News and Events

Albers Names O. David Jackson as New Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Headshot of David Jackson Assistant Dean for DEI at Albers

Organizational leadership specialist O. David Jackson has been appointed as the new Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the Albers School of Business and Economics.

'Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is the first of Albers’ three strategic initiatives planned for 2021-23', said Albers Dean Joseph M. Phillips. 'As Assistant Dean for DEI, David will take our commitment to this initiative to a higher level. His knowledge of Albers comes from various perspectives: as an alumnus of our Leadership Executive MBA program, an advisory board member for our Center for Leadership Formation (CLF), and as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Management and CLF.'

'David brings many years of human resources experience, which include independent consulting and nine years at Microsoft, to his new role,' Phillips continued. 'We all look forward to working with him.'

Jackson is the founder and chief strategist of Houston-based Jaxx Strategic Partners, a professional services firm focused on building individual and organizational capacity. As a former adjunct professor for Seattle University's College of Education, School of Theology and Ministry, and Albers, he taught courses in human resource management, business and people analytics, leadership practices and organizational development, and contemporary ethics focused on DEI. 

From 2006 to 2014, he held the position of Client Aligned Director in the Human Resources division of Microsoft. In this role, Jackson led the strategic people and talent business agenda for the Information Platform and Ad Monetization business units within the Application and Services Group (ASG). He also provided coaching and analytical insight to executive and senior leadership teams on people strategies within a high risk/reward environment.

From 2006 to 2011, he was a Human Resources Director at Microsoft where he built and led the strategic and tactical HR agenda for the company's Bing Search R&D organization. In this position, he served as the HR strategist for the core HR functions and collaborated with global partners to support distributed engineering development teams in the US, China, India, and Western Europe.

Other jobs that Jackson has held include CEO and Managing Partner for startup management advisory firm Altruist Partners, Director of Staffing for New York-based Scholastic Corporation, Director of Staffing for New Jersey's Emdeon Corporation (formerly WebMD), HR Business Leader for Abt Associates in Chicago, and Personnel Management Specialist at the U.S. Department of Labor's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Jackson has a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, Organization Development, and Adult Learning from Seattle University. He earned his Leadership Executive MBA at Albers, and majored in political science at Howard University for his undergraduate studies.

Albers Maintains Prestigious AACSB International Accreditation

Albers signage in the school's east entrance

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) has extended the accreditation of the Albers School of Business and Economics for another five years.

Schools that have earned AACSB business accreditation demonstrate an ongoing commitment to excellence in teaching, research, curriculum development, and learner success. Albers' undergraduate programs were first accredited by AACSB in 1965, followed by its graduate programs in 1980.

AACSB accreditation has been synonymous with the highest standards in business education. According to the organization in November 2021, 926 institutions across 60 countries and territories have earned AACSB accreditation in business while 188 maintain supplemental accreditation for their accounting programs.

Achieving accreditation is a process of rigorous internal focus, engagement with an AACSB-assigned mentor, and peer-reviewed evaluation. During this multiyear path, schools focus on developing and implementing a plan to align with AACSB’s accreditation standards. These standards require excellence in areas relating to strategic management and innovation; student, faculty, and staff as active participants; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.


50 Million Members By 2030: REI CEO Eric Artz To Discuss Outdoor Retailer's Growth Goals at Albers Exec Speaker Series

Headshot of Eric Artz

Eric Artz, President & CEO of REI Co-op, will be kicking off the Fall 2021 season of the Albers Executive Speaker Series. Artz is scheduled to speak at the event on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Speaker Series is free and open to the public.

Already the country’s largest consumer co-op, REI is making big plans to grow its membership from 20 million to 50 million people by 2030. To put the enormity of this goal into context, if successful, 15% of the U.S population will be a member of REI. As the national outdoor retailer fosters an engaged active community, it’s also reshaping itself into a cultural and political force.

For Artz, this growth presents an opportunity to transform not just the co-op, but the entire outdoor industry. Over the next decade, REI will fundamentally change its relationship with carbon, lower the barrier to entry in outdoor recreation, fight for increased equity, representation, and inclusion.

Sign up for the talk

About Eric Artz

Artz joined REI in March 2012 as chief financial officer and became chief operating officer and executive vice president in August 2014. He was named the co-op’s chief executive in May of 2019.

Artz has led teams in retail, digital, strategy, supply-chain and IT, and helped the business rise to $2.75 billion in sales for 2020 and a growing community of more than 20 million lifetime members.

Before joining REI, Artz served as chief financial officer at Urban Outfitters, Inc. 2010 – 2012. Prior to that, Artz spent 17 years with VF Corporation — a global apparel and footwear company of more than 30 brands — in roles including chief financial officer and executive-level oversight of divisional, corporate and international operations.

Artz holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Albright College. Artz is an officer of the board for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and serves as a director of United Natural Foods, Inc. He is an avid cyclist who also enjoys fishing, skiing and hiking with his family.

