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Biz Buzz

USC Joins Peace Corps Program
The Peace Corps has announced that the University of South Carolina had joined its Master’s International program. Established in 1987, the program enables potential Peace Corps volunteers to complement their overseas service with study leading to a master’s degree. Prospective Master’s International students apply simultaneously to the Peace Corps and participating graduate schools. On acceptance, students complete one to two years of graduate course work as they prepare for their 27-month Peace Corps assignment.
USC’s program, offered through the Moore School of Business, will grant candidates an International Master of Business Administration. Former Peace Corps volunteers are also eligible to pursue USC’s IMBA.

Other schools offering MBAs through the Master’s International program include Loma Linda University, Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the University of the Pacific. Nine additional schools offer other management degrees in the program.

The Peace Corps also operates Fellows/USA, a separate program that gives returned Peace Corps volunteers financial assistance for graduate study. As of early 2009, 18 schools were offering MBA or other management degrees in that program.

Survey Shows Executive Education Increases Graduates’ Value
Executive education pays off for students, according to a recent survey. Three-quarters of Executive MBA students who took part in the Executive MBA Council 2008 Student Exit Benchmarking Survey say they greatly increased their value to their organization as a result of their Executive MBA experience. Sixty-seven percent said the program greatly increased their ability to be promoted. Respondents reported a 23 percent increase in salary from entering to leaving the program, with mean salaries of US$117,617 when entering and US$144,361 when leaving. Students surveyed also noted that executive education helped them gain specific business skills, with the largest improvements in business discipline integration, critical thinking, decision-making, global sensitivity, leadership, and team building. The survey included 3,858 students from more than 120 programs.

Sloan Offers its Knowledge to the World
The Sloan School of Management at MIT has started a website, MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources, offering a collection of creative teaching materials developed by MIT faculty and students. Designed to share the school’s knowledge with the world, the site provides free case studies, teaching videos, and other innovative instructional resources.

Wake Forest Pushes for Diversity in Accounting
As part of an effort to enhance diversity both on its campus and in the field of accounting, the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy at Wake Forest University sponsored the Calloway Accounting Diversity Consortium in early January. Prospective students in the school’s Master in Accountancy program were invited to campus for the three-day event, part of a university strategy designed to build ongoing relationships with historically black colleges and universities. Wake Forest credits last year’s inaugural Diversity Consortium, in conjunction with other diversity efforts, as having helped the Calloway School raise minority representation in its graduate accounting program from 4.5 percent to 15.7 percent in one year.

B Schools Grade Super Bowl Ads
At least three business schools combined business and pleasure on February 1 by rating the advertising that accompanied the Super Bowl. At Northwestern University, the employment website Monster.com won the fifth annual Kellogg School of Management Super Bowl Advertising Review, earning top marks for its ad “Need a New Job?” At the other end of the spectrum, the Kellogg School panel had significant strategic concerns about spots from SoBe Lifewater, H&R Block, GoDaddy.com, Vizio and Toyota.

Following a tradition at the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa, MBA students there met to watch the game and critique its ads. They voted the Doritos commercial—with an office employee throwing a crystal ball at a vending machine after predicting everyone in the office will get free Doritos, made as part of a contest sponsored by the company—as both the best and funniest ad. The Doritos ad also took top honors at Washington University in St. Louis, where students in the Olin Business School conducted their own rating, “Super Ad Bowl IX,” as a fundraiser for Meds and Food for Kids, an organization dedicated to curing child malnutrition in Haiti.

BIZ BRIEFS

University of California, San Diego, is “Lab to Market,” in which MBA students create products or services and ideas to commercialize them. While several companies have been formed from “Lab to Market” projects, the first course-created company to receive investment funding is currently making significant inroads in the technology and healthcare industries. The company, Polka, described as a “secure mobile aggregation and collaboration service,” helps individuals keep their personal health information up-to-date and available on demand. Apple’s App Store, for example, carries four Polka applications designed for the iPhone and iPod touch. MBA Mike Kirkwood, who graduated from the school in 2008, filed patents for Polka’s core technology and started marketing Polka as part of the UCSD course.

