Posts Tagged ‘Ira Solomon’

The next economic hurdle? Achieving critical mass

Friday, August 21st, 2015

In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has staged a remarkable economic comeback, adding thousands of jobs, attracting billions of dollars in investment and topping a host of “best-of” lists — everything from top cities for export growth to cities with the biggest increase in number of college graduates.

GNO Inc. chief Michael Hecht told a Freeman School audience that the region's next big challenge will be achieving a critical mass of companies and workers. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber)

GNO Inc. CEO Michael Hecht told a Freeman School audience that the region’s next big challenge will be achieving a critical mass of companies and workers. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber)

But in a talk at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business on Wednesday (Aug. 19), the head of the nonprofit charged with leading the region’s economic development efforts said the hard part is just starting.

“I think our challenge over the next 10 years is building critical mass,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO Inc. “[Harvard Business School professor] Rosabeth Moss Kanter said change is easy at first, but it gets hard in the middle. Here’s the thing: We’re getting to the middle.”

Hecht was the featured speaker at Katrina+10: New Orleans Now, a discussion of the city’s business environment 10 years after Katrina. Sponsored by the Freeman School and the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA), the program also featured Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, as well as remarks from Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon and TABA President Chris Bonura.

Hecht said New Orleans is currently caught in what amounts to a chicken-and-egg situation: Some workers are reluctant to move here because of the limited number of employers and some employers are reluctant to move here because of the limited numbers of workers.

To reach the so-called tipping point — the point at which economic development becomes self-sustaining — Hecht said the region will need more companies, more employees, more venture capital to support growth and a regional brand that goes beyond food, music and Mardi Gras.

“That’s going to be hard work,” Hecht said. “But if we can get to that point and become self-sustaining, then economic development is going to become much more organic. We’re not there yet, but I’m incredibly optimistic about our chances.”

LaGrange followed Hecht with a discussion of the port’s accomplishments of the last 10 years as well as goals for the future. While port cargo is at a 14-year high, LaGrange said significant infrastructure investments will have to be made to continue to attract new companies.

“It’s all about financing for infrastructure improvements,” LaGrange said. “In order to maintain our competitive advantage, we’re going to have to find additional sources of financing.”

Bonura said Katrina+10 was the first of what he hopes will be many programs designed to bring alumni back into the classroom for educational events centered on important business topics. The presentation was broadcast over the web to alumni around the country.


Freeman places 7th in portfolio management competition

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

With four students in the top 100, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business placed seventh overall in Institution Investor’s third-annual All-America Student Analyst Competition.

Institutional InvestorResults of the contest, which this year attracted more than 2,300 students from 74 colleges and universities, were announced in the May 2015 issue of Institutional Investor magazine.

“While it’s exciting to see our name in the top 10, the real credit should go to our students,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “In outperforming more than 2,000 other student analysts, they demonstrated an understanding of portfolio management that will serve them well in their careers. I congratulate each of them for their outstanding performance in this year’s competition.”

The Freeman School’s top-ranking students were Kim Ma (BSM ’16), who placed 54th, Christopher Gorman (BSM ’18), who placed 58th; Ryan Zukoff (BSM ’17), who placed 70th, and Jonathan Bass (BSM ’17), who placed 77th.

Sponsored by Institutional Investor and research services firm Mark My Media, the All-America Student Analyst Competition challenges students to build a portfolio by investing $100,000 in virtual cash. From September 2014 to February 2015, students bought and sold stocks and index funds, used leverage, and took short positions in mock portfolios. Participants were then ranked by a six-factor algorithm that rewarded money-making ability as well as risk management.

In addition to overall ranking, other categories in the competition included long alpha, short alpha, net benchmark outperformance (versus the Russell 3000) and sector competitions covering basic materials, capital goods/industrials, consumer products, energy, financials, healthcare, and technology/telecommunications/media. Freeman School student Alec Hazan (BSM ’17), who finished 145th overall, placed third in the consumer products sector.

To learn more about the competition and see the complete list of winner, visit www.alphaseal.com.

 


Freeman re-launches PhD program

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

One of the top priorities identified in the Freeman School’s 2013 strategic plan was the need to investigate the potential revitalization of the school’s dormant PhD programs. This summer, Freeman takes a big step toward realizing that goal by re-launching a PhD program in finance and financial accounting with the first major update to the program since Hurricane Katrina.

Sheri Tice says the re-launched PhD program will help improve the school's academic reputation.

