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B-Schools Respond to Financial Crisis 

The media and the public have turned to business schools to make sense of the current financial crisis.

In the Wall Street Journal on October 2, R. Glenn Hubbard and Chris Mayer—the dean and senior vice dean, respectively, of Columbia Business School—proposed a plan to clean up the mortgage market. Hubbard and Mayer observed that falling housing values caused the credit market to seize up, perpetuating further declines in home prices and contributing significantly to the crisis. To stem this trend, they called on the government to push down residential mortgage rates to 5.25 percent, which they argued would be close to where mortgage rates would have been in a normally functioning market.

"I don't think we want to stand here and play chicken with the Great Depression," Peter Rodriguez, associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, told a packed auditorium at a September 24 panel discussion about the crisis. Rodriguez was one of six Darden professors who shared insights about the financial crisis.

In addition, many universities have reached out to alumni, who may feel the impact of the crisis. At Wake Forest University, for example, President Nathan O. Hatch and Dean of Business Steven S. Reinemund co-signed a letter to business school alumni urging them to tap into the university’s networks of graduates, parents, and friends.

Paul Bates, dean of the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Canada, discussed reasons for the crisis in a column September 27 in The Hamilton Spectator, an Ontario newspaper. Citing his business experiences, Bates opined that one important lesson is that “markets do recover.”

Asked what his school was telling students about the crisis, Joseph Baczko, dean at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, told CNBC that “our advice to them is that this will pass.” Referring to past crises like the 1987 stock market crash, Baczko said, “we’ve gone through this before.”

On September 30, more than 300 people attended a presentation on the state of the economy at the Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business at Loyola University New Orleans. William Barnett, the university’s Chase Distinguished Professor of International Business, and Ron Christner, associate professor of finance, discussed the origins of the crisis and the effects the government’s intervention might have on the economy.

More LEEDs for B-Schools

Georgia Tech will save money, and faculty and students can breathe a little easier, in Georgia Tech’s new management building, the second building in Georgia to be certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver “green” building by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In Virginia, meanwhile, the College of William & Mary is seeking Silver-level LEED certification for its Alan B. Miller Hall, scheduled to open next fall as the home of the school’s Mason School of Business.

With such features as triple-pane windows, photovoltaic roof panels, and zinc roofing to reflect heat away, the Business Instructional Facility at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the first green building in the university's 141-year-old history. The US$60 million, 160,000-square-foot building opened in August. The university hopes the building will earn either gold or platinum LEED certification.

BIZ BRIEFS

  • The gap of available qualified business faculty with PhDs is anticipated to top 2,500 by 2012. One response to meet this need is the Post-Doctoral Bridge to Business Program, which just graduated its second cohort of students and has now produced 30 professionals for the management education market. The program, offered through Tulane University, the University of Florida, the University of Toledo, Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, and Virginia Tech, prepares experienced doctoral faculty from other academic disciplines for careers as business faculty members.
  • The Saïd Business School at Oxford University has broken ground on a £30 million building that will house its executive education programs.
  • Bentley College, recently cited by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as offering “one of the strongest and most interesting examples of integrating business education and liberal learning,” has changed its name to Bentley University.
  • Through his publisher, Wessex Inc., Noel Capon, the R.C. Kopf Professor of International Marketing at Columbia Business School, is making his popular marketing textbook, Managing Marketing in the 21st Century, available online. He’ll ask readers to pay what they think it is worth and will donate 50 percent of what is collected to college scholarships.
  • Faculty at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business have approved changes that will add flexibility to the school’s curriculum. More options have been added to help students fulfill nine required courses. In addition, an academic concentration in analytical management has been added. “Our philosophy remains that our students own their experience here, and each student should play the major role in determining the course of study that is best for him or her,” said Dean Edward Snyder. The faculty also voted to require all students in the evening and weekend MBA programs to take a leadership development course similar to one required of full-time students.
  • The National Society of Hispanic MBAs has selected the University of Notre Dame as lead academic sponsor for its 2010 Conference & Career Expo. In a competition, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business was chosen based on its long-standing commitment to the Hispanic community and tradition of supporting diversity.

FROM THE FUNDRAISING DESK

The UCLA Anderson School of Management has started a US$100 million fundraising campaign. The program targets support for the school's strategic priorities, faculty chairs, endowed research centers, research, teaching, and global initiatives. The campaign is scheduled to conclude in 2010, which marks the school's 75th anniversary.

At Texas Tech University, the Rawls College of Business has announced a US$70 million capital campaign, the bulk of which will pay for a state-of-the-art building.

Thunderbird School of Global Management has announced plans to raise US$65 million.

London Business School has received a multimillion pound commitment from the J. Coller Foundation to help expand the school’s private equity education and research.

Loyola University Chicago has announced a US$500 million fundraising target, of which US$75 million is earmarked for the business school.

Louis and Barbara Perlmutter have made a US$5 million gift to the International Business School at Brandeis University to establish the Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership.

The University of Louisville has received US$3 million for its College of Business. Given by Terry and Marion Forcht, the gift will be used to establish a center for entrepreneurship.

The University at Buffalo School of Management has received US$1 million from H. William Lichtenberger in support of an endowed professorship in global services and supply management.

NEW PROGRAMS

Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge has announced its inaugural Cambridge Executive MBA, scheduled to start next September. … The University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has opened a financial laboratory; the US$2.3 million facility features a financial trading simulator, stock tickers, tote display boards, 58 computer stations, live news feeds, and classroom space. … As part of a partnership with EM Lyon Business School in France and the School of Management at Zhejiang University in China, Babson College will offer a master of science in management degree with a concentration in global entrepreneurship. …  London Business School announced that it will offer a Masters in Management degree starting next August. The program is geared to recent university graduates who have less than a year's work experience and whose undergraduate degree is in a discipline other than business or management studies.

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