Albers School of Business and Economics
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Dean’s Blog

  • Reaccreditation

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 12/22/2011 09:13:21 AM

     

    On November 1st I wrote about our AACSB accreditation, discussing the visit of the peer review team looking at extending our accreditation for another five years (“reaffirmation” is what AACSB calls it).

     

     This week we received the good news that the AACSB Board of Directors has approved the team’s recommendation that our accreditation be extended!  The extension of our accreditation reflects the excellent work our faculty and staff are doing to provide an outstanding education to our students!  There is a lot of work that needs to be done to meet AACSB’s high expectations, and it is our faculty and staff that get the work done!

     

    In the review, the visiting team gave Albers high marks in several areas:

     

    • We were commended for an effective strategic planning process that drives program innovation.
    • Our student advising programs were identified as doing excellent work in supporting student needs.
    • The Albers Placement Center was highlighted for its work in assisting students with career planning.
    • Our outreach to the business community through our advisory boards was highlighted, and in particular our engagement of boards in the strategic planning process and in faculty recruiting.
    • Our Mentor Program was spotlighted for the opportunities it provides to students.

     

    The report also encouraged us to continue our efforts to enhance and support the quality and impact of faculty scholarship and to seek ways to expand our financial resources.

     

    AACSB is the premier business accrediting body worldwide.  Currently, there are 643 accredited schools in 43 countries, and less than 5% of the world’s business schools are accredited.  AACSB is all about quality business education and continuous improvement.  Once you are accredited, you want to make sure you stay accredited!

     

    As I mentioned on November 1, re-accreditation is not automatic and requires our continuous attention.  It is not something you can pull together in the six months before the visit.  A visiting team will be back in Fall, 2016.  In the meantime, we will maintain our commitment to quality business education and continuous improvement!

     

    Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2012!

     

    Undergrad Leadership Program

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 12/6/2011 04:22:18 PM

     

    Last week, Susan Weihrich, Teresa Ling, and I met with students from our Undergraduate Leadership Program.  They invited us for breakfast, so of course we had to show up!  Sharon Lobel is the faculty member overseeing the program, and she was there as well.  [If you are not familiar with the program, go to: http://www.seattleu.edu/albers/inner.aspx?id=24464.]

     

    This is an impressive group of students who have obviously benefitted from Sharon’s guidance.  They are going to significantly contribute to the Albers School over the next two or three years (they are sophomores and juniors).  Many of them are already taking on leadership roles in some of the student organizations in the Albers School, and they are looking for other ways to contribute to our “ecosystem.”

     

    One initiative they are launching is the Albers Leadership Club.  This will be a vehicle for them to continue contributing to the school.  One function of this club will be to encourage all club leaders to come together and share best practices while pursuing collaborative activities.  We all agree that our student organizations can have a greater impact and events will be more successful if the clubs collaborate with each other.

     

    In answer to their question about what more they could do for Albers, we challenged them with several areas, including “what should we be doing to recruit more freshmen to the Albers School?” and “how can we get more undergraduate students to attend the Albers Executive Speaker Series?”  Our speakers always do a great job and I am always disappointed with the low turnout of undergraduate students who can really benefit from attending!

     

    The students asked some great questions.  At one point they asked what leadership roles I had when I was an undergraduate student at LaSalle University back in the day.  Now that is an interesting question and one I had not thought about!  I was able to remember being President of the Economics Club and being the student representative at meetings of the Department of Economics.  

     

    But what really seemed to interest them was me being part of a start-up club called Gallery Associates.  Our role was to support the newly opened art gallery at the university, and I was able to tell them that it was only because of my art history teacher that I was inspired to get involved with this group!  After all, economists are left-brained people, right, and no one is more so than me, so how in the world did I end up in the art gallery??

     

    We reminded them that there are many opportunities for leadership, and they do not all flow from one’s rank or title.  One can lead by seeing something that needs to be addressed and taking the initiative to fix it.

     

    It was very inspiring for the three of us to spend time with this group of student leaders.  They are a talented and savvy bunch, and we look forward to seeing the contributions to the Albers School and SU that they will make during their time here, and the impact they will have on their profession and community after graduation!

     

     

     

    Contact Hours

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 12/4/2011 04:14:43 PM

     

    Contact Hours??  A blog about contact hours??  Why blog about contact hours, and what are they anyway?

