Sally Blount, dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the first woman to lead a top business school, will step down at the end of current academic year.

In a video message, Blount, 56, said she was planning to take a sabbatical year after 30 years in the field that began with her own enrollment as a student at Kellogg.

“Since becoming dean in 2010, Sally Blount has been a bold leader for Kellogg and an inspirational trailblazer in business education and beyond. She has expanded Kellogg’s global reach and reputation and laid a strong foundation for its future,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said in a statement.

Blount’s announcement coincides with the successful completion of Envision Kellogg, the strategic plan she initiated in 2010.

“Under Sally Blount’s leadership, the school launched and recently completed a seven-year plan to transform Kellogg and the future of business education, including the construction and opening of a new state-of-the-art home for the school, reshaping its degree portfolio, recruiting dynamic faculty and staff, and setting records for fundraising and alumni engagement,” Provost Jonathan Holloway said. “We have appreciated her exceptional service, her collaborative approach and her dynamic stewardship of Kellogg and are excited to have her leading the school for one more year.”

Blount is also the Nemmers Professor of Management and Organizations at Kellogg, where she plans to rejoin the Northwestern faculty after a one-year sabbatical during the 2018-2019 academic year.

After completing her master’s degree and Ph.D. at Kellogg, Blount joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she served for nearly a decade. Prior to becoming dean of Kellogg in 2010, Blount served as dean of New York University’s Stern Undergraduate College of Business and special advisor to NYU’s president and provost for global integration.

“By expanding our global reputation, we have succeeded in securing our place as a destination for the world’s best students and faculty. As Kellogg enters a new era, it is an ideal time for me to step aside and allow a new leader to take the reins,”

Blount said. “In the year ahead, I am laser-focused on supporting Kellogg through this transition and working with Provost Holloway, the University and the Kellogg team to ensure that the upward trajectory continues. It has been my privilege to be dean and part of this innovative and entrepreneurial institution.”

Holloway will oversee an international search to select Blount’s successor during the coming academic year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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