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Dean candidates visit Sage | Integrative Case Competition | Web highlights | New names for TMO, Boardroom | Changing of the guard | Business Idea winner | Hall of Honor | A farewell tribute

Dean candidates visit Sage

The first two weeks of April saw both finalists for the next dean of the Johnson School dive into presentations, meetings, and sessions of all sorts with members of the school community and university administrators. David A. Besanko started his whirlwind on campus with breakfast on April 2. Over the next two days, he lunched with students and staff, and gave a presentation at an open forum. Besanko is currently the Alvin J. Huss Distinguished Professor of Management and Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Elke U. Weber, the Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business, visited Sage Hall on April 9 and April 10, and also experienced a jam-packed schedule of meetings, lunches, and presentations. The Office of the Provost maintains an up-to-date Web site on the Johnson School's dean search that includes videos of the candidates' open forums.


Case competition caps fall semester

Front row, left to right: Dean Robert Swieringa with winning team members Clint Stone, Mirek Zak, Shahnaz Shushtari, and Roberto Tamaso; and Vicky Serrot of Citigroup; middle row, left to right: Drew Pascarella, Melissa Middleton, Debra Maysonet, and Jennifer Tutak, all of Citigroup; back row, left to right: Alex Ivanoff, Deborah Warner, and Faith Massingale, also of Citigroup.
Front row, left to right: Dean Robert Swieringa with winning team members Clint Stone, Mirek Zak, Shahnaz Shushtari, and Roberto Tamaso; and Vicky Serrot of Citigroup; middle row, left to right: Drew Pascarella, Melissa Middleton, Debra Maysonet, and Jennifer Tutak, all of Citigroup; back row, left to right: Alex Ivanoff, Deborah Warner, and Faith Massingale, also of Citigroup.
The Johnson School's first-year MBA students ended the fall semester with the school's first Integrative Case Competition, a capstone of the first MBA semester sponsored by Citigroup Foundation. Designed as part of the final exam for Managerial Finance and Strategy – two courses in the first-year core curriculum – 60 student teams integrated material covered during the semester and applied that knowledge to a complex business problem. Students worked in teams to analyze the case and formulate solutions, and then presented recommendations to a panel of Johnson School faculty as well as representatives from Citigroup. First place and a $3,000 prize went to Shahnaz Shushtari, Clint Stone, Roberto Tamaso, and Mirek Zak.


Web highlights

Keeping a Web site fresh requires constant updating as well as ongoing analysis of where visitors go and what they look for, and using that information to make a site as user-friendly, informative, and engaging as possible. Check out these newly redesigned and updated pages on the Johnson School's Web site: Parker Center for Investment Research, Alumni Affairs, and Prospective Students/Academic Programs home page.

Parker Center web page
Parker Center Home page
Alumni web page
Alumni Home page
Prosepctive Students' web page
Prospective Students' Home page


New names for TMO, Boardroom

The Johnson School's one-year MBA and the multi-point videoconferencing Executive MBA, formerly known as the Boardroom EMBA program, are phasing in new names this year. The Twelve-Month Option, or TMO, is now the Accelerated MBA. The Johnson School and Queen's School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, have agreed to officially change the name of their joint Executive MBA to the Cornell-Queen's Executive MBA Program. Before, each school used different program names for marketing and recruiting.


Changing of the guard

After eight years of service to the Johnson School, Richard Shafer stepped down as the Johnson School's associate dean for corporate relations. He left to take up the next phase of his career as a partner with Waltham, Massachusetts-based TruePoint Partners, a Boston-area consulting firm.

Richard Shafer
Richard Shafer
Shafer remains with the Johnson School on a part-time basis as business director for the Business of Science and Technology Initiative (BSTI), a center of research, practice, and learning that he envisioned and created. His other major accomplishments include successfully directing the Career Management Center during the MBA job crisis created by the dot-com bust, and integrating the school's functional areas to focus on external partners, customers, and audiences.

"Dick has done an outstanding job in this role, and has been a significant force in many key areas in the school," said Johnson School Dean Robert Swieringa, in his announcement.

Dean Swieringa appointed Randy Allen as acting associate dean for corporate relations. She will serve in the post April 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007. Allen, a 22-year veteran of Deloitte Consulting, has been a senior lecturer of strategy and consultant-in-residence at the Johnson School since 2002. She is the main architect of the school's successful Consulting Focus addition to the MBA curriculum.


