The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

October 23, 2009

GWSB in Top 10 in Aspen Institute Beyond Grey Pinstripes Survey

GWSB climbed into the top 10 among full-time U.S. MBA programs ranked by the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes. The rankings rate schools on how well they are preparing students for the “environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business.” GWSB ranks No. 10 among U.S. schools, up from No. 11 in the institute’s previous survey. The School’s rank among international schools remains unchanged at No. 13.

“Our goal is to provide a truly world-class business education. We prepare our students for success in the global economy while instilling in them a strong sense of social responsibility,” said Susan M. Phillips, dean of GW’s School of Business and professor of finance. “The School’s position in the Aspen Institute rankings is a good indicator of our success toward meeting that goal.”

The 2009-2010 edition of the Aspen Institute Beyond Grey Pinstripes rankings were based on a survey of 149 business schools in 24 countries. The biennial survey evaluates full-time MBA programs on their teaching and research related to issues pertaining to business and society.

“We are very proud to be in the top 10 in this prestigious ranking,” said Murat Tarimcilar, associate dean for graduate programs. “The Aspen Institute Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking is particularly important to GWSB because it measures qualities that help set us apart from other institutions. All of our MBA programs are reinforced with a unique emphasis on global business, ethics and leadership. We are committed to teaching our students not only to ‘do well’ in business, but also to ‘do good.’ ”

The survey and rankings are available at beyondgreypinstripes.org.

Mark Starik, director of GW’s Institute for Corporate Responsibility and chair of the School’s Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy, noted: “What is most impressive about this rating is that it resulted from the scholarly efforts of more than half our faculty.”

Understanding the Human Side of the Financial Crisis

D. Christopher Kayes: “Analysis and remedies
for the crisis are still moving targets.”

When the MBA students in D. Christopher Kayes’s “Leadership and Organizations” class examined the financial crisis, they didn’t talk much about debt, mortgage-backed securities, troubled assets or systematic risk. Instead, they focused on the good – and the bad – leadership associated with the economic turmoil.

“Underlying the entire financial crisis is a human drama that reflects the core of what it means to be a leader,” said Kayes, a Dean’s Research Scholar and professor of management.

The class studied U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s reluctant decision to bail out the banks. When he was CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks, Paulson vigorously promoted free markets and a limit on government involvement in private banking. Yet, as treasury secretary at the height of the crisis, he abandoned those deeply held views and pumped billions of dollars into the system. The lesson for students? Leaders must adapt to changing circumstances.

Kayes’ students also looked at cases involving money managers who illegally used investor funds as well as examples of financial institutions that have remained strong despite the downturn. One case study focused on a management team that decided early on to stop trading the most risky assets. Another spotlighted firms that did what was best for their customers rather than what was best for the company.

As a final project in the seven-week course, one cluster of students studied Bank of America’s controversial acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Students who came from the banking sector said the course helped put their experiences in a different perspective.

“When I designed the course, I thought we would have a handle on the issues,” Kayes said. “However, analysis and remedies for the crisis are still moving targets. Each week, students would send me articles or contribute to the class blog, adding analysis, insights or news about the events and key decision makers.

“You have to be ready to change your assumptions, and understand that students may have unique insights in a course like this,” he added.

Not at all ‘Business as Usual’ – MBA Reunion a Smash Hit!

Current students network with alumni at the 2009 MBA Reunion, part of GW's Alumni Weekend.

The 2009 MBA Reunion was an enormous success and one of the highlights of GW’s Alumni Weekend, thanks to targeted programming, branding and peer outreach. The event drew alumni from across the country and around the world.

The reunion kicked off on Thursday, Oct. 1, with the 3rd Annual Ramsey Student Investment Fund Conference, which focused on post-crisis investing. The conference featured a keynote speech by W. Russell Ramsey, BBA, ’81, chairman of GW’s Board of Trustees and chairman and CEO of Ramsey Asset Management. The conference also included panels on asset allocation and agriculture. Later that evening, alumni, students and participants in the MBA Mentor program mingled and networked at a reception under the tent in FedEx Plaza.

On Saturday, business found its way into the arts at the GW Alumni Film Festival, where two GWSB graduates had their films featured. Jonathan Neil Schneider, BBA, ’84, screened his film “Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington,” and David Leaf, BBA, ’73, showed his recent documentary “The U.S. vs. John Lennon.”

The MBA Reunion showcased its “green” side by spotlighting the accomplishments of two of GWSB’s most talented MBA alumnae – Miranda A.A. Ballentine, MBA, ’04, and Jennifer Boulden, MBA, ’04 – both of whom have made large contributions in the field of sustainability. Ballentine delivered the keynote speech, which detailed her efforts as director of corporate affairs for sustainability at the Wal-Mart Corp.

