CHICAGO - This Autumn will prove to be a historic one, as we learn who takes the top political office in 2017. The race lies between the first-ever female candidate and an outspoken, yet inexperienced businessman. Both candidates have historically low approval ratings, with only a slight edge in the polls over able-bodied Porsche owners who park in handicap spots.
Many claim the eventual victor has big shoes to fill, as the previous administration is credited with stabilizing the community, deepening our relations with China, and growing our stature both domestically and abroad. In fact, surveys reveal that many would have chosen to keep the previous administration for another four years, given the opportunity.
Nevertheless, Dean Kumar’s departure from Chicago Booth has left a void that must be filled. Experts across the University contend that Deputy Dean Stacey Kole fits the bill and would bring parity to a job classically held by older, nerdy men. But businessman and kangaroo enthusiast Dean Doug Skinner is neck-and-neck in the polls with his more experienced adversary.
Despite her years of experience and apparent grooming for the role, questionable use of a non-chicagobooth.edu email address has left Kole susceptible to criticism in recent months. Investigators have also uncovered a complex web of financial transactions in her philanthropic organization, the Kole Foundation, used to purchase buffalo chicken paninis and Frescas at Kovler Cafe.
Supporters say Kole’s candidacy represents hope for a new generation of Deputy Deans around the country.
“I want to give all the little girl deputy deans - and little boy deputy deans - the hope that they, too, can doggedly claw their way to the top of a patriarchal system and be the leader of a Southside Chicago business school,” said Kole in an exclusive ChiBus interview.
“But we can’t risk another four years of failed policies from an outsider accountant,” she continued. “Now, I’m not saying that Doug worked at Arthur Andersen in the early 2000s and contributed to massive ethical and economic failings, but I’m also not saying that he didn’t.”
Interim Dean Skinner was quick to fire back. “Listen mate, I don’t know if I even want the post. True blue, I don’t know. In fact, my wife might not even let me take it. The Sheila’s got me by the knackers, mate! But… maybe I’ll take it.”
“But maybe not,” he added.
The Booth community, and indeed the world, will continue watching eagerly as the race shapes up in the coming weeks.
Patrick Burke is a second-year MBA student at Chicago Booth. His hard-hitting journalism has been featured in The Guardian, The Globe, and Synthetic Shingles & Aluminum Siding Quarterly trade magazine.