SOM.

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Media Contact

Nathan Williams: nathan.williams@yale.edu, 203-432-7817

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-980-2222