Jim Bradford plans to retire next spring as dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, capping more than a decade at the school and eight years of leadership that has seen it cement its place among the top programs in the country.
Bradford, 65, came to Owen in 2002 to teach strategy after a corporate and legal career that saw him lead glass manufacturer AFG Industries and United Glass Corp. (That tenure had him in the spotlight during this fall’s proxy contest at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, where he now chairs the board.) He said he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and family but will not disappear entirely from the Owen landscape.
“The school is on solid footing and a strong trajectory,” he said. “I am not retiring my passion and support for this school and people I’ve come to respect.”
Chancellor Nick Zeppos said “Vanderbilt is indebted to Jim for the energy and dedication he has invested in the Owen School. I’m looking forward to Owen’s continued ascent among top-level business schools as we build on the progress achieved under Jim’s watch.”
Under Bradford, Owen launched several programs, including a full-time health care MBA, master’s degrees in accountancy and finance and an Americas MBA for Executives. During his time, the school also endowed 19 new scholarships and eight faculty chairs.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Richard McCarty said he will announce plans for a search for Bradford’s replacement early in the new year.