Dean’s Blog


Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on August 3, 2011 at 5:08 PM PDT


In late June I attended a meeting in Washington DC to discuss the creation of a system that helps MBA students select a program.  It is being developed as an alternative to the MBA program rankings that have become very prominent and influential.


The meeting was called by the Business Education Alliance (BEA).   The chief organizers are three business school deans – Larry Pulley (William and Mary), Tony Hendrickson (Creighton), and Caryn Beck-Dudley (Florida State).  They have been working on this for nearly two years and now are on the verge of founding a non-profit organization to provide this tool to aspiring MBA students.


There are lots of rankings out there about MBA programs, particularly full-time MBA programs.  We do not have a full-time program, so it is not something I spend much time on.  But as far as program rankings in general go, I don’t know of any leader in higher education who really likes them.  Still, they are part of our world now, and they are not going away any time soon.


I’ve always been struck by how students, alumni, and advisory boards get excited about rankings.  They really get people’s attention.  Albers has been fortunate enough to receive recognition in some of the rankings out there, particularly in US News and World Report and BusinessWeek.   Still, anyone with any sense should know it is very difficult to compare a few schools vs. one another let alone the 550 AAACB accredited business schools in the US or the more than 13,000 business schools worldwide.  All are doing very similar and at the same time very different work.  The experience of an undergraduate student in Albers is very different than one at Seattle Pacific University or one at any of the three University of Washington campuses.  To try to rank even this small group against one another is very difficult, since the student experience can be impacted by so many different factors, including:


  1. Students choose to participate in different program opportunities, thus there is no one student experience in a business program.  For example, one student could choose to be in our Mentor Program and another not.  That will have an impact on their Albers experience.
  2. Students enter the program at different entry points, for example as incoming freshman, as a sophomore transferring from another school on campus, or as a junior transfer coming from a local community college.  Each will yield a different experience.
  3. Students have different interests, skills and aptitudes, and these may match better in one program than another.
  4. Not only will it make a difference as to which faculty the student will have in classes, and who the student’s academic advisor will be, but who will be the friends and support group of the student on campus?  Two students in the same year and major will have a very different experience based on this alone.


All these factors and more make it very difficult to put much stock in rankings as a tool for selecting the right school to attend.


The approach of the BPA is to identify about 20 factors that describe an MBA program.  The inquiring student inputs his or her preferences and an algorithm identifies the programs that best match those preferences.  There is also an audit function so that the integrity of the information provided by schools can be checked.


Whether the BPA can pull this off remains to be seen.  Stay tuned!





Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on July 26, 2011 at 8:07 AM PDT


The International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS) held its 17th annual world Forum in Lima, Peru July 17-20.  Hosted by the Universidad del Pacifico (UP), the meeting brought together representatives from 35 universities (mostly Jesuit) from six continents around the world.  The meeting had the theme of “Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusive Business,” and panels and workshops had that theme.  Two Albers faculty gave paper presentations consistent with those themes, Bill Weis and Meena Rishi (along with former student Samantha Galvin).


The conference took place at the UP campus.  The campus is small, but they have cleverly intertwined their buildings, like a 3-d puzzle, to create open space for what is a very urban campus.  The conference is an opportunity to meet deans from other universities and learn about their programs and interest in collaboration.  Some of the schools that I talked to about collaboration were from such countries as Belgium, Uruguay, Colombia, and the US.


There was a presentation made on the Jesuit African Initiative, which is an effort to establish business schools in four African nations – Kenya, the Congo, Ivory Coast, and Rwanda/Burundi.  African Jesuits have identified this as one of their greatest needs, and according to AACSB there are only 781business schools on the continent (none Jesuit) out of more than 13,000 worldwide.  The initiative is just getting off the ground, with Fr. Ron Anton, SJ, the Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus, taking the lead in organizing it.


This seems like an important project for us to get involved in.  The initiative is seeking a lead school for each of the four projects and a group of supporting schools, as well.  I am thinking we want to go the supporting school route, and the one that makes the most sense to me initially is the Rwanda/Burundi project.  It requires instruction in French (for Burundi) and English (for Rwanda), and the lead school has been identified as the University of Namur in Belgium.  SU has been doing some exploration of work in Rwanda, and this may be a good vehicle for pushing this along.  Of course, we need to look at all four projects, but because the language of instruction will be French in Ivory Coast and the Congo, Kenya is another option for us.


