Albers Recognizes New Endowed Professor and Chair Holders

Posted by Joseph Phillips on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 11:15 AM PST


On November 16th the Albers School held a ceremony to recognize our new endowed professors and chairs for 2018-19.  Endowed chairs and professorships are a particularly important resource for a business school to have.  They are a valuable tool for attracting and retaining outstanding faculty.   If Seattle University and the Albers School are to attain our aspirations for academic excellence, we can only do so with a strong portfolio of endowed chairs and professorships.

We have the good fortune to have five endowed Chairs – the Frank Shrontz Chair in Professional Ethics, the Lawrence Johnson Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship, the Khalil Dibee Endowed Chair in Finance, the Thomas Gleed Chair in Business Administration, and the Robert O’Brien Chair in Business.

We also have five professorships.  They include the Robert Bosanko Endowed Professorship in International Economics and Finance, the David E. Tinius Professorship in Accounting, and the three Albers Professorships named after George, Eva, and Genevieve Albers.

The Albers family was a generous supporter of Seattle University, and to honor that support our school was named the Albers School in the early 1970’s.  In 2001, we received a generous endowment gift from the estate of Genevieve Albers which among other things created the Albers Professorships. It was George Albers who founded a successful food processing business that was sold to Carnation, and then bought by Nestle.  The Albers brand was sold by Nestle to Continental Mills, a Seattle based firm that uses the brand today for corn meal and grits.

At our ceremony, we installed Professor Matt Isaac as the sixth holder of the Genevieve Albers Professorship.  The professorship is a three-year appointment awarded for excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Matt joined our faculty in 2011 and teaches principles of marketing, sales management, brand management, marketing strategy, and even Consumption and Happiness to undergrad and grad students.  His research focuses on consumer judgement and decision-making.  He has published in the top journals of his field, including the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, and the Journal of Marketing – all among the Top Four academic journals in marketing – as well as the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Retailing, and Journal of Advertising Research.  His work has been featured in the popular press, ranging from the New York Times to Fast Company to Forbes and many others.

We also installed Professor Claus Portner as the 17th holder of the Robert D. O’Brien Endowed Chair in Business.  The O’Brien Chair is a two-year appointment that rotates among our full-time faculty.  The appointment is made on the basis of the recipients record in teaching, research, and service, as well as a proposal on how to best use the resources of the endowed chair.

Robert O’Brien served on SU’s Board of Regents from 1963 to 1971 and on the 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.

Claus joined our faculty in 2011 and teaches courses in quantitative methods, microeconomics, and development economics.  His research interests include household and population economics, development, and labor economics.  His publications have appeared in such leading journals as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Demography, the Journal of Development Economics, and Economic Development and Cultural Change.  He has also worked as a consultant with the World Bank on development and population issues.

In service, Claus has served on CAPCOM, is on the Office of Sponsored Research Advisory Board, and on Department Faculty Search Committees.

Congratulations to Professors Isaac and Portner on their appointments to these endowed positions!