Professor of Finance Sheri Tice says the re-launched PhD program will help enhance research and improve the school’s academic reputation.

“It’s very exciting,” says Sheri Tice, A. B. Freeman Chair of Finance, who led the faculty committee charged with developing the new curriculum. “The PhD program enhances research, it keeps the faculty focused on what’s current, and it gets our name out there.”

“The Freeman School has enjoyed an outstanding reputation in finance for nearly 50 years,” adds Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “With the curriculum and student-support package that the faculty and school have put together for this program, I feel confident that our reputation for excellence will continue to grow.”

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Freeman School’s PhD program differentiated itself by educating PhD candidates to conduct empirical research in both finance and financial accounting. Graduates of the program emerged with a unique skill set that enabled them to join either accounting or finance departments, giving them greater flexibility in a fast-changing job market. Many went on to earn tenure at leading business schools, including the University of Minnesota, the University of Rochester, Southern Methodist University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In the wake of the storm and the university’s subsequent restructuring, the Freeman School was forced to downsize the program and eliminate the financial accounting component. Since 2011, no new students have been admitted to the program.

Recently, however, the situation has changed. With the Freeman School’s faculty recruiting initiative growing the size of the tenure-system accounting faculty and with Tulane’s economics department once again offering doctoral-level courses, the time became right to revisit the PhD program.

“We started from scratch,” Tice says. “We didn’t really look at what we had done prior to Katrina. We thought, ‘What do we have to do to do a good job today?’”

“We wanted, number one, to create a high-quality program that would make an impact on the field and produce high-quality graduates,” adds Ted Fee, Morton A. Aldrich Professor of Business and finance area coordinator.

Finance area coordinator Ted Fee says the new PhD program leverages the faculty's expertise in empirical research.

Ted Fee, professor of finance and finance area coordinator, says the PhD program’s combination of finance and financial accounting gives graduates a competitive edge in the job market.

Fee says he and his colleagues quickly recognized the importance of leveraging the faculty’s expertise in empirical research as well as the pre-Katrina program’s unique mix of finance and financial accounting.

“That combination of finance and financial accounting is very rare,” says Fee. “We’re one of the few places that are doing it, so I think that together with the empirical focus really builds on our strengths.”

After collecting extensive benchmarking data from peer and aspirant programs, the faculty recommended substantial increases to stipends and fellowships to help attract the best candidates. They also changed the way students complete the program. PhD students are now required to complete an econometrics comprehensive exam instead of a microeconomics exam, and they’re also required to teach more classes and serve as teaching assistants and research assistants.

“It’s becoming more and more important that PhD students demonstrate that they’re good teachers to get a job,” Tice says. “We’re trying to set them up for success, and we think you need to do these things in order to be successful.”

And producing successful PhD graduates, Fee says, will benefit Freeman for years to come.

“Having a high-profile PhD program is something that is noticed within the academic community, so it helps to enhance our reputation, and it’s also something that can help professors at other schools recommend Tulane to their students who are applying to master’s programs,” Fee says. “So for a number of reasons, I think this program will be a huge asset to the Freeman School.”

For more information about the finance PhD program, visit freemanphd.tulane.edu.


Research Notes: Paddy Sivadasan and Ira Solomon

Friday, January 16th, 2015
SivadasanPadmakumar

Paddy Sivadasan

SolomonIra

Ira Solomon

Paddy Sivadasan and Ira Solomon’s paper “Audit fee residuals: costs or rents?” has been accepted for publication in the Review of Accounting Studies. The paper, co-authored with Rajib Dooger of the University of Washington-Bothell, suggests that fee residuals largely consist of researcher-unobserved audit production costs and are likely to be poor proxies for rents. This finding provides valuable guidance for how fee residuals should be used in future research, indicates promising avenues for future audit fee research, improves the ability to predict expected audit fees from past fee data and clarifies the policy implications that can reliably be drawn from extant and future fee-residuals-based research. Sivadasan is an assistant professor of accounting at the Freeman School and Solomon is dean and Debra and Rick Rees Professor of Business.


Hannan honored as inaugural EY Professor

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

In 2006, Lynn Hannan earned the academic accounting discipline’s highest honor, the Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award, in recognition of her trailblazing research in managerial accounting. Now, thanks to the support of one of the world’s largest accounting firms, Hannan hopes to build on that record of scholarly excellence as the inaugural holder of a new professorship.

Lynn Hannan was invested as the Freeman School's first Ernst & Young Professor in Accounting.