As the conference ended, I was elected to the IAJBS Board of Directors.  I guess they are running out of people to ask.  There are five members from four geographic areas – North America, South America, Asia, and Europe.  I was assured that the board only meets face-to-face at the annual meeting (which is in Barcelona next year) and otherwise meets by teleconference.  I’m not interested in a lot more out of town meetings!


After the conference, my wife and I flew to Cuzco to see Machu Picchu and other sites in the Sacred Valley.  No disrespect to IAJBS and the host school, UP, but this was the highlight of the trip.  Plus, the sun was out in Cuzco, while this time of year Lima is covered in a perpetual blanket of clouds.


 We came to Peru and Machu Picchu 25 years ago for our honeymoon, so it was interesting to see how things have changed.  The country is much stronger from an economic and political standpoint, and the biggest disappointment was the amount of traffic in Lima and Cuzco.  That seems to be a negative that comes with economic progress.  Consistent with the conference theme of sustainability, we need to solve that problem, not just in Seattle, but in urban areas around the world!







Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on July 20, 2011 at 7:07 PM PDT


I recently was appointed to AACSB’s Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC).  The first meeting was this week in Tampa.  The IAC makes recommendations on granting initial AACSB accreditation to business schools from around the world. 


As you might guess, many more schools in candidacy are from outside the US, since the US is somewhat saturated with accredited schools.  As I anticipated, serving on this committee really allows you to learn a lot about business schools outside the US.  Just the first meeting was enough to verify that.  Nearly half the committee members come from outside the US, and of course their insights are very valuable and necessary.


This committee is a committee that has a lot of work on its plate.  There were plenty of reports to read for this meeting (about 50 were on the agenda!), and I was told that the load was on the light side!  Reports vary in scope depending on where the school is in the accreditation process, but some are several hundred pages long.


I was struck by the rigorous standards the committee holds schools to.  If anyone thinks that initial accreditation comes easy or that different schools receive different treatment, think again.  This group is committed to quality!


This trip to Tampa was long and quick.  Leave Seattle on Thursday at 8:00 AM.  Get to the hotel in Tampa at 7:30 PM (EDT).  Meeting starts at 8:00 AM Friday morning.  Head to the airport at 2:30 PM.  Get back to Seattle at 10:00 PM (PDT), in time to get up in the morning for an 8:30 AM flight to Peru.  More on that in another blog!


It turns out the committee plans to hold its March, 2012 meeting in Seattle, which was quite a surprise to me.  Since it will be on the Friday of finals week, we should be able to host the meeting on campus.  A number of committee members come from European schools, so I hope they will be able to take advantage of Seattle's non-stop flights from London, Paris, and Amsterdam.


I learned that each year the committee holds a meeting outside the US.  Last year the location was Istanbul.  But this year, in light of the sluggish economic recovery, they decided to be conservative and keep all the meetings in the US, with one in Tampa, one in Boston, and one in Seattle.  No exotic trips abroad for me!  At least not this year – I’m serving a three year term. :}



Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on July 1, 2011 at 9:07 AM PDT


The Summer Business Institute (SBI) is taking place this week.  SBI is a program designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to attend college.  African American, Hispanic, and Native students who have just finished their junior year in high school participate in the program.  They spend the week on campus taking classes taught by Albers faculty, living in the dorms, navigating campus, and doing company visits. 


This is the ninth year of the program.  The 25 students in this year’s class come from 20 different high schools in the Seattle area.  Carl Marino, a former high school teaching, directs the program, and Barb Hauke, our marketing director, provides logistical support.  Six Albers students are serving as counselors.  It turns out that having our students as counselors is one of the most important and compelling parts of the student experience.  With the students serving as roll-models, they provide the participating students with important advice on how to navigate the college admissions process and how to be successful once they are on campus.


