Wharton Now

New Senior Leadership Announced

Michael R. Gibbons, I.W. Burnham II Professor of Investment Banking and Professor of Finance, has been named deputy dean, where he will serve as the School’s chief academic and program officer. Gibbons has been a Wharton faculty member since 1989, and has served as chairperson of the Finance Department from 1994-2006. He has also played a key role in many other School initiatives, including serving as a member of two strategic planning committees.

Gibbons, who earned his PhD at the University of Chicago, has also taught at Stanford University and the University of Chicago.

Georgette Chapman Phillips has been named vice dean and director of the Wharton Undergraduate Division. Phillips, the David B. Ford Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Legal Studies and Law; Chairperson, Real Estate Department, has chaired the Real Estate Department since 2003. She has served as a faculty member at Wharton and Penn Law since 1992 and has been honored for her teaching with Undergraduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994 and the Rapaport Award for Excellence in teaching the Undergraduate Core in 1997.

Phillips earned her JD from Harvard University. Prior to her academic career, she practiced law as an associate with Toll, Ebby Langer & Marvin, Drinker Biddle & Reath, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Thomas J. Colligan has been appointed vice dean of Executive Education, where he will oversee Wharton’s offering of non-degree executive education programs, including open enrollment and custom programs. Since 2004, Colligan has been a managing director of Duke Corporate Education, a for-profit corporation delivering custom executive education, and affiliated with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Colligan recently ended his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where he served on the governing board and management committee and developed the firm’s marketing strategy after the merger of Price Waterhouse with Coopers & Lybrand. As vice chairman of PwC, he developed firm-wide strategies for deepening relationships with PwC’s top 100 clients, representing $1.5 billion in revenue. He also spearheaded the firm’s global audit practice in the technology, telecommunications and entertainment areas, overseeing operations in 100 countries.

Colligan holds a BS in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University (cum laude) and has attended a number of advanced management programs, including those at Harvard and the University of Virginia.

Peter Degnan has been named senior associate dean for Finance and Administration, where he will oversee Wharton’s operating and capital budget, human resources, computing, and facilities. He has extensive experience managing financial and administrative functions, such as finance, operations, information technology, and general administration. He worked as managing director for UBS Warburg Japan and was responsible for the complete integration of the merger between UBS and SBC Warburg operations in Japan. Prior to his work with UBS, Degnan spent 14 years with Lehman Brothers, Inc., where he held several senior executive positions, including chief credit officer and chief financial officer for Lehman operations in New York, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.

He joined Wharton in 2002 as director of MBA Career Management, where he successfully reengineered the MBA recruiting process. In 2004, he was appointed executive director of Executive Education, helping to lead the important expansion of the School’s international client base and custom program offerings.

Degnan holds an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a BS degree from Georgetown University.

Thirteen New Professors Span Research Areas from Behavioral Finance to Machine Learning

When you use your credit card to pay your bill in a restaurant, are you watching the server’s every move as he or she is processing your card? Chances are that you are not.

“Some servers have been caught wearing small scanners on their ankles. They pretend to drop your card accidentally and scan your information as they’re picking it up,” explains Andrea Matwyshyn, a new assistant professor of ethics and legal studies at Wharton.

An expert on data privacy and security issues including identity theft, hacking, and corporate data leakage, Matwyshyn is keenly aware of the pitfalls that can compromise both personal and corporate data, and she admits to sometimes feeling paranoid of becoming a victim herself.

Matwyshyn became involved in this field as a corporate technology transactions attorney in the early days of the dot-com boom. At that time, she also served as an adjunct law professor at Northwestern University. After deciding to pursue her interest in information policy research full time, Matwyshyn returned to teach law as a clinical professor at Northwestern, where she had earned her JD with honors and her doctorate in Human Development and Social Policy.

Matwyshyn comes to Wharton from the University of Florida, where she was assistant law professor and executive director of the Center for Information Research.