Amidst the gloom on Wall Street comes this bit of good news: Goldman Sachs has marked the graduation of the first students in its 10,000 Women initiative, a global effort that provides underserved women, predominantly in developing and emerging markets, with business and management education. In late January, 29 graduating students at the Indian School of Business met with leaders from the company and the school to present business plans developed through their coursework. A second group of women will begin their studies in Bangalore in February. A total of 300 Indian women will receive training over the five-year program.

The School of Business and Management at the University of San Francisco has started a 12-month, multi-continent master’s program in global entrepreneurship and management. Offered in partnership with Instituto Químico de Sarriá of Barcelona and Fu Jen Catholic University of Taipei, Taiwan, the program is designed to immerse students in real-world issues in globalization and international business. Starting in Barcelona, students will attend each partner school consecutively, spending several months in each.

Four new members have been elected to the board of the MBA Roundtable, a nonprofit organization that facilitates exchange of information on MBA curricular innovation. They are: Kay Keck, Thunderbird School of Global Management; Eric Hirst, the University of Texas at Austin; Roy Hinton, George Mason University School of Management; and Fernando D’Alessio, CENTRUM Católica, the Graduate Business School of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

FROM THE FUNDRAISING DESK
Case Western Reserve University has received a US$7.5 million gift commitment from alumnus Charles D. Fowler and his wife, Charlotte, to support sustainability initiatives at the Weatherhead School of Management. The money will support a center for sustainable enterprise, a chaired professorship, research, and the development of teaching material.

York University, in Toronto, has announced a grant of C$3 million from Jay and Barbara Hennick in support of a new center for business and law, a joint venture of the university’s Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business.

The Anderson School of Management at the University of California-Los Angeles has announced a US$2 million gift from Jim Easton to establish a technology leadership program for students with engineering and technical backgrounds.

Entrepreneur Morton Fleischer and his wife, Donna, an Arizona State University graduate, have donated a US$1.3 million bronze statue to the school’s W. P. Carey School of Business. Fourteen feet tall and 20 feet long, the statue—“Spirit”—is a rendering of five larger-than-life horses rising out of the earth. Sculptor Buck McCain describes it as “a symbol of democratic capitalism at its best.”

Stephen G. Newberry and his wife, Shelley, have pledged US$1 million to endow a faculty chair in leadership at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis. They also pledged $500,000 to create a fellowship for MBA students with demonstrated leadership abilities.

The Johns Hopkins University has announced completion of a US$3.741 billion fundraising campaign. A portion of the funds enabled the university to create its Carey Business School.

The Duke Energy Foundation has pledged US$1.25 million to the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics at the University of South Carolina Upstate in support of the college’s new building, currently under construction in Spartanburg.

The Business School at the University of Colorado Denver has received a bequest of US$1.1 million from the estate of Viola Reynolds in support of the school’s first endowed chair, the Robert H. Reynolds Chair in Global Leadership, named after her husband.

NEW PROGRAMS
The executive education division at Columbia Business School has started a “social enterprise” category of programs designed to help students apply business management skills to social problems. The division will offer open enrollment and customized programs for the nonprofit and public sectors, and plans to draw on existing resources in the school’s social enterprise program for MBA and EMBA students. … The Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia has replaced its evening MBA program with one labeled “Fast-Track Professional MBA.” The program targets working professionals who are rising quickly in their organizations and looking for an MBA program that will advance their careers without interfering with their jobs. … The Brock School of Business at Samford University has established an office of executive education. … The MIT Sloan School of Management and the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO are launching a series of joint programs aimed at strengthening the Russian school’s capacity in business education at the international level while exposing MIT Sloan faculty and students to a new range of global developments and challenges.

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