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People and Places: June 1, 2021

Three schools name new leaders, and new research shows the benefits of LGBTQ-friendly corporate policies.

Transitions

On July 1, Jennifer Yruegas will become dean of the Pacific University College of Business in Forest Grove, Oregon. She has served as associate dean of the college since 2020, while provost John Miller served as interim dean. Yruegas, who holds a juris doctorate and is an active member of the Oregon State Bar, brings more than 20 years of business and law experience to her new role. During her time at Pacific, Yruegas has been associate vice president of human resources, the university’s general counsel, Title IX coordinator, and director of the student health center.


Andrew Karolyi will serve as the dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business in Ithaca, New York, through June 20, 2024. Karolyi will fill out the remainder of the term of former dean Kevin F. Hallock, who stepped down in March to become president of the University of Richmond in Virginia. Karolyi, who is also the college’s dean of academic affairs and the Harold Bierman Jr. Distinguished Professor of Management in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, has been acting dean since Hallock’s departure.


Véronique Tran is the new rector of ESCP Business School in Berlin. She most recently served as the academic dean of the executive MBA and general management program; she previously acted as course coordinator in the Master in Management program and as the first European department coordinator. Tran joined the school in 2006 as a professor of organizational behavior and organizational psychology and has taught on all of the school’s campuses.


Arun Rai has become the inaugural holder of the Howard S. Starks Distinguished Chair at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business in Atlanta. Rai is Regents’ Professor of the University System of Georgia and co-founder and director of the Center for Digital Innovation at the Robinson College. The chair was established by an endowment from the estate of Howard S. Starks, a longtime executive with C&S Bank (now Bank of America).


New Programs

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business has announced a new course called Global Health and Policy, which aims to bridge the gap between business and healthcare. The course, which will be offered for the first time this winter, was designed by Olufunmilayo Olopade, the Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. It was inspired by a collaboration in which Olopade recruited Booth interns to help her launch her own company, CancerIQ, which helps providers use genetic information to prevent cancer. The course covers topics such as reproductive health, data science, and climate change. Business students in the class are encouraged to think about not only how to improve health outcomes, but also how to open markets, develop innovation, and use science and technology to address global health concerns.


The Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta will introduce a new Master of Analytical Finance degree in the fall of 2022. The 10-month program will turn to a corporate advisory board of global finance leaders and corporate partnerships to provide students with externships, hands-on projects, and recruitment. The business school's interactive Finance Lab, modeled after a professional trading floor, will serve as the hub of the curriculum. The program is designed to prepare recent graduates for careers in sales and trading, investment management, fintech, consulting, hedge fund management, risk management, and other analytical careers.


Collaborations

Université Paris-Saclay has partnered with the Women Initiative Foundation to create an intensive training program designed to help participants develop their leadership skills and realize their potential in business. The new program is aimed at young women with less than five years of professional experience who have studied in higher education for two or three years. The offering consists of an initial week of in-person training, plus seven days throughout the year in which classes are offered both remotely and in person. Students will have a chance to meet and hear from business leaders, researchers, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, and inspiring personalities. A May 2022 trip to Quebec will help students gain an international perspective.


Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, has partnered with Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) to open a satellite center of excellence in Dubai. DIFC is an innovation hub that serves the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia regions. Thunderbird Global Innovation Center will capitalize on DIFC’s location and network to catalyze startups and existing firms while providing leadership and management training opportunities, including both graduate degree and executive education programs. Thunderbird School of Global Management is a unit of the Arizona State University Enterprise.


Grants and Donations

Mark and Dawn Malveaux have given 1 million USD to their alma mater, Southern University. The gift will support academic scholarships to business students and general programming in the College of Business, which is located on the university’s campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In recognition of the gift, Southern University will name its graduate program in business administration the Mark and Dawn Malveaux Master of Business Administration Program. Mark Malveaux is a partner in the public finance firm McCall, Parkhurst and Horton.


The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has received an anonymous gift of 5 million USD in the form of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency gift the university has received. The gift will support programs within the Wharton School’s Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance, which connects curriculum and industry resources that advance opportunities in fintech. Cryptocurrency gifts to the University of Pennsylvania are processed through financial services company NYDIG, which provides Bitcoin and technology solutions to insurers, banks, corporations, and institutions.


New Research

Companies with LGBTQ-friendly corporate policies enjoy higher profitability and stock market evaluations, according to new research conducted by scholars at two universities in Finland. Veda Fatmy, John Kihn, and Sami Vähämaa of the University of Vaasa and Jukka Sihvonen of Aalto University School of Business examined data on 657 publicly traded U.S. firms between 2003 and 2016. They found that, in liberal states, the positive effects of progressive LGBTQ policies were more pronounced—but even in more conservative parts of the country, the effects were either neutral or somewhat beneficial. These findings suggest that the adoption of LGBTQ‚Äźfriendly policies does not generally have detrimental repercussions.

Sihvonen points out that previous studies have documented that LGBTQ-friendly policies are associated with greater employee commitment, improved job satisfaction, increased employee productivity, and more altruistic workplace behaviors. The researchers speculate that such policies also may improve competitiveness in the job market by fostering the firm’s ability to attract and retain talented employees.


Economic incentives could encourage good behavior in people who contribute little or nothing to the public good. At the same time, social incentives are very effective in increasing the number of people willing to contribute extensively, according to new research. The study was undertaken by two scholars from the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria alongside three scholars from Rissho, Soka, and Meiji universities in Toyko.

The research comes only weeks after state governments in the U.S. began offering savings bonds and lottery tickets to convince residents to get COVID-19 vaccines. The researchers also posit that municipalities could use monetary and social incentives to encourage people to help maintain common goods and assets like parks and forests. The study was part of a collaboration with the City of Vienna, which is testing a Culture Token digital bonus system that rewards users for environmentally friendly behavior by giving them free access to cultural events.


Other News

Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business in Hempstead, New York, will rename its two-year-old building to honor a longtime trustee of the university. The Leo A. Guthart Hall for Innovation and Discovery also houses Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which will become part of the business school and be renamed the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Over the past four decades, Guthart has served on many boards and committees for the university and has established endowed scholarships for the medical school. He recently made a 5.25 million USD gift that will be used to support academic excellence and promote innovation at the university, the business school, and the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Guthart is founder and CEO of the venture capital firm Topspin Partners.


Bootcamps, a series of peer-to-peer training programs offered by the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, will now offer Microsoft Certification. Under the new program, which is part of Microsoft Canada’s Canada Skills Program, student facilitators of select Bootcamps will become Microsoft Certified. This signifies that they have mastered high-demand skills in areas such as data management, cloud technologies, and artificial intelligence.


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