Business Idea winner

e2e Materials, a producer of strong, biodegradable composites from renewable fibers and soy protein, won the seventh annual Big Red Ventures Business Idea Competition April 19. Using Cornell technology, e2e Materials is working to commercialize a formaldehyde-free, cost-competitive alternative to particleboard. As the winner, e2e Materials will receive $10,000 and 20 hours of free legal help through Big Red Legal, Cornell's entrepreneurship legal services program.

Business Idea Competition Winners
Student managers from Big Red Ventures (BRV), the Johnson School's student-run venture capital fund, reviewed all 165 entries and selected eight ideas to advance as finalists in this year's competition. The competition provides BRV managers a chance to review and evaluate potential future investment opportunities. In March 2007, BRV announced a new investment in Systanix, Inc., a company that won the Business Idea Competition in 2005.

The eight finalists presented their business ideas before a panel of experts, who judged the presentations on criteria such as innovation and originality, competitive analysis, business model viability, management team, and potential venture-capital interest.


Hall of Honor

The Johnson School community honored Cornell Trustee and Johnson School Advisor Emeritus Rob Dyson, MBA '74, as the 14th Hall of Honor inductee at a ceremony held, appropriately, in Sage Hall's Dyson Atrium April 20. The atrium was named in honor of Rob's parents, Margaret and Charles Dyson, in recognition of a $5 million gift from the Dyson Foundation at the time of Sage Hall's reconstruction in the 1990s. Rob Dyson is chairman and CEO of Dyson-Kissner-Moran (DKM), a privately owned, international holding company, and president of the Dyson Foundation, a private, family-directed, grant-making foundation.

President David Skorton (left) and Dean Robert Swieringa (right) with Hall of Honor inductee Rob Dyson, MBA '74
President David Skorton (left) and Dean Robert Swieringa (right) with Hall of Honor inductee Rob Dyson, MBA '74
An active and long-time supporter of Cornell, Rob Dyson's most recent gift to the university is the Dyson Scholars Program, which will benefit top students in Cornell's Undergraduate Business Program (UBP) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Funded with a $5 million gift from the Dyson Foundation, the program will begin making awards to UBP freshmen in fall 2008, will expand in subsequent years to cover all four undergraduate classes and, ultimately, to a select number of UBP students who commit to enrolling in the Johnson School's MBA program. Dyson Scholars will be chosen based on academic performance, with award amounts determined by financial need. Once it is fully funded, the program will offer awards to approximately 60 students each year. Rob Dyson previously endowed the John S. Dyson Professorship in Marketing in UBP to honor his brother, John Dyson '65.

"In my brief meeting with Rob, three qualities stood out as pervasive: an eagerness for challenging work; a strong sense of family; and a commitment to philanthropy," noted Cornell University President David Skorton at the induction ceremony.

"We are grateful for Rob's support, leadership, and dedicated service to the Johnson School," said Dean Robert Swieringa. "His passion and support of the school have enhanced its stature and prestige." The Hall of Honor is the highest form of recognition that the Johnson School can bestow.


A farewell tribute

More than 200 members of the Johnson School's Advisory Council, faculty, alumni, and staff attended a farewell dinner to
Dean Robert Swieringa with his wife, Pam, at his farewell dinner April 20.
Dean Robert Swieringa with his wife, Pam, at his farewell dinner April 20.
outgoing Dean Robert Swieringa in the Duffield Hall atrium on April 20. Jeff Parker '65, MEng '66, MBA '70, chair of the Advisory Council, acted as master of ceremonies for the event, which featured several speakers, including President David Skorton, Provost Biddy Martin, Professor Jerry Hass, and Advisory Council members Jane Hutterly, MBA '76, and Rich Marin '75, MBA '76. All paid tribute to the dean through their reminiscences and anecdotes, and by naming his many achievements and the landmark changes that took place at the Johnson School under his watch.

"No one would have wanted to be here more than Sam Johnson," said Hutterly, executive vice president of worldwide corporate and environmental affairs at S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. "When Bob pointed out it was tough getting recruiters to New York, Sam sent a fleet of planes to bring recruiters to campus.

When Bob recognized Sam's passion for business and sustainable development, Sam endowed a chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise. None of this could have happened, Bob, without you. It's my pleasure on behalf of Fisk and all the Johnson family to thank you for your commitment, leadership, and service to this school."

To cap the evening, Marin announced that the Advisory Council had secured $2 million for a Dean's Discretionary Fund in honor of Swieringa's service. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, contact William W. Huling, Jr. at wwh1@cornell.edu.