Albers School of Business and Economics
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  • Catholic Business Education

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 6/20/2012 05:50:07 PM

    On June 18 to the 20th the Eighth International Conference on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education was held at the University of Dayton.  The theme of the meeting was, "Renewing Mission and Identity in Catholic Business Education."  Over 150 faculty from more than 75 Catholic universities from around the world participated in the event.  I served on the planning committee for the event.


    Dayton, Ohio is hot and humid this time of year, and it is not the easiest place to get to (particularly for international participants), but once you get there, it is a pretty manageable place.  Anyone from Seattle will notice there is a lot less traffic!


    The most interesting part of the meeting for me was the participation of Cardinal Peter Turkson, who is heading up the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (PCJP).  The PCJP recently published, "Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection."  It is a very readable document that pulls together what Catholic Social Teaching means for business.  If you have ever read any of the encyclicals on CST, you know they are rich documents, but very difficult to plow your way through.  It is nice to have such an accessible document that does such a nice job of summarizing the positive role business should play in our society!  You can find the document at:


    The Cardinal kicked off the conference by celebrating mass, which of course is a great way to start a conference for Catholic business schools.  I believe it was the first time I have been at a concelebrated mass where most of the priests were Black, a result of the mix of attendees at the conference.  Four of the five priests (including the Cardinal), were Black.  I guess I should chalk it up as, "A Sign of the Times." :} [Vocations are strong in Africa and parts of Asia, and weak in Europe and the US.] I am also trying to recall the last time I was at a mass led by a Cardinal.  I think it might have been way back when I was eight or nine years old and Cardinal John Krol was presiding at my Confirmation at St. Cyril's Church in the Philadelphia diocese!


    The mass was followed by a talk by Cardinal Turkson on "Vocation of the Business Leader."  He confided that they called it a "reflection" instead of a "note" because the latter would have required it to receive various approvals from the Vatican bureaucracy, which of course means it would still be awaiting publication!  The Cardinal explained the process that was followed to develop the document, including the significant consultation with business leaders and academics.  His message was that business serves the Common Good, and he challenged Catholic business schools to bring that message to students and alumni.  He also talked about leadership, using the image of the shepherd as a figure providing leadership and sustainability to the flock.  I liked his point that the good business leader sometime goes behind when the flock knows the way, but sometimes must take the lead when new paths are being taken.


    The local Dayton newspaper covered the presentation and described the Cardinal as a "potential Pope candidate."  You can read the article at:


    The conference featured a number of papers presented by faculty in attendance on various aspects of Catholic business education.  There were several plenary sessions, including one featuring a panel of business school deans discussing the challenges they face in their positions.  I served as moderator and had the easy role of peppering my colleagues with questions on mission, working with other units on campus, the role of Catholic Social Thought in Catholic business education, hiring for mission, and how mission should influence faculty research.  These are not easy questions, but we had three deans with collectively over five decades of dean experience - Joe DiAngelo from St. Joseph's, Ellen Harshman from St. Louis University, and Tom Bausch, Dean Emeritus from Marquette.


    I had to leave the evening of the 19th, so I missed the last day of the conference.  All the flights home were significantly delayed.  It's the combination of thunder storms and no slack in the system!






    2012 Departures

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 6/12/2012 03:41:55 PM

    We had our end of the school year picnic on June 12th.  We had over 70 faculty and staff in attendance, including four retired faculty members.  It is always a good event, even if some faculty are still scrambling to get their grades in for the spring quarter!  It gives us a chance to close out the year and see everyone before summer begins and people scatter.


    The picnic is always used to salute those who are departing.  This year that included two people who could not make the picnic, so we saluted them at a school meeting on June 7th:


    Tom Kelley - Tom joined us full time in 2002 after a long and successful career at Arthur Andersen.  His last assignment was managing partner for the Moscow office, so Tom always had a lot of good advice for students with respect to their professional formation.  Tom was a rigorous teacher, and thanks to his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross, fit right in to our Jesuit institution.  Tom will be missed!


    Dino Falaschetti - Dino served the last two years at the Thomas F. Gleed Endowed Chair in Business Administration, which is a two-year visiting appointment in the Albers School.  Dino was very popular with students and enlivened the intellectual climate by organizing several panel discussions on contemporary issues where law, economics, and finance intersect (like Dodd-Frank!).   Dino is headed to Bozeman, Montana where he will be Executive Director of the Property and Environmental Research Center.


    At the picnic on June 12th, we said good bye to several faculty and staff:


    Rex Toh - Rex is retiring after 32 years as a faculty member at SU.  You can read my blog from May 25th about Rex!


