Archive for the ‘Faculty News’ Category
Friday, June 13th, 2014
Professor of Accounting R. Lynn Hannan has been named to a three-year term as an editor of Contemporary Accounting Research.
Professor of Accounting R. Lynn Hannan was recently appointed to a three-year term as an editor of Contemporary Accounting Research.
The appointment, which began May 1, is a prestigious one. Published since 1984 by the Canadian Academic Accounting Association, CAR is recognized as one of the top five journals in accounting and one of the top 50 in business.
“It’s a great honor to serve as an editor of Contemporary Accounting Research,” says Hannan. “It’s truly one of the leading scholarly publications in the field, and I’m very excited to become a senior member of the editorial team.”
With more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals to her credit, Hannan is one of the nation’s leading scholars in the area of managerial accounting that deals with the social and psychological drivers of decision making. Her research explores the intersection of accounting, management and psychology, focusing on how organizations can improve outcomes via the design of their accounting information and incentive systems.
Hannan joined the Freeman School in 2013 from Georgia State University, where she served as a professor of accounting and director of the accounting PhD program. Prior to beginning her academic career, she worked as an auditor for the state of Pennsylvania and later as a tax manager for Westinghouse Electric Corp. While managing the tax implications of a $6 billion accounting charge at Westinghouse’s financial services division, a loss that almost bankrupted the company, Hannan realized the important role that accounting plays in influencing managers’ decisions. The experience helped spark her interest in the relationship between accounting information and incentive systems.
“Accounting information helps you make the right decision, but it also influences those decisions,” she says. “How you’re evaluated, for example, can skew the way you process accounting information, perhaps leading you to focus more on short-term results. What I’m interested in is how we can improve accounting to help people make better decisions, in terms of both quality of information and the motivational factor.”
A recent paper by Hannan on framing in incentive contracts explores the issue of motivation. Through a series of experiments, Hannan found that penalty clauses are a greater performance motivator than bonuses, but the effect is moderated by the employee’s perception of the penalty. To the extent that the employee feels the penalty is unfair, he or she is less motivated by it.
Hannan says this type of research — applying insights from cognitive and social psychology to traditional agency theory— is relatively new in accounting.
“Historically, this area of research was based almost exclusively on the utility function — people are motivated by wealth and leisure, so if you want to get someone to do something, you have to pay them,” Hannan says. “What my research does is expand the utility function to include what I call social preferences. In the real world, people don’t just care about money. They also care about things like fairness and their reputations and how they compare to peers. So given these social preferences and cognitive limitations, how can we then present our accounting information in the best way and design contracts in the best way? That’s really my focus.”
Hannan also serves as a director of the Institute of Management Accountants Research Foundation, an international organization of accounting and financial professionals working in business, so she hopes that that role together with her appointment at Contemporary Accounting Research will help to promote accounting education and scholarship at the Freeman School.
“The energy here right now is just amazing,” she says. “Everyone in the accounting area is very collegial, very high-energy. Just really good people. I’m excited to do anything I can to help spread the word.”
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
The U.S. Postal Service has lost $20 billion in the last two years as it struggles to adapt to a fast changing, increasingly digital business environment. Could the agency help right itself by taking a page from its online competitors? The Freeman School’s Geoff Parker thinks so.
Geoff Parker recently co-authored a paper for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General that recommended adding a digital information layer to advertising mail to help it better compete with online advertising.
Parker, professor of management science and a nationally regarded expert in platform economics, recently co-authored a paper for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General that recommends adding a digital information layer to advertising mail to help the agency better compete with online advertising.
“This is really a first step towards setting up a more effective platform for advertising mail,” says Parker, who co-authored the report with colleagues Marshall Van Alstyne and Tushar Shanker. “Ultimately, platforms are about creating effective, valuable matches between users. When I send you something you don’t want, it’s wasted paper, wasted fuel cost, wasted printing — it’s just waste. If we can eliminate some fraction of that through the use of better information, that’s a win-win all the way around.”