About the Albers Executive Speaker Series

Since 2002, the Albers School of Business and Economics has organized the Speaker Series, live panels featuring top business leaders from the Puget Sound Area.

Guests talk about a topic of their choice and respond to questions from a panel and the audience. The Speaker Series is yet another way Albers is committed to build student connections with the Seattle business community.

The event is held at Seattle University's Pigott Auditorium. Attendance is free and open to the public.

In 2020, in response to COVID-19, the Executive Speaker Series debuted a podcast version called The Leadership Playbook. Listen to the episodes for free on The Leadership Playbook page or via your favorite podcast app. 

Eric Artz's talk is being planned as a live event with the option to pivot to virtual in compliance with state and local health authorities' directives. Sign up on the registration page (link below) to be advised closer to the date whether the event will be live or conducted via Zoom.

Sign up for the talk


Author, entrepreneur, and former Seahawk Jordan Babineaux joins Albers as Adjunct Professor

Jordan Babineaux 2021 and 2010

SEATTLE, WA 18 August 2021 – Sports broadcaster, entrepreneur, and former Seahawk defensive back Jordan Babineaux will be teaching a sport-focused professional development course this fall for Seattle University’s new MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management (MBA SEM) at the Albers School of Business and Economics. The program launched in March this year.

A recent bestselling author whose book, Pivot to Win: Make the Big Plays in Life, Sports & Business, launched in May, Babineaux will focus on how to carve out a career path with the inaugural cohort of MBA students. He will share his experiences on the field, personal insights from his entrepreneurship journey, and corporate case studies to help students identify a clear path for their chosen profession.

‘Joining MBA SEM as an adjunct professor to help students grow into young professionals is an incredible honor,’ Babineaux said. ‘The program is unique in that it aims to develop a pipeline of diverse talent for future sport and entertainment leadership positions. I’m delighted to be among the group of educators and industry partners who will be shaping this next generation of sport leaders.’

Maylon Hanold, program director for MBA SEM, said, ‘Jordan brings a unique perspective to our students in terms of career path. Our students will all be trying to succeed in a highly competitive field. Getting a job and being successful are not easy. Jordan has been there at the highest level and can attest to the fact that working hard is not the only answer – working smart, having self-awareness, and building a support system are critical.’

Babineaux is one of two adjunct professors from the sport world who will be heading up the course on professional development. The other adjunct professor is Jake Hirshman, executive producer and host of the Life in the Front Office podcast who is currently working for the Arizona Coyotes in partnership sales.

Babineaux transitioned from nearly a decade playing in the NFL to become a sports broadcaster, entrepreneur, and speaker. He currently serves as co-host of the Seattle Seahawks television and radio broadcasts, while also helping organizations, teams, and leaders navigate change. Babineaux graduated from Seattle University in 2021 with a Leadership Executive MBA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Southern Arkansas University.

About the MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management (MBA SEM)

MBA SEM is one of five MBA programs offered by Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics. The 24-month program aims to develop leadership skills and business acumen and offers an authentic experiential immersion curriculum. It is the first program of its kind to build on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a core philosophy.

In the first year, students will be integrated into six MBA courses and learn alongside professionals from the greater business community. The second year will focus on sport-specific content knowledge.

The highlight of the immersion experience is MBA SEM’s Fellowship Program where all students gain meaningful work experience with a Seattle sport or entertainment organization, working 20 hours per week with a $15K stipend. Founding partners that will offer fellowships are the Seattle Kraken, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Storm, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle SeahawksOak View Group and Climate Pledge Arena.

More information about Seattle University’s MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management can be found on the MBA SEM website.

2021 Albers Ethics Week Keynotes Examine COVID-19 and the Future of Responsible Business

People social distancing in a line

Albers Ethics Week, a cornerstone event at the Albers School of Business and Economics, will take place virtually in mid-May. The annual event is organized by the Center for Business Ethics.

From May 10th to the 14th, invited guest speakers will visit over 60 Albers classes to talk about ethical issues in areas ranging from accounting to human resource management. 

Virtual keynote talks are open to the public. This year's speakers will delve into COVID-19 and the Future of Responsible Business. 

Bioethicist, former National Institutes of Health Fellow, and Novack Professor in Ethical Leadership at Claremont McKenna College Alex Rajczi headlines the first keynote on May 11th, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Racjzi will discuss the pandemic's lessons for health care management in times of scarcity as well as the future of national policy.

The second keynote on May 13th at 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. will be delivered by Santa Clara University Professor Michael Santoro. He will explore the tension between pharmaceutical innovation and access to medicine as as how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the future of drug development and public-private partnerships.

For more details about Albers Ethics Week and how to join the keynotes, visit the Center for Business Ethics' Albers Ethics Week page.

