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Warwick Farewell - Professor Brian Houlden 1926 - 2004

Warwick Farewell - Professor Brian Houlden (First Chairman of WBS) 1926 - 2004

Professor Brian HouldenThe University regrets to announce the death of Brian Houlden, a founding father of Warwick Business School and one of its longest-serving professors. Brian Houlden worked at the School of Industrial and Business Studies, as it was first known, from 1966 (the School was formally instituted in 1967) until 1993.

Together with the founding Vice-Chancellor of Warwick, Lord Jack Butterworth, Brian was instrumental in setting up the School and served as its first Chairman until 1973. During his chairmanship, WBS established the broad base of teaching which is one of its strengths today.

Before Brian was invited to Warwick by Lord Butterworth, he had worked as Operations Director for the National Coal Board. It was, however, his interest in corporate strategy, the business subject in which he specialised once at Warwick, together with his belief that University and business education should be ‘relevant’, that inspired his work. This influence can be seen today in the way that WBS has developed, with its strong emphasis on research feeding directly into teaching, and building and maintaining links with industry.

Professor Robert Dyson, who was Chair of WBS between 1978-1981 and 1997-2000, and is now Pro-Vice Chancellor and WBS Associate Dean (External Affairs), pays this tribute to Brian Houlden.

“Brian worked tirelessly on behalf of the School, launching an undergraduate course against the advice of the then University Grants Committee, securing an independent existence for Economics, and putting WBS just behind London and Manchester in the early pecking order by securing a substantial grant from the Foundation for Management Education. He established the platform from which WBS was able to develop its place as a top business school.”

Professor Brian Houlden, died 23 November 2004, aged 78.