Parker and Van Alstyne are no strangers to postal platforms. In 2012, they co-authored a report for the International Post Corp., a consortium of the world’s largest postal systems, detailing ways to generate additional revenue through digital business models.
That report eventually caught the attention of the USPS Office of Inspector General, which was seeking ideas to sustain and enhance the Postal Service’s lucrative advertising mail business, which generated $16.9 billion for the agency in 2013.
While direct mail offers a number of advantages for advertisers, Parker says its chief shortcoming is the inability for advertisers to know with certainty which consumers want to receive ads and which don’t.
“You know who responded when they make purchases, but you don’t know who was interested but got distracted or who just threw it away, so the feedback loop is slow and noisy,” Parker says. “What we’re trying to do here is get a quicker, more accurate feedback loop and build out a data layer that goes on top of the physical delivery system.”
To generate that data layer, Parker and his co-authors propose a digital coupon mechanism to collect information from mail recipients. Each piece of advertising mail would feature a code that recipients could scan to receive a coupon or cash reward, but those recipients would first have to provide a small amount of feedback indicating what types of ads or advertisers they’re interested in. The Postal Service would then collect that information and use it to help advertisers better target prospective customers.
“It puts the Postal Service in the position of being able to charge for the data layer,” Parker says, “so that they can build a new revenue stream.”
While the Postal Service hasn’t announced any plans to move forward with the proposal, Parker says the fact that it was made public indicates significant interest within the agency.
“This is an incredibly important industry and a very important organization, so it was really exciting for us to think about how to move this traditional industry into the 21st century,” Parker says. “We really enjoy it when the research we do has the potential to make a multibillion-dollar impact.”
Parker, Alstyne and Shanker’s paper, “A Redeemable Information Coupon Mechanism for Advertising Mail,” is available via the U.S. Postal Service website.
Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
Assistant Professor of Accounting Kris Hoang has been named the 2014 recipient of the Freeman Student Government (FSG) Teaching Award. The award, which was previously known as the Howard W. Wissner Award for Undergraduate Teaching, is presented annually by the FSG Executive Board in recognition of professors in the Bachelor of Science in Management program who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the education of students.
All faculty members who taught a for-credit course in the preceding academic year are eligible to be nominated for the award. From those nominations, three professors are chosen by a vote of the undergraduate student body. The FSG Executive Board then selects the winner from those finalists.
Hoang was recognized for her teaching in Managerial Accounting, which emphasizes the role of accounting information in management decision-making and strategy.
“I really treat the whole course as language acquisition,” Hoang says. “This is the language of business and until you have some mastery of that language, it’s really hard to have a conversation at the board room table about the big strategic decisions that need to be made. That’s how I try to appeal to students who may not be pursuing further studies in accounting but who are definitely going to be using these concepts to navigate the professional world, whether they’re executives, lawyers or politicians.”
Hoang joined the Freeman School in 2012 after completing her PhD at the University Of Alberta’s School Of Business. Her research examines the judgment and decision making behavior of managers, directors and auditors in corporate governance settings. She studies how auditor-client relationships impact financial reporting. Prior to beginning her academic career, she provided auditing services and developed corporate governance resources for clients at Deloitte in Toronto.
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
As director of the Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports program, Peter Ricchiuti has spent more than 20 years highlighting the small, profitable companies that often fly under the radar of Wall Street. Now, Ricchiuti has collected some of the lessons he’s learned over the years in a new book.
Stocks Under Rocks shares some of the lessons of the Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports program.
Stocks Under Rocks: How to Uncover Overlooked, Profitable Market Opportunities (FT Press), co-written with New Orleans Advocate features editor Annette Sisco, is a funny, informative guide to investing based on Riccchiuti’s experiences running the acclaimed student equities research program.
“It’s all the stories I tell in class and all the stories we get from visiting with the companies, but integrated into the funny stories is what we found that makes those companies a smart investment,” says Ricchiuti, a professor of practice in finance. “Every company represents a few anecdotes and a few funny stories but also one investment lesson learned.”
For example, don’t limit your investments to hip, sexy stocks. Ricchiuti says hopelessly unfashionable companies like pawn shops and convenience stores may not win you many points at cocktail parties, but they often generate higher returns than the latest media darling tech company.