Over the years, we have been fortunate to have a number of firms support the program, including Costco Wholesale, Washington Mutual, BECU, Wells Fargo, and Qwest.  Still, we struggle to raise money for the program, and it is such a great program it should be an easier sell!  While the program is targeted at students in the Seattle metro area, we have had participants from such places as Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California.  Somehow they manage to find us!


One important part of the experience is the company visits we do.  Here, the students get to see inside various organizations, usually one of the sponsoring companies, and hear from firm leaders.  Another part of the experience is a group project that draws on the classes taken and the outside visits.  Students end the program with a presentation of their project results.  This is always an inspiring part of the program when we get to see how much the students have learned.


A few years ago we started inviting parents to the closing luncheon.  We had not anticipated what an important change this would prove to be, because it allowed us to provide them with information on the college admissions process and the possibilities for financial aid.  Most of these students would be first generation college students, so the family is not familiar with how these processes work, and frequently they do not have places to turn to find this information.  Especially important is to make sure that families know they should not look at the sticker price of SU and conclude they cannot afford to attend.  They need to know that programs such as the Costco Scholarship Program can make SU affordable.


There are many SBI success stories.  One is Jonathan Bryant, who participated in SBI after his junior year at Kennedy High School.  He ultimately enrolled as a freshman at SU and went on to graduate from Albers with a finance degree.  Upon graduating from Albers, Jon took a position with a private equity firm in Bellevue.


Another great story is Sandra Amolo.  Sandra was a student at Shorecrest High School when she participated in SBI. She enrolled in Albers as a marketing major, and has been a counselor for SBI for the last three years. She has taken advantage of many programs at SU, including an internship in Belize, and earlier this year took first place in the Northwestern Mutual Sales Competition.  After she completed her SBI work this week, she had to rush off to Washington, DC for a summer internship at the Smithsonian Institute. 


SBI has been a very valuable program for the many students who have participated over the years.  Congratulations to Carl, Barb, our counselors and the participating faculty for delivering another excellent program to this year’s 25 students!





Big Little Things

Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on June 20, 2011 at 7:06 AM PDT


As I was pulling out of the Broadway Garage a few weeks ago I realized that the parking spaces along Columbia St. that have been plaguing the exit and entry of the garage had been removed!  What a great day for SU!  I have been whining to people for ten years about the need to get rid of those spots, which accomplished so little while creating such havoc.  I learned that Rob Schwartz and Jonathan Bregman, from Campus Facilities, had pulled off this miracle that so many others could not do or were not motivated to do.  Thanks, Rob and Jonathan!  I need to take you out to lunch to celebrate!


This big step forward caused me to think about other “Big Little Things” that have happened at SU.  By that I mean relatively minor steps that have created huge benefits for the campus.  I thought it would make a good theme for a blog, a Top Ten list of Big Little Things.  But ten will create too long of a blog, so I’ve settled on my Top Five Big Little Things at SU.  Here they are:


  1. Eliminating the parking along Columbia St. – with the city eliminating a few parking spots, now it will be much easier to get in and out of the garage.  Kudos to Rob and Jonathan.  Now we have to work on a turning lane to go North on Broadway!


  1. Remodeling Campion Ballroom – for a relatively small amount of money, we were able to dress up the Campion Ballroom to make it a decent space for holding events.  Actually, it is more than decent.  With all those windows, when the sun is out it is actually a spectacular venue!  Good riddance to those chandeliers.  They had been there for so long and looked so bad that they were actually threatening to come back in style!


  1. Scattering PCs around the Pigott Building – when I first arrived at SU, one of the things students complained the most about was the size of the Pigott computer lab.  There were simply not enough machines given the number of students.  After a year or two, we finally decided to try putting computers in public areas of the building to provide more access.  It worked!  Students were a lot happier, and in the scheme of things it was not that much money.  The big concern had been computer theft, but while we experienced some problems with theft, it never became a major issue.