Albers programs among U.S. News & World Report 2022 Best Graduate Schools rankings

 Group of trophies

U.S. News & World Report today released its Best Graduate Schools 2022 rankings. Albers programs included in the rankings are:

  • Accounting: Ranked #15 in the nation, fourth highest on the West Coast, and tied for highest ranking in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Business Analytics: #19 in the nation, third highest on the West Coast, and highest ranked in the Pacific Northwest. 
  • Finance: #30 in the nation, 6th highest on the West Coast, and second highest in the Pacific Northwest
  • Professional MBA: #62 in the nation
  • Leadership Executive MBA: #16 in the nation, fourth highest on the West Coast, and highest ranked in the Pacific Northwest

Per U.S. News, schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Find out more about Albers and its grad rankings by visiting our U.S. News page.


Seattle University Joins Forces with Local Sports Teams to Tackle Diversity in Sports and Entertainment Industry

All-new Sport & Entertainment MBA Program is a collaboration between the Albers School of Business and Economics and the Seattle Kraken, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Storm, Seattle Sounders, Seattle Seahawks, Oak View Group and Climate Pledge Arena

Sports and Entertainment MBA will focus on increasing diversity in leadership

SEATTLE – MARCH 4, 2021 — Seattle University’s (SU) Albers School of Business and Economics today announced the launch of its newest graduate program, an MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management (MBA SEM) with a focus on diversifying leadership in the industry.

In a ground-breaking move, seven Seattle sports and entertainment companies will partner with the university to advise on the curriculum and offer fellowships to students. Founding partners, the Seattle Kraken and Seattle Mariners, have joined forces with the Seattle Storm, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Seahawks, Oak View Group and Climate Pledge Arena to provide fellowships for students and job opportunities upon completion of the program.

A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is one of the hallmarks of MBA SEM, making it the first program of its kind to build on DEI as a core philosophy. It is an offering consistent with the Albers School’s 70+ year legacy of championing business as an agent of positive social change. The curriculum will focus on:

  • Venue management and operation.
  • Venue sustainability for sports organizations and music/entertainment tours.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism in sports, entertainment in sports and venue management.

“We’ve designed a sports MBA with an authentic experiential immersion curriculum, where students benefit from real-world projects, and close contact with various levels of organizational leadership,” said MBA SEM program director Maylon Hanold. “We will equip our students with the leadership skills and business acumen sought after by employers and prepare them for the workplace by creating a highly diverse and inclusive community.”

In addition, there will be DEI professional development opportunities for faculty members and the creation of a new, BIPOC led advisory group including students, faculty, and team partners. Consistent with its educational mission, the university is committed to promoting a diverse student body and will be awarding scholarships to address financial need, to break down stereotypes in the industry and to create access to this unique program.

“Our Seattle teams share the goal of addressing historic inequities and creating opportunities in sport and entertainment leadership,” said Fred Rivera, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Seattle Mariners. “This program aligns with the Mariners recently announced racial equity programs and initiatives. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Kraken as well as Seattle University on this long-term program to make progress breaking down barriers for entry into the sports industry.”

“We know that BIPOC and female leadership is lacking in our industry and with this program we have an exceptional opportunity to address this and instigate change,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of Seattle Kraken.  “It is unprecedented to see so many organizations come together around one cause and we look forward to welcoming the inaugural class and seeing this program grow into a model around the world.”

Applications are now being accepted until May 15, 2021 at Classes start at the end of June.

Additional Quotes

Seattle University

‘The sport industry has a renewed call to action as it endeavors to increase diversity at all levels and in all segments,’ said Albers Dean Joseph Phillips. ‘Our program will make an important contribution to those efforts.’

‘This is the first multi-organizational approach in bringing meaningful sport involvement, experiences, and opportunities to a diverse audience,’ said Bill Sutton, board advisor to the new MBA and founding director of the University of South Florida’s Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program.

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Chief Financial Officer, Karen Spencer, is an Advisory Board Member for Seattle University’s Master of Sport Business Leadership (MSBL) program and the team is proud to support advancement opportunities to diversify sports leadership.

“The Seahawks are thrilled to come together with our fellow Seattle sports teams to support this ground-breaking program that will provide invaluable first-hand experience in sports business, with a foundation of diversity and inclusion ingrained throughout,” said Karen Wilkins-Mickey, Seahawks Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Our organization is guided upon core values of respect, equality and inclusiveness on and off the field, so we look forward to mentoring these future leaders and providing meaningful opportunities for them as they advance their careers in sports.”

Seattle Sounders FC

“When Sounders FC launched its official social justice framework last August, one of the vows we made to the community was to address the deep-seated inequity of opportunities in our sport for women and BIPOC,” said Sounders FC Owner and President of Business Operations Peter Tomozawa. “Participating in this new program offered by Seattle University provides a great step toward that goal, and we’re honored to join our fellow local professional franchises to make this investment in developing diverse talent. We recognize that this is still a first step. There remains a great deal of work to be done, but we’re committed to working together to make our community a better place.”