“Listening to Miranda Ballentine’s speech was incredibly motivational. During her highly personalized discussion of careers within the field of sustainability, she told MBA alumni, students and professors to ‘go do whatever you are big enough to do,’ which is a favorite quote from the Walton family,” said Ari Isaacman, MBA, ’10, president of GW Net Impact.

Miranda A.A. Ballentine reconnects with her former professor Mark Starik.

Boulden, co-founder of Ideal Bites, a Web site dedicated to “creating a more sustainable world,” received the inaugural Dean’s Distinguished MBA Alumni Achievement Award. The Web initiative e-mails its 400,000 subscribers simple tips they can use to “go green.”

“Jennifer has led with integrity in every task that she accomplishes,” Dean Susan M. Phillips said. “While in the MBA program, Jennifer led the GW Net Impact Program, which unites emerging business leaders who seek to serve the planet. Even after leaving GW Jennifer continued to serve her alma mater by hiring GW students as interns at her first start-up company and by remaining close to her professors.

“In all of her activities Jennifer has remained true to herself and her beliefs. She strives to accomplish her dream of making the world a more sustainable place for everyone,” the dean added. “Her proven commitment to GWSB and her belief that everyone can contribute to making the planet greener are evidence to the fact that she is a distinguished MBA alumna.”

Dean Phillips presents the inaugural Dean’s Distinguished MBA Alumni Achievement award to Jennifer Boulden.

The GWSB Office of Alumni Relations thanked the MBA Reunion Committee for its hard work to make the event such a success, citing the efforts of Susanna Beshai, MBA, ’08; Liyan Kuang, MBA, ’08; Bryan Goshorn, MBA, ’07; Meaghan Hohl, MBA, ’07; Julie Powers, MBA, ’04; Ryfie Amkraut, MBA, ’04; Gerri Wesley, MBA, ’04; Noah Israel, MBA, ’99; Mehul Dhamsania, MBA, ’99; Deborah Darrell, MBA, ’94; Sharon Ingram, MBA, ’92; Robyn Sealey, MBA, ’92; Heather Kang Dull, MBA, ’89; Glynis Long, MBA ’79; Charlie Kuebler, MBA, ’70 and Stanley Grube, MBA ’66. For additional photos and information about the 2010 MBA Reunion and GW Alumni Weekend, visit business.gwu.edu/alumni/reunion.

GWSB Hosts 250 Brazilian and U.S. Professors

The U.S. Department of Education chose GWSB’s Center for Latin American Issues (CLAI) to host this year’s annual conference of the U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program. The program, funded by grants from both governments, teams more than 100 U.S. universities with a similar number of Brazilian institutions to foster joint research and promote student and faculty exchanges.

In addition to holding individual consortium meetings and group working sessions, the delegates met in plenary session and heard addresses by Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno and by Brazil’s senior diplomat in Washington, Chargé d’Affaires Carlos Ceglia.

Each consortium in the program consists of at least two U.S. and two Brazilian institutions. The GW group includes Temple University and, from Brazil, the Federal University of Santa Catarina and the Federal University of Paraná. Project leaders from the participating institutions meet every year, alternately in Brazil and the United States, to discuss program interests, explore new areas for collaboration and to network.

This year’s conference joined education officials from the respective federal administrations with nearly 250 faculty members – almost equally divided between the two countries – for meetings at GW, from Oct. 18-20. This was the first opportunity for many of the educators, especially those from Brazil, to visit GW. To date, nine GW students have studied in Brazil under the program.

GW Student-Consultants Take on Tourism Project in the Dominican Republic

Participants in the GW International Consulting Practicum visited the Dominican Republic to lend their expertise in promoting sustainable tourism.

In June, Kristen Lamoureux, director of GWSB’s International Institute of Tourism Studies, and Donald Hawkins, Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy, led a special study-abroad program that brought together 16 GWSB grad students and nine undergraduate tourism students from four universities in the Dominican Republic. The aim of the joint project is to promote sustainable tourism in the Caribbean nation.

The project is the focus of this year’s George Washington University International Consulting Practicum, a GWSB study-abroad program offered every summer and centered on a six-week cooperative effort between GW graduate students and host-country universities.

“The GW consulting practicum is a tremendously challenging and rewarding opportunity for our students,” Lamoureux said. “In a short time, they must build a team with local students, gauge the client’s needs and produce a tangible result.”

