Robert S. Harris

Robert S. Harris

C. Stewart Sheppard Professor of Business Administration


FOB 256

Academic Area

Areas of Expertise

Corporate Finance, Financial Analysts, Mergers and Acquisitions, Valuation in Financial Markets, Private Equity

Education: B.A., Davidson College; Ph.D., Princeton University

C. Stewart Sheppard Professor Robert Harris has served as the University of Virginia Darden School of Business' dean and, prior to that, as chief learning officer and vice president of a Fortune 100 company.

His research has focused on corporate finance, private equity, financial markets, and mergers and acquisitions. Harris has been widely published in leading academic and practitioner journals in finance and economics. He has been a visiting scholar at London Business School, Oxford University (England) and the University of Otago (New Zealand) and a recipient of research and teaching awards. In addition to teaching undergraduate, graduate and executive audiences, he has authored financial textbooks, computer tutorials and dozens of business cases and teaching notes. Harris has been an active consultant and adviser to corporations, government agencies and has held a range of offices in professional societies.

Before joining the Darden faculty, Harris was on the faculties of the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler School and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Selected Publications

"Can Investors Time Their Exposure to Private Equity?" with Greg Brown, Wendy Hu, Tim Jenkinson, Steve Kaplan and David Robinson, Journal of Financial Economics (Volume 139, No.2, February 2021).

"Financial Intermediation in Private Equity: How Well Do Funds of Funds Perform?" with Tim Jenkinson, Steve Kaplan and Rudi Stucke, Journal of Financial Economics (Volume 129, No. 2, August 2018).

"How Do Private Equity Investments Perform Compared to Public Equity?" with Tim Jenkinson and Steve Kaplan, Journal of Investment Management (Volume 14, No. 3, 2016), winner of Markoqitz award for best paper of the year.

"What Do Different Commercial Data Sets Tell Us About Private Equity Performance?" 2015, with Greg Brown, Tim Jenkinson, Steve Kaplan and David Robinson, Private Equity Research Consortium White paper.

Harris, Robert S., Tim Jenkinson and Steven N. Kaplan. "Private Equity Performance: What Do We Know?" Journal of Finance, 2014, Vol 69, No 5, 1851-1882.

Robert S. Harris, T. Brotherson, Kenneth Eades, and R. Higgins. "Company Valuation in Mergers and Acquisitions: How is Discounted Cash Flow Applied by Leading Practitioners (with T. Brotherson, K. Eades and R. Higgins), Journal of Applied Finance (Volume 24, No. 1, 2014).

Harris, Robert S., T. Brotherson, and Kenneth Eades. "Best Practices in Estimating the Cost of Capital:  An Update," Journal of Applied Finance, (Volume 23, No. 1, 2013).

Harris, Robert S. and Felicia Marston. "Changes in the Market Risk Premium and the Cost of Capital: Implications for Practice," Journal of Applied Finance, Vol. 23, No. 1 (2013). 

Eades, Kenneth, Todd Brotherson, Robert Harris, and Robert Higgins. "Best Practices in Estimating the Cost of Capital: Survey and Synthesis," Journal of Applied Science, Vol. 23, No. 1, 17-35.

Harris, Robert S., Tim Jenkinson and Rudi Stucke. "Are Too Many Private Equity Firms Top Quartile," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Fall 2012). 

Robert S. Harris and Robert M. Conroy. "Estimating Capital Costs: Practical Implementation of Theory's Insights," in Capital Structure and Corporate Financing Decisions: Theory, Evidence, and Practice,(Robert W. Kolb Series), H. Kent Baker and Gerald S. Martin, Editors, Wiley, May 2011, 191-210.


Case Studies

Advancing knowledge through research that shapes business, Darden professors are recognized thought leaders in their fields. They are not only master case method teachers, they also author many of the cases used in Darden classrooms and around the world.

Robert S. Harris' cases are available in the Darden Business Publishing website.