Seattle Storm

“The Seattle Storm is honored to join our fellow professional sports franchises in support of Seattle University’s MBA program focused on diversity in the sports and entertainment industry,” said Alisha Valavanis, CEO and General Manager of the Seattle Storm. “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lie at the heart of the Storm’s core values, business practices and platforms. Given the tremendous organizational alignment with Seattle University’s program, Force 10 Enterprises & the Storm are thrilled to be involved.”

About the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University

Located in the heart of Seattle, the nationally ranked Albers School of Business and Economics is one of the premier business schools in the Northwest United States. Small class sizes and low student-to-faculty ratios ensure that a student is never just a number. Students benefit from the school’s deep business connections through mentorships, internships, and employment opportunities. Albers is distinct for its 70+ year legacy in championing the responsibility of business to create a better society.

About Seattle Kraken

The Seattle Kraken are the National Hockey League’s newest franchise, set to play their inaugural season in 2021-2022 at Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, developed by Oak View Group. Visit for the latest news and information including press releases, multimedia content and the latest hires.

About Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners play in the Western Division of Major League Baseball’s American League. Founded in 1977, the Mariners play home games at T-Mobile Park, next to Seattle’s busy working waterfront, the historic Pioneer Square and Chinatown International District neighborhoods, and SODO urban industrial zone. Since it was opened in 1999, the ballpark has earned praise as one of the best ballparks in baseball with outstanding sightlines and fan-friendly amenities. The Mariners have one of the youngest rosters in baseball made up of talented, exciting athletes including 2020 American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis and Gold Glove winners J.P. Crawford and Evan White. The Mariners open the 2021 MLB season at T-Mobile Park on Thursday, April 1, against the San Francisco Giants.

About Climate Pledge Arena

Climate Pledge Arena, located at Seattle Center, will be the first net Zero Carbon certified arena in the world. It will serve as a long-lasting and regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action. The Climate Pledge, which was founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019, is a commitment from companies globally to be net Zero Carbon by 2040. The complete redevelopment of this historic landmark, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, will be an industry first. Home to the NHL's Seattle Kraken, WNBA's Seattle Storm, and the world's biggest performers of live music and events, Climate Pledge Arena will open in 2021. Learn more at

About Oak View Group (OVG)

Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has 8 divisions across 4 global offices (Los Angeles, New York, London, and Philadelphia). OVG is leading the redevelopment and operations of Climate Pledge Arena as well as leading arena development projects in Belmont, NY, Austin, TX, and Milan, Italy. OVG Global Partnerships, a division of OVG, is the sales and marketing arm responsible for selling across all OVG Arena Development projects.

About Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1976 as an expansion team. The Seahawks have won 11 division titles and three conference championships. They are the only team to have played in both the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) championship games. They have appeared in three Super Bowls, (Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl XLVIII and Super Bowl XLIX). The Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII to win their first title. The team plays at Lumen Field in downtown Seattle. 

About Seattle Sounders FC

Winner of the 2019 and 2016 MLS Cup, 2014 MLS Supporters' Shield and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014), Sounders FC is Seattle's Major League Soccer franchise. The club received an MLS charter on November 13, 2007 and has set a league record by qualifying for the MLS Cup Playoffs in every year of its existence. Sounders FC reached a milestone in 2016 as the franchise claimed its first MLS Cup championship, before earning its second title in 2019, hoisting the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy in front of a home crowd of 69,274 fans. Since the club's debut MLS season in 2009, Sounders FC has set the standard for soccer support in North America, leading the league in attendance for eight consecutive seasons (2009-2016) and routinely ranking in the top 30 in attendance among all professional teams internationally. Prior to joining MLS, the Seattle Sounders organization has been a part of the greater Seattle community and U.S. Soccer professional scene since 1974.

About the Seattle Storm

The Seattle Storm is a four-time WNBA championship team that brings a premium professional basketball and entertainment experience to a fan-base rich in tradition and support. The organization leverages its community-building platforms to contribute to Puget Sound’s economic growth and enhance its citizens’ quality of life. The Storm actively expresses its embrace of diversity, equity, and inclusion through its practice of fighting for social and racial justice across the country. This work, through the Force4Change initiative, includes amplifying Black leaders and encouraging investment in Black communities. In addition, with its focus on fitness and health, the Storm promotes local youth development in the areas of leadership and sports, with an emphasis on girls and women. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Alicia Kan
Albers School of Business and Economics | Seattle University
Telephone (206) 296 5732

Chris Guizlo or Kyle Wall
Fearey for The Seattle Kraken

Rebecca Hale
Seattle Mariners



Albers Team Wins Local Finals of CFA Institute Research Challenge

Series of gold trophies

Victory marks SU's ninth in 12 years of competing in annual event

Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics bested seven other teams to win the local finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge organized by CFA Society Seattle.

