Feb. 8, 2010

Most students still prefer print to digital, and even if they don’t, textbook publishers and authors have made very few titles available online. But that could change with the advent of the tablet-style Apple iPad and with students throughout the region buckling under heavy book expenses on top of pricey tuition. “I have no desire to cost these kids one cent more than they need to pay,” said Kate Nelson, an instructor in Temple’s Fox School of Business, who recently completed the fifth edition of a textbook on business ethics. “I am for whatever gets knowledge out there as cheaply as we can get it out there.”

Feb. 8, 2010

Most students still prefer print to digital, and even if they don’t, textbook publishers and authors have made very few titles available online. But that could change with the advent of the tablet-style Apple iPad and with students throughout the region buckling under heavy book expenses on top of pricey tuition. “I have no desire to cost these kids one cent more than they need to pay,” said Kate Nelson, an instructor in Temple’s Fox School of Business, who recently completed the fifth edition of a textbook on business ethics. “I am for whatever gets knowledge out there as cheaply as we can get it out there.”

Feb. 5, 2010

With Prius owners joining their fellow Toyota owners on alert for possible pedal problems, the city’s two car share operators are assuring customers they have nothing to worry about. Neither Zipcar nor PhillyCarShare have any 2010 Priuses, although both have pulled a small number of cars that were listed on Toyota’s massive recall last week. “I think there’s definitely going to be a temporary effect,” said Ram Gopalan, a marketing professor at Temple’s Fox School of Business. “Maybe rental car companies will not be able to use this particular brand of cars [but] I think this kind of blemish will disappear soon and everything will be back to normal in a few months or so.”

Feb. 3, 2010

On the surface, hospitals appear recession-proof — after all, people always need medical care. In reality, they’re more often in a money pit that only gets deeper in bad economic times, experts say. Most financially distressed hospitals — such as Lower Bucks Hospital, which filed for Chapter 11 protection last month — are sold or closed, rather than endure the bankruptcy process. “Most of the time it’s delaying the inevitable,” said Tom Getzen, a professor at Temple’s Fox School of Business.

With the Fox School of Business’ HR on the Ground course, human resource major Katharine Harned got an insider’s guide to Target. A year later, she’s a Target insider.

Harned’s story – a quick climb from student to intern to executive – is just one byproduct of a benchmark partnership between the Fox School and Target that has connected college and corporate. The Fox School has designed an experiential learning course with Target that gives undergraduates the chance to get into stores and interact with employees and executives through research assignments.

Led by Human Resource Management Instructor Katherine A. Nelson, students in HR on the Ground get to work on real issues presented by Target. They interview employees, conduct focus groups, brainstorm solutions and present their results to the company. In turn, Target gives a portion of the grade.

To Nelson, the course is a way to give undergrads real-world experience – they basically act as pro bono consultants – and to expose them to some of the tools organizations use to measure and influence employees. To local Target recruiter Nicole D’Ambrosio, it’s a chance to solve pressing issues and to see leadership in action from students who could be the Target managers of tomorrow.

To Temple students, it could be their break into a retail giant that made job offers on 295 undergraduate campuses in 2008-09, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Target is in the top 10 on the magazine’s list of Best Places to Launch a Career and in the top 20 on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.

Since fall 2005, local Target recruiters have hired 36 graduating seniors from Temple as executives and an additional 28 interns – 20 of whom joined the retailer as executives after graduation.

Nelson designed HR on the Ground after Dave Caspers, Target’s Northeast regional vice president for stores human resources, visited a class of hers in 2008 to chat with students.

In Nelson’s words: “He said, ‘I would love if you could bring students into my stores and help us solve problems.’ And I said, ‘Done.’ ”

In less than a year, HR on the Ground transformed from concept to reality. The course is built on a consulting model where students, primarily juniors and seniors, sign a confidentiality agreement, track time with their “client” and get graded on a rubric based on the one Target uses with its own employees. Their modest $100-an-hour consulting fee is paid with Monopoly money.

Students rate and analyze Target stores on everything from layout and lighting to cleanliness and customer service, and company executives visit class to discuss Target’s culture and the issues they are facing.

The course, generally limited to about 15 students, aims to provide insight into how human resources management can drive company performance and to help students understand the link between employee engagement and financial results. This semester, students are examining “Reputation Management in the Age of Facebook.”

The company’s partnership with the Fox School has been so successful that local recruiters have presented it as the model for “what we want the rest of the recruiters on the East Coast to look for,” D’Ambrosio said. “Some of our biggest frustrations with campus recruiting is that sometimes we don’t think that faculty in general teach what students need to be successful in the workplace,” D’Ambrosio said of Nelson, who has more than 30 years of experience in management, business ethics and strategic communication. “What she was proposing was the answer to all of our frustrations.”