The real-life consulting assignment put the students to work on projects for the Puerto Plata Cultural Tourism Cluster, a group of prominent local tourism professionals and business owners. The cluster – which is supported by the Dominican Sustainable Tourism Alliance (DSTA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – seeks to diversify the area’s tourism product and link it more closely with the local economy to increase sustainability and competitiveness. The practicum was conducted under the aegis of the Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance (GSTA) with the support of DSTA and USAID.

The student-consultants worked on three projects: developing a marketing plan for the cluster’s new Web site; creating a preliminary business plan for a visitor information and interpretation center; and putting together a development plan for the Los Dominguez Nature Center and Trails, a new community-based hiking circuit on Mount Isabel de Torres.

The students’ findings and recommendations were presented to their client and other stakeholders in Santo Domingo at the end of the month.

“The team that developed the business model for the destination’s Web portal so impressed the client that during the final presentation, the chairman of the board actually left the room, only to return a few minutes later having purchased the domain name the team had just recommended,” Lamoureux said. “It was incredibly gratifying for the students to see their recommendations taken so seriously by the client.”

Finance & Investments Club Hears from the Experts

What went wrong? What have we learned? Financial experts share analysis with GW’s Finance & Investments Club (left to right): Theodore Barnhill, Eugene H. Rotburg, Dean Susan Phillips and Donald Lindsey.

The GW Finance & Investments Club recently hosted a presentation on the current financial crisis. A panel of experts – Susan Phillips, GWSB dean and professor of finance; Donald Lindsey, GW’s chief investment officer; Theodore Barnhill, GWSB professor of finance; and Eugene H. Rotberg, former vice president and treasurer at the World Bank – shared their views on the causes of the crisis, the current state of the economy and the outlook for recovery.

Barnhill said the crisis could largely be traced to the real-estate bubble, which was a direct result of a massive increase in liquidity due to mortgage securitization and negative real interest rates. Despite recent indications of a recovery, Lindsey warned, the underlying causes of the economic collapse have yet to be addressed.

Rotberg said that only a handful of people truly understand the complexities of the financial system. Because of that, he suggested that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) conduct a multi-year study on the causes of the crisis and then report its findings to Congress in an effort to close the knowledge gap in financial and regulatory matters. Phillips cautioned that while regulation is important for systemic safety and consumer protection, excessive regulation must not be permitted to stifle the innovation that makes the United States the world leader in capital markets.

“This was a unique opportunity to hear from the experts on how we arrived at this point and where we might go from here,” said Somender Chaudhary, Finance & Investments Club co-president. These panel discussions are an excellent way to supplement what students learn in class.”

‘Stay Tuned for an Important Word from Our Sponsor…’

GWSB has hit the airwaves with an advertising campaign aimed at highlighting all that the School has to offer. The series of four 30-second commercial spots is airing on ABC’s Washington, D.C., affiliate, WJLA, Channel 7, during its morning and evening news broadcasts and “Good Morning America” and “Good Morning Washington” programs. The spots feature GWSB students and Tim Fort, professor of strategic management and public policy; Vanessa Perry, associate professor of marketing; Scheherazade Rehman, professor of international business; and Mark Starik, professor and chairman of the Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy.

Getting to Know: Ismail Dalla

Name: Ismail Dalla

Title: Visiting Professor, Department of International Business

Job duties: Teaching and Research

Years at GW: Two months as a faculty member; two years with the Global and Entrepreneurial Finance Research Institute (GEFRI) in the Department of Finance as a visiting scholar.

Best part of working at GWSB: Great business school with tremendous potential in all areas.

What co-workers do not know about me: I was born in Penang, Malaysia, and grew up in Phuket, Thailand.

Family: Wife Vannee and three children: Sareena (Kennedy School graduate, married), Pete (UVA, works with a Spanish bank in Barcelona, Spain) and Narissa (junior, College of William and Mary).

Favorite things to do on the weekend: Tennis, going to the movies.

Favorite vacation spots: Barbados, Phuket and Istanbul.

Favorite book: Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Company by Andy Grove, ex-CEO of Intel.

Events

Welling Professorship Lecture, November 4

Eric von Hippel, T. Wilson Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of

Management and professor of engineering systems at MIT, will deliver the Welling

Professorship Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m., Funger Hall, Room 103.

The first 50 people to arrive will receive a complimentary copy of von Hippel’s book

Democratizing Innovation. Reservations are required; RSVP to mktg301@gwu.edu .