Lynn Hannan was invested as the Freeman School’s first Ernst & Young Professor in Accounting.

On Thursday (Nov. 6), Hannan was formally invested as the first Ernst & Young Professor in Accounting at Tulane University. The professorship, which was bestowed upon Hannan in a ceremony at the business school, was made possible through a generous gift from the EY Foundation and the partners and professionals of EY, the world’s third-largest professional services firm and a major supporter of Tulane and the A. B. Freeman School of Business.

“I can’t begin to express how honored I am,” said Hannan, professor of accounting and director of the Master of Accounting program. “To me this honor represents both a recognition of my past contributions and an expression of confidence in my future contributions to the Freeman School, to Tulane University and to the accounting profession. Let me assure you I’ll do my best to meet these expectations.”

“EY is extremely pleased with what the Freeman School is doing in accounting,” added Charles Swanson, former managing partner of EY’s Houston office, who spoke on behalf of the firm at the investiture ceremony. “To expand and grow the accounting program requires multiple elements, not the least of which is a strong accounting faculty. This is just a modest gift that we hope can contribute in that regard, so it is indeed a pleasure and honor to be here today to establish the EY Professorship.”

Funding for the professorship is part of a larger commitment to accounting education on the part of EY. Last year, firm partners and professionals together with the EY Foundation pledged $300,000 to the Freeman School to establish a fund to underwrite a number of initiatives. In addition to the professorship, the Ernst & Young Accounting Excellence Fund has also provided support for a redesign of the accounting curriculum as well as school-wide strategic planning efforts.

Hannan receives a plague recognizing her investiture from Tulane Provost Michael Bernstein, left, and Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon.

Tulane Provost Michael Bernstein, left, and Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon, right, joined friends and colleagues in honoring Hannan’s appointment as EY Professor in Accounting.

Hannan brings to the EY Professorship over a decade of outstanding teaching, research and service. Her current research draws on theories from economics, psychology and sociology to investigate how information, incentives and environmental factors affect people’s decisions. Her ultimate goal, Hannan said, is to help managers design better accounting control systems.

“I am more passionate than ever about my research,” she added. “Creating and disseminating knowledge, that’s what brings me joy.”

“Lynn is one of the discipline’s leading scholars and educators, so it gives us great pleasure to be able to recognize her achievements of the past and support her accomplishments of the future,” said Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “With the generous support of partners like EY, we’re building an accounting program of which we all can be very proud.”

 


Dean Ira Solomon appointed to AACSB board of directors

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Ira Solomon

Ira Solomon

Ira Solomon, dean of the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, has been appointed to a two-year term on the board of directors of AACSB International. The appointment, effectively immediately, will run through 2016.

AACSB International is the longest-serving accrediting body and membership association for business schools worldwide. As an AACSB board member, Solomon joins a prestigious, international body of management education and business professionals whose focus is the vision, values and strategic leadership of the association. Board members are charged with establishing committees, advisory councils and task forces representative of AACSB’s current priorities and initiatives; approving the broadly stated annual budget and reviewing financial reports; and participating in the work of special committees or task forces as assigned.

Solomon has served as dean of the Freeman School since 2011. Prior to his appointment, Solomon was the R.C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business and head of the Department of Accountancy at  the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native of Roosevelt, N.Y., he received his PhD in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and taught at the University of Arizona before joining the Illinois faculty in 1983.


Five faculty members honored with awards

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

At the September meeting of the Freeman School faculty, Dean Ira Solomon announced the recipients of five awards honoring professors for outstanding teaching, research and service.

The Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 2012 to recognize faculty members who are outstanding instructors and whose teaching aligns with the strategic objectives of the school. The award – which is presented at both the graduate and undergraduate levels – is based on several criteria, including student evaluations, the level to which the faculty member integrates academic research into his or her teaching, and the extent to which the course provides high-impact experiential learning opportunities for students.

Parker125This year’s winner of the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Education is Geoffrey Parker. Parker, the Norman Mayer Professor of Business and professor of management science, joined the Freeman School in 1998 and was promoted to full professor in 2011. He is co-developer of the economic theory of two-sided networks, and his research explores the economics of and strategy of platform markets. In the classroom, Parker teaches Process Modeling and Technology Integration, Modeling and Analytics, and Platform Strategy, a course based in large part on his own research. He currently serves as research director of the Tulane Energy Institute and is a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business and president of the Industry Studies Association.