  1. Creating the Albers Graduation Reception – another “When I first arrived …” story is that we used to have separate graduation parties for undergrad and grad students weeks before graduation.  At the same time, we did not host a graduation event for families and friends of graduates and the chance for graduates to say goodbye to faculty and staff.  The graduation parties were suspect – the undergrad event was a during-the-week well-before-finals drinking opportunity for students.  The grad event was a weakly-attended well-before-finals evening event for people who are ready to head home at that hour.  It finally dawned on us that we needed to end those two events and use the resources to host our reception for graduates on the Saturday before graduation.  We have never looked back on that decision!   The reception for graduating students has proven to be a very popular event for all!


  1. HLEMBA – our new Health Leadership EMBA program draws heavily on the curriculum of our Leadership EMBA program and leverages the assets we have developed around the latter to help deliver the former.  When we started working with the College of Nursing on an MBA type program that could include nursing graduate students, we did not have HLEMBA in mind.  But as we did more and more research with them, the vision of HLEMBA began to emerge.  It became an obvious program to launch.  Plus the LEMBA program allowed us to attempt a quick roll out of the program.  We made the decision to move forward with program development in December, 2010.  It completed the SU approval process in May, 2011.  We are now recruiting for a class that begins in August, 2011!  That is warp speed in the non-profit side of academe!


OK, so three of the five have to do with Albers.  Isn’t that a bit biased, you ask?  Yes, it probably is.  In which case, send me your bigger “Big Little Things at SU!” 



Posted by Liz Wick on June 14, 2011 at 6:06 PM PDT

This past weekend was graduation weekend for Seattle University.  Thousands gathered on Sunday, June 12th, to celebrate our degree recipients.  It always is a great occasion for our students and their family and friends.  It is a bitter-sweet moment for our faculty and staff, though.  We know these students need to move on to the next stage in their lives, but we hate to see them go!

Graduation really begins the day before on Saturday, first with the Graduation Brunch and then the Baccalaureate Mass.  The former is now becoming a “What will Fr. Steve dream up this time?” event, as in the last few years he has come up with some very creative PowerPoint slide presentations.   The latter takes place at St. James Cathedral, and is always very crowded with students and their families, as it should be.  What was especially noteworthy this year was that it was the first time that Archbishop Peter Sartain presided at the mass.   As one would expect, he has a different style than his predecessor.

Now that Arthur Fisher is no longer Dean of Mateo Ricci, I have the honor of getting Dean Sue Schmitt over to St. James.  Taking on the Columbia St. hill by the Broadway Garage is quite a workout, and not really a problem, except I keep tripping over my graduation gown.  I am going to have to do something about  that.  And going downhill backwards is just as much work as going up!

The Albers Graduation Reception takes place in the Paccar Atrium immediately following the Baccalaureate Mass.  At this occasion, students are invited to bring their family and friends to meet faculty and staff.  It is a very well attended event – over 400 this year – and most of our faculty and staff make sure they are there because everyone looks forward to it.  We have a brief program, at which I know if I talk long enough Fr. Steve will eventually show up and extend his congratulations to the graduates!  This year Nadeje Alexandre and Suzanne Jayne-Jensen took the lead in organizing and did another great job with the event.

In the evening, there is a dinner honoring newly appointed emeriti faculty and honorary degree recipients.  Barb Yates is one of the new emeriti faculty, so I had the opportunity to speak to her many accomplishments in her 41 years at SU.  You can check the previous blog on Barb for more details!  Tun  Channareth, the Nobel Prize winning honorary degree recipient, nominated by our faculty members Peter Raven and Quan Le, was also recognized at the dinner.  Reth visited my Econ 271 class two weeks ago and the students found him to be quite inspirational.

Graduation takes place at Key Arena, which is a great facility since it is big enough and we don’t have to worry about the weather.  However, on this particular Sunday, the weather was very accommodating, so there was some good picture taking going on.  The undergraduate ceremony took place in the morning and included awarding honorary degrees to Japanese-American students who were forced to leave SU due to the internment camps.  Their resilience in the face of this injustice is impressive, for it seems they all went on to do important things in their careers and in raising their families.  Many family members participated in the ceremony.  Unfortunately, the one surviving student who had planned to attend the graduation was unable to attend due to a recent illness, but her daughter delivered a very inspiring message in her stead.  The undergraduate ceremony tends to run long and each year we wonder what to do about.  Fewer graduates (and thus fewer names to read) is NOT an option!