The Challenge is an annual competition for university students, testing their skills as future financial analysts. 'Students work in teams to research and analyze a publicly traded company and then write a research report on their assigned company with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation,' says the CFA Institute's website.

Members of the Albers team that represented Seattle University were:

  • Online MBA student Brooks Hopp
  • Masters in Finance student Sneha Pendaya
  • Undergraduate Finance major Nancy Vuong
  • Undergraduate Finance and International Business student Shelby Ward
  • Masters in Finance student Yichen Zhou

This year's competing teams were fielded by the University of Washington Bothell, the University of Washington Seattle, the University of Puget Sound, Central Washington University, Western Washington University, and the University of Oregon. The last fielded two teams.

The Albers group will be advancing to the Americas sub-regional finals this month. 

The CFA Institute Research Challenge win is the latest feather in the cap for the Finance department of Albers. In December 2020, the value of its student-run Redhawk Fund hit $1 million. The Masters in Finance program is also celebrating its 30th year.


Albers Launches MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management

Baseball player hitting ball with bat

Program will be first sports MBA to build on diversity, equity, and inclusion as core philosophy

SEATTLE WA, 22 Feb 2021 – Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics today announced the launch of the MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management (MBA SEM).

The commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is one of the hallmarks of MBA SEM, making it the first program of its kind to build on DEI as a core philosophy. It is an offering consistent with the Albers School’s 70+ year legacy of championing business as an agent of positive social change

‘The sport industry has a renewed call to action as it endeavors to increase diversity at all levels and in all segments,’ said Albers Dean Joseph Phillips. ‘Our program will make an important contribution to those efforts.’

The new MBA is a reimagination of the business school’s Master’s in Sport Business Leadership program founded in 2006. ‘In addition to boosting students’ employability with an MBA, we will equip them with the leadership skills and business acumen sought after by employers, while preparing them for key roles within the sports industry,’ Program Director Maylon Hanold said.

‘We’ve designed a sports MBA with an authentic experiential immersion curriculum, where students benefit from real-world projects and close contact with various levels of organizational leadership,’ she added.

The program is complemented by robust access to other industry professionals through guest lectures, alumni networks, an Advisory Board, and more. Mentorships will be arranged through the acclaimed Albers Mentor Program, now in its 31st year.

Applications are now being accepted until May 15, 2021 at Classes start at the end of June.



Albers Launches STEM-designated Accounting Master's Program 

Smiling student

Emphasis on analytics reflects accounting's evolution as it embraces emerging technologies

SEATTLE WA, 15 Feb 2021 – Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics today announced the launch of its newest graduate program, the Master of Science in Accounting and Analytics (MSAA).

Designed for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting, five out of the MSAA’s 15 courses will be in analytics, while eight out of the 15 are STEM-related. The STEM designation will enable international students to explore Optional Practical Training (OPT) opportunities in the United States.

‘The new program offers unique courses tailored for growth as an accounting, auditing, or business risk advisory professional while building a strong skill foundation in analytics,’ said Albers Accounting Department Chair Niranjan Chipalkatti.

‘The accounting industry has expanded to include analytics, visualization, block chain, AI, and other technologies as part of the accounting, audit, and risk assurance process,’ he added. ‘The MSAA will build students’ functional skills and knowledge that today’s employers are seeking, while also prepping them for strategic leadership positions in the workforce.’

‘We constantly review our curriculum to ensure that our students continue to be the most highly sought-after talent in Seattle and beyond,’ said Albers Dean Joseph Phillips. ‘The MSAA ensures that our graduates have first mover advantage in today’s rapidly changing accounting landscape.’

The MSAA evolved from the school’s graduate accounting program that was founded in 1999. It has been ranked in the top 25 nationwide for nine consecutive years by US News & World Report.

The program is an accredited partner of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and one of only nine Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Centers of Excellence in the world. Graduates have built careers at the Big 4 accounting firms as well as top Seattle-based firms such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Costco.

Albers Ranked #2 in Pacific Northwest, #3 on West Coast, in 2021 Poets&Quants for Undergrads Business School Rankings

3 hands with trophies

Poets&Quants for Undergrads, a leading online publication for undergraduate business news, unveiled its fifth annual Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2021 rankings.

Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics was ranked second in the Pacific Northwest and third on the West Coast. It also rose to #62 nationally. In 2020, it ranked #76 in the US. 

‘This year’s ranking assesses three core values of an undergraduate business education: the quality of the admits, what a school does to grow those students over four years, and finally how the marketplace responds to those graduates,’ said Nathan Allen, Project Manager, Poets&Quants for Undergrads. ‘In other words, what’s the quality of the incoming students, how do they view their academic experience, and what career outcomes are achieved by the graduating class.’

