WashU Olin’s Nickerson moving to SLU to head its business school

  • May 30, 2024
  • By Kurt Greenbaum
  • 2 minute read

A veteran WashU Olin faculty member is moving across town to lead Saint Louis University's Chaifetz School of Business.

Jackson Nickerson was named the Edward Jones Dean of SLU's business school, effective July 1, after nearly three decades on the WashU Olin faculty. Nickerson began at Olin as an assistant professor in 1996. After gaining a reputation as a prolific researcher and highly regarded teacher, he was appointed as the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy in 2007. Today, he's an emeritus professor and senior lecturer in strategy.

“St. Louis and Washington University are special places where no matter how much love I invested into the community, I always got so much more in return,” Nickerson said in acknowledging the cross-town move.

I look forward to this new opportunity to contribute to the St. Louis community, to which I owe much.  

Jackson Nickerson

“Saint Louis University has high aspirations for advancing the Chaifetz School of Business by educating the entire person and facilitating the meeting of mission and market,” he said. “I am deeply appreciative for the opportunity to serve.”

Literally a rocket scientist, Nickerson began his career as a control systems engineer with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He began his WashU career after earning his PhD in business and public policy from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

“I am very excited to have Dr. Nickerson join our team here at SLU,” said Mike Lewis, the university's provost, in a statement to SLU's staff and faculty. “He will be a transformational leader for the institution, and is committed to expanding the reach of our business programs to serve the evolving needs of business students, both graduate and undergraduate.”

Nickerson succeeds Barnali Gupta, who served as the SLU business school dean since January 2021.

Since joining Olin, Nickerson has been recognized a dozen time with the Reid Teaching Award for his work in the undergraduate, Executive MBA (in the United States and China) and Professional MBA programs. He's also received the faculty recognition award for teaching in Olin's EMBA Mumbai program.

His research has been cited more than 12,400 times, according to Google Scholar, and focuses on leadership issues: Why do firms choose different organizational structures? What are the performance implications of these choices? How does the movement of knowledge and the prevalence of innovation affect those choices? How do leaders formulate and solve the correct problems?

In addition to his teaching and research, Nickerson served eight years as the associate dean and director of Brookings Executive Education—now known as WashU at Brookings—until 2017, introducing a now-canceled master of science in leadership during his tenure. He has been a prolific consultant and served as visiting faculty for universities in France and Brazil during his tenure.

About the Author

Kurt Greenbaum

Kurt Greenbaum

As communications director for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to find and share great stories about our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I've worked for the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management as communications director and as a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sun-Sentinel in South Florida and the Chicago Tribune.

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