After a two hour break, it is back at it with the graduate ceremony.  Fewer graduate students mean a shorter event, of course.  Tun  Channareth received his honorary degree at this ceremony. He gave a very inspiring and vigorous speech, as I knew he would based on his visit to my class.  He urged the audience to sign the petitions to end land mines and cluster bombs.  He also had some very nice things to say about SU based upon his two week visit to our campus.  That is correct, he has been here from his home in Cambodia for two weeks.  I doubt we will see that again from any of our honorary degree recipients! 

Also of keen interest to me as the business school dean was that MBA student Dejan Mitkovski gave the student graduation speech.  Dejan did a fine job with his remarks, and I could not help noticing that his parents, who flew out from Detroit, were in the first row of the balcony right by the podium and right in my line of sight.  They were closer to him than I was, and justifiably proud of his performance.

At both graduations, after the students receive their degree from the President, they are to walk across the stage to shake the hand of their dean.  However, most of them don’t know that.  They are most likely to be scanning the crowd for their family or staring down at the stage to make sure they don’t trip over their graduation gown.  One has to work very hard to intercept them to bestow the deanly handshake.  This year there was a new twist – some seemed to think I was there to take back their diploma and they were ready to hand it over!  Of course, they don’t actually receive their diploma, just a note saying the diploma will be in the mail assuming they have settled their accounts and successfully   completed their requirements for graduation!

We had 330 undergraduates receiving business degrees this year and 315 graduate students.  At the graduate ceremony, the business students were last in line, so I shook the hand of the last student graduating that day.  I learned the next day from Megan Spaulding that it was her brother!  I did not even know her brother was in our program!  I am not keeping up with what is going on in the Albers School! :}

Center for Business Ethics

Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on June 5, 2011 at 10:06 PM PDT


On June 3rd we held the launch for our Center for Business Ethics.  John Dienhart, the Frank Shrontz Endowed Chair in Business Ethics, is directing the center and taking the lead in organizing.  He has been ably assisted this year by his graduate student assistant, Aaron Hayden.  Faculty, staff, students, advisory board members, and other supporters gathered for the launch ceremony.

As a business school at a Jesuit, Catholic university, Albers has long placed an emphasis on business ethics, and in more recent decades, social responsibility, and in the last decade, sustainability.  Since the Albers School was founded in 1947, a concern for ethics and values has been part of our DNA and it has been part of the student experience for decades.

The overarching theme of the center will be the importance of creating an ethical business culture in organizations.  Key activities of the center will include assisting Albers faculty with integrating ethics and social responsibility into the classes they teach, as well as organizing workshops and conferences that bring together academics and practitioners to address ethical issues,

It has been a long journey to get to this point.  In 2002 we approached Frank Shrontz to support the Albers Business Ethics Initiative (ABEI).  Our message was that the endowment for the ethics chair only covered the salary of the chair holder, and if there were additional resources available to the chair, more could be accomplished.  In particular, we proposed a series of workshops and conferences on key ethical challenges that would be targeted to the business community.

Frank and his wife, Harriet, graciously agreed to support the ABEI and proposed a challenge grant – they would match contributions up to $60,000.  As a result, we were able to raise over $120,000 and that funding supported a series of workshops and conferences that well received and continued beyond the original three year time frame envisioned.

Creating a $1 million endowment for a new Center for Business Ethics was one of the priority projects for the Albers School in the 2003-2009 Seattle University capital campaign, “For the Difference We Make.”  We raised over $580,000 in the campaign, and that was enough to launch the center.  Since we did not meet our goal, we will continue to raise funds for this endowment.  The additional resources will allow the center to expand its activity and reputation.

It was great to have Frank Shrontz present at the ceremony.  Not only is he the namesake of our endowed chair in business ethics, but he also supported the ABEI and the center endowment.  More importantly, in his tenure as CEO of Boeing, he set the standard for ethics and integrity.  It was a blow to Boeing that his successors could not maintain that standard.  Fortunately for Boeing and all of us, more recent company leadership has looked to his example for inspiration on how to lead the company in the 21st century.  Others who were instrumental in the funding of the center were also present, including Martin and Maryann Simonetti, Gerry Swanson, and Mark Pinkowski.