Poets&Quants for Undergrads compiled the 2021 rankings based on a representative survey of over 6,100 alumni and school-reported data. Recent grads across 93 schools were surveyed on aspects of faculty availability, extracurricular opportunities, and accessibility of the alumni network.

Albers has a 93% placement rate for its undergraduate Class of 2019. More information about the #1 business school in the West can be found at the undergraduate section of the Albers site.


Optional GMAT and GRE admissions policy extended through Fall 2021

Two women at brainstorming session

Last April, Albers announced that the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and graduate management admission test (GMAT) requirements will be optional for anyone applying to a non-law graduate program in the 2020-21 academic year.

We're happy to share that the policy has been extended through Fall 2021. The application fee of $55 has also been waived for the same period.

Applicants are still encouraged to submit a GMAT or GRE when possible. Choosing to include these scores can make applications more competitive and gives the admissions team more information about applicants. 

Albers retains the right to recommend submitting a GMAT or GRE score on a case-by-case basis, in order to assist in the admissions decisions process. The GMAT/GRE will also still be required for applicants who have the equivalent of an international three-year degree or who received ungraded transcripts during their undergraduate degree.


Educational Testing Service (ETS), owner and administrator of the GRE, has confirmed that the GRE General Test at Home is available everywhere that the computer-delivered GRE General Test is normally available, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. This GRE is a proctored online version of the test, administered in a test user's home.

Test centers are reopening in Mainland China and Iran, as well as other countries. Additional information about this new test option and updates on testing center closures, postponements, and rescheduling are available on the ETS website's COVID-19 page.


The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) that conducts the GMAT offers appointment times for the GMAT Online exam, an interim alternative to the test center GMAT, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The GMAT Online exam is available in most locations, with the exception of Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan due to regulatory and local data privacy rules. Currently, proctoring support for the exam is only offered in English.

More information is available on GMAC's online GMAT web page.

For any questions on the extended policy, please email Graduate Admissions.

A Degree That's Bigger Than Him

Seth Chism

Albers students never cease to inspire, and Seth Chism is one of them. After graduating this year with a Business Analytics degree, Chism will be teaching at his high school alma mater, Seattle Preparatory High School. His post on Instagram caught attention for its caption: ‘I realize that this degree is BIGGER THAN ME’. Below, he tells the story behind it.

Where he started

Seth Chism at a race

I was born in Oakland, California, then my family moved up here to Washington. I have an identical twin brother, an older brother, and my mom and dad. I went to Seattle Prep for four years after getting a track scholarship.

After graduating, I went to St. Martin’s University which is in Lacey, Washington. I went there for two years and it was really hard there. In my freshman year, I broke my leg and missed most of the season. It was sad, not being able to do something that I used as an escape or a way to focus and forget about things.

In my sophomore year, I came back [to track] and it was hard. I just wasn’t the same person. It was hard getting in shape. A lot of my friends transferred out and I felt like I was stuck on an island for a whole year. It was pretty rough.

And then I talked to a few coaches at Seattle U and transferred over. I practiced with them for a little bit and ended up getting cut from the team.

I was pretty upset about it at first because I was like, wow, this all I have ever done. It’s like my identity. What else am I going to do? I’m at a new place where I don’t really know anyone else.

And I was thinking, oh I made a mistake. I must’ve made a mistake coming here, blah blah.

All that was probably the best thing that happened to me because I don’t think, voluntarily, that I would have stopped doing things that were holding me back. There was work that I needed to be doing and I was neglecting a lot of other areas of my life.

What Seattle U gave him

Seth Chism graduation

Being at SU taught me so much. It’s a hard school. It taught me a lot about being a man and figuring out stuff independently, trying to work through adversity, and handling things that I just was never asked to do before.

It was an awesome experience and everyone was so welcoming to me. No one ever hesitated to help me out. And you know what? I needed to put my foot forward, too, not do things by halves. I needed to allow people to help me out and allow them to get to know me, which I did.

I’m very independent and hate asking for help. I would rather flunk a class before I ask someone for help. And I realized that’s a bad mentality to have -- no one does anything on their own.

About others preparing the way for him

Chism family 

Both my parents [pictured above, with his brother] went to college. My grandfather on my mom’s side, William Reed Tucker [photo below], was really, really smart and would’ve liked to have been an engineer. But he was an orphan – he had lost both parents by the age of six -- and poor. He graduated from high school and never got the opportunity to go to college. Instead of being an engineer, he fixed engines in the military instead.

William Tucker 

It was just like a different time back then. You think about how much money he missed out on or how many opportunities he missed out on because no one told him that he could do what he wanted to do.

My parents would tell me stuff about when they were in school, and how counselors would come up to them and be, oh you shouldn’t do this or that. My mom’s an RN (registered nurse). A counselor once said to her, no, I don’t think that’s something you’d be good at. You should do social work or something else.