HoangKrisThe Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for Undergraduate Education was presented to Kris Hoang. An assistant professor of accounting, Hoang joined the Freeman School in 2012 after earning her PhD from the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on judgment and decision-making in corporate governance and audit settings, and her teaching emphasizes the role of accounting information in management decision-making and strategy. The Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award is Hoang’s third teaching award this year. In the spring, Hoang received both the FSG Teaching Award, presented by the Freeman Student Government Executive Board, and the BSM Howard W. Wissner Award, selected by a vote of the undergraduate student body.

Peter_Ricchiuti_125-2Established in 2012, the Dean’s Excellence in Intellectual Contribution Award was created to honor professors of practice and lecturers who have produced outstanding scholarly contributions. This year’s award went to Peter Ricchiuti. The William B. Burkenroad Jr. Professor of Practice in Finance, Ricchiuti began teaching at the Freeman School in 1986 and has served the school in variety of roles, including assistant dean and director of the Career Management Center. In 1993, he founded Burkenroad Reports, a student equities research program that has earned national accolades and helped place hundreds of students in finance positions. In 2014, Ricchiuti published his first book, Stocks Under Rocks: How To Uncover Overlooked, Profitable Market Opportunities (FT Press), an investing guide based on lessons he’s learned over the years as director of Burkenroad Reports.

Dean Solomon also announced a new award at the meeting. The Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence was established to honor faculty members for outstanding overall performance. The award, presented each year at the discretion of the dean, recognizes professors who have exhibited sustained, exceptional performance in teaching, research and service. The inaugural recipients of the award are Michael Burke and Sheri Tice.

BurkeMichaelBurke, the Lawrence Martin Chair in Business and professor of management, joined the Freeman School in 1991 and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. One of the nation’s leading experts on worker safety training, Burke’s research focuses on learning and the efficacy of workplace safety and health interventions as well as the meaning of employee perceptions of work environment characteristics (psychological and organizational climate) and statistical procedures for assessing inter-rater agreement. Burke has chaired 34 dissertation committees and served as a member on an additional 51 committees at the Freeman School, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the Department of Psychology. He also recently completed a term as chair of Tulane University’s Social Behavioral Institutional Review Board as is now serving as  Management Area Coordinator at the Freeman School.

Sheri-Tice-_125Tice, the A. B. Freeman Chair of Business and professor of finance, joined the Freeman School in 1998 and was promoted to full professor in 2010. Her research focuses on corporate finance and the effect of firm characteristics on the decisions and performance of firms and their competitors. In the classroom, Tice supervises and teaches the Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund course, an honors seminar in which students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels read current scholarly research on value investing and manage three portfolios totaling over $3.8 million in Freeman School endowment funds. Tice also serves as faculty director of the Master of Finance program and recently concluded a term as Finance Area Coordinator.

“One of the joys of serving as dean is the ability to recognize excellence in one’s colleagues, and these five faculty members clearly deserve recognition,” said Dean Solomon. “I would be remiss, however, if I failed to note that selecting these individuals was anything but easy because excellence resides broadly within the Freeman School faculty.”

 


New Orleans Magazine: Family Legacies

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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Ira Solomon,  dean and Debra and Rick Rees Professor of Business, was interviewed for the October issue of New Orleans Magazine on the challenge of sustaining a family business over multiple generations.

Think it’s easy to keep a family business alive and well? Think again, says Dean Ira Solomon of Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business. Only 40 percent of family-owned businesses in this country make it into the second generation, he says. And it gets more difficult as time goes by; just 13 percent make it into a third generation and a miniscule 3 percent are still family-owned by the fourth generation or beyond.

To read the article in its entirety, visit MyNewOrleans.com:

http://www.myneworleans.com/New-Orleans-Magazine/October-2014/Family-Legacies/


Goldring Institute brings the world to Freeman this summer

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

As John Trapani listened to the names of graduates at this year’s Freeman School diploma ceremony, a thought struck him: Nearly half of the 700-plus degree recipients were from outside the U.S.

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The Freeman School was recently ranked fifth in the nation for studying business abroad and fifth in the world for international business.

“I leaned over to one of our faculty members and said, ‘What you’re witnessing is the export of educational services,’” laughs Trapani, the Martin F. Schmidt Chair of International Business. “We’re exporting our services to China, Latin America and elsewhere, and that’s a good thing for the United States.”

As executive director of the Goldring Institute of International Business, Trapani has been exporting Freeman School educational programs for 25 years, but in the last several years, Trapani says the number of students enrolled in those programs has reached an all-time high.