     

    Contact hours are the time faculty is supposed to spend working with students in a course.  A contact hour is actually 50 minutes, not 60.  Our typical three credit graduate course, for example, is supposed to have thirty contact hours.  The typical five credit undergraduate class is supposed to have fifty contact hours.

     

    It turns out that with some frequency some of our graduate courses are getting shorted contact hours.  Every winter quarter it seems that some classes are meeting only nine times, meaning only 27 contact hours.  That's a 10% shortfall for the course!  In the eight week summer term, some of our graduate classes have closer to 26 contact hours.

     

    I am not sure how long this problem has been there, but we finally decided to do something about it.  Beginning with the Spring, 2012 quarter, we will start adding time to courses that would otherwise be shorted.  For example, a ten week class that meets only nine times and would normally run from 6:00 to 8:40 PM will now meet each evening from 6:00 to 8:55 PM.  The times will be on the schedule and students and faculty will know in advance and be able to plan accordingly.

     

    I really don’t know why we let this situation go on for so long.  Our graduate classes don’t have many contact hours to begin with, so missing them shortchanges students and makes it impossible for faculty to cover the material they planned to cover.

     

    It is an example of getting used to something that we should have recognized as being incompatible with academic excellence.  I think the lesson is, “Be Vigilant!”  Big or small, there are lots of things out there that we can change for the better!

     

     

     

    Recognizing Faculty

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 12/4/2011 03:45:07 PM

     

    On December 2nd we installed three faculty as endowed chairs and professors.  Saluting these faculty in this way allows us to recognize their excellent work in the Albers School.

     

    Carl Obermiller was installed as the third holder of the George Albers Professorship of Business.  Carl teaches courses in marketing and social issues, marketing metrics, and new product development.  He has been a driving force behind our sustainability specialization in the MBA program and now serves as co-chair of SU’s Sustainability Committee.  He has produced high quality scholarship, publishing in such highly regarded journals as the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Behavior, the Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Advertising.  At the ceremony, Carl commented that his latest research was on “Do consumers really listen to marketers?”  Great question!

     

    The Albers family was a generous supporter of SU and the Albers School, and to honor that support our school was named the Albers School in the early 1970’s.  In 2001, we received a generous endowment from the estate of Genevieve Albers which supports the Albers Professorships (and other activities in the school).  George Albers was Genevieve’s father and a successful business man who established a successful food processing business that was sold to Carnation, which was then bought by Nestlé.  The Albers brand is still used today by Nestlé for corn meal and grits!

     

    Chips Chipalkatti was installed as the fourteenth holder of the Robert D. O’Brien Endowed Chair in Business.  Chips teaches in the areas of financial accounting and accounting for intangible assets.  He has been instrumental in the development of our business valuation program.  Chips has been a very successful scholar, with publications in the Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of International AccountingResearch, the CPA Journal and the International Journal of Financial Services Management.  In his remarks, Chips noted he is busy organizing a business valuation conference in Seattle in late February.

     

    Robert O’Brien served on SU’s Board of Regents from 1963 to 1971 and then was a founding member of the SU Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1999.  He is given major credit for helping SU through the financial difficulties it experienced in the 1970’s.  He had a lengthy career at Kenworth Motor Truck from 1943 to 1958 and then PACCAR beginning in 1958, retiring as Chairman in 1978.

     

    Jot Yau was installed as the second holder of the Dr. Khalil Dibee Endowed Chair in Finance.  The chair was established with a generous donation from Gary Brinson to honor Dr. Dibee, who was a teacher and mentor to Brinson while he was a student at SU.  Brinson went on to a legendary career in the investment industry, but never forgot the support he received from Dr. Dibee.

     

    Jot teaches primarily in the areas of investments, portfolio management, and hedge funds.  He has guided many students to pursue a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.  Jot has been a dedicated scholar, publishing in journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Futures Markets, Financial Analysts Journal, and the Journal of Alternative Investments.  He has also published two books, including one on socially responsible investing.  In this remarks, Jot noted that one thing he wanted to accomplish as the endowed chair was to strengthen our ties with Seattle’s finance community.

     

    Khalil Dibee retired from our faculty in 1994 after nearly 30 years of teaching at SU.  He was known for his rigorous classes and commitment to academic excellence. Jot Yau, Chips Chipalkatti, and Carl Obermiller are carrying on that legacy of academic rigor and commitment to excellence!  We are blessed to have them as colleagues!