People + Places December 2020

News from business schools around the world.
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In the new year, Jan Bebbington will become the director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at the Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) in the United Kingdom. She is currently a professor of accounting and sustainable development at the University of Birmingham in the U.K., and previously was head of the School of Management at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has spent her academic career focusing on how organizations can contribute to sustainable development.

Amy Kristof-Brown has been named dean of the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business in Iowa City. Kristof-Brown, who is senior associate dean and Henry B. Tippie Research Professor of Management, has served as interim dean since March. She replaces Sarah Gardial, who became dean of the Massey College of Business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Since joining the Tippie faculty as an assistant professor in the department of management and organizations in 1997, Kristof-Brown has served in numerous roles, including as director of the department’s graduate studies and department executive officer. She was named senior associate dean of the college in 2017. Her research interests focus on the compatibility or fit between individuals and their work environments.

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou has begun her term as the tenth dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she also holds a faculty appointment as professor of finance. She was most recently dean of McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. There, she oversaw the creation of a series of interdisciplinary minors in entrepreneurship for undergraduate students, as well as multilevel programs in data analytics, and led the establishment of the Bensadoun School of Retail Management.

Economist Edward Lazear died of pancreatic cancer November 23. He was 72. Lazear, who founded the field of personnel economics, was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and a professor of economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California. He was also a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

From 2006 to 2009, Lazear served at the White House, where he was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President George W. Bush and helped fashion the response to the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. He founded and later was president of the Society of Labor Economists and served as the founding editor of the Journal of Labor Economics.

He won many honors in his field, including the Leo Melamed Prize, the IZA Prize in Labor Economics, and the Jacob Mincer Prize. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and designated as Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. (Photo by Robert Holmgren)


Aston University in Birmingham in the U.K. has been named University of the Year by The Guardian, a British media site. Aston performed well on several key criteria the judges considered, including graduate employability and earnings, student support services, the closing of attainment gaps, and the way sustainability is embedded in the curriculum. Judges also noted the university’s engagement with the Race Equality Charter and the fact that it gained the institutional Silver Athena SWAN award in 2018, which recognizes an institution’s commitment to advancing women in science and math education.


Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) in the United Kingdom and Vilnius University in Lithuania have signed a memorandum of understanding. The two-year agreement will see LUMS establish a base on the Vilnius Business School campus to pursue opportunities for collaborative research, particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship, family business, and small to medium-sized enterprises. The first phase of the agreement will seek to establish new research projects and include collaborative workshops designed to share best practices among academics. In the future, the partnership might expand to include study abroad opportunities for staff and students.

This spring, the Tepper School of Business and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will launch a joint Chief Digital Officer Certificate program. The five-month program will include cross-disciplinary coursework delivered in a hybrid format and is aimed at executives who are responsible for digital transformation initiatives. The Heinz School will also offer a new six-month Chief Data Officer Certificate program this spring.

In September, the inaugural class of 174 students began their studies at the SWUFE-UD Joint Educational Institute of Data Science, a collaboration between the University of Delaware in Newark and the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. The institute will offer three bachelor of science programs from UD’s Lerner College of Business and Economics in management information systems, finance, and operations management. UD is responsible for developing the curriculum, teaching courses at the SWUFE campus during students’ first three years, and teaching students in the SWUFE-UD Institute of Data Science at the UD campus during the students’ fourth year.

The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria is partnering with Exxaro, a black-empowered resource and coal mining company in South Africa, to launch a new contractor development program. The program will support the advancement of local Exxaro suppliers by providing business education and mentorship. The partners estimate that 90 participants will enroll in the first course, which will run from November 2020 to November 2021. The customized course will combine standard business courses with Exxaro-specific content. The program was developed in partnership with the GIBS Entrepreneurship Development Academy, which is dedicated to building an entrepreneurial spirit in the midst of a culture of innovation and social change.


Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has received an anonymous gift commitment of 1.5 million USD to help establish a new endowed faculty position within the Hankamer School of Business. The gift honors Terry S. Maness, who is retiring after spending 43 years at the school in various capacities; he has been dean since 1997. The donation will support the Maness Endowed Chair in Lab-to-Market Entrepreneurship. The Maness chairholder will work with students, faculty, the commercial sector, and other stakeholders to commercialize Baylor research.

The late Richard Donovan, a professor at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is being honored by donations from students, colleagues, faculty, and friends. Their gifts will establish the Richard Donovan Graduating Prize in Case Excellence, which will recognize graduating students who excel in case competitions. Under Donovan’s leadership, the school created the McGill Management International Case Competition and the Global Retail Challenge. Donovan passed away unexpectedly in August 2019.


Five major Canadian banks have committed a combined 5 million CAN to the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. With the donations, TD Bank Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO, and RBC will be supporting ISF’s mission to align mainstream financial markets with Canada’s transition to a lower carbon economy. The funding will support the institute’s efforts in education, professional training, and research. ISF is a collaborative hub that brings together academia, the private sector, and government with the goal of increasing Canada’s sustainable finance capacity. ISF recently released a research report that outlines the investment requirements and opportunities to achieve Canada’s 2030 climate targets.

The Penn Wharton Budget Model, a research organization housed at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, has released an analysis showing that applications for small businesses in the U.S. have risen during the COVID era—but on average, the new businesses have created fewer jobs per startup. Specifically, PWBM estimates that there have been 700,000 more business applications in 2020 than at the same point in 2019. The model predicts that by the third quarter of next year, 27,000 more businesses and 120,000 more jobs will be added to the U.S. economy. Applications for nonstore retailers—including online merchants—saw the largest increase by far, accounting for one-third of the total rise in applications.