Faculty & Research

Robert F. Bruner

Robert F. Bruner, Dean, Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration

  • BA, Yale University; MBA, DBA, Harvard University
Office: Saunders 201
Phone: +1-434-924-7481
Email: brunerr@virginia.edu or brunerb@darden.virginia.edu.


Bob Bruner is the eighth dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. A faculty member since 1982 and winner of leading teaching awards at the University of Virginia and within the Commonwealth of Virginia, he teaches and conducts research in finance and management.

Bruner is a leader of innovations in management education at Darden and globally. He has guided two curriculum design efforts at Darden in which he promoted Darden’s hallmark approach: instruction integrated across fields, an enterprise point of view of the leader and general manager, and high-engagement discussion. He has taught students in MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral programs at Darden and as a visiting professor at business schools internationally. He has instructed practitioners in executive education courses around the world and is the author and co-author of Case Studies in Finance, now in its seventh edition.

Bruner has actively advanced Darden and the field of management education in new frontiers such as entrepreneurship, innovation, globalization and diversity. Before his appointment as dean in August 2005, Bruner served as the founding Executive Director of Darden’s Batten Institute, which focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation. There, he expanded Darden’s Business Incubator, established a Fellows Program, promoted research, and encouraged the creation of new courses, including his “Patents and Corporate Valuation” course. From 2007 to 2009, Bruner served as member of the Board of Directors of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT entrance exam for business schools. And from 2009 to 2011, he chaired the Board of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of 15 leading American business schools and over 100 top corporations in the United States that aims to enhance diversity in business education and leadership.

As a financial economist, Bruner is best known for his research on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and financial panics. His books, Deals from Hell and Applied Mergers and Acquisitions, have helped numerous practitioners and students toward successful transactions. His book published in 2007, The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm, with Sean D. Carr, attracted wide attention for its discussion of the underpinnings of financial crises.

In 2011, Bruner led a global task force of Deans for the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business that produced a comprehensive review of global management education. The resulting book-length report, The Globalization of Management Education, urged educational leaders to rise to the challenges of globalization.

A native of Chicago, Bruner received a B.A. from Yale University in 1971 and the M.B.A. and D.B.A. degrees from Harvard University in 1974 and 1982, respectively. Bruner served as a loan officer and investment analyst for First Chicago Corporation from 1974 to 1977. Bruner and his wife, Bobbie, have two sons.

Bruner is one of the world’s few blogging business school deans. He comments on life, business and current events in his popular “Dean’s Blog.” He also “tweets” regularly on his Twitter account and is often cited in the media around the world. In 2012, Poets & Quants and CNNMoney/Fortune named him “Dean of the Year.” For more information and copies of his papers and essays, visit his website. To learn more about the Darden School of Business, visit the School's website.


Faculty Publication


Capital Structure Management
Commercial Banking and Investment Banking
Corporate Finance
Mergers and Acquisitions
Financial Crises and Bank Panics
Corporate Valuation
Enterprise Leadership
Management Education

Featured Video

Dean Bruner on Ethics at Darden

Darden faculty and administration highlight some of the ways they incorporate business ethics into their specialty areas across the Darden enterprise and not just in the core ethics classes. In this video, we hear from Robert Bruner, dean of the Darden School.