People + Places | October 2020

News from business schools around the world.
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Jay Hartzell has been named the next president of the University of Texas at Austin. Before becoming interim president of the school in April 2020, Hartzell served as dean of UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business and held the Lois and Richard Folger Dean’s Leadership Chair, the Centennial Chair in Business Education Leadership, and the Trammell Crow Professorship. As dean, Hartzell launched the Goff Real Estate Labs, elevated the Canfield Business Honors program, and opened Rowling Hall, the home of UT Austin’s MBA program. He also helped create partnerships between the McCombs School and other colleges on campus, and established the position of associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the McCombs School.

The University of Maryland in College Park has named Prabhudev Konana the new dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Konana currently serves as the associate dean of instructional innovation, William H. Seay Centennial Professor of Information Management, and distinguished teaching professor at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. As associate dean, he helped the McCombs School develop a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation and led the transition of the entire business school faculty to online synchronous teaching. He begins his new role January 2, 2021.

Emmett Tracy has been named dean of the School of Business that has just been launched at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. Tracy was previously executive vice president of academic affairs and dean of the School of Business at the African Leadership University in Kigali, Rwanda. He has also served at Hult International Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The new School of Business will be an outgrowth of the current undergraduate business department, which has offered majors in business administration and accounting for more than 50 years.

P and P Anil Benard Dende Anil Benard-Dendé has been appointed deputy director general of Kedge Business School in France. He will be responsible for implementing the school’s strategic plan for transformation, improving the student experience, developing corporate relations, improving the school’s digital experience, and overseeing its corporate social responsibility policy.

P and P Joachim Lutz Joachim Lutz, the former CEO of CropEnergies AG, has been named the new dean of the Business School at the University of Mannheim in Germany. Lutz, an alumnus, is the third former member of an executive board of a corporation to assume the dean’s position at the school.

Hanseul Kang has been appointed assistant dean of the Yale School of Management and the inaugural Anita and Joshua Bekenstein ’80 B.A. Executive Director of The Broad Center at the Yale SOM in New Haven, Connecticut. The Broad Center will provide management training to leaders of major urban public school systems in the United States with the aim of catalyzing excellence and equity in K-12 public education. Kang previously was the state superintendent of education for the District of Columbia and held a leadership position in the Tennessee Department of Education. The Broad Center will run two tuition-free programs: the Master’s in Public Education Management, a 14-month program designed for early- to mid-career school system leaders; and the Fellowship for Public Education Leadership, an executive leadership program for senior officials in public education.


The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has received a US$40 million gift from longtime benefactors Natalie and James Haslam and their sons and daughters-in-law: Jimmy and his wife, Dee; and Bill and his wife, Crissy. The gift will be used to hire faculty, create named professorships, support research, expand the undergraduate honors program, increase the number of graduate student fellowships, and support programmatic initiatives that diversify the student body. In 2014, the Haslam family bestowed a $50 million naming gift on the school; to date, they have given more than $100 million to the school. James Haslam founded the Pilot Corporation, which operates a chain of convenience stores in the U.S. and Canada; Jimmy and Dee own the Cleveland Browns football team; and Bill is former governor of Tennessee.

The University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business in Gainesville has renamed a department to honor a longtime professor and benefactor. The namesake of the Eugene F. Brigham Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate Department has committed US$20 million to the Warrington College. It is just one of many investments Brigham has made in the college, where he has been a professor for more than 30 years. The money will go toward modifying the undergraduate curriculum, enhancing professional development opportunities, and providing better external learning opportunities, such as internships.

Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas, has received a US$15 commitment from Gina L. and Tucker S. Bridwell. A portion of the gift will create the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom, a research center that will promote free enterprise in global markets. The new institute expands on the mission of its predecessor, the William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom. Tucker Bridwell, an alumnus of the school, is president of the Mansefeldt Investment Corporation and manages the oil and gas enterprise MDJ Minerals.

The Cox School also has received a commitment of US$11.5 from Aurelia and Brad Heppner and family. The majority of the gift will establish the Heppner Family Commons, a collaboration space for students, faculty, and members of the community. The open-concept commons area will include furnished workstations and study rooms designed to promote a “9-to-9” culture where students stay on campus from morning to night. The remaining $1.5 million of the gift will support faculty research. Brad Heppner is the founder and CEO of The Beneficient Company Group, a firm devoted to alternative assets; Aurelia Heppner is the enterprise program manager of the organization.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has received a US$10 million commitment from alumnus Yuri Milner and his wife, Julia, to create the Friends of Israel MBA Fund. Over the next decade, the fund will provide full tuition for more than 60 students enrolled in the two-year MBA program. Students eligible for the fellowship include those who have completed Israeli military service, attended an Israeli undergraduate institution, or worked at an Israeli company. Yuri Milner is an Israeli science and technology investor and philanthropist.

Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has announced a US$5 million gift from William E. and Denise Crenshaw in support of the Give Light Campaign and the Hankamer School of Business. A portion of the gift qualifies for the Baylor Academic Challenge program, a dollar-for-dollar matching fund that encourages members of the Baylor community to make donations designated for creating new endowed faculty positions. The gift also will establish an endowed scholarship fund within Baylor’s Student Foundation. Ed Crenshaw is the retired CEO and current chairman of the board of Publix Super Markets Inc.

The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management in Tucson has received a US$1.5 million commitment from Brian and Clara Franke. The money will be used to support an endowed chair in the department of finance and to develop a new course titled Critical Thinking in International Finance. Brian Franke is a partner in private equity firm Indigo Partners.


Fourteen of China’s leading universities have recently joined together to form the Executive Education of China Elite Alliance, or the China E20 Alliance. The goal is to promote the development and integration of the country’s executive education industry, share best practices, drive innovation, and enhance the value of organizations and people. Directors from the management, business, and finance schools of the country’s Double First-Class Universities gathered in Hefei City in mid-September for the group’s inaugural meeting, an event led by Renmin University of China Business School Executive Education. In the first half of 2021, the China Europe International Business School will host the first China E20 Alliance Summit Forum to encourage extensive cooperation and sharing through projects, campus visits, and more. Zou Yufeng has been elected chairman of the new alliance.

With the goal of promoting entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Northern Africa region, the American University in Cairo (AUC) in Egypt has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) in the United Arab Emirates. The two organizations will support startups in the Egyptian and Emirati markets through knowledge sharing between AUC Venture Lab and SRTI Park. Cooperative activities will include joint hackathons, knowledge sessions, and various startup exchange opportunities.

HEC Paris and Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris) have created Hi! PARIS, an interdisciplinary center for research and education devoted to artificial intelligence and data science. Drawing on the expertise of the 300 researchers at the two institutions devoted to these fields, the center will address some of the major challenges linked to technological transformation. The center will focus on key applied disciplines such as energy and the environment, defense and security, retail and luxury industries, telecommunications, health, nutrition, finance, and insurance. The center will be financed by the patronage of company partners, including five founding sponsors: L’Oréal, Capgemini, TOTAL, Kering, and Rexel. It will be co-directed by Eric Moulines of IP Paris and Thierry Foucault of HEC Paris.

The Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (SHA) in Massachusetts is partnering with ESSEC Business School in Paris to offer an international master’s program. Students from both schools will receive graduate certificates from their programs abroad in addition to their domestic master’s degrees. SHA students will take core courses at BU in the fall and elective courses at ESSEC in the spring; they will stay for the summer and fall months to complete internships. ESSEC students will arrive in Boston in the spring to take electives, complete internships in the U.S. in the summer, and return to ESSEC for the fall semester.

A new interdisciplinary program at Florida International University’s Institute of Environment in Miami is designed to make the state more resilient in the face of environmental challenges such as coastal erosion, ecosystem degradation, flooding, heat, sea-level rise, wildfire, and windstorm. The Environmental Finance and Risk Management program is a collaboration among the FIU College of Business; the College of Arts, Sciences & Education; the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Water Security; the Extreme Events Institute; the College of Engineering & Computing; the College of Law; the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work; and the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.

The program will serve as a hub devoted to financial modeling, environmental law, and the regulatory frameworks for disaster preparedness. New master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental finance and risk management also will be designed by Mario Loyola, director of the institute’s Environmental Finance and Risk Management, and mathematics professor Enrique Villamor, the program’s associate director. In addition, Loyola and Villamor will deliver a certificate program for business and government professionals.

The Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana has partnered with the university’s Keough School of Global Affairs to offer a dual master’s degree program in global affairs and business administration. The new MGA/MBA program enables students to complete two two-year degree programs within three years. According to Kelli Kilpatrick, Notre Dame MBA program director, the combined program provides students with “a truly international approach to growing the good in business.”



The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has completed a new campus in central London, where it will continue to deliver its Executive MBA Europe Program as well as nondegree executive education classes, conferences, and seminars. While Booth EMBA classes are currently being offered online, the new London campus is intended as a secure campus that will enable locally based EMBA students to attend classes in person.

This fall, the University of Montevallo in Alabama opened a 10,000-square-foot facility for the Michael E. Stephens College of Business. The new building features a large student commons and event space, technology-enhanced classrooms, student team study rooms, professional development spaces, and a case presentation boardroom. The building honors the memory of namesake Michael E. Stephens, who left a US$3.6 million legacy gift designated for the construction of the new facility.