Archive for the ‘Faculty News’ Category

New book shares the lessons of Burkenroad Reports

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.


Groome and Tice receive inaugural Teaching Awards

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

Sanda Groome

Sheri Tice

Sheri Tice

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.”

Freeman welcomes five to faculty for 2013-14

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.

C. Lynn Hannan

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

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.


Emily Rosenzweig

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

Stephen Rowe

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

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.”

Bankrate: Survey: Many Still Ask, ‘What is Obamacare?’

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


Burkenroad Conference enjoys record attendance

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.”


Elstrott to be honored as Entrepreneur of the Year

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University will honor longtime faculty member and entrepreneur John B. Elstrott Jr. at this year’s Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala. The ceremony will take place on Friday, April 19, at the Audubon Tea Room.

Longtime faculty member and entrepreneur John B. Elstrott Jr. will be honored at this year’s Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala.

Elstrott, a professor of practice and emeritus executive director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, will receive the Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the ceremony. This marks the first time in the history of the event that both awards have gone to a single individual.

Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon and Levy-Rosenblum Institute Executive Director Ralph Maurer will present the awards.

Elstrott earned his PhD in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1975. He joined Tulane in 1982 and has taught entrepreneurship at the Freeman School since 1986. In 1991, Elstrott became the founding director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, which was established to coordinate entrepreneurship initiatives at the school and in the community.

In addition to his career as an educator and administrator, Elstrott has also had a long career as an entrepreneur and investor. In the early 1970s, Elstrott was part of the management team that helped build Celestial Seasonings into the world’s largest specialty tea company. Today, Elstrott continues to be an active investor and board member in the venture capital, wetlands mitigation banking, pharmaceutical, financial services, medical and functional food, and herbal remedy industries. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading retailer of natural and organic foods. Elstrott has served as a director of the company since 1994.

The Levy-Rosenblum Institute presents the awards each year to highlight outstanding entrepreneurs. The Distinguished Entrepreneur of Year Award honors individuals who embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship and philanthropic generosity, while the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals dedicated to improving their communities through entrepreneurial initiatives.

For more information about the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, visit






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.

Consumers judge risk of illness by the cost of the cure

Friday, January 4th, 2013

When it comes to calculating their odds of getting the flu, consumers look to an unlikely gauge – the price of the flu shot – to measure their risk, according to a new study co-authored by a Freeman School researcher.

Janet Schwartz

Janet Schwartz

The study found that consumers make judgments about their risk of catching an illness based on the cost of its medication. The higher the price, the less they think they’re at risk, says co-author Janet Schwartz, assistant professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane.

“Your chance of winning at blackjack has nothing to do with how big the payout is and most people know that,” Schwartz says. “But when it comes to understanding what prices reflect for medicine, people look at the price and they do think that it somehow tells them something about their own risk of getting a disease. In reality, those two factors are completely independent.”

Researchers conducted several surveys to gauge consumers’ reactions to different medications based on cost and perceived risk. For example, they presented different health messages about getting a flu shot, emphasizing individual risk in one scenario and the larger public health risks in another. They told some that the vaccine cost $25 and others $125. Even though all were told the cost would be covered by insurance, those in the high-price group felt that they were at a lower risk of getting the flu.

Researchers found that consumers instinctively believed that important medication like flu vaccine should be affordably priced to be widely accessible. When priced high and perceivably out of reach for some, consumers inferred that the medicine must not be all that necessary and the risk of getting the illness must be lower. The results of the study, which is co-authored by Adriana Samper of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

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