New Professors Offer Wide Range of Research Areas

Matwyshyn joins 12 other new Wharton faculty members whose interdisciplinary research ranges from information technology and data security to social contagion and trends to labor economics. The new faculty members include:

Christopher Armstrong, assistant professor of accounting, whose interests include executive compensation and corporate governance

Omar Besbes, assistant professor of operations and information management, whose interests include revenue management and stochastic modeling

Olivier Chatain, assistant professor of management, whose interests include competitive strategy

Alex Edmans, assistant professor of finance, whose interests include corporate finance and behavioral finance

Martine Haas, associate professor of marketing, whose interests include knowledge management, and sociology and social psychology of organizations

Anastasia Kartasheva, assistant professor of insurance and risk management, whose interests include contract theory, dynamic contracts and applications, and rating agencies

Gregory Nini, assistant professor of insurance and risk management, whose interests include risk management and insurance economics

Devin Pope, assistant professor of OPIM, whose interests include market trends on the Internet

Evan Rawley, assistant professor of management, whose interests include firm performance and technology adoption

Nikolai Roussanov, assistant professor of finance, whose interests include portfolio choice, risk sharing and consumer finance

Mikhail Traskin, assistant professor of statistics, whose interests include machine learning and statistical learning theory

LEAD Students and Advisors Meet With Alumni Leaders at BET

Stepping off the elevator on the sixth floor at BET Networks headquarters in Washington, DC, on July 17, the 30 young business students from Wharton’s Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program were greeted with framed memorabilia, including a recording contract signed by the legendary singer Billie Holiday.

While many young adults aspire to the careers of the artists celebrated on BET’s walls and airwaves, the students (LEADers, as they are nicknamed) who visited BET recently have different role models — among them, Scott Mills, WG’90, president and chief operating officer of BET Networks.

The LEAD Program Summer Business Institute (SBI) lasts for one month, and brings minority high school juniors from all over the United States to take classes at the Wharton School, hear lectures, and tour East Coast organizations such as the World Bank in New York and McNeil Laboratories in suburban Philadelphia. At these site visits they work on case studies and make important contacts with working professionals. Founded at Wharton by McNeil executives in 1980, there are now 11 LEAD programs at major universities nationally.

Fifty percent of LEAD alumni have received or are pursuing a business degree from a top-25 U.S. business school.

Alumni at Center Stage and on the Spot

After showing a video montage of BET programming that included clips from such series as Baldwin Hills and specials like the BET Awards, Mills explained how he is inspired by the creative side of the industry, even if business is his primary passion.

In a conference room with sweeping views of the Northeast quadrant of the District of Columbia, the students heard short presentations by members of the BET’s senior management team including Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Martez Moore (a Penn Law alumnus), Chief Financial Officer Michael Pickrum (WG’98), and Matthew Barnhill, Senior Vice President of Market Research (a Wharton LEAD alumnus).

The young men and women looked sharp in their crisp business attire, and posed some equally sharp questions to Mills during a busy Q&A. Later the LEADers worked in groups on a series of challenging case studies such as a BET international launch and a media acquisition. They then shared their work with the aforementioned members of the management team. The prize for the best case study presentation was a coveted ticket to the 2008 BET Awards in Los Angeles (complete with a stroll down the Red Carpet) for each case team member.

The Power of One Key Encounter

Long Island, NY, native Mills is a LEAD alumnus himself, having participated in 1985 at the University of Virginia after hearing about the program through a small grassroots organization called LINKS.

“I knew I wanted to be successful, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what kinds of jobs were out there.” Mills decided to pursue an undergraduate business degree at Wharton, largely because he had been so inspired by his LEAD summer.

Mills had started as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, but joined BET almost 10 years ago. Mills told the LEADers the story of how Robert L. Johnson started BET with a borrowed half-million dollar investment in 1980, and grew the business until he sold it in 2001 to Viacom for $3 billion. He related how Johnson helped him climb in his own career: “Bob is how I got to BET.” Under Johnson’s mentorship, Mills built BET.com.

Mills says the LEAD program selects “extraordinarily talented” minority students “very early in their process, and exposes them to the business path.” Each year the program receives about 1,200 applications for 370 spots.

Wharton Students Serve as Team Advisors

Five resident team advisors (RTAs) drawn from the Wharton undergraduate student body accompany the LEADers during their experience. BET offered all five of last year’s RTAs paid internships for this summer. All five accepted, and Mills says he would be happy to make the same offer again this year.

