Carnegie Mellon University
September 07, 2022

Remembering Elizabeth Bailey, First Female Dean of CMU's Graduate School of Industrial Administration

Elizabeth Bailey, the first female dean at the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA) of Carnegie Mellon University (1983-1990), passed away in her home in Reston, VA on Aug. 19 at the age of 83.

Bailey was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton and the first woman on the Civil Aeronautics Board. She was a trailblazer for women in business, and even more specifically, in economics. Often the only female in her department, she is widely recognized for opening doors and making opportunities for women in her field.

During her time at CMU, Bailey focused on the importance of information technology in business. She required students to use PCs during a time when they were not already engrained so deeply into our daily lives. She also encouraged fellow professors to adopt internal computer networks to improve communication. Under her leadership, the school established a $15 million international management institute as well as an entrepreneurship center.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Bailey was a very positive and enthusiastic individual and an effective advocate for the school,” said Linda Argote, Thomas Lord Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, Director, Center of Organizational Learning, Innovation and Knowledge. “She played a key role in the establishment of the Carnegie Bosch Institute at CMU through a major gift from the Bosch Group. This center has been a valuable addition to the school, providing CMU faculty with access to research problems and data from the Bosch Group. Betsy also presided over the creation of our first part-time master's program, the flex-mode program. The program was very successful and enabled us to learn how to launch and deliver other new programs.”

Bailey paved the way for pushing boundaries and encouraging women in any field to believe in themselves and take action to accomplish their dreams. To learn more, visit The Washington Post for a recent article on her life.