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Sally Blount, Northwestern business school dean, to step down

Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management is on the hunt for a new dean.

Sally Blount, who has held the post since 2010, plans to step down at the end of this school year, she announced Wednesday in a video uploaded to YouTube.

"We're at an exciting inflection point," Blount said in the video. "It's an ideal moment for a new leader to be selected and to take the reins."

When she came on board, Blount launched a plan called Envision Kellogg, aimed at raising $350 million, according to the school's website. The plan involved repositioning Kellogg's brand, redefining management education and opening the school's new Global Hub in Evanston, which came online in March.

Now that seven-year plan is complete.

"I still pinch myself every time I walk in the Global Hub, our new home," Blount said in the video.

Next summer marks 30 years since Blount started at Kellogg as a pregnant graduate student, she said. She's spent half of her life since then as a business school dean.

Blount, 56, was the first woman to lead a top business school, according to Northwestern's website. After earning her master's degree and doctorate at Kellogg, she became a faculty member at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she stayed for about a decade.

She also served as dean of New York University's Stern Undergraduate College of Business.

Provost Jonathan Holloway plans to oversee an international search for Blount's successor, according to the university's website.

After a yearlong sabbatical, Blount plans to return to Kellogg and her post as the Nemmers professor of management and organizations.

"I've long dreamed of taking a sabbatical year to travel and to write," she said in the video. "As my daughter once said to me long ago, 'This is what the person I want to become would do.'"

amarotti@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @AllyMarotti

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