This occasion is also a reminder of the great work of the development officers who have supported the Albers School over the years.  Annagreta Jacobson was instrumental in organizing the ABEI and Gail Yates was critical to the success of all the capital campaign projects for the Albers School, including the ethics center endowment.

The Center for Business Ethics is an exciting development in the Albers School.  It will give focus to things that have always been important to us – ethics, social responsibility, and values based education.


Barb Yates

Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on May 30, 2011 at 9:05 AM PDT


Barb Yates is retiring after 41 years at Seattle U.  Barb teaches economics and has been chair of the Department of Economics since 1989.  She started at SU in 1970.  She has earned seven teaching awards at SU, including the SU Alumni Professor of the Year Award in 2006.  She has no doubt taught thousands of students (quite successfully!) and as department chair mentored and guided dozens of faculty.  What a run!  She will be sorely missed at SU.

We had a dinner for her last week, and it gave people a chance to pay tribute to her many contributions to SU.  Bill Weis and Dave Tinius, who have been colleagues for most of her time at SU, complained about her scooping up all the teaching awards.  Fred Dekay spoke about the collegiality of the Department of Economics (and for a long time, the Department of Economics and Finance) under Barb’s leadership.  John Eshelman noted how Barb provided credibility and cover to the Pacioli Society.  If you are not familiar with the secretive Pacioli Society, it was created by Dave and Bill to facilitate the celebration of Luca Pacioli’s 400th birthday and was instrumental in the sustainability of their study tours to Sansepolcro, Italy (Pacioli’s birthplace).  The Pacioli Society has been the target of many rumors, none that can be repeated here.

Sean Klosterman, a former student of Barb’s, talked about Barb as a servant-leader, and it certainly was a fitting observation.  She truly has been serving students and colleagues for over 40 years.  Barb Yates doesn’t seem to have an ego.  She is never looking for credit for anything she does.  She is very humble and unassuming.  Several in the audience noted that she was always upbeat – the glass is always “half full rather than half empty” for Barb.

It is faculty and staff such as Barb Yates that have enabled Seattle U. to carry out its mission of academic excellence.  The rising reputation of the university is the result of her hard work and long standing dedication to the mission of the university, and others like her.  Barb is one of many faculty and staff who should not be taken for granted in terms of what they contribute to “educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world.”  It certainly has been a pleasure and an honor to work with Barb Yates during my ten years at SU!



Dean Spam

Posted by Liz Wick on May 20, 2011 at 8:05 AM PDT

Dean Spam is something I send out every two weeks updating people on what is happening in Albers.  I started sending it out within my first year as dean because I saw how faculty and staff were not able to keep up with the activities of their colleagues.  In many cases the right hand did not seem to know what the left hand was doing!

At first I sent it only to faculty and staff.  Then I started sending it to my advisory board.  Then others in the school said I should send it to their advisory board, so at some point it started to go to all our advisory boards.  I started sending to a few people on campus, such as people in PR, and pretty soon others on campus got wind of it and wanted to receive a copy (such as people in University Advancement).  So, now there are a lot of people from on and off campus who receive Dean Spam and some of them even appear to read it!

I think it has been a useful tool for communicating, and there are several important characteristics of Dean Spam.  First, the content is kept very simple and I don't tell people every little detail about something.  If people want more information, they will ask.  Too much information and they will stop reading.  Second is to send it on a consistent schedule, which is basically every two weeks (although in the summer it is more likely to be every three weeks).  I don't think it works well to send it out "every once in a while."  Third, I keep it simple by just cutting and pasting from a Word document.  No HTML or fancy graphics in this missive!

In it's early days, I would occasionally have people warn me that I needed to change the title, because "Dean Spam" would get snatched up by spam filters and my message would never get through.  I resisted that because I liked the title "Dean Spam" since it was such an apt description and I could not think of something similar.  It turns out that Dean Spam did not get blocked very often, and when it did those folks could easily set their filter to correct the problem.  That is, if they wanted to correct the problem!