Harned, president of the Fox School’s College Council, is set to graduate May. After attending a six-week business college taught by Target, she’ll join a team of store executives responsible for day-to-day operations, including sales goals and customer service. “They throw a lot at you, and you do all the research and development,” she said of HR on the Ground, “but it prepares you more for the situations you’ll face in your career.”

The Fox School of Business and WHYY recently teamed up to host “Navigating the Internet for Better Financial Planning,” a program aimed at helping participants better evaluate online financial planning tools.

The Feb. 27 event was open to WHYY members and ran from 10 a.m. to noon in Alter Hall’s Capital Markets Room, which includes an array of financial software, dual-screen workstations and LCD displays and projection screens that can feature customizable stock data.

The program offered attendees hands-on evaluation of a number of Internet resources to help them ask the right questions about residential mortgage financing, retirement planning and investing.

Dr. Jonathan Scott, associate professor of finance and academic director of the Fox Honors Program, coordinated the event, relying on eight Fox honors students to help program participants navigate the Web. Those honors students made all the difference, he said.

“The program involved navigating between three different Web sites as well as returning to the financial calculator home page in Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance,” said Scott, who is also managing director of the Owl Fund, a hands-on investment management experience for students. “My experience in these computer lab settings is that no two people work at the same speed, and inevitably someone falls behind and becomes frustrated. Fortunately, the honors students were there to immediately help with any questions about what I was doing.”

The program addressed three areas where the Internet can help in financial planning: mortgage-related calculators, retirement-planning calculators and retirement investing.

For mortgages, attendees evaluated points versus no points, refinancing and 15- versus 30-year maturities. An in-depth use of Bloomberg’s retirement calculator helped everyone understand the factors that need to be considered in having enough money for retirement.

Participants also learned about risks and returns of retirement investing using tools from Vanguard and Morningstar. Throughout the program, participants were able to ask questions that covered a wide range of topics related to investing.

“Terrific,” WHYY member Gail Kaempf said in her description of the event. “Helpful in having a better understanding about finances and [Internet] tools to help. This makes me more confident in being self-sufficient rather then at the mercy of others!”

For photos of the event, click here

Jan. 26, 2010

The days of free checking may be numbered. Free is a good price, but Michael Boldin, assistant professor of finance at Temple’s Fox School of Business, says that’s never really been the case with checking. “There is really nothing in economics that’s really free, and so people were paying for this in some way, and we know that banks are going to have a harder time charging extra fees, overdraft and things like that, so they’re going to have to make this up.”

Jan. 24, 2010

In 2010, far more university classrooms will be “captured” for online streaming video than ever — allowing students to view lectures from home or review previous classes for study. A number of delicate issues surround the larger implementation of class capture, including intellectual property rights of professors, along with fears of heightened scrutiny. “If you’re using class capture, you have to be aware that what you say in class can be played back. You do have to think a little more about the content, not only because of the [added scrutiny], but you also have to create more visuals on the screen,” says David Schuff, associate professor of Management Information Systems at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Jan. 11, 2010

The trendy “condo conversion” model that for a few years offered ownership opportunities in downtown high rises has given way to renting once again. Fox School real estate expert Forrest Huffman said renting has been a good bet as potential buyers waited for sales to bottom out since the historic buying run screeched to a halt in 2008. But he also says 2010 may bring the end of falling property values, making it a good time to buy when combined with all the government tax credits. “My guess is the economy turns around, jobs pick up and that’s when people start getting back into the housing market,” Huffman said. “You want to be in just before then.”

Jan. 5, 2010

In less than a decade, at least six radiation oncology centers have opened within a 20-mile radius of Bucks and Eastern Montgomery suburbs; a seventh is expected to open next year in Doylestown. The advanced specialty medical care that Philadelphia suburbanites once found only in large urban and academic hospitals is as close as their well-manicured backyards. “A ton of primary care is being done by specialists — that is why health care is so expensive,” said Thomas Getzen, a professor in the Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Department at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “If you don’t have specialty stuff, you can’t get by anymore.”

The Actuarial Science Program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been named one of 12 Centers of Actuarial Excellence in the United States and Canada by the Society of Actuaries, the industry’s largest professional organization.

To earn the distinction from the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Fox School’s Actuarial Science Program – part of the distinguished Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Department – had to meet stringent requirements in degree curriculum, graduate count, faculty composition, graduate quality, integration, industry connections and research/scholarship.