    Mary Carpenter - Mary has been our Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and a few months ago was diagnosed with cancer.  She has been out on sick leave and plans to retire in November.  Mary has been working at SU since 1988.  Mary always had a "get it done" attitude and was always willing to tell you exactly what she thought, all of which I appreciate.  Mary was a strong advocate for our graduate students, and we will miss her very much.


    Steve Brilling - Steve has served as Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Center and prior to that served as an executive in residence.  He has done a terrific job of building up the center, and in the process reaching out to the community for support.  It is not easy for a "business guy" to come to a college campus and be successful, but Steve has done that. Steve will continue to work with us in the family business arena.


    Kim Eshelman - Kim has served as the administrative assistant for the Entrepreneurship Center since 2007.  She has been instrumental in the continuous improvement the center has achieved.  She is an artist and is leaving to pursue her passion full-time.


    Carly Cannell - Carly joined Albers a year ago after working at SU's Center for Service and Community Engagement.  She worked as a program manager for our EMBA programs.  She just completed her MBA at SU and will be taking a position with The Boeing Company.  Carly was one of the students very involved with the project to raise $20,000 for the St. Ignatius School in Rwanda.


    A big thank you to Tom, Dino, Rex, Mary, Steve, Kim, and Carly for their many contributions to the Albers School!  We will miss all of you!

    Here is a picture of the Albers School faculty and staff taken at the June 12th picnic:


     Albers Faculty and Staff

    Graduation 2012

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 6/11/2012 08:16:53 AM

    On June 10th we graduated 299 undergraduate business students and 262 master's students at Key Arena.  Graduation is always a bittersweet moment for faculty and staff.  We know these students have to move on but we hate to see them go!


    The business sector has been under fire of late, but the criticism is broad and over-reaching.  Business makes a critical contribution to our society.  Our standard of living does not improve without a healthy business sector.  That said, not all businesses "get it."  They don't always understand the importance of ethics and integrity.  They don't always understand it is about meeting the needs of all stakeholders (not just stockholders) and the obligations a business has to the community it operates in. They don't always understand that the goal should be to create a sustainable, profitable enterprise.


    Our students know these things, and that is why we are excited to see these business graduates entering the workforce.  We look forward to the many contributions they will make to society for decades to come.


    Kudos to our students who received awards for their academic achievements.  At the graduation ceremony, Tiffany Wadel (BABA Economics) received the President's Award for the highest academic performance of a graduating senior who entered SU as a freshman.  She also received the Paul Volpe Award for the best business undergraduate academic performance.  Albers students Ted Adams (BABA ECIS) and Aran Kaweerattanaphon (BABA Finance) received the Provost's Award, which goes to the graduating transfer student with the highest GPA.  Both had the same academic performance, so there were two recipients of the award this year.  Albers has the highest concentration of transfer students on campus (about 40%), so it is not surprising that two of our students are receiving the award!



    On the graduate side, August Kristoferson (MS Finance) received the Jerry A. Viscione Award for the highest academic performance of a business graduate student.  By the way, both Volpe (1947-65) and Viscione (1988-97) are legendary deans in the history of the Albers School!  Too bad it was before the concept of blogging was created - they would have had some good things to blog about!

    Viscione Award winner August Kristoferson with Professor Holly Slay and his spouse, Melanie:


     Albers Graduation Reception


    Fr. Steve Sundborg, President of SU, speaking at the Albers Graduation Celebration:


     Albers Graduation Celebration II


    Fiona Robertson and Madhu Rao did an admirable job of reading the names of our graduates at graduation.  Probably the best that has been done since the dean stopped doing it!


    Not only did Albers dominate the President and Provost Awards this year, but we also dominated the singing.  Maddy Cary (BABA management) handled the national anthem at the undergraduate ceremony in the morning and Anna Klutho (BABA marketing) took care of the graduate ceremony in the afternoon. 


    Speaking of students and reflecting back over this academic year, our students did some amazing things in 2011-12.  Some of the highlights include:


    • The Graduate Leadership Formation Specialization students organizing the third annual Redwinged Leadership Award.
    • Our graduate students who raised $20,000 to support construction of the St. Ignatius School in Rwanda (overseen by their classmate, Fr. Jean Baptiste Ganza, SJ, who graduated with his MBA).
    • Our Beta Alpha Psi students (the accounting honorary) received the Gold Chapter Award (one of seven schools nationally) and won the KPMG Northwest Case Competition.
    • Our SIFE students, who won the regional competition and completed an incredible number of hours of community service in the process (over 3600 hours that impacted an estimated 162,000+ people).
    • Three Albers students/recent alums receiving Fulbright Fellowships - Michelle de Vera (graduated on the 10th with a BA in Economics), Senay Kahsay, and Kyla Hagedorn.


    Congratulations to our 2012 graduates!  There will be many opportunities for you to leave the world a better place than you found it.  We expect big things from you!