“It’s the least attractive stuff,” Ricchiuti laughs, “but when you look at the financials, they all have great stories.”
Investors willing to look beyond the surface would learn that Cash America, for example, the pawn shop company, actually derives much of its revenue from a lucrative online loan business, while Susser Holdings, operator of Stripes convenience stores, attracts customers with a chain of high-quality in-store Mexican restaurants.
Ricchiuti says the biggest lesson of all when it comes to regional small-cap stocks is that individual investors really can gain an advantage over Wall Street.
“The conventional wisdom, particularly in academia, is that every stock is already efficiently priced, but when you get down low enough and small enough, there’s often times no other coverage,” Ricchiuti says. “If you’re willing to do the research, you really can know more than anyone else, and for an investor, that’s a great place to be.”
Peter Ricchiuti will be reading from and signing Stocks Under Rocks at the uptown location of Maple Street Book Shop on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m.
Friday, October 25th, 2013
A legal studies instructor who sends her students into New Orleans courtrooms to help improve the city’s criminal justice system and a finance professor whose students are actively managing more than $3 million in Tulane University endowment funds are the first recipients of a new award that recognizes the best in teaching at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Sanda Groome, professor of practice in business and legal studies, received the first Teaching Excellence Award for Undergraduate Education, while Sheri Tice, professor of finance, received the first Teaching Excellence Award for Graduate Education. Dean Ira Solomon announced the awards, which include a $5,000 cash prize, at a faculty meeting in September.
“This was not an easy decision,” Solomon says. “[Senior Associate Dean] Paul Spindt and our six area coordinators submitted more than a dozen nominees, and each one deserved commendation for outstanding teaching. Ultimately, Sanda and Sheri stood out, and they stood out in large part for their efforts on behalf of Court Watch NOLA and the Darwin Fenner Fund, two unique, high-value experiential learning projects.”
Groome began teaching at the Freeman School in 2006, and in 2008, she joined the full-time faculty as a professor of practice. In 2009, she began a collaboration with Court Watch NOLA, a not-for-profit that monitors judges and reports on the efficiency of the New Orleans criminal justice system. As part of Groome’s Legal Studies service learning course, students go to court and take notes on how judges preside over criminal trials. Those notes are then incorporated into Court Watch reports, which serve as a valuable resource for voters during elections.
“Court Watch isn’t pro-state or pro-defense or even pro-court,” says Groome. “We just observe what’s going on. If you see that a judge has canceled court on many days or if he or she is always late, that will come out in the report.”
Besides helping to promote transparency and accountability in the criminal justice system, Groome says the program offers students valuable insights about the judicial system.
“Most student have never been in a courtroom before,” says Groome. “What they’re expecting is what they’ve seen on TV and in movies, and they quickly learn that it’s not really like that. I think it gives them a much better idea of the criminal court system, and it also shows them how the system affects not just the person on trial, but the victim, the families and the community.”
Tice joined the Freeman School in 1998, and has served as the A. B. Freeman Chair of Finance since 2011. In 2002, she took over the directorship of a dormant student investment fund and made it the centerpiece of an invitation-only honors seminar. Students in the Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund course read current academic papers and use that research to develop models to screen sectors and identify mispriced stocks. At the end of the semester, students vote on which stocks in the $3 million fund to buy, hold and sell.
“I’m not a big believer in just standing up and lecturing whatever they can read in a textbook,” Tice says. “Instead, we discuss assigned academic research papers in class, and then the students apply what they’ve learned using real money and real stocks.”
Tice, seated in the center, with the Darwin Fenner Fund’s 2013 MFIN class.
Based on the fund’s performance, that approach seems to be working. Since 2002, the undergraduate-managed large-cap portfolio has beaten the market by 1.3 percent per year while the mid-cap portfolio, managed by MBA and MFIN students, has outperformed the market by 1.67 percent per year, both without taking on any additional risk using traditional risk measures. The program has been so successful that a small-cap portfolio was spun off this year to enable more students to take the class.