“We don’t always get the recognition for it, but we have more than 500 students from around the world pursuing our master’s degrees right now,” Trapani says. “That’s a huge number for a school our size.”

The size and scope of the Freeman School’s international initiatives surprised even Dean Ira Solomon.

“When I was a candidate for the dean’s position, nobody really told me the extent to which the school has such a heritage of global engagement,” Solomon says. “There are other schools around the country that really beat their chests about these things, but we’ve been relatively quiet about it. That’s something I’d like to change, because there aren’t many other schools with the breadth and depth of experience in global business that we have.”

John Trapani has helped make Freeman one of the top schools in the nation for international business.

John Trapani has helped make Freeman one of the top schools in the nation for international business.

Summer is traditionally the time when many students in the Freeman School’s international programs travel to New Orleans to take classes in fulfillment of their campus residency requirements. This summer, the Goldring Institute welcomed more than 150 international students to campus for classes in conjunction with a variety of programs.

Those programs included the CENTRUM-Tulane Global EMBA program, a 48-hour dual degree program for executive students in Lima, Peru; the ICESI-Tulane Global MBA program, a 36-hour dual degree Master of Management program for MBA students in Cali, Colombia; the UFM-Tulane Master of Management program, a 36-hour dual degree master’s program for students in Guatemala City, Guatemala; and the Latin American Faculty Development PhD Program, a business doctoral program for faculty members at leading universities throughout Latin America.

While there was a lot of activity on campus this summer, it was just one small part of the Freeman School’s international summer programs. In addition to the students who visited New Orleans this summer, the Goldring Institute and the Stewart Center for Executive Education sent more than 250 students to Europe, China, Latin America and India for coursework in conjunction with various programs.

In a January Financial Times survey, students ranked the Freeman School fifth in the world for international business, and in July, education and careers website Business Research Guide rated Freeman as the fifth best school in the country for studying business abroad, a ranking based on commitment to excellence in international business education, variety of study abroad options for full and part-time students, and focus on global exchange with educational institutions across the globe.

While those rankings might surprise people who associate international business with high-profile institutions like the Wharton School, Trapani says they don’t surprise him one bit.

“I think what it tells us is our students like what we’re doing and think we really know what we’re doing,” Trapani says. “We may not be the biggest, but if our customers think we’re doing a good job, that’s a very good thing.”

 


Freeman launches new MFIN program in China

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The Freeman School has partnered with the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, one of the premier academic institutions in China, to establish a new international master’s program for finance professionals.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is one of the leading academic institutions in China.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has been called the top think tank in Asia.

The Tulane-GSCASS Professional Master of Finance program is an 18-month 34-credit post-experience master’s program targeted at individuals in government, banking, finance, insurance and other industries. Unlike the Freeman School’s New Orleans Master of Finance program, a one-year pre-experience program, the Tulane-GSCASS Professional MFIN is aimed at working professionals in Beijing.

“It’s a different market altogether,” says John M. Trapani III, Martin F. Schmidt Chair of International Business and executive director of the Goldring Institute of International Business. “We’re training people who are already in financial market positions, so the curriculum has been tweaked to reflect that.”

The program is taught jointly by faculty from the Freeman School and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government institution dedicated to research and public policy that Foreign Policy magazine called the top think tank in Asia. Freeman School faculty will travel to Beijing this summer to teach four courses at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and  students in the program will travel to New Orleans in December to take two classes at the Freeman School. The rest of the program will be taught in China by GSCASS faculty. The inaugural class features 27 students, but Trapani says the program will grow to accommodate up to 40 students per cohort.

“We are delighted that, in the future, many likely finance leaders in China will have earned a Tulane degree,” says Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School.

In establishing the program, the Freeman School becomes one of just a handful of U.S. business schools to offer degree programs approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

“This is a big deal,” says Trapani. “To offer a degree in China from an American university, you have to get Ministry of Education approval. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is so powerful and so influential in government, they were able to help us get approval very quickly. Most schools in the U.S. would do almost anything to have a Ministry of Education-approved program. I think this is going to be a great program for the school.”

The Tulane-GSCASS Professional MFIN is the Freeman School’s third international Master of Finance program. In addition to the Tulane-GSCASS  program, Freeman also offers dual-degree international MFIN programs in partnership with Guatemala’s Universidad Francisco Marroquin and Panama’s IESA Panama.

 



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