When we first started discussing blogging, someone suggested I routinely post Dean Spam up on the blog.  Below is the latest edition of Dean Spam, sent yesterday.  It is a pretty typical edition.  I'm not sure that I should routinely post Dean Spam to the blog.  What do you think??  If I don't hear back, I will take that as an indication that it is not necessary!  Also, if you would like to be added to the list of Dean Spam recipients, let me know and I will do that.


Dean Spam May 19th, 2011


Congratulations to David Reid.  His article “A Study of Chinese Street Vendors: How They Operate,” co-authored with Eugene Fram (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Chi Guotai (Dalian University of Technology), has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Business.

SIFE Places in Top Ten Nationally 

Our SIFE team placed ninth in the national contest that took place in Minneapolis last week.  More than 360 team competed in the nationwide competition.  The team also received Campbell Soup’s Lasting Hunger Relief Award, which is given for the project that best helps people break the cycle of poverty.  Leo Simpson serves as faculty advisor for the group.  They repeated their presentation today at noon in Pigott Auditorium so we could see how good they are!

HLEMBA Approved 

The SU Board of Trustees approved the new Health Leadership EMBA program on May 5th and we are recruiting the first class for Fall, 2011!  

School Meeting 

On May 13th, over 60 faculty and staff gathered for a school meeting.  The meeting included reports on the Albers SU Youth Initiative Task Force, the Undergraduate Business Core Task Force, and IB Assurance of Learning.

Red Winged Leadership Award 

The Red Winged Leadership Award Ceremony was held on May 12th  in Campion Ballroom.  The award process is led by students in the Graduate Leadership Formation Certificate Program, and recognizes social entrepreneurs for their business acumen, leadership, and social impact.  First prize went to Chris Fontana of Global Visionaries.  Global Visionaries empowers youth from diverse backgrounds to become leaders and global citizens through community engagement.

 Business Plan Competition 

The final round of the Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition took place on May 13th.  More than $30,000 in prize money was distributed, with Feral Motion as the grand champion.  The event featured a luncheon address by Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint and co-founder of Blue Nile.  Over 150 volunteers were involved in the process as mentors and judges.

  Microsoft Exec Speaks 

Kurt DelBene, President of Microsoft’s Office Division, spoke as part of the Albers Executive Speaker Series on May 19th.  His topic was, “Transforming the Microsoft Office Business for the Cloud,” with over 150 in attendance.

 Albers Awards Ceremony 

The Albers Awards Ceremony took place on May 13th in Pigott Auditorium.  Over 100 friends and family gathered to recognize the accomplishments of our outstanding students.  Bill Santucci received the Paul Volpe Award for the highest academic performance of an undergraduate student.  Andrew Barfoot received the Jerry Viscione Award for the highest performing grad student.  Ajla Aljik received the Spirit of Albers Award for the student who best embodies the values of Albers.   Altogether, 23 awards were presented. 

BGS Ceremony 

The Awards Ceremony was followed by the Beta Gamma Sigma Installation Ceremony.  BGS is the academic honorary for AACSB accredited business schools. Thirty-one undergraduate and 62 graduate students were inducted into BGS.  Tiffany Wadel received the $1,000 BGS scholarship and Carlos Mello-e-Souza received the BGS Professor of the Year award.  Congratulations to all!

Volunteer Recognition Event 

The Albers School Volunteer Recognition took place on Thursday, May 19th.  The event recognizes advisory board members, mentors, and others who have supported our work over the last year.

Business Week Rankings 

Although we were not included in the overall Business Week undergraduate business programs rankings for 2011 because an insufficient number of recruiters responded to the survey, we did receive some good scores in some of the program rankings.  Highlights include #4 in the nation in sustainability, #7 in business ethics, #11 in quantitative methods, #12 in international business, and #15 in entrepreneurship.  

It seems these rankings don’t rely on the recruiters! :}

 Nobel Prize Winner to Speak 

Tun Channareth, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient and 2011 SU Honorary Degree Recipient, will be speaking as part of the Albers Executive Speaker Series on June 2nd.  It will take place in Pigott Auditorium from 5:30 -6:30 p.m. The title of his presentation will be, "Landmines: A Story from the Heart." 