While a number of other schools have student-managed funds, Tice says the Darwin Fenner Fund is unique for involving both undergraduates and graduate students and for its emphasis on leading-edge research.
“To me, a great professor is someone who is able to bring research alive in the classroom,” Tice says. “I think that’s where the experiential learning component helps. Students struggle with reading the research papers, but when you tell them they have to invest a large amount of money and understanding these papers is going to enable them to be at the cutting edge and compete against the smartest people on Wall Street, it gives them an extra incentive and they learn the material.”
The Teaching Excellence Award is an outgrowth of the Freeman School’s recent strategic planning process. A faculty task force recommended consolidating the school’s various teaching recognitions into two awards—one each at the undergraduate and graduate levels—that recognize faculty members who are excellent educators and whose teaching aligns with the school’s strategic objectives.
Under the newly established system, area coordinators nominate faculty members within their respective areas, and those nominations are then supplemented with recommendations from the senior associate dean. Among the criteria to be considered are student evaluations, the extent to which the faculty member integrates academic research into his or her teaching, and whether the course provides high-impact experiential learning opportunities for students.
“Teaching is one of the most important activities in which we engage at the Freeman School, so it’s important for us to acknowledge and formally honor outstanding classroom instruction,” says Solomon. “Sanda and Sheri are true exemplars of teaching excellence, so I’m happy to be able to recognize and honor them as the first recipients of this award.”
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Dean Ira Solomon is pleased to announce that the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University has added five new full-time professors to its faculty for the 2013-14 academic year.
R. Lynn Hannan
R. Lynn Hannan, professor of accounting, comes to the Freeman School from Georgia State University, where she served as professor and director of the accounting PhD program. Hannan’s research focuses on how organizations can improve outcomes via the design of their accounting information and incentive systems. She has published numerous articles in prestigious scholarly journals including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, Accounting, Organizations and Society and the Journal of Labor Economics, and has earned a number of awards for her research, including the Notable Contribution to Accounting Literature Award and the McLaughlin Prize for Research in Accounting Ethics. She serves on the editorial boards of several premier accounting journals and is a director for the Institute of Management Accountants’ Research Foundation. Hannan, a CPA, received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000.
Jung Hoon Lee
Jung Hoon Lee joins the Freeman School’s tenure-track faculty as an assistant professor of finance after having served as a visiting assistant professor of finance in 2012-13. Lee’s research focuses on mutual funds, hedge funds and empirical corporate finance, and his paper “Conflicting Family Values in Mutual Fund Families,” co-authored with Utpal Bhattacharya and Veronika Pool, was published in the Journal of Finance in 2013. Prior to joining the Freeman School, Lee served as a visiting assistant professor of finance at Indiana University. He received his PhD in finance from Indiana University in 2011.
Assistant Professor of Marketing Emily Rosenzweig received her PhD in social psychology from Cornell University in 2013. Her research focuses on judgment and decision making surrounding consumer purchases, and her dissertation work on the predictors of purchase regret has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Prior to returning to graduate school, Rosenzweig worked in education research and program evaluation, including running her own consulting business. She received a BA in public policy from Princeton University in 1999.
Stephen Rowe, assistant professor of accounting, comes to the Freeman School from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was an Accounting Doctoral Scholar and where he completed his PhD in Accountancy in 2013. His current research focuses on how individual behavior and financial reporting influence auditor and investor judgment under uncertainty. Prior to beginning his academic career, Rowe spent nine years working in industry, and he continues to maintain an active CPA license in Washington. Most recently, he worked at KPMG managing audits of banking and financial services companies. Prior to that, he worked in commercial banking and at a smaller accounting firm.
John Clarke joins the Freeman School as associate dean of graduate programs, MBA program director and professor of practice in management. Clarke comes to Tulane from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as assistant dean and clinical professor. In that role, he led initiatives in entrepreneurship, consulting and international immersion. Clarke’s teaching focuses on international business, entrepreneurship, product development and sustainability, and he has led more than 600 students on short-term immersion trips to Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Prior to beginning his academic career, Clarke worked as a management consultant in Asia, Europe and North America. He has a PhD in physics from the University of Leeds.
