Richard K. (Rich) Lyons became dean of the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, in July 2008, and served ten years until stepping down in July 2018. He is a graduate of the school’s undergraduate business program.
Changes at Haas under his deanship include codifying the school's culture, funding and realizing a new building, and launching a suite of dual degrees with STEM fields. With the culture codified, under Lyons' leadership the school drove the resulting four Defining Principles – Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, Beyond Yourself – deeply into admissions and other processes.
Prior to becoming dean, Lyons served as the chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs in New York, where he was responsible for leadership development among the firm's managing directors. Dean Lyons started his career as a professor of finance. He joined the Haas School in 1993. In 2004, he was named acting dean of the school for one year and then continued his strategic duties here as executive associate dean from 2005 to 2008.
His academic research has explored currency markets, a focus reflected in his book The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates (MIT Press). This novel approach to exchange rates examines the market from a trading-room perspective, e.g., the flow of buy and sell orders and why those orders subsequently affect prices, rather than from the traditional perspective of macroeconomics. This line of work focuses on how dispersed information gets reflected in prices via trading. He has published many articles in professional journals on these and other related topics. Extension to more recent topics related to crypto-currencies and blockchain technology is his most recent interest.
One other strand of his research takes a quite different tack, namely, exploring the links between leadership and innovation in organizations. These links are of strategic importance to the Haas School’s approach to developing a distinctive brand of business leader.
Following completion of his undergraduate studies at Berkeley in 1982, Lyons went on to earn a PhD in international and macroeconomics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1987. He began his teaching career at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in New York, where he served on the faculty from 1987 until he joined the Haas School faculty in 1993.