Welcome to The Eller Times, sharing highlights of news, events, people, and partners of the Eller College of Management.
Nearly 400 community members turned out for an October 1 roundtable event to hear College experts explain the turmoil in the markets and offered insight into the national economic picture.
“All eyes are on the financial markets these days,” says Eller College dean and Halle Chair in Leadership Paul Portney. “The Eller College aspires not only to educate its students, but also to contribute to the community in which it’s located.”
Finance department head Christopher Lamoureux began the event with an overview of the events leading up to the crisis. Bestselling economist Gerald Swanson continued with insight into the national economic picture.
The event occurred the same evening that the Senate passed a revised version of the $700 billion rescue package. Portney combed through the package just before the talk and offered insight into the ways in which it might be enacted, drawing from his time as chief economist for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
All three fielded questions following the presentation. Community members brought up concerns including how to prevent a similar meltdown in the future, the survival of the banking system, the fate of the assets of failed banks such as Washington Mutual, and the possibility of the market sorting itself out without government intervention. Swanson fielded the latter question, indicating that government intervention is necessary to prevent the long and painful recession that would result from a hands-off approach.
For more information about the Economic Roundtable:
In a September ribbon-cutting ceremony, officials from The University of Arizona, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Congress, and state and local agencies saw the official launch of the UA-led National Center for Border Security and Immigration (NCBSI).
The center is funded through a $16.56 million, six-year DHS grant, which is renewable for an additional six years. The UA heads up the research portion of the grant, while the University of Texas at El Paso was awarded an additional $6 million to head up an educational component.
The research-focused center is designed to develop security technology and gather data about immigrants. It is led by Regents Professor and Soldwedel Chair in Management Information Systems Jay Nunamaker, with associate director Elyse Golob of the UA Office of Economic and Policy Analysis.
Nunamaker says that the center’s research will focus on new technologies such as surveillance, screening, and situational awareness using sensors and unmanned aerial vehicles. Multiple sensors are under investigation for deception detection, including the Laser Doppler Vibrometer, thermal camera, blink camera, iris camera, and linguistic, vocalic, and kinesics techniques. “The objective is to discover a reliable set of cues from potentially over 200 cues,” explains Nunamaker. “We are developing a system that collects the data in a non-invasive way.”
“Ultimately,” he adds, “The center will collect the data that are needed to align with these technologies for border and immigration-related public policy.”
This summer, a team from Office Depot Professor of Marketing Shankar Ganesan’s sales management course topped an intercollegiate case competition sponsored by the Philip Morris Division of the Altria Group.
The Eller team — Tommy Bruce, Erica Carberry, and Katie Blodgett — beat out strong competition from USC’s Marshall School of Business. “We were faced with a case that outlined numerous issues within a Philip Morris sales region,” says Blodgett, who will graduate with her BSBA in marketing and a BFA in musical theatre in May 2009. “Communication and organization made up the majority of the case, and we were asked to simplify and clarify the process within this sales region.”
The competition included a 25-minute presentation to Philip Morris senior management, followed by a 45-minute question and answer session.
“The case competition not only offered our students an opportunity to showcase their talent and business acumen in front of senior managers from Philip Morris, but it also gave them a glimpse of what it would take to succeed in corporate America,” says Ganesan. “It is not enough to have a good conceptual understanding of the problem and the analytical ability to solve it — employees also need to prioritize and provide actionable solutions that reflect budget and time constraints.”“The case made an immense impact on my educational experience at Eller,” says Blodgett. “It allowed me to push myself to new levels in my analytical ability, and truly gave me irreplaceable real-life experiences that I feel will only serve me for the future.”
This summer, the Eller College launched two custom, non-degree programs aimed at medical professionals who want to hone their management acumen. Eller College Business of Medicine™ and Eller College Business of HealthCare™ are aimed at physicians and hospital administrators, respectively, and were developed for Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH).
“The health care industry is vital, dynamic, and complex; it is one that is more heavily dependent upon human resources than almost any industry,” explains Ethel Hoffman, Director of Managed Care Business Development at PCH. “This program provides a venue to bring together management personnel of various educational, technical, and experiential levels for the common purpose of enhancing organizational performance.”
