Dean Kurt Dirks

About Kurt Dirks

Dean, David Eccles School of Business

Dirks is known as a prolific and renowned researcher, as well as an award-winning professor. His academic expertise is on the topics of leadership and trust within organizations.

A first-generation college student, Dirks earned BBA and MS degrees from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Based on this personal experience, Dirks has strong belief in the role public universities, like the University of Utah, play in providing a transformative education for those who seek opportunity.

Prior to coming to the University of Utah, Dirks was the Bank of America Professor of Leadership at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Earlier in his career, he was on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

In addition to serving as a faculty member, Dirks served in multiple senior leadership roles at WashU, including stints as acting provost, senior advisor to the chancellor for leadership, vice chancellor of international affairs, and at the business school as senior associate dean and interim dean.

Most important to Dirks was his work on student success, helping them grow as leaders, who operate with according to their values. At WashU, he founded the Bauer Leaders Academy for the university, the Bauer Leadership Center at the business school, and led the McDonnell International Scholars Academy. In the classroom, he received multiple teaching awards from MBA students.

Dirks’ research on trust has been published in leading scholarly outlets as the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and the Academy of Management Review, and has been covered in popular media such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Business Week, Fortune, and According to Google Scholar, Dirks’ work has been cited nearly 27,000 times, which is among the top 2% of scholars in the field.