In addition to the tenured/tenure track and professor of practice appointments, Dean Solomon announced two one-year administrative appointments. Mauricio Gonzalez has been named interim assistant dean for executive education, and Ralph Maurer has been reappointed as interim executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. Gonzalez spent six years at the Freeman School as a clinical professor of marketing and director of the Goldring Institute before leaving in 2012 to become dean of EGADE Business School in Monterrey, Mexico. In his new role, Gonzalez will be based at the Freeman School’s facility in Houston. Maurer, a professor of practice in management, joined Tulane in 2009 as a visiting assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship. He is currently director of the Tulane Family Business Center and has served as interim executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute since 2012.
Dean Solomon also named seven professors to one-year visiting appointments: C. Edward Fee, visiting professor of finance; Candace Jens, Zeigham Khocker, Roberto Stein and Yihua Zhao, visiting assistant professors of finance; Rebecca Franklin, visiting assistant professor of management; and Osman Kazan, visiting assistant professor of management science.
“Growing the faculty has been one of our top strategic priorities, so I’m delighted to announce these latest additions,” said Dean Solomon. “These outstanding individuals bring great scholarship, skilled teaching and strong enthusiasm to the Freeman School. We are all very excited to welcome them to Tulane University and the Freeman School family.”
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
From Bankrate, Sept. 11, 2013
Bankrate’s Jay MacDonald spoke to Assistant Professor of Marketing Janet Schwartz, an expert on the consumer experience of health care, for her reaction to a new survey on Obamacare.
Schwartz believes some of the bewilderment with the health care law stems from America’s employer-based health care system, which allows most people to avoid understanding the basics of health insurance.
“Purchasing health care turns out to be one of our biggest expenses, and yet it is very intangible,” Schwartz says. “If you purchase homeowners or car or life insurance, you know exactly what you’re getting, but with health insurance, it’s not clear. For most people, their employer plan has provided this huge buffer.”
To read the article in its entirety, visit Bankrate.com.
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
This year’s Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference attracted a record crowd of 750 people, but event organizer Peter Ricchiuti says he didn’t need to see an attendance roster to realize they’d broken a record.
This year’s Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference attracted a record attendance.
“We knew it was bigger than we expected because we ran out of cookies,” laughs Ricchiuti, professor of practice at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business and research director of the acclaimed equities analysis program.
Now in its 17th year, the conference, which took place on Friday (April 26) at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel, features presentations from senior management at many of the small- and mid-cap companies covered by the program’s student analysts. This year, more than 30 companies led information sessions.
Ricchiuti says one of this year’s hottest sessions was by Evolution Petroleum Corp. The Houston-based energy company specializes in tertiary recovery, a process in which carbon dioxide is used to extract oil from previously drilled fields. The company’s Delhi Field in northeastern Louisiana was thought to be drilled out, but since purchasing the property eight years ago, Evolution has turned it into a monster field.
“The Delhi Field has now produced to a level where the royalties that are going to come back to Evolution are going to go up significantly between now and the end of the year,” Ricchiuti says. “The stock currently sells for about $9.50 a share and when you look at what they think they have under the ground, it ends up being closer to $18. So that was a session that people loved.”
Peter Ricchiuti, center, talks with conference attendees Arvind Sanger (MBA ’87), managing partner of GeoSphere Capital Management, and Ron Mills (MBA ’95), equity analyst at Johnson Rice.
According to Ricchiuti, the big turnout this year was partly a reflection of the overall stock market — the S&P 500 is up 12 percent in the last year — and partly a reflection of the performance of Burkenroad Reports’ “stocks under rocks.” Hancock Bank’s Burkenroad Small Cap Fund, which uses Burkenroad Reports as a primary sources of research and invests in many of the companies followed by the program, is up an impressive 17 percent in the last year.
“The Burkenroad Mutual Fund has outperformed 99 percent of the nation’s mutual funds since its inception,” Ricchiuti says. “The returns have been just amazing.”
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.