Sarah Gardial
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

It is with very mixed feelings that I will be leaving the Tippie College of Business in the new year. While I am grateful beyond words for the opportunity to lead this incredible institution, I also know in my bones that it is time to move on.

I am at an age where one begins to plan last chapters. While I could happily remain here and continue the good work that is never finished, I also feel I have the juice for one more opportunity, one more hill to climb, and – equally important – I want to be closer to my family.

That opportunity has arrived with an offer to be dean of the Massey College of Business at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, beginning March 1, 2020. Belmont is a strong, growing, private university in a dynamically evolving city. Their aspirations are to continue growing programs and enrollment, and to do so while more deeply engaging with the vibrant surrounding community. For the Massey School of Business, specifically, this suggests increased industry presence and partnerships, as well as stronger alumni engagement. I believe my skills and experience can help them move towards those aspirations, and I am excited about the opportunity to tackle these challenges in a unique educational context - an ecumenical Christian campus. Having a spiritual framework within which to educate future business leaders is something to which I am deeply attracted.

I have truly loved my time here at Iowa, and I am so very proud of the work accomplished including the recent renewal of our AACSB accreditation. I have been blessed with amazing colleagues, and this is a good time to turn Tippie over to the next leadership team. There is leadership depth and strength in the college, and it is time to let others step forward.

An interim dean will be named soon and a dean search will be conducted. The college is working with Provost Montserrat Fuentes on a succession plan. I intentionally set the March 1 start date to make sure the leadership team has time to transition comfortably. I know that the culture of innovation pervading this building will continue to move Tippie forward in the coming months. There will be no slow-down in our progress.

In closing, my passion is for education institutions that are ready to take on the next challenge. That is where my heart was when I came to Tippie, and that is why I am excited to move to Belmont. However, please know that I will look back on my time here with joy and with gratitude for the privilege of working at this amazing institution.

Sarah Fisher Gardial