People + Places | November 2020

News from business schools around the world.
outline of globe and person on green background


Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge has named Jared Llorens the dean of the E.J. Ourso College of Business. Llorens was appointed interim dean in July after the initial dean search was paused due to the coronavirus. Prior to assuming the interim dean position, Llorens was the chair of the Department of Public Administration. He also holds the John W. Dupuy Endowed Professorship and is a professor in public administration.

On January 1, Srikant Datar, the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Business Administration and the senior associate dean for university affairs at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, will become the school’s 11th dean. He has held a number of leadership positions during his 25 years with the school, and since 2015 he has served as faculty chair of the Harvard Innovation Labs. Most recently, he has been intensively engaged in implementing the hybrid teaching and learning model that HBS has adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Datar will succeed Nitin Nohria, who planned to end his deanship in June 2020 but agreed to stay on through December because of the pandemic.

Michelle Crimi has been named the inaugural chairholder for the David M. Spatz ’68 Endowed Chair in the engineering and management (E&M) program at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Crimi is currently the director of the E&M program with a joint appointment in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment. Crimi is co-founder of RemWell, a company that uses a sustainable approach to treat groundwater contamination. David Spatz is the owner and operator of several real estate income properties.

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville has announced the first recipients of the Frank M. Sands Sr. Professorships, chairs that were made possible by a 68 million USD gift from Sands in 2019. The five Sands professorships have gone to Toni Irving, Lynn Isabella, Paul Simko, Scott Snell, and Kimberly Whitler. The school is also using the Sands gift to launch the Marjorie R. and Frank M. Sands Sr. Institute for Lifelong Learning, which will include an inn and conference center.



Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) and SSRN have named the Essex Business School at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom as the winner of the 2020 WRDS–SSRN Innovation Award for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Announced at AACSB International’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa Annual Conference, held virtually in October, the award recognizes business schools making strides in innovation and research excellence.

The American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association recently awarded Stephen Malpezzi its John M. Quigley Medal for Advancing Real Estate and Urban Economics. Malpezzi is professor emeritus at the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was recognized for his contributions to building the Wisconsin Real Estate Program, for his leadership roles at the Graaskamp Center, and for his research into domestic and foreign housing policy and programs and housing market behavior, among other accomplishments. During the award ceremony, Malpezzi presented on the topic, “Global Perspectives on Real Estate and Urban Development in a Time of Stress.”



In October, HEC Paris launched the first module of its Executive Leadership & Entrepreneurship Certificate, a three-day course that took place at its representative office in West and Central Africa. The new certificate program is designed to support entrepreneurship and sustainable job creation in African nations. The first module was delivered by Laurence Lehmann Ortega, professor of strategy at HEC Paris and specialist in strategic innovation and disruptive strategies.

Stetson University in Deland, Florida, is launching new online data analytics tracks in its master of accountancy (MAcc) and MBA programs. Students will master general data analytics concepts, learn to use machine learning to make business decisions, and develop the skills to use the technologies that are shaping the future of business. For the MBA concentration in the data analytics track, graduate students must take a course on making managerial decisions based on analytic capabilities. They also can register for an optional Big Data and Analysis elective course.

Starting in the fall of 2021, the Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California, will offer a new master of science in business designed for recent college graduates with little work experience and a bachelor’s degree in any major. The program will combine essential business courses in accounting, economics, marketing, and finance with courses on topics such as digital platforms, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other technological drivers of innovation. Students will have multiple elective course options to tailor degrees to specific interests and to benefit from proximity to major Los Angeles-area technology centers. They also will have the opportunity to engage in an immersive global business intensive course.

Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York City has announced a new online course, The Business of Entertainment, designed to provide a multipronged view of the global entertainment industry. The three-part course will feature appearances from industry leaders from the fields of television, film, music, live production, and sports. The curriculum has been developed by Miklos Sarvary, the Carson Family Business Professor of Business and co-director of the media and technology program at Columbia Business School; the course is produced by Peter Price, CEO of Premiere Previews, and Robert Friedman, CEO of Bungalow Media + Entertainment. The course will be promoted on Bloomberg Media properties and supported by Morgan Stanley.

The Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany has launched Blockstars, a free 18-week mentoring program designed to prepare women to work with blockchain technology. The program, which welcomes its first cohort of 12 women in November, is divided into three six-week phases. In phase one, participants learn the fundamentals of blockchain, including cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. In phase two, they will be introduced to the stakeholders involved in the blockchain ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, IT developers, regulators, venture capitalists, and the media. Finally, in phase three, participants will delve into one stakeholder group that most interests them to develop more specialized knowledge of the industry.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School has launched a new one-year full-time master of science in accounting degree program. The program, which combines practicums and industry networking sessions, will enroll its first cohort of approximately 35 students in August 2021.



The Entrepreneurship Development Academy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in Johannesburg, South Africa, is partnering with Corteva Agriscience, an American agricultural and seed company. Together they will implement an immersive program to help women farmers develop their entrepreneurial, business, and leadership skills to enable them to operate and sustain profitable farms. The program will launch in January 2021. The partners introduced the program through an online roundtable event featuring panelists discussing key issues and lessons in agriculture. While almost half of the world’s farmers are women, and about 10 percent of South Africa’s farms are run by women, they rarely see the same economic benefits as their male peers. The partners believe that helping women farmers succeed will be key to feeding the growing population. GIBS is part of the University of Pretoria.

Purdue University Global, an online university dedicated to serving adult learners, and Gallup, a global analytics and consulting firm, have partnered to deliver the Strengths Oriented Leadership program. The new online program features five ten-week courses, which will be bundled into an undergraduate microcredential. The courses are also stackable toward bachelor’s degrees in analytics, business administration, communication, and industrial/organizational psychology. The program is designed to help students identify and apply their individual strengths in areas such as customer creation, innovation, and organizational growth. Course titles include Strengths-Based Leadership, Organizational Culture and Intrapreneurship, Customer Engagement, Selling from Your Strengths, and Managing for Organic Growth. The first course will be available by mid-November.

Earlier this year, the Project Management Institute (PMI), a global professional association, and the Latin American Council of Management Schools (CLADEA) partnered to introduce business school students to the project management profession. Over the yearlong agreement, PMI will collaborate with CLADEA and its 142 Latin American member institutions to create and share content focusing on project management research and best practices for teaching project management. Content will be delivered in Spanish and Portuguese. Additionally, executives from both PMI and CLADEA will participate in virtual and live events designed to raise awareness of the project management profession.

As part of the agreement, PMI will provide students at CLADEA member schools with discounts on both PMI membership and study materials to help them earn the Certified Associate in Project Management credential. Member schools that want to apply for accreditation through the PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs will have the fee for submitting their letters of intent waived.

Ashland University in Ohio has partnered with the meal delivery service DoorDash to provide each student enrolled in its 1-Year International MBA program with a DoorDash credit of 500 USD and a free DashPass subscription. Normally, students in this program are provided with breakfast and lunch every Saturday as they attend in-person classes. After switching to remote learning, Ashland administrators wanted to continue providing students with meals at home during class and study times at no cost, regardless of where the students are located in the United States.

SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy, has partnered with online education platform 2U to launch a suite of short courses. Delivered in English, the four courses will cover the topics of business essentials, sales management, blockchain, and sustainable fashion. The courses will be available in 2021 on the GetSmarter platform, a brand owned by 2U. Participants will be eligible to receive certificates of completion from SDA Bocconi.

ESADE Business School at the University of Barcelona in Spain has partnered with the Minerva Project to offer a new three-year bachelor’s degree in transformational business and social impact. The Minerva Project is a for-profit organization that supports the Minerva Schools at KGI, a four-year undergraduate program delivered through the Keck Graduate Institute, a member of the Claremont Colleges in California. During the first three semesters, students will complete 11 online courses on topics related to business, technology, and the humanities. From there, they will work on hands-on projects, including project-based learning in Berlin, Germany, and Shanghai, China. Finally, in the third year of the program, students will be expected to start their own social enterprises focused on solving pressing global problems. Throughout the program, students will explore business’ triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits.

Centers at three schools have collaborated to form the Impact Finance Research Consortium (IFRC). They include the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Illinois; the Impact Collaboratory at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. The IFRC partners plan to build the Impact Finance Database, a comprehensive repository of data about the financial performance, due diligence practices, investor relations, legal governance, strategy, and management of impact investing funds worldwide.

