Robert K. Jaedicke was the sixth dean of Stanford GSB from 1983 to 1990. Jaedicke also served as acting dean from 1979 to 1980 and as associate dean for academic affairs from 1969 to 1981. Jaedicke joined the accounting faculty at the school in 1961.
He joined the accounting faculty at Stanford GSB in 1961, and eventually became a highly-rated professor, based on student evaluations. In 1985, he received the Distinguished Professor Award for outstanding service to accounting education from the California Certified Public Accountants Foundation for Education and Research. He was also honored in 1961 and 1962 for outstanding research from the National Association of Accountants.
Jaedicke, who was famous for driving an old Chevy Malibu on campus, was known as a hard-working academic and administrator who was also conscious of his civic duties. Retired Stanford GSB Professor Charles T. Horngren recalled in a 2002 interview with the New York Times how Jaedicke, who was then associate dean, once reported without hesitation for jury duty.
“As you know, there are maneuvers most people try to avoid it,” Horngren told a reporter. “He did none of that. He became foreman of the jury and still did his job as associate dean by coming in and working all night.”
As dean, Jaedicke expanded the size of the permanent faculty and broadened the scope of the school’s curriculum. Under his leadership, the school began to focus more on such areas as corporate responsibility and management ethics. With the rapidly growing role of information technology in business, the school also heightened its focus on the management of complex technology and the process of technological change.
He was also known as a tireless fundraiser. Eleven professorships were endowed during this tenure and the school’s endowment grew to more than $53 million. The Stanford GSB campus also grew during his tenure, highlighted by the opening of the Edmund W. Littlefield Center in 1988. A little over a year later, the Loma Prieta earthquake hit, causing serious damage to the South Building. Under Jaedicke’s leadership, the school raised more than $7 million to repair the building and bring it up to code.
Jaedicke stepped down as dean in 1990. A photograph taken of him while serving as dean shows him in cowboy attire, leaning on a fence post — a tribute to his fondness for things western. Since retiring he has spent most of his time on his ranch in Montana.