Being Black, sometimes, people will overlook you and underestimate you and try to put you in boxes before you can go out and show that you can do something. It’s constantly having to prove yourself sometimes.

Not all people are like this, my parents have always taught me. But you need to be on guard and pay attention. A lot of the things they faced when they were growing up and trying to start their careers, I’m getting to know.

I’ve been spoiled. I have had some adversity, but I would say, honestly -- I’m very privileged because my parents set me up for so much success. There are a lot of things I didn’t have to experience that others in my family have had to experience. They worked incredibly hard for me and put me in the best position to succeed. It was up to me to follow through.

And that’s why it’s a huge deal to me because none of this would’ve been possible without what they did before me. They had a harder time getting to the table and getting a seat at the table when they were growing up in that era. It makes me feel very grateful that I’m even able to be where I’m at now and not to take it for granted either because as quick as I got it, it can be gone the next day.

On why he chose to teach

Seattle Prep has a program called the Alumni Service Corps where, every year, they hire alumni who’ve just graduated from college to teach for a year. It’s like a year of service, an opportunity to give back to the school.

My dad mentioned it to me in December and I thought, you know, let’s be proactive and see where this goes. I spent most of the year not knowing what I wanted to do job-wise after graduation.

[Teaching] would be a great opportunity to take a year off just to figure it out. Work hard. Give back to the school. Work my tail off. And use that year as a transition period to figure it out. 

I want to work somewhere where I feel I’m contributing to something greater than just a profit margin. I want to work where I feel I’m making an impact and have a voice in the company.

I want to be where I feel I have purpose. 

What he learned about himself on this journey

Seth Chism grad photos

  1. I’m a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for.
  2. I learned to give myself permission to fail and permission to make mistakes, knowing it’s not a concrete thing. I always have the opportunity to do better, improve, and do the best I can.
  3. Being a Black man is a struggle in itself but it should never be a crutch and it should never be an excuse as to why you can’t change your life. You don’t take what people say is going to be hard for you and make that the reason that you didn’t succeed. You always have the opportunity to succeed at the end of the day.

To have that mentality of going through life, going to school, and staying positive is huge for people who look like me because that’s not the mindset that people like me have. A lot of kids grow up already defeated. They grew up already hearing as kids, oh no, you’re already Black, life could be hard for you. It’s going to be challenging for you.

But it shouldn’t just be the reason that you can’t make anything better. A lot of kids just grow up discouraged and without any hope. I want these kids to know that anything’s possible. You’ve got to put the work in there and not let people -- even family members -- discourage you. Family members will sometimes discourage you more than people outside of your own home.

You really need to filter the things that go into your mind, stay positive, and keep that mindset moving forward. It’s a lot easier said than done, obviously. But just stay positive. Keep your inner circle full of people with that mentality, people who are also positive and pushing you in the right direction.

And you’ll see that anything is truly possible.

Follow Seth Chism on Instagram at @the_great_schism.

Economy Does Better When a Democrat is in the White House

President Ford and Jimmy Carter debate in 1976

One hundred forty-four years of data -- from 1876 to 2016 -- show that when a Democrat is in the White House, the economy tends to grow faster and stock prices also tend to rise faster. When Republicans are Presidents, consumer prices are lower.

This is just one of the many findings in a study by Werner De Bondt, Visiting Professor, Finance, and Thomas F. Gleed Endowed Chair of Business Administration for 2019-2020. De Bondt, a co-founder of the field of behavioral finance, studies the psychology of investors and financial markets. 

De Bondt covers this comparison and more in Predictable Irrationality, the second in the Albers Deep Dive series of videos. Recorded exclusively for YouTube, the series comprises 30- to 45-minute slideshows presented by Albers faculty and subject matter experts.

De Bondt's research shows that macro-economic and capital market expectations play a key role in financial decision-making. The expertise of professional economic forecasters, he has found, is surprisingly limited. Thorough analysis of thousands of six- and 12-month forecasts of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, from 1952 t0 2019, shows predictable bias.

According to De Bondt, 'Expert projections are poor because financial market developments are inherently capricious; because professional experts commonly promote themselves as “perma-bulls” or “perma-bears”; and because many economists are unjustifiably over-confident in their power to foresee the future.'

With 2020 being an election year, De Bondt analyzed economic performance under President Donald Trump:

  • Comparing his performance to the averages since 1873, the Trump economy is just about equal to the long-term average, and significantly better than what has been achieved since 1945 or since 1981
  • Inflation during his term is just about equal to the long-term average since 1873, and beats those since 1945 and 1981
  • For stock market performance, the  long-term average shows an annual gain of 5.9%. Under Trump, it grew 12.9%

Trump economy in historical perspective

Will the above get him re-elected in November? De Bondt says the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘the main imponderable factor’. His studies show that it’s not stock market performance over the full four years that matters, but the last 18 months.