Von Hippel recently accepted a two-year appointment as a Welling Professor at the George Washington University. The Welling visiting professorships bring internationally distinguished scholars to the GW campus to interact with students and faculty and contribute to the intellectual life of the university. The program is named after former GW President James Clark Welling, who served from 1871 to 1894 and was noted for his early vision of a major, modern university.

Von Hippel’s academic research examines the sources and economics of innovation. He is the originator of lead-user theory and a leading voice on open methods of innovation development and the benefits of open-source technology. He is a founder of the entrepreneurship program at MIT.

Alumni Career Networking Night, November 18

The School Alumni Relations officers and the George Washington Alumni Association (GWAA) will host the first “All GW Alumni Career Networking Night” on Wednesday, Nov. 18. The event gives GW alumni and graduate students an opportunity to network with alumni from various industries and to meet representatives from GW’s career centers. Participants will learn about the resources provided by GWAA and how they can make the most of being part of the GW community. For more information and to register for this event, click here.

55th Anniversary ICSB Conference, June 24-27, 2010

The 55th Anniversary Conference of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, from June 24-27, 2010. This year’s conference theme is “Entrepreneurship: Bridging Global Boundaries.” ICSB is currently accepting abstract submissions and workshop/symposium proposals for the event online.

More than 400 of the world’s leading researchers, educators, policy-makers and practitioners are expected to attend. The ICSB World Conference offers an opportunity to network, share and learn about best practices in small-business and entrepreneurship education, research, innovation and technology commercialization, policy-making, outreach programs and much more. Visit the ICSB 2010 official Web site at www.icsb2010.org for more information.

Presentations

William C. Handorf, professor of finance, was a featured speaker at three regional staff conferences held by the Office of Thrift Supervision, a federal bank regulatory agency. Handorf discussed what happened to precipitate the recession and the housing debacle. The conferences were in Atlanta, Denver and Annapolis, Md.

Ahmad Jarrah, associate professor of decision sciences, presented his paper “Pickup and Delivery Network Segmentation using Contiguous Geographic Clustering” at the INFORMS 2009 Annual Meeting in San Diego, in October.

ICSB Teams with Dell at Inc. Magazine 500 Conference

The International Council for Small Business (ICSB), an institute housed within GWSB’s Department of Management, teamed with Dell to host a concurrent session at the Inc. 500 Conference in Washington, D.C. Ayman El Tarabishy, ICSB executive director and GWSB assistant professor of management, moderated the Sept. 25 session titled “IT Strategies: From the Backroom to the Boardroom.”

The session focused on high-growth entrepreneurs’ best practices for leveraging technology. Panelists included Erik Dithmer, general manager and vice president of sales for Dell’s small and medium business group for the Americas; TecAccess founder Debra Ruh; Warren Brown, founder of CakeLove; and Joe Zenas, president of Thinkwell Design. The 2009 Inc. 500 Conference and Awards Ceremony celebrated the 28th anniversary of Inc. magazine’s ranking of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies.

Publications

Rapidly Growing Local-currency Bond Markets Offer a Viable Alternative Funding Source for Emerging-market Issuers,” a paper written by Ismail Dalla, visiting professor of international business, and International Monetary Fund economist Heiko Hesse, was published by VoxEU.org, an online policy portal set up by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in conjunction with a consortium of national sites. The paper also was featured on the World Bank Group’s Web site, as well as a number of other economic policy sites.

Young Hoon Kwak, associate professor of decision sciences, published “Managing Risks in Mega Defense Acquisition Projects: Performance, Policy and Opportunities” in the International Journal of Project Management, 27(8), pp. 821-820.

Getting Ink

Murat Tarimcilar, associate dean for graduate programs and professor of decision sciences, was featured in the Oct. 10-16 issue of Washington Business Journal, in an article on competition for students among D.C.-area graduate schools. In the article, “Heyday for MBAs,” Tarimcilar discussed GWSB’s Global MBA program. “Rather than having a middle-of-the-road curriculum, we have a unique emphasis on global business, ethics and leadership to differentiate ourselves from other schools,” he said.

Class Notes

Elizabeth Bagerman, BBA Finance, ’06, recently launched an innovative event-design company, Designs by iBi. “What makes Designs by iBi a different type of event-design company is that we operate green. We believe in making environmentally conscious business decisions. We also try to limit our vendors to other ‘green’ businesses,” Bagerman said. “As creative director and CEO, I’m hoping to inspire my employees and wow my clients.” Designs by iBi handles all types of events, from weddings to corporate functions.

We want to hear from you!

If you have information for the newsletter, news, or items to post on the GWSB Web site or events calendar, please send them to: gwsbcomm@gwu.edu.

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