July 13, 2023

Jim Bullard, president of St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, appointed inaugural dean at Purdue’s Daniels School of Business

Innovative economist and influential national leader will serve as new leader of reimagined business school at Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The longest serving sitting president of Federal Reserve Banks and one of the nation’s foremost economists and respected scholar-leaders has been chosen to lead the continued transformation of the reimagined Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business (DSB) at Purdue University. James “Jim” Bullard on Thursday (July 13) was named the inaugural Dr. Samuel R. Allen Dean of the Daniels School of Business with a start date of Aug. 15. 

Bullard, who spent the last 15 years as the sitting president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, has earned significant praise and accolades for his long-standing leadership and innovative thinking as part of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in guiding the direction of U.S. monetary policy. A noted economist and scholar, Bullard had been the longest-serving Federal Reserve Bank president in the country and ranked as the seventh-most influential economist in the world in 2014. His scholarly impact has been based on research-based thinking and intellectual openness to new theories and explanations. That has allowed Bullard to be an early voice for economic change, helping the Federal Reserve deftly navigate complex economic landscapes such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial crisis during his tenure. 

“Dr. Bullard has been an extraordinary leader for our country and will be a transformational leader of Purdue’s Daniels School of Business. His track record has the perfect combination of national impact, scholarly excellence, and innovative leadership through 15 years as President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank,” said Purdue President Mung Chiang. “Today’s exciting recruitment is a singular, extraordinary moment for the future of DSB and the tech-driven, free-market economy.”

Additional Information

Before becoming president in 2008, Bullard served in various roles at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, starting in 1990 as an economist in the research division and later serving as vice president and deputy director of research for monetary analysis. For the last 15 years, Bullard has directed the activities of the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District, which branches into several states, including an extensive portion of southern Indiana. While serving on the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, Macroeconomic Advisers named Bullard the FOMC's second biggest mover of markets in 2010 behind Chairman Ben Bernanke and the biggest mover of markets in 2011 and 2013.

To further reflect and to maximize the impact of Dr. Bullard’s unique, national leadership experience, he is also appointed as Special Advisor to the President of the university, reporting to President Chiang in that capacity.

“I am humbled and beyond thrilled to be asked to lead the Daniels School of Business, named for one of the most influential fiscal leaders of our time,” Bullard said. “Purdue is known around the world for forward-thinking innovation. I will work to foster that spirit, and I think I can bring some real-world experience to pass on to the next generation of business leaders and innovators. I share Purdue’s vision to build toward the economies of the future, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Bullard will be charged with inspiring, further developing and implementing Purdue’s reimagined approach to a top-ranked business school across undergraduate, graduate,  executive and research programs, preparing tomorrow’s business leaders and entrepreneurs in the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business that is grounded in the principles of free enterprise, free market economy in generating opportunities and prosperity, and in the hallmarks of a well-rounded Purdue education and with a particular emphasis on tech-driven, analytics-based business success. Aspired to become a top 10 business school in the country, the Daniels School of Business will extend Purdue’s land-grant mission to provide affordable and accessible education at the highest quality, and the primary thought leader between the coasts as a top public research university.

“Jim's experience base, credentials and perspective are exactly the right match to enhance scholarly excellence and develop globally leading thinkers at our Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business,” said Patrick J. Wolfe, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity at Purdue. “His visionary leadership will take the Daniels School of Business to new heights while building on current Purdue strengths and deepening the impact of our other two key strategic priorities: Purdue Computes and Purdue University in Indianapolis. I am extremely grateful to our Transition Steering Committee and to all who contributed to this search and its stellar outcome.”

Following an extensive, international search since December 2022, with multiple extremely qualified candidates, Bullard earned a unanimous vote from the Transition Steering Committee (TSC), co-chaired by Gary Lehman, vice chair of the Purdue University Board of Trustees, and Kevin Mumford, the Kozuch Director of the Purdue University Research Center in Economics and professor of economics, and consisting of faculty and alumni representatives. That recommendation was accepted by President Chiang and Provost Wolfe, officially appointing Bullard as the leader to chart the future of business education and research at Purdue University.

“We are thrilled to have Jim Bullard leading the transformation of the Daniels School of Business,” Lehman said. “We evaluated many fantastic candidates during this process, but Dr. Bullard’s exemplary record as a scholar and business leader cemented him as our top choice.”

Launched in February, the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business has pursued three prongs in its execution: recruiting talents, securing resources, and developing strategies. In terms of resources, the Board of Trustees announced internal investments, such as 50 new tenure-track faculty positions and additional lines for other type of faculty and fellow appointments, as well as a campaign for DSB with a $200M target. The campaign has generated momentum within months, including multiple significant gifts. The Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation gave $50 million to establish the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute inside the school. Honoring Bruce White (M ’75), the founder and chairman of White Lodging, a former member of the Purdue Board of Trustees and one of the most prominent Boilermakers, the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute serves as a flagship of DSB, alongside and parallel to the long-standing Krannert Graduate Institute. In April, longtime Purdue University benefactors Norman (LA ’65, MA ’66, HDR ’95) and Karen (EDU ’65) Blake committed $10 million toward the creation of an ethics center within the Daniels School of Business. Another $10 million commitment from Gerald (CE ’64, MS ’71) and Nanette Lyles pledged unrestricted support for the Daniels School of Business. Marshall (MS ’77) and Susan Larsen provided the $10 million gift to create the Larsen Leadership Academy in the School. Tom Howatt (M ’72, MS ’73) pledged a significant gift on Purdue Day of Giving in April. These and other generous gifts, coupled with Purdue’s own hefty investment for facility expansion and talent recruiting, has underlined the university’s commitment to making the Daniels School of Business the foremost business schools in the nation for a tech-driven, free market economy, through new academic programs, innovative learning opportunities and top-notch faculty recruits with excellence at scale. 

“As an innovative thinker and transformative business leader himself, there is no one better than Jim Bullard to lead the way for the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business,” said Mike Berghoff, chair of Purdue’s Board of Trustees. “This decision is yet another step toward creating a business school that is world-renowned and universally respected.”

During his time as an academic economist and financial policy scholar, Bullard’s research has appeared in premier journals, including the American Economic Review; the Journal of Monetary Economics; Macroeconomic Dynamics; and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.  Bullard served as an honorary professor of economics at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also sat on the advisory council of the economics department as well as several advisory boards. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch named him the Top Workplace Leader among the region’s large employers as part of its 2018 Top Workplace Awards. Active in the community, Bullard has served on the board of directors of Concordance Academy of Leadership in St. Louis and was formerly the board chair of the United Way U.S.A. He is co-editor of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, a member of the editorial advisory board of the National Institute Economic Review and a member of the Central Bank Research Association’s senior council.

Born in Wisconsin, Bullard grew up in Forest Lake, Minnesota, and received his doctorate in economics from Indiana University in Bloomington. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in economics and in quantitative methods and information systems from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities (Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal and QS), with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States (U.S. News & World Report), Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Innovates, at https://stories.purdue.edu

Writer/Media contact: Derek Schultz, dcschultz@purdue.edu

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