Two of the current BET interns are Tiffany Parnell, W’08, from Cerritos, CA, a Wharton senior, and Reigan Combs, W’09, a Wharton junior from Nashville, TN.

Parnell says of LEAD, “It opened my eyes to business… You get a hands-on feel for a whole bunch of different aspects.” She says she’s been given a great deal of responsibility on marketing projects for BET.com this summer.

Combs points out that the case studies completed on an SBI site visit such as this are the same ones used in actual Wharton classes. As for the internship, “I’m starting to see where my education actually kicks in, the skills that you need for a career, so that’s been fantastic,” she says. “And I also really appreciate that they’re molding my [internship] to my interests. I know that all my time and hard work here are going to be beneficial to me, but also beneficial to the company.”

2007 RTAs Chloe Wayne, W’10 (from Los Angeles), and Arthur Smith, W’10 (from Milwaukee), are both sophomores. Wayne, who completed her LEAD SBI in 2005, calls it “the best fourweek experience of my life.”

She credits the “priceless relationship that [LEADers] forge with their peers, and with the faculty and staff, and the brief relationships that they can begin to build with a lot of the professionals on these site visits.”

Rami Reyes, W’10 (from Miami), also an RTA this year, applied for the LEAD program as a way to confirm that he wanted to go to business school at Wharton. He valued meeting “so many other talented students of diverse backgrounds, and … I don’t just mean ethnicities, I’m also talking about socioeconomic [status] and ways people look at life.”

“A lot of people,” Wayne adds, “don’t associate higher-up executives with color, even to this day, and I think [changing that] is the point of the LEAD program.”

Scott Mills wants his 7-year-old son to participate in LEAD someday. As he quipped to the group of LEAD participants, “When one or two of you get rich and successful, we want you to say ‘It’s all because I went to BET on July 17, 2007.’

In Brief

Knowledge@SMU Launched and Collaboration between Wharton and SMU Renewed

In May, the Singapore Management University (SMU ) launched a new online research and analysis journal — Knowledge@SMU — an Internet resource portal that brings together a collection of the latest business insights and research findings from a variety of sources. Developed in collaboration with Knowledge@Wharton, the new SMU knowledge portal is the first Asian academic partner and member of the Knowledge@Wharton Network. The launch also marks the renewal of a key collaborative relationship between the two universities for the continued development of the SMU undergraduate pedagogy and curriculum which is based on the Wharton model. In addition, the renewed collaboration includes joint research, faculty development, student exchange programs, and executive education.

Professor Fader Wins Outstanding Educator Award

Peter Fader, the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing, was the winner of the 2007 Robert B. Clarke Outstanding Educator Award, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation’s award to honor an academic’s overall achievement in direct/interactive marketing. Fader received the award October 14 during the DMEF Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit, during the Direct Marketing Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

Wharton Online Data Service Reaches New Milestone

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) announced its 200th institutional subscriber, solidifying its position as the de facto standard for business data, providing researchers worldwide with instant access to financial, economic, and marketing data though a uniform, web-based interface. Originally developed by Wharton in 1993 as a resource for faculty, WRDS has grown to become a dedicated network of member institutions since Wharton signed its first licensee, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, a decade ago. Today the WRDS community consists of 200 prominent universities, research institutions, and nonprofit organizations including seven out of the eight Ivy League universities, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wharton Joins with Gartner to Launch CIO Academy

Wharton has partnered with Gartner to launch a new executive education program to help chief information officers play a more central leadership role in their organizations. The CIO as Full Business Partner will be held at Wharton in Philadelphia from October 28 to November 2, 2007.

A recent Gartner poll found that 50% of CIOs surveyed had duties outside of core technology — such as helping to craft corporate strategy — up from about 20% three years ago. Even as they are asked to play a more strategic role, CIOs are expected to ensure high performance of the IT organization.

Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs Supports Summertime Entrepreneurship Among Students

Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs (WEP) announced the winners of its inaugural Wharton Venture Award, which is dedicated to financially supporting undergraduate juniors, first-year MBA students, and doctoral candidates so they can continue development of their venture over the summer in lieu of a traditional full-time internship. A committee consisting of alumni venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and the donor bestowed six venture awards of $10,000 each.

 

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