Image: President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter meet at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia to debate domestic policy in September 1976. Photo by David Hume Kennerly.

A Commitment to Change

I Can't Breathe 

Here in the United States of America, we are all living under a deeply disturbing cloud.

Its origins go far back, but it has grown more ominous with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, and more troubling with the tragic and unacceptable death of George Floyd and other Black Americans.

Racism is real. And while it affects many people, it is a particular burden for the Black community, and that is as apparent now as it has ever been.

All the data clearly show that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Black Americans, and then add to that the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others.

The injustice of racism is not just an issue for our university, it is also one for our business school. It is an issue we may cautiously have acknowledged in the past, but not one that we have truly taken on.

Of course we must support our students who experience racism, and at the end of the day, only they can say if we have.

But we also have to make the challenges of racism in our society part of the educational experience for all our students. It has to be in the curriculum in an intentional and systematic way.

We are not doing that as of now. Some business courses and some business faculty may expose some business students to how systemic racism influences business systems, policies, and operations, but it is not happening for all business students.

That needs to change, and making that change is staying true to the legacy of Jesuit education and the history of Seattle University. Albers will make this a priority over the next year and beyond.

We cannot allow the uncertainty of COVID-19 to distract us from that effort. However we emerge on the other side of the pandemic, it will only have been worth it if we can say we are taking on the issue of racism in our society.

These are troubling times and the emotional toll is too high for many of us. We must support those suffering injustice and commit ourselves not only to acknowledging change is needed, but to ensuring change happens.

I invite all students, faculty and staff to join with me as Albers addresses the issue of racial justice.

Dean Joe Phillips' signature

Joseph M. Phillips
Dean, Albers School of Business and Economics

Albers Summer Business Institute goes virtual

Girl studying at home

In response to COVID-19, the Albers Summer Business Institute (SBI) has been moved to an online platform for Summer 2020. Applications are being accepted until May 30, 2020. The program will run from July 5 to July 10, 2020.

SBI provides rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors an introduction to business through a program focused on social entrepreneurship. Young scholars learn the foundations of marketing, data visualization, business law, management, economics, and accounting while gaining exposure to being a student at Seattle University. Throughout the week, student teams develop a social venture and pitch it to a panel of investors.

SBI scholars with Pagliacci

Participants will be able to connect with like-minded young leaders from across the country during the program. Students can choose to participate in a one-week, two-week, or three-week experience which includes both hard (e.g. technical) and soft (e.g. leadership) skills. Students earn two college credits for completing SBI.

With the move to a digital platform, SBI can now accommodate more than 120 student seats. Tuition costs $450 with a deposit of $50 if accepted into the program.

Seattle University plans to provide full scholarships to at least 50% of the student participants. The criteria that will be used for determining scholarship eligibility are:

  • Financial need. Based on free/reduced lunch eligibility and statement of need.
  • Academic achievements. Focused on GPA, awards, and recommendation letter.
  • Community service. Based on involvement in their local community, big and small.
  • Ethnicity. Focused on local communities that are underrepresented in higher education including Black/African American, Hmong American, Latino/Hispanic, Indigenous/Native American, Nepalese American, and Pacific Islander descents.

More details about the Albers Summer Business Institute, FAQs, and the application process, visit the SBI page. Questions can also be emailed to

GMAT and GRE now optional for non-law grad programs in 2020-21

Father and son working from home

For prospective students navigating graduate application during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and graduate management admission test (GMAT) requirements will now be optional for anyone applying to a non-law graduate program in the 2020-21 academic year.

Applicants are still encouraged to submit a GMAT or GRE when possible. Choosing to include these scores can make applications more competitive and gives the admissions team more information about applicants. 

Albers retains the right to recommend submitting a GMAT or GRE score on a case-by-case basis, in order to assist in the admissions decisions process.

Testing agencies are working to provide alternatives to site-based testing. The latest information is below and will be updated as situations change.


Educational Testing Service (ETS), owner and administrator of the GRE, launched the GRE General Test at Home in most areas except mainland China and Iran with plans to expand to these markets.

This GRE will be a proctored online version of the test, administered in a test user's home. Additional information about this new test option and updates on testing center closures, postponements, and rescheduling are available on the ETS website's COVID-19 page.


The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) that conducts the GMAT has opened up registrations for the GMAT Online exam, an interim alternative to the test center GMAT.

Appointments are available for test dates as early as April 20, 2020, and extend through June 15, 2020. Candidates can schedule appointment times 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing for greater flexibility during an evolving situation.

More information is available on GMAC's online GMAT web page.

Seattle University's Graduate Admissions team will be auditing its files and reaching out to current and potential applicants regarding these changes. Please contact your Graduate Admissions Counselor or email Graduate Admissions to discuss the new policy and how it relates to your application.