People and Places: September 7, 2021

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Tuesday, September 7, 2021
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Deborah L. Kidder becomes dean at Columbus State University, and U.S. researchers win U.K.’s inaugural Panmure House Prize.


Deborah L. Kidder has begun her term as the new dean of the D. Abbott Turner College of Business at Columbus State University in Georgia. She most recently was a professor in the department of management, marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business in Connecticut. She also has held various other administrative roles at the Barney School, including associate dean for academic management, AACSB accreditation coordinator, and interim director of both the Master of Science and Management and MBA programs. Kidder succeeds Linda Hadley, who has been dean of the school since 2003 and who recently announced her retirement after 30 years at the university.

Ian Williamson has recently arrived on the campus of the University of California Irvine to take up his post as the new dean of the Paul Merage School of Business. Previously, Williamson was pro-vice-chancellor and dean of the Wellington School of Business and Government at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington. Williamson, who has committed himself to bringing diversity to the business side of academia, was inducted into The PhD Project’s Hall of Fame in 2019. He also is the founder of the Management Faculty of Color Association. One of his goals for UCI is to enhance the school’s engagement with peers in Asia and Africa.

After five years in the role, Pat Moreo is stepping down as dean of the Muma College of Business’ School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of South Florida. Moreo led the school through its merger with the Muma College of Business and created a plan to offer the hospitality major to students on USF’s Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses, as well as those on Muma’s home campus of Sarasota-Manatee. Moreo also oversaw the school’s accreditation by AACSB. As he transitions from the deanship, he plans to return to teaching and continue conducting research.

To replace Moreo, Cihan Cobanoglu has been appointed to a one-year term as interim dean of USF’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Cobanoglu is the school’s McKibbon Endowed Chair, director of its M3 Center, and coordinator of its international programs. Following in Moreo’s footsteps, Cobanoglu plans to focus on making the school’s offerings more available on the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses, in part by creating certificate programs for industry and integrating business analytics into the graduate program.

Taylor R. Randall, the dean of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, has been named the 17th president of the university. Randall, who had been dean of the Eccles School since 2009, assumed his new role in August. During his deanship, the school expanded its experiential learning opportunities and opened a number of institutes and centers, including the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis, the Sorenson Impact Center, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, and the Goff Strategic Leadership Center.

Honors and Awards

The inaugural Panmure House Prize has been awarded to a team of U.S. researchers exploring how long-term-oriented firms are more likely to produce breakthrough innovations. Funded by asset management firm Baillie Gifford, the 75,000 USD prize is administered by the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in partnership with U.S.-based long-term investment consultancy FCLTGlobal. It recognizes research that identifies potential flows of capital to innovation. The winning research team was led by Rachelle C. Sampson (pictured), associate professor of logistics, business and public policy at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business in College Park. Her teammates include Brent Goldfarb of Maryland Smith, Yuan Shi of Cornell University, and Rafael Corredoira of Ohio State University. By looking at U.S. patents between 1980 and 2017, the researchers determined that teams were more likely to produce innovations if they were supported by government-funded R&D and had a strong scientific orientation, centralized organization, and greater investment of resources. The prize is named after Adam Smith’s final Edinburgh home.

Columbia University’s new business school buildings at its Manhattanville campus were recognized with an Excellence in Structural Engineering Award from the Structural Engineers Association of New York. The awards program honors structural engineering ingenuity by firms in New York City for their creativity of design, innovative use of materials, and sustainability. The new facility for Columbia Business School will span 492,000 square feet across two buildings and double the school’s current square footage. Among the features of the new buildings are layered floors that allow alternative programming to take place on every other floor; spiraling staircases that facilitate connections; transparent ground floors designed to invite the community inside; and a 40,000-square-foot public green space that includes WiFi and power outlets. The new buildings are expected to open in January.

New Programs

In autumn 2022, Aalto University School of Business in Espoo, Finland, will launch a master’s program called Strategic Management in a Changing World, which is designed to help students develop analytical and entrepreneurial thinking skills. The two-year full-time program will be taught in English and cover topics that include international strategy, people management, entrepreneurship, disruption, and economic change. The program also will emphasize the ways sustainability is reshaping the economy and explore the opportunities that sustainability and digitalization bring to business.

The University of Tampa’s Sykes College of Business in Florida has launched a certificate program called Modern Advances in Leadership. Open to all UT graduate students, as well as professionals with three or more years of experience, the program aims to help participants develop their leadership skills, enhance their negotiation abilities, develop an entrepreneurial spirit, and discover their potential. As part of the program, each participant will receive three complimentary leadership coaching sessions.