“The universities that have been named Centers of Actuarial Excellence exemplify the highest standards in actuarial education, research and scholarship,” SOA President S. Michael McLaughlin said. “We are thrilled to recognize them for this accomplishment and look forward to building strong links between these universities and the profession.”

As a Center of Actuarial Excellence, the Fox School’s Actuarial Science Program is eligible to compete for substantial multi-year education and research grants provided by the SOA. If the Actuarial Science Program continues to meet Center of Actuarial Excellence criteria, it will maintain the designation for a five-year period ending Dec. 31, 2014.

“Being named a Center of Actuarial Excellence is a powerful affirmation of our talented faculty and staff, motivated students, cutting-edge research and wealth of industry partnerships,” Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “I take great pride in knowing that the Fox School is home to one of North America’s elite actuarial programs.”

The Fox School’s Actuarial Science Program integrates exam preparation into coursework and offers challenging curriculum, a wealth of networking opportunities, access to industry leaders and personalized service through advising, said Bonnie Averbach, director of the Fox School’s Actuarial Science Program since 1983.

The program, which started in the 1960s, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in actuarial science, as well as a doctorate in risk management.

“Our program in actuarial science has long been one of the premier programs of its kind in North America,” said Dr. R.B. Drennan Jr., chair of the Fox School’s Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Department. “The faculty in the program are extraordinarily dedicated to the success of our students. We also boast many successful alumni who have assumed significant positions of leadership in the actuarial profession.  I am extremely proud that our fine program has received this honor.”

Actuarial science students receive professional development through Temple’s Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, the international professional fraternity in risk management, insurance and actuarial science.

The Sigma Chapter is an extremely active Student Professional Organization that continuously earns honors for its performance and achievement. The Sigma Chapter has won the Edison L. Bowers Award, the highest honor from Gamma Iota Sigma, for 15 of the last 17 years.

Fox School actuarial science graduates have gone on to positions in a variety of fields at internationally recognized companies, such as CIGNA, Milliman Inc. and Towers Watson.

“Our Actuarial Science Program has a feeling of great accomplishment with this designation,” Averbach said. “It is a result of our strong academic programs, our committed faculty and the accomplishments of our students.”

In addition to Temple University, universities named Centers of Actuarial Excellence in fall 2009 include: University of Connecticut, Drake University, Georgia State University, Illinois State University, University of Iowa, Universite Laval, University of Manitoba, University of Nebraska, St. John’s University, University of Waterloo and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Safeguarding Homeland Security,” edited by Temple University professors, makes a case for public-private partnerships

PHILADELPHIA — In a new book about homeland security edited by a pair of Temple University professors, a collection of the nation’s leading political leaders describe – in their own words – how public-private partnerships can better prepare for, and recover from, major natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

“Safeguarding Homeland Security: Governors and Mayors Speak Out,” edited by Temple Professors Simon Hakim and Erwin A. Blackstone, makes specific recommendations on how the use of private companies and volunteer forces can supplement – or even substitute – the government and improve the response to homeland security issues.

The book, available now from Springer, suggests that some public services could be delivered more efficiently by contracting them out and highlights incentives for greater involvement of the private sector in the delivery of emergency services. “Safeguarding Homeland Security” also shows that up to $7.31 billion could be saved annually nationwide by shedding public services that are private in nature, such as responding to false burglar alarms, and privatizing other emergency services under competitive market conditions.

From Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s creation of a volunteer emergency medical corps to provide inoculations to Houston Mayor William H. White’s use of business and civic leaders to provide services during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, “Safeguarding Homeland Security” contains contributions from elected officials across the U.S., including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Govs. Timothy Kaine (Va.) and Edward G. Rendell (Pa.).

While “Safeguarding Homeland Security” highlights the innovative public use of technology in the creation of fusion centers, data mining, digital cameras and improved telecommunications during crises, it also states that profit incentives could attract private participation in the creation of public-private partnerships to better provide homeland security services.

Specifically, “Safeguarding Homeland Security” suggests the establishment of regional civilian forces to supplement existing emergency agencies. Private security personnel are at least three times that of the public police, the book states, and could be recruited and trained for emergency positions – with senior executives leading preparation, response and recovery efforts.

Editors Hakim and Blackstone, of the Center for Competitive Government at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, write that the lack of profit incentive inhibits prompt adoption of technology to improve preparedness. Greater involvement of IT executives in the proposed public-private partnerships could enhance technology, and universities could provide a stage for private-sector technological solutions to public homeland security problems.

