Archive for March, 2013

TEA names finalists for 2013 Business Plan Competition

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Tulane startups in nutrition, medical technology and public health will compete for $50,000 next month in the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association’s (TEA) 13th annual Tulane Business Plan Competition.

The 13th annual Tulane Business Plan Competition will take place on Friday, April 19, 2013, at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.

TEA announced finalists for the business plan competition, which is open to student innovators from around the world, as well as the Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, which awards $20,000 to the best plan for New Orleans-based venture with strong growth potential and positive local impact.

Tulane Business Plan Competition finalists include: Be Well Nutrition, a nutritional beverage startup; Humanure Power, which aims to provide sustainable sanitation and electricity to rural India; and TRUE-See Systems, a healthcare venture that has a new high-resolution digital system for diagnostic imaging. While 51 companies from 21 universities and four countries entered the contest, this is the first year that all finalists are from Tulane.

Finalists for the Domain Companies Challenge include Be Well Nutrition, TRUE-SEE Systems and Haystack EDU, an online platform to help connect schools and teachers.

Both contests focus on ventures committed to conscience capitalism, which is based on the belief that a business can benefit both the community and major stakeholders.

“In today’s world, young business leaders are looking for ways to do business better, while making a bigger, sustainable impact. That is why our competition awards those with the best plans to achieve all around conscious capitalism – maintaining high standards and integrity, while serving itself, its employees, investors, the community and the entire world,” said TEA President Callan Maumus. “The companies chosen as finalists represent the value of conscious capitalism and know that the pursuit of a higher purpose is mandatory in doing business in today’s global marketplace.”

All finalists will present their plans to judges in a live event starting at 8:30 a.m., Friday, April 19, at the A. B. Freeman School of Business. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit


Research Notes: Prof. Jennifer Merluzzi

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Jennifer Merluzzi’s paper “How many names are enough? Identifying network effects with the least set of listed contacts” has been accepted for publication in Social Networks. Merluzzi, an assistant professor of management at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, co-authored the paper with Ronald S. Burt, Hobart W. Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

N.O. Entrepreneur Week highlights Tulane’s role in startup scene

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The fifth annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week shined a spotlight on the city’s fast-growing startup scene this week, but the head of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University told attendees that the event is also a testament to the important role Tulane plays in the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ralph Maurer, executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, moderated a panel highlighting’ entrepreneurship programs across the university at the fifth annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

“If you look at all entrepreneurial ventures that are active this week in various competitions, over a third are founded by Tulane graduates and many more have Tulane alums and students as employees or interns or faculty as advisors,” said Ralph Maurer, a professor of practice who specializes in strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship. “That is no accident. We work very hard at building better entrepreneurs.”

On Tuesday (March 19), Maurer moderated a panel highlighting entrepreneurship programs across the university as part of Entrepreneur Week’s second annual Tulane Day.

Joining Maurer on the panel were Rick Aubry, assistant provost for social entrepreneurship and community engagement; Don Gaver, department chair of biomedical engineering; John M. Christie, executive director of technology transfer, Dr. Mark J. Kahn, professor of hematology/medical oncology at Tulane School of Medicine; and alumna Sarah Mack, founder of Tierra Resources, an environmental consulting firm that’s working to establish a cap-and-trade system to support coastal wetlands restoration.

Gaver described Tulane’s new interdisciplinary Bioinnovation PhD Program, which is designed to fast-track students for careers as biotech entrepreneurs.

“This is one of the only universities in the nation that has a school of science and engineering and also medicine, public health and a primate center all under one university, and the boundaries are very low for us to collaborate with one another,” said Gaver. “This is a great place for development of these kinds of technologies.”

In addition to the panel, NOEW’s Tulane Day also featured a discussion on entrepreneurial opportunities in New Orleans moderated by John Elstrott, professor of practice and emeritus executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute, and a keynote talk from Avram Glazer, Tulane parent and co-chairman of Manchester United football club.



Strategic planning nears the goal line

Monday, March 18th, 2013

What should the A. B. Freeman School of Business look like in five years?

That was the central question posed to a large, diverse group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and employers in September 2012. Now, seven months later, the group—known collectively as the Strategic Planning Leadership Team—is preparing to release its findings to the entire Freeman community.

Since last September, a large, diverse group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and employers has been working to develop a new strategic plan for the Freeman School.

Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon assembled the team last summer to begin the difficult task of drafting a new strategic plan for the Freeman School. With more than 50 participants representing all the major stakeholder groups and professional support from Academic Leadership Associates, a nationally respected firm specializing in strategic planning for higher education, the effort is the most inclusive, most comprehensive strategic planning process in school history.

“I think we all share the view that it’s critically important for this school to determine what it wants to be on a goingforward basis,” says Solomon. “There’s a widespread recognition that we don’t have the scale to be everything to everybody, so this is the time where we’ve got to figure out where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.”

