New Albers Endowed Chairs and Professors Installed

Posted by Joseph M. Phillips on Monday, November 25, 2019 at 10:15 AM PST


On November 22nd, we installed three faculty members as new endowed chairs and professors.  In recognizing these faculty members, we are, by extension, also recognizing the good work of all our faculty members.

Endowed chairs and professorships are an 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 Lawrence K. Johnson Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship.

The Frank Shrontz Endowed Chair in Professional Ethics, currently held by Jeffrey Smith.

The Robert D. O’Brien Endowed Chair in Business, currently held by Claus Portner.

As well as the two being filled today, the Dr. Khalil Dibee Endowed Chair in Finance and the Thomas F. Gleed Endowed Chair in Business Administration.

We have five professorships.  They include the Robert Bosanko Endowed Professorship in International Economics and Finance and the David E. Tinius Professorship in Accounting, held by Tina Zamora.

We also have three Albers Professorships in Business Administration, the Eva Albers Professorship to be recognized today, and the other two: Professor Jot Yau (George Albers) and Matt Isaac (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 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 which uses the brand today for corn meal and grits.

Professor Meena Rishi is the sixth holder of the Eva Albers Professorship.  Meena is a Professor of Economics and has been a member of our faculty since 2004. She teaches International Political Economy, Asian Economic Development, and Macroeconomics. Her scholarly work focuses on capital flight, institutional approaches to development, International finance, and pedagogy.

Her publications include articles in such journals as the Journal of Development Studies, the International Review of Financial Analysis, the Journal of Developing Areas, and Energy Economics. Meena has served as a Fulbright Specialist and is the Executive Director of the Association of Indian Economic and Financial Studies.  She has been a strong advocate for student-faculty research, having served as the University’s Coordinator for Undergraduate Research. Meena has also served as the director of the International Development Internship Program.

Werner DeBondt is now the 12th holder of the Thomas F. Gleed Endowed Chair in Business Administration.  Werner is one of the originators of behavioral finance, which studies the psychology of investors and financial markets. He joins us from DePaul University in Chicago, where he was Professor of Finance and the Founding Director of the Richard H. Driehaus Center for Behavioral Finance   Prior to that, he was the Frank Graner Professor of Investment Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Over the years, he has also taught at universities in Belgium, The Netherlands and Switzerland. Werner’s academic publications have appeared in such top journals as the Journal of Finance, the European Economic Review and the American Economic Review. He is a much in demand speaker on behavioral finance to academics and investment professionals around the globe.

Professor Cathy Cao was installed as the 4th holder of the Dr. Khalil Dibee Endowed Chair of Finance.  Cathy is Associate Professor of Finance and joined Seattle University in 2011. Prior to entering academia, she worked for CITIC Securities Co. as an asset manager. She teaches courses in investments, options, and derivatives.  Her research interests include empirical asset pricing, the intersection of investment and corporate finance, and institutional investment.

Her publications have appeared in such influential journals as the Journal of Corporate Finance, the Journal of Investing, and the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting.  She has served on the SU Socially Responsible Investment Taskforce, the SU Retirement Plan Investment Committee, and as faculty advisor for the Redhawk Fund, where she has deployed her expertise in investments!

Congratulations to Cathy, Werner, and Meena.  It was a pleasure to recognize their professional accomplishments at the installation ceremony!   They all are making important contributions to Albers and Seattle U!