“The field of impact investing is developing, and the accelerating growth of impact funds makes now the perfect time to collect data on the industry,” says Jessica Jeffers, assistant professor of finance at Chicago Booth. “With access to more data, we hope, will come new evidence-based practices to guide the future of impact investing.”



ESSEC Business School in France has released a new digital publication, ESSEC Knowledge Review: Insights into the COVID-19 Crisis. The special issue is a collection of 14 articles written by ESSEC faculty over the last few months, all addressing different aspects of the pandemic. For example, in “Culture in the Time of Coronavirus,” professor of management Stoyan Sgourev discusses the uncertain financial future of the art and culture industry, significantly impacted by shuttered museums, theaters, and opera houses. “It is very likely that the current predicament will reinforce the digitalization and commercialization of the cultural industries, as organizations strive to identify new revenue streams that do not depend on physical presence,” writes Sgourev.

In “Faraway, Yet So Close,” Anca Metiu, management professor and associate dean for the PhD program, discusses the need for institutions to create a sense of close connection among members of their communities, even while people learn and work remotely. She points out that, in past studies, she and fellow researchers found that people cultivated “feelings of closeness with distant others when they communicated, via technology, to uncover deep similarities [and] develop a pool of shared experiences.” Other articles take on topics related to healthcare, luxury goods, and the ongoing economic crisis. The school has released a version of the publication in a smartphone-friendly format.

A new research project focused on workers with disabilities is underway at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. Lead researcher Silvia Bonaccio, the Ian Telfer Professor of Workplace Psychology, has received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant of 170,463 CAN to identify factors that influence the discretionary accommodations that employers make for workers with disabilities. Bonaccio will release formal guidelines to empower organizations to foster more equitable work environments, with the goal of “improving the working lives of the 20 percent of working-age Canadians living with disabilities.”



The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has launched a three-part Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series, designed to tackle complex current issues. The first set of sessions, which kicked off on October 21, investigate racial injustice and consider the systemic issues that affect success for Black entrepreneurs. These include blocked access to investors, limited mentoring options, and fewer educational choices. The sessions will stream live on the Wharton School’s LinkedIn page. “Through this lecture series, Wharton is making a statement on the importance of prioritizing race and inclusion in America and asking firms to consider what it will take to place the issue at the top of the corporate agenda,” says Wharton’s dean, Erika James, who will lead the sessions.

The Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is launching the Illinois Strategic Organizations Initiative (ISOI) to address demand for interdisciplinary research in strategic organizational design and management. ISOI will be led by William Ocasio, the James F. Towey Professor of Business and Leadership; professors Matt Kraatz and Deepak Somaya have been named associate directors. This fall, ISOI is hosting a speaker series on “The Past, Present, and Future of Strategic Organizations.”

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville has announced a number of new scholarship offerings. Among them is the Oculus Fellowship program, a competitive scholarship that covers full tuition and fees for select full-time MBA students; and AccessDarden, a need-based program that will provide up to 20,000 USD annually for students in full-time MBA and EMBA programs.

In January 2021, the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will launch its redesigned MBA curriculum. The new 36-credit curriculum comprises a “stackable” collection of three certificates. These include a core overview and two specialty credentials of the students’ choice. The curriculum has been designed to emphasize flexibility, speed-to-degree, and industry relevance. Its new format allows students to customize the degree to their own job positions, interests, and goals. According to Joseph A. DiAngelo, dean of the Haub School, the degree’s new design also is intended to “allow students to garner new skills to provide greater value to their companies.”

This September, NEOMA Business School in France opened a fully virtual campus to allow students to experience campus-based interactions as much as possible, even as they take courses from remote locations. Students who set up personalized avatars and log in to the digital campus can access virtual buildings to take courses, meet with work groups, interact with entrepreneurs and business leaders, and even attend conferences. “You can open a door, raise your hand, sit down, applaud or even play football on the football pitch,” Alain Goudey, director of NEOMA’s digital transformation, told The PIE News, a publication for international education. Designed in partnership with the firm Laval Virtual, the campus also includes a career center, wellness center, and library.