“The program has been received extremely well,” says Denise Schubert, director of Executive Education at the Eller College. “Physicians as well as non-physician administrators and directors see real value in gaining business skills that they were not exposed to in their professional education.”
“In a health care organization of the magnitude of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, professionals interact with a relatively small number of their peers on a regular basis,” Hoffman says. “So there is a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be shared from within our own group. With the Eller staff acting as facilitators, the opportunities for peer interaction alone have been invaluable.”
The programs are also accredited for Continuing Education for physicians (CME) and nurses (CE). “For the long-term, we’d like to roll out the program beyond Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” Schubert says. “There is a significant need within the medical community for programs of this sort, and we believe it is something we can do well.”For more information about Eller College Business of Medicine™ and Eller College Business of HealthCare™, contact Denise Schubert at 480.306.4447.
Every year, students in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program seek expert insight on their ventures from the Anheuser-Busch Entrepreneur-in-Residence. This guest of the program meets with entrepreneurship teams and also offers perspective into the process of launching a venture at a free community lecture.
This year, in an effort to further refine the students' abilities to value, organize, and pitch their ventures to prospective investors, the program is bringing in John May, an angel investor, to serve as the Angel-in-Residence.
May is managing partner of New Vantage Group, which invests private equity capital in early-stage companies. He is also chairman of the Angel Capital Association and a lead instructor for their "Power of Angel Investing" seminars.
In 2006, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship established a partnership with the James E. Rogers College of Law that resulted in the Business / Law Exchange™, the centerpiece of which is a mock law firm class. The class teams law students with entrepreneurship students; the latter serve as clients to the former during the venture development process.
“Early in the class, the entrepreneurship students are forming into teams and developing executive summaries for their ventures,” says Larry Hecker, principal with Hecker & Muehlbach, who teaches the course. “My students will review the summaries for glaring legal issues. As the semester progresses, they will begin to interact directly with the entrepreneurship students, assisting them with legal issues that arise.”
There are a dozen third-year law students in the class; in teams of two, they each serve as mock counsel to three client teams. “They’re learning how to communicate with non-lawyers on complex legal issues,” Hecker says. “And they’re learning that one of the big challenges with entrepreneurship and law is identifying the particular legal issues inherent in any given venture.”
Like the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, the class is one year long, so the venture teams can benefit from legal insight throughout their processes. “In every way,” Hecker says, “we’ve tried to make it as much like the real world as possible, although there’s no requirement to keep billing sheets or bill a minimum number of mock hours during the semester.”
This month, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship hosted representatives from 180 universities at the annual Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) conference.
GCEC was founded in 1996 to provide a coordinated vehicle through which members can collaborate and communicate on the specific issues that face university-based entrepreneurship centers.
This year, the McGuire Center re-imagined the conference format. “We organized the conference around the idea of taking stock of entrepreneurship,” explains Sherry Hoskinson, director of the McGuire Center. “We started with a look at where we are as entrepreneurship centers, then looked at the state of the field as a whole today, and concluded with visions for the future.”
Gary Rhoades, professor of higher education at The University of Arizona, delivered a keynote on the state of the field of entrepreneurship as a whole. Likening it to his own field of higher education, he explained that it is a relatively young field still coming into its own. At a visionary dinner later that evening, individuals approaching entrepreneurship from different viewpoints — such as a university administrator, a technology transfer administrator, a student, and an entrepreneur — presented short statements about where they see the field.
The event concluded with an awards ceremony at which the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship was recognized as a Center of Entrepreneurship Excellence with the NASDAQ Award, which is selected by a committee of past winners.
“We were stunned,” says Hoskinson. “It was an enormous honor.”
Congratulations to marketing department head and Lisle and Roslyn Payne Professor of Marketing Robert Lusch (MBA ‘72), whose paper “Evolving to a New Dominant Logic in Marketing” was recognized as the most-cited paper of the decade by the Journal of Marketing.
As part of the 11th annual Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Awards program, the bank awarded $2,000 scholarships to Eller students Aleena Astorga, Khoi Vo, and Joseph Altamirano. So far, the Wells Fargo Copper Cactus scholarship program has awarded $78,000 to Eller students.
Thomas R. Brown Professor of Management and Technology Amar Gupta was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about the future of U.S. health care and the role information technology will play. The article is available online.