“It’s something that needs to be done,” adds Albin Soares (MBA ’13), president of the Graduate Business Council. “The business school has been around a long time, but the market has changed dramatically. Where do we fit in? What do we do well? Where do we go from here? That’s what we’re trying to figure out in these strategic planning sessions.”

The planning process is actually part of a larger initiative being undertaken at the university level. Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, Tulane is embarking on a major strategic planning effort designed to move the university beyond recovery and into the next stage in its growth. As part of that process, the provost’s office asked each academic unit to develop its own strategy document that will feed into the master plan, ensuring that key school priorities get the resources and support they need from the university’s central administration.

The Strategic Planning Leadership Team is in the final stages of a preparing a plan to guide the Freeman School over the next five years.

For the Freeman School, the process couldn’t come at a more critical time. Across the nation, business schools are facing increased competition from a wide variety of sources, including online programs, for-profit universities and institutions in Asia and Europe. At the same time, prospective students are becoming more demanding consumers, increasingly questioning the value of traditional business school offerings. Interest in the two-year, full-time MBA, long considered the flagship program at most business schools, has declined for five straight years, according to data from the Graduate Management Admission Council.

“If we are focused as we have been for a number of years on a strong MBA program, expecting that to continue, that’s not going to happen,” says Business School Council member Jerry Greenbaum (BBA ’62). “That’s just not where graduate education is going in the future, so we need to clarify where it is we want to go and what it is we want to do.”

Since the process kicked off in September, the Strategic Planning Leadership Team has spent hundreds of hours studying the management education environment and developing five-year goals for the Freeman School along with strategies to achieve those goals and metrics to measure outcomes.

“By collecting all the inputs from the various constituencies and then organizing that input around a clear vision of where we’re trying to go as a school, you get clarity on what you’re trying to get done, but you also get the buy-in, which I think is critical,” says Business School Council member Jay Lapeyre (MBA/JD ’76). “It’s a terrific process.”

PwC awards $10K to develop MFIN accounting courses

Friday, March 8th, 2013

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s largest professional services firm, has awarded the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University a $10,000 grant to develop new accounting courses in the Master of Finance program.

Clif Brown, left, and Paul Spindt are members of the Accounting Curriculum Study Group, which has received a $10,000 grant from PwC to develop new accounting courses in the MFIN program.

The grant was awarded through the PwC INQuires program, which funds applied research projects contributing to the practice of auditing and tax.

The Freeman School’s Accounting Curriculum Study Group — which includes Jasmijn Bol, Clif Brown, Kell Riess, Paddy Sivadasan, Christine Smith and Paul Spindt — submitted the proposal for funding to assist in accounting curriculum development to support an upcoming revision of the Master of Finance program.

“I am delighted that one of the world’s leading accountancy firms has given us its support in our effort to provide stronger accounting coursework for one of our most highly regarded graduate programs,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School.

The curriculum plan includes the development of a two-course sequence on Financial Reporting for Financial Analysts which will focus on the nature and role of accounting in organization measurement, reporting and control processes from the perspective of a  financial analyst. The courses will cover how to read, analyze and interpret financial accounting data to make a variety of informed business decisions with an emphases on analysis of operating profitability and return on investment as well as forecasting financial performance. Throughout, the courses will incorporate business and accounting cases and research projects based on real companies.

Work on the project is scheduled to begin this summer, and it’s expected to be completed by the end of the fall 2013 semester.

Research Notes: Prof. Eric Hamerman

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Eric Hamerman’s paper “Conditioned Superstition: Desire for Control and Consumer Brand Preferences,” co-authored with Gita Johar, professor of business at Columbia University, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Consumer Research. The paper explores the notion of conditioned superstition, the idiosyncratic superstitions people form through everyday associations between a product and an outcome. The authors find that people are more likely to engage in superstitious behavior when they have a high level of desire to control an uncertain outcome combined with a low perception of their ability to do so. Furthermore, Hamerman and Johar find that after engaging in superstitious behaviors, individuals are more likely to predict a successful outcome. Hamerman is an assistant professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.

Research Notes: Prof. Michael Burke

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Michael Burke, Lawrence Martin Chair in Business and professor of management at the A. B. Freeman School of Business, recently had three papers accepted for publication. Burke’s paper “Assessing Interrater Agreement via the Average Deviation Index Given a Variety of Theoretical and Methodological Problems,” co-authored with Kristin Smith-Crowe, Maryam Kouchaki and Sloane Signal, was accepted for publication in Organization Research Methods. His paper “Change the Referent? A Meta-Analytic Investigation of Direct and Referent-Shift Consensus Models for Organizational Climate,” co-authored with Craig Wallace, Bryan Edwards and Michael Christian, was accepted for publication in Journal of Management. And his paper “Gendered Influence: A Gender-role Perspective on the Use and Effectiveness of Influence Tactics,” co-authored with Alexis Smith, Marla Baskerville-Watkins, Caitlin Smith, Alison Hal and Michael Christian, was accepted for publication in Journal of Management.



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