Dr. Simon Hakim
Dr. Hakim earned a Master of Science degree in City and Regional Planning from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in 1971. He received a Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. Dr. Hakim has been with Temple University since 1974, and he is currently a professor of economics and director of the Center for Competitive Government. He has conducted many research projects on security and alarm issues, and his work centers on analysis of criminal behavior, police operations, privatization of police and correctional institutions. He has published 58 referred articles and 14 books.

Dr. Erwin A. Blackstone
Dr. Blackstone received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He has taught economics for more than 35 years. Prior to coming to Temple in 1976, Dr. Blackstone taught at Dartmouth College and Cornell University. He has published on a variety of antitrust topics, including mergers, dominance, reciprocal buying, collusion and damages. His publications include more than 40 articles in major economics and public policy journals, chapters in books, a monograph on private policing, and a book on the electronic security industry.

The Center for Competitive Government
The Center helps governments identify candidates for privatization and outsourcing, and it suggests step-by-step procedures for restructuring public services. It organizes conferences, conducts research and consulting projects, and publishes reports, books and articles in journals and magazines. The Center also has substantial experience in conducting large-scale consumer satisfaction surveys for the airport and the electronic security industries. Dr. Simon Hakim directs the Center, which is part of Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Hakim and Blackstone are also editors of “Protecting Critical Infrastructure,” a new book series published by Springer.

Constantine “Chris” Pavlides, an associate professor in the Fox School of Business at Temple University and founder of the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group, died Tuesday morning in a single-car crash on Conchester Highway in Concord Township, Delaware County. He was 62. Mr. Pavlides, a member of the Fox School’s Entrepreneurship Program in the Strategic Management department, had served as executive director of the Fox School’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI). He also introduced the Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, a science and high-technology business cultivator, to the entrepreneurial portfolio of programs in the Fox School at Temple. During his time as IEI’s director, from 2004 to 2008, Mr. Pavlides elevated the program into the top 10 in the nation. As founder and chairman of the nonprofit Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group, Mr. Pavlides led the largest “C-level” executive networking organization in the tri-state region. The professional association for chiefs of business includes 1,000 members in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. “He was an enthusiastic advocate for entrepreneurship at Temple, for the subject matter and for the students,” Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat said of Mr. Pavlides. “He organized executives, he connected the school to business people, and the students loved him. His vibrant teaching style made him complete.” During his career, Mr. Pavlides held various senior-level positions, including COO and CFO of StrikeForce Technologies, an identity protection and verification company in Edison, N.J., and CFO of high-technology start-up Electron Direct in Wilmington, Del. Earlier, he was managing director of global syndications for AT&T Capital Corp. and vice president of corporate banking for Chase Manhattan Bank. Mr. Pavlides was chairman of the International Entrepreneurship Interest Group of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He also served on the Executive Board of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers and was a member of the Small Business Institute and the International Council for Small Business, among many other leadership positions in business and education. He established the Temple University Council on Entrepreneurship and was the Greater Philadelphia region’s instructor of the Emerging 200 Initiative, a program by the U.S. Small Business Administration to identify 200 inner-city businesses across the nation that show a high potential for growth and to give them the resources and support to become sustainable. Mr. Pavlides earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kutztown University and an MBA in finance and international business from The City University of New York. Mr. Pavlides, of West Chester, is survived by his wife Charlotte and two children, Charles and Elizabeth. Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the cause of the accident. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business and other leading academic institutions have joined with global insurers in a survey sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative that sheds new light on the industry’s approach to sustainability and climate risks.

Coming just six weeks before the pivotal UN climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, a report highlighting the first-ever such survey of the powerful insurance sector – which controls trillions of dollars in assets – says the industry has a fundamental role in transitioning to a clean, green, low-carbon global economy.

As the lead academic institution, the Fox School of Business spearheaded the creation of the pioneering global survey, which covered a wide spectrum of key environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors – including climate change, human rights and ethics. The survey was distributed through a “viral” marketing campaign, social networking and other means to 30,000 industry professionals and academics across the globe, generating nearly 2,700 pages of data from 60 territories worldwide.

The Fox School partnered with eight advisory institutions, including Columbia University, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and Verona University.

“We are pleased and privileged to lead a team that includes some of the finest universities in the world,” Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “This collaboration is clear evidence that the Fox School of Business, through our Enterprise Management Consulting Practice, is a leader in creating real solutions to the challenges in sustainability.”

The Fox School’s EMC contributes to business, economic and social development by combining the expertise of business leaders and research and practice faculty with the creativity, effort and skills of MBA students to provide high-quality, research-driven support to start-ups, corporations and nonprofit organizations in the region and across the world. The EMC distinguishes the Fox School as one of a handful of business schools that are able to demonstