Haas School of Business
2220 Piedmont Avenue
California 94720-1900 Berkeley
The Haas School of Business was first established as the College of Commerce of the University of California in 1898. The University of California charter, adopted in 1868, included among its goals the study of commerce. University Regents Arthur Rodgers, A.S. Hallidie and George T. Marye Jr. later proposed the establishment of a College of Commerce. The new college was founded on September 13, 18…
The Haas School of Business was first established as the College of Commerce of the University of California in 1898. The University of California charter, adopted in 1868, included among its goals the study of commerce. University Regents Arthur Rodgers, A.S. Hallidie and George T. Marye Jr. later proposed the establishment of a College of Commerce. The new college was founded on September 13, 1898, when Cora Jane Flood, daughter of industrialist and University of California Regent James C. Flood, donated land (worth one million dollars at the time) to the University specifically to support the study of commerce. The school was the third collegiate business school in the United States and the first at a public university.
The college’s first faculty members included some American pioneers in the field of business. Simon Litman taught the first course in marketing between 1902 and 1908. Adolph Miller, who was the Flood Professor of the Political Economy and Commerce from 1903 to 1915, later served on the first Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Wesley Clair Mitchell, who taught at Berkeley from 1905 to 1913, is known as the father of the business cycle analysis. Charles Staehling taught accounting at the college from 1921–51 and was known for adding a theoretical framework to the praxis-oriented teaching of accounting principles. Henry Mowbray, who taught from 1910 to 1948, wrote the first college textbook on insurance.
The College of Commerce was founded in the liberal arts tradition, drawing on faculty from other disciplines on campus. Carl C. Plehn was appointed the first Dean of the new college in 1898. Plehn, a finance professor educated in Germany, drafted the college's first curriculum for a Bachelor of Science degree. The initial course offerings covered legal studies, political studies, political economy, and historical studies, including The History of the Institution of Private Property, History and Principles of Commercial Ethics, and the History of Commerce in All Countries and at Every Age. Plehn proposed changes to the curriculum in 1915 to give it a more professional focus. The proposal, adopted after World War I, established a program that included two years of liberal arts education followed by junior and senior year commerce study, a pattern still used for the undergraduate program today.
Henry Rand Hatfield, a pioneer in accounting and an early entrant in the Accounting Hall of Fame, became the second Dean of the college in 1916. Hatfield had been hired by the University of California in 1904 as the first full-time accounting professor in the country. Hatfield played a leading role in the founding of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the national honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. He also published the first paper in the United States on accounting theory. As Dean, Hatfield sought to increase the reputation of the College of Commerce by bringing scholars from the East Coast to teach during summer sessions.
After World War I, enrollment experienced an increase from the influx of veterans and continued to grow even through the Great Depression, increasing from its initial class size of three in 1898 to 1,540 students in 1938. In 1925, the college's third Dean, Stuart Daggett, instituted a two-year Master of Science degree. The school's fourth Dean, Henry Francis Grady, was appointed in 1928. Grady went on leave from 1934 to 1936 to become an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for whom he worked on reciprocal trade agreements (see Reciprocal Tariff Act). The fifth Dean, Robert Calkins, succeeded Grady, but left within a few years to become the Dean of the Columbia Business School.
E.T. Grether was appointed the sixth Dean of the College of Commerce in 1941. Grether's twenty-year tenure as Dean was a time of great change. The college was renamed the Department of Business Administration in 1942 and began offering a new two-year upper division curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1943, the department was renamed the School of Business Administration when it began offering a one-year graduate program.
Grether opened several research centers in the school, including The Institute for Business and Economics Research (1941), The Institute for Industrial Relations (IIR) (1945, now called the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment), and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics (1950). Grether tapped Clark Kerr to be the first director of the IIR. Kerr's success in this position led to his becoming the first Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.
The Graduate School of Business Administration was opened in 1955 and the school began offering a course of study leading to the Master of Business Administration. A year later the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration and executive education programs were founded.
Under the school's eighth Dean, Richard Holton, an evening MBA program was initiated in 1972. Unlike other evening or part-time programs in the country, students were required to meet the same admission requirements as established for the day-time MBA program. Classes for the evening MBA were held in downtown San Francisco until the school's present building complex was completed in 1995.
Earl F. Cheit became the ninth Dean of the school in 1976. Facing diminishing funding and budget pressures, Cheit lobbied and won increased salary scales for business faculty. He also secured donations from Walter A. Haas to endow seven new chairs and to open a career planning and placement center. In 1980, the school began to offer a Management of Technology program jointly with the College of Engineering. 1980 also saw the inauguration of the annual Haas Competition in Business and Social Policy, funded by a donation from the Evelyn and Walter A. Haas, Jr.Foundation.
In 1987, the tenth Dean of the school, Raymond Miles, began the school's first major capital campaign to raise money for a new building. Major contributions were made by Wells Fargo and Eugene Trefethen, an executive with Kaiser Industries. In 1989, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund donated $23.75 million to the building campaign. The donation was the largest in the history of the University to that date. The school was renamed the Haas School of Business in honor of that gift.
The new building was designed by Charles W. Moore, former chair of Berkeley's Department of Architecture. Construction began in 1993 and the school moved into its new building complex in January 1995.
Laura Tyson, a professor at Berkeley since 1977 and the Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995 during the Clinton Administration, was the Dean of the school from 1998 to 2001. Tyson negotiated an agreement with the Columbia Business School to create a joint program, the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA, which offers experienced executives the opportunity to earn an MBA from both Haas and Columbia. The Berkeley-Columbia program began in 2002 and graduated its first class in December, 2003.
Tom Campbell became Dean in 2002. Campbell established The Center for Responsible Business at Haas in 2003 with gifts from former Apple Inc. and Netscape executive Mike Homer, actorPaul Newman, and former Chairman of Bank of America Rudolph Peterson. From 2004 to 2005, Campbell took a leave of absence to serve as director of the California Department of Finance in the Schwarzenegger administration. During Campbell's absence, Richard Lyons served as acting Dean. Lyons initiated the keystone program Leading Through Innovation at Haas in 2004. Lyons was the Executive Associate Dean from 2005–2006, before leaving for the position of Chief Learning Officer at Goldman Sachs, New York.
In July 2008, Richard Lyons succeeded Campbell to become the present Dean of Haas. Along with a curriculum overhaul, Lyons has launched the public phase of a $300 million capital campaign, called the Campaign for Haas. The campaign's stated goals are "transforming the... campus, building a curriculum based on the Berkeley-Haas approach to leadership, and aggressively expanding the school’s faculty and its support for research."
The Haas School of Business has been home to two winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. John C. Harsanyi (1920–2000) was a co-recipient with John Nash and Reinhard Selten in 1994 for his contributions to the study of game theory and its application to economics. He served as Professor Emeritus at Haas and in the UC Berkeley Department of Economics. Oliver Williamson (1932-) was a co-recipient with Elinor Ostrom in 2009 for his "analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm," and currently serves as Professor Emeritus at Haas and in the UC Berkeley Department of Economics.
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