Dr. Sidney E. Harris is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Operations Research in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University.
He was named dean of the College of Business at Georgia State University in July 1997. During his tenure (1997-2004) as dean, he reformulated the strategic direction of the College, provided leadership for a fundraising campaign that raised over $27 million (including the college’s naming gift) and launched three new research centers. When he stepped down as dean the College was ranked in sixteen different areas by eight different national and international publications, including the Financial Times, BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes.
His professional career began in the Operations Research Center with AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey and he moved to Georgia State University in Atlanta where he became a (tenured) member of the College of Business faculty. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at the Claremont Graduate University as professor of management. He served as dean of the Drucker School (currently the Peter F. Drucker and Masotoshi Ito Graduate School of Management) from 1991-1996. At Drucker, he provided the leadership for a fundraising campaign that resulted in a new home for the school and increased faculty hiring.
His research and teaching focuses on the dilemmas that leaders face during times of uncertainty in confronting reality, adapting to strategic change and leading their firms through “fork in the road” decisions. Decisions in which the stakes are high and so are the risks for the leader and the top management team. His research has been published in Organization Science, Organization Dynamics, ACM Transactions on Information Systems, MIS Quarterly and IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering. He has lectured internationally at several universities, including Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Sorbonne University (Paris), Erasmus University (Holland), United Arab Emirates University (U.A.E.), University of British Columbia (Canada), University of Waterloo (Canada), University of West Indies (Trinidad) and the National University of Singapore.
He currently serves as the nonexecutive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ridgeworth Funds ($24B mutual fund complex). He also serves on the board of Total System Services (TSYS), an electronic payments processor where he is Chairman of the Technology Committee and member of the Audit Committee and Executive Committee. He has served on the boards of Family Savings Bank, Transamerica Investors, AMERSCO, Lanier Worldwide, Airgate PCS and ServiceMaster where he was Chairman of the Executive Committee and the lead director. He also served on the board of the Multi-Manager TEI Portfolio Fund (hedge fund), where he served as Chair of the Governance and Nominating and on the Audit Committee. Among nonprofits, he is currently the Chairman of the Board of the International University of the Grand-Bassam (Ivory Coast) Foundation and on the board of the St. Jude Recovery Center. He previously served on the boards of the Society of International Business Fellows, Beta Gamma Sigma –The International Honor Society, AACSB International, Georgia Council for Substance and Drug Abuse, Camp Coca-Cola, and the Peter F. Drucker NonProfit Foundation.
He enjoys visiting art museums, listening to jazz, traveling, boating, fishing, and college football. He is married to Mary S. Harris, founder and CEO of BioTechnical Communications.