The Carlson School Magazine Spring 2023

From the Dean

With Gratitude

Black and white photo of Dean Sri Zaheer

For the last 4,300+ days, I’ve had the privilege of being dean of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. It’s a job I never sought out, in a career I didn’t plan for, but it’s been the most rewarding role of my life.

Why? Our community of students, faculty, staff, and you—our alumni and friends. As I prepare to return to the faculty about two months from now, I’m using my final letter in these pages to offer a heartfelt thank you for everything you’ve given me and the school over the years.

To our students—thank you for your energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. A highlight every year was welcoming our newest students, packed into the atrium, full of hope for their futures. It’s because of you that I chose this profession. Each time I learned of your accomplishments, and there were tens of thousands, I was filled with pride.

To our faculty—thank you for your intellectual curiosity, care, and embrace of Aks and me. You gave us a home that challenged us, supported us, and nurtured us. Your ability to teach, research, and serve is a shining example of what a business school faculty should be.

To our staff—thank you for your deep commitment to the school. From advising students to supporting faculty to ensuring we have the technology to meet our needs, we’d be wholly unsuccessful without your contributions.

To our alumni and friends—thank you for opening your homes and hearts to me. I’ve said often that engaging with you will be what I will miss the most. I love seeing how you are using your business education as a force for good. Sharing your stories and achievements never gets old. I’m grateful for all 60,000 of you, a global network that transcends the classroom to transform the world.

To my family—thank you for supporting me, guiding me, and yes, putting up with my schedule! Leading this school is not a 9-to-5 job; there are early mornings, late nights, and long trips. It’s a commitment. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to make it all work. I’m looking forward to a bit more downtime and expecting to say “yes” to more grandchild babysitting requests.

Our future is bright. I’m hopeful and optimistic for what lies ahead. Jamie Prenkert, who begins July 3, is the right person to lead us forward. From the interview process to our many conversations as he transitions, I am convinced he will build on our foundation of success and open new doors for our community.

I’m not going to be a stranger, and I look forward to lots of hellos when our paths cross. Until then, I wish you all the very best!

Warmest regards,

Sri Zaheer signature



Sri Zaheer,
Dean, Carlson School of Management

Cover story

Spring 2023 alumni magazine cover

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Underpinning growth is innovation and courage.

The Carlson School community shares their leaps of faith and the results.

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