Robert Bruner

Fast Facts

  • Dean Emeritus of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia
  • Author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books on finance, management, and teaching
  • Expertise on financial crises, bank panics, enterprise leadership 

Areas Of Expertise

  • Economic Issues
  • Finance and Banking
  • Jobs and Economy
  • Taxation
  • Trade
  • Governance
  • Leadership

Robert Bruner, faculty senior fellow, is University Professor at the University of Virginia, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Dean Emeritus of the Darden School of Business. He has also held visiting appointments at Harvard University and Columbia University, INSEAD in France, and IESE in Spain. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books on finance, management, and teaching. A faculty member since 1982, he has won leading teaching awards at the University of Virginia and within the Commonwealth of Virginia. His current fields of research and teaching include financial crises, the relationship between democracy and capitalism, and the leadership attributes of U.S. presidents.

As a financial economist, Bruner is best known for his research on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and financial panics. His books Deals from Hell and Applied Mergers and Acquisitions have helped numerous practitioners and students toward successful transactions. His book published in 2008, The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned From the Market's Perfect Storm, with Sean D. Carr, attracted wide attention for its discussion of the underpinnings of financial crises. In 2011, Bruner led a global task force of deans for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business that produced a comprehensive review of global management education. The resulting book-length report, The Globalization of Management Education, urged educational leaders to rise to the challenges of globalization. He is the author and co-author of more than 300 teaching case studies and of Case Studies in Finance, now in its eighth edition. He comments on life, business, and current events in his blog

As the eighth dean of the Darden School from 2005 to 2015, Bruner chartered or led a series of initiatives that strengthened the faculty and academic programs, raised the profile of admitted students, improved diversity in the Darden community, raised more than $165 million in new funds, and saw Darden's rankings rise to the top 10 of U.S. business schools. In 2011, Poets & Quants and CNNMoney/Fortune named him "Dean of the Year."

A native of Chicago, Bruner received a BA degree from Yale University in 1971 and MBA and DBA degrees from Harvard University in 1974 and 1982, respectively. 

For more information and copies of his papers and essays, visit his website.


Robert Bruner News Feed

Well-functioning markets rely on political norms, including property rights, the rule of law, free trade, the sanctity of contracts, fair dealing, and the efficient distribution of resources. But increasingly political candidates charge that the capitalist system is “rigged” in ways that thwart democratic processes and favor important players and interests in the capitalist economy. We explore how the disruption of 2020 and a looming recession affect this dynamic—and what the influence on the 2020 election will be.
Robert Bruner Miller Center Presents
The coronavirus pandemic is a crisis of unprecedented scale and scope. In response, the world looks to its leaders for clarity, direction, and the reassurance that their actions will mitigate — not exacerbate — the pandemic’s dire humanitarian and economic consequences. While no U.S. president has faced a challenge quite like the current one, what do past commanders-in-chief have to teach us about leading through a crisis? University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Bob Bruner shares findings from his examination of the leadership styles of past U.S. presidents that could inform the current moment for leaders at all levels as we navigate the difficult path ahead.
Robert Bruner Darden Ideas to Action podcast
Two years ago, University of Virginia professors Robert Bruner, David Smith and David Leblang teamed up to teach a class on the 2008 financial crisis, going over what happened in that crisis and how the country could prepare for the next one. Now they are turning their attention to the brewing economic crisis fueled by the global COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, Bruner, Smith and Leblang will lead a webinar, “The Developing Economic Crisis and the Pandemic,” hosted by UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, McIntire School of Commerce and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
Robert Bruner UVA Today
The Miller Center's Robert Bruner and David Leblang join David Smith from UVA's McIntire School of Commerce to discuss the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as possible policy responses.
Robert Bruner Miller Center Presents
Misconceptions about the Great Depression abound. The Miller Center's Robert Bruner sets the record straight. 
The Washington Post
Liz Ivaniw Jones Darden School of Business