Price Fishback, Frank and Clara Kramer Professor of Economics, has a guest post about the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation on The New York Times Freakonomics blog.
Assistant professor of accounting Mei Cheng joined the Eller College two and a half years ago. Her research examines capital markets, both the stock market and the debt market, and the role financial analysts play in each.
One paper, "Analyst Following and Credit Ratings," looks at the relationship between financial analyst following and default risk. The paper is forthcoming in Contemporary Accounting Research.
"There are benefits to having analysts following your firm," Cheng says. "We hypothesize that having analysts follow a firm reduces default risk for two reasons: the analysts’ monitoring and informational roles. These analysts are the market intermediaries who ultimately inform investors."
Cheng says large firms, such as GE, may be followed by as many as 40 analysts, and their monitoring and information-sharing can have the effect of lowering the cost of borrowing. "If I'm a CEO, and I know two months from now I'll be taking on some debt, I know I need a really good rate," she explains. "These CEOs can think about ways to increase analyst following to attract capital."
Cheng found that analyst-following is negatively related to a firm's credit rating, and the effect of analyst-following on credit ratings is less pronounced for firms with a superior information environment.
"The effect of analyst monitoring is less pronounced on firms with good corporate governance, because they already have good information and stronger controls," she explains. On the other hand, she found that analyst-following had less of an effect on the firm's credit rating when the analysts' information quality was poor."We tend to assume that financial analysts work just on the stock side," Cheng says. "But they also play a role in the debt market."
For Arvin Poole, the entrepreneurial seed was planted young. His father was an entrepreneur, but passed away when Poole was seven. His uncle took over the family business and kept it going.
Growing up the youngest of three, Elizabeth (Vanderhei) Kuehn was an early student of her father’s interest in Wall Street, and followed the market right alongside him. “He’d show me off to his friends when I was in elementary school,” she says. “He’d tell them, ‘Look, she knows the ticker symbols!’”
When it came time for college, a degree in finance was a foregone conclusion. Kuehn, who grew up in Wisconsin, chose Eller after observing the great experiences her brother (Rob Vanderhei, BSBA Marketing '95) and sister (Barbara Jean Dupuis, BSBA International Business '94) had at the college. “And, of course,” she says, “I was tired of the snow.”
At Eller, Kuehn took Don Seeley’s portfolio management class and completed internships with Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. But when it came time to go after that first job in the investment industry, she hesitated. “I wanted to have a family,” she says. “I wanted to have a life.”
Kuehn accepted a position as a budgets and planning analyst with Intel in Chandler. “I was nervous about the adjustment to working in corporate finance,” she says, “but thanks to my education, the extensive Intel training, and loads of support from co-workers, I got up to speed quickly.”
Kuehn took advantage of the company’s finance rotation program, and in her second Intel role, became a consolidator in Corporate Services. “That meant taking pieces of information from Intel financial analysts around the country, plus Costa Rica, to produce a comprehensive view of the business for senior management,” she explains.
It was during that time that Kuehn became pregnant with her first son. She went to Corporate Services Americas controller Henry Corral to break the news. “I told him, ‘I’m pregnant, and I’m quitting.’” But Corral wouldn’t take quitting as an answer. Instead, he encouraged Kuehn to take advantage of Intel's Work/Life Effectiveness program and allowed her to telecommute so she could spend as much time as possible with her son.
In February, Kuehn and her husband welcomed a second son. “Intel's Work/Life Effectiveness program really made it possible for me to have the best of both worlds” she says. When she returned from maternity leave earlier this year, Kuehn took on a new challenge as a strategic analyst focused on systems and productivity within Corporate Services. “The rotation program is great and keeps me challenged,” she says. “I like the idea that I’m not going to be stuck in the same role for 30 years.”
Kuehn gets to the UA campus about once a month. “I try to help out as much as possible,” she says. She’s served as a guest judge in Roberto Mejias’s classes, participates in Intel’s annual interview workshop, and assists at recruiting events. “We occasionally head out to the UA basketball games, too,” she says. Her husband, Mike, is also an Eller alum (BSBA Accounting '01). “We’re a family of Wildcats,” she explains. “We’re telling our boys that they are allowed to attend whatever university they want when it comes time to go to college — but we hope it's the U of A!”
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