In January, Florida International University’s College of Business in Miami will introduce an MBA in Business Analytics. Nearly half of the 15 courses in the 16-month program will focus on data management, reporting, and data application and analysis. Students will work with exclusive real-world data from Fortune 500 companies and learn software and programming languages such as Tableau, Power BI, Amazon Web Services, SQL, Python, R, and RapidMiner. In addition to technical skills, the MBA in Business Analytics will cover communication, presentation, writing, and networking.

The University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management in Ontario, Canada, has announced its launch of a new online offering targeting the healthcare industry. The 24-month Telfer Executive Master of Health Administration (Executive MHA) will be delivered via evening and weekend online courses. Its curriculum is organized into three components: management fundamentals, which will cover core business skills; healthcare fundamentals, which will cover topics such as policy, innovation, analytics, and service delivery in healthcare contexts; and experiential learning, which will encompass a residency or field project. The Executive MHA also features insights from executives-in-residence and thesis-based research from scholars in the school’s Master’s in Health Systems program. The first student cohort will begin the program January 2022.


EU Business School has partnered with London Metropolitan University to offer three of London Met’s business programs this fall. These include a bachelor’s degree in international business management and master’s degrees in international business management and business administration. The master’s programs will be available on EU’s campuses in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and online, while the undergraduate degree will be offered exclusively online.

Ernst & Young LLP recently partnered with Hult Business School to offer virtual classes that will help EY interns meet the requirement of earning 150 hours of college credit as part of pursuing their CPA credentials. The partners specifically want to address the high cost of taking such courses, which can be prohibitive for some members of underserved groups, thus narrowing the pool of diverse candidates. To enable such candidates to pursue their credentials, EY has contributed 100,000 USD toward subsidizing the education of its interns who want to take the virtual classes through Hult. This summer, nearly 60 EY interns benefited from the program, which is open to any undergraduate student on track to be CPA-eligible. PwC and Deloitte have previously announced similar efforts to close the 30-hour gap between a traditional four-year degree and the additional hours required of CPA candidates. EY says the subsidy program is just one step it is taking to increase diversity among EY staff and the field of accounting.

The Howard University School of Business in Washington, D.C., has announced a partnership with asset manager Vanguard to establish the Howard Sales Management Fellowship program. It will use course development, faculty externships, workshops, student internships, and job placement to create a pipeline of Howard students who are interested in sales careers. Fellows will take two courses in sales management, one introductory and one advanced. In addition, School of Business juniors and seniors who are interested in sales careers can take advantage of these courses as well as workshops led by Vanguard executives and subject matter experts. Melvin Washington, assistant professor in the department of marketing, will lead the courses in sales.

Centers and Facilities

This fall, the State University of New York in Oswego will establish the SUNY Oswego Institute for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Transformative Practice. The institute will be a place where the entire SUNY Oswego community can address the Grand Challenges of Race, Racism, and Social Justice. Its activities will include training and programming sessions on topics such as social justice, equality and equity, cultural competence, civil discourse, cultural humility, implicit bias, micro- and macroaggressions, conflict de-escalation, intergroup dialogue facilitation, inclusive pedagogy, inclusive curricula, nonviolent communication, and restorative justice. Rodmon King, SUNY Oswego’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, will serve as initial director of the institute.

Other News

The Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa in Iowa City is merging its Online MBA and part-time Professional MBA programs to provide students with more options and greater flexibility as they pursue their educations. As a result of this merger, Iowa MBA students will be able to take classes fully online or in person at multiple locations around the state. In addition, they will be able to customize their schedules in ways that work best for them, and even take a semester off if needed. The merger is part of the Tippie College’s ongoing redesign of its professional programs, which so far has included dropping its full-time MBA program in 2019, introducing its Online MBA, and adding two master’s degrees in business analytics and finance.

In August, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the establishment of five I-Corps Hubs that will scale its National Innovation Network and rapidly advance solutions benefiting society. Each I-Corps Hub, which will receive 3 million USD in annual funding over five years, represents an alliance that includes eight to 10 universities. With the support of established entrepreneurs, local and regional entrepreneurial communities, and other federal agencies, the I-Corps Hubs will provide experiential entrepreneurial training to academic researchers across all fields of science and engineering. The objective is to teach researchers to translate fundamental research results to the marketplace. In addition, the hubs will work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the U.S. The NSF provides more information about the initiative, as well as a list of schools participating in each of the five regions, on its website.

If you have news of interest to share with the business education community, please send press releases, relevant images, or other information to AACSB Insights at [email protected]. 

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