Have a good weekend!


Busy Day at the Albers School

Posted by Barbara Hauke on May 16, 2011 at 10:05 AM PDT


Last Friday was a busy day in the Albers School.  Hard to imagine, but we started with a school meeting at 10:00 AM!  That may be unprecedented.  At the meeting we covered Albers’ involvement in the Seattle University Youth Initiative, our process to review our undergraduate business core curriculum, our new Health Leadership EMBA program, and our assessment process for international business. 

Then, starting at noon, we had the finals of the 13th annual Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition.  It seems like it gets better and better every year.  The competition started with a luncheon, with Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint and co-founder of Blue Nile as the featured speaker.  He did such a fine job there was no need for me to provide an inspiring speech! 

I had to leave by the time the presentations of the five final teams began, so I missed that and the announcing of the results at the awards ceremony, where $30,000 in prize money was awarded.  Among other things, I had to be ready for the Albers Awards Ceremony at 4:00 PM.  What can I say?  It was a busy day for the Albers School.  It's a shame so many of us had to be in two places at once, but that is what happens in the spring quarter when you are doing so many end of the year events. 

Of course, the competition did not start last week, but back in the winter quarter with a call for entries, followed by the initial screening round.  Judges reviewed 34 plans.  This narrowed the competition to 20, who then competed in the Elevator Pitch and Trade Show competitions.  You make it through that and you are in the finals.  There were five teams in the finals. I’m told the judges had a very difficult time ranking the five finalists, but Feral Motion was the eventual winner. 

The competition is a great example of how we rely on volunteers from the Seattle business community to educate our students.  Steve Brilling, our Entrepreneurship Center director, estimates there were some 160 volunteers in the process.  Wow!! 

The business plan competition is a great learning experience for the students who participate, especially those who make it deep into the competition.  And increasingly, we see that these business plans become viable businesses.  Mobata, Vera Fitness, and Girlie Girl Wine are all examples. 

Congratulations to Steve, Kim Eshelman, administrative assistant for the center, and all the other folks involved in making the competition a success! 

At the Albers Awards Ceremony we get to recognize our most outstanding students for their accomplishments at SU.  Twenty-three different awards are distributed to students.  Some of the more notable awards are the Paul Volpe Award (highest undergraduate academic performance), the Spirit of Albers Award (the student who best exemplifies the Albers mission to develop ethical and socially responsible leaders), and the Jerry Viscione Award (highest graduate student academic performance).  Congratulations to Ajla Aljic, Bill Santucci, and Andrew Barfoot respectively for receiving these awards!  Bill’s award is particularly impressive, since he has received the top academic award four years in a row.  He will also be receiving the President’s Award at graduation, which is the top award for all undergraduate students at SU.   

The ceremony is followed by a reception for parents and friends.  Then, at 5:30 PM, we were supposed to start the Beta Gamma Sigma installation ceremony.  However, the award ceremony was a bit behind schedule, so we started closer to 6:00 PM. 

BGS is the academic honorary for business students.  Those inducted are our strongest students, which makes for another inspirational event.  Fred DeKay always does a terrific job of organizing our BGS ceremony, but Fred is on a leave of absence this quarter, so he persuaded Madhu Rao and Hildegard Hendrickson to fill in.  Hildegard is a legendary emeritus faculty member in our school, who retired in 1996.  It’s always good to see her at the BGS ceremony.   We inducted 31 undergraduate and 62 graduate students into BGS!  The BGS Professor of the Year award went to Carlos Mello-e-Souza.  That is quite an honor, Carlos!  It’s coming from our most demanding students! 

My day was not done after the BGS ceremony, however.  My final stop was at a fundraiser for The Roots Project, which is a NGO focusing on improving the economic status of women in South Sudan.  I am planning to meet later this week with the founder, Anyieth D’Awol, to see if there are ways for Albers to collaborate with her organization.  [Anyieth is the daughter-in-law of Frank McKulka, who is on the advisory board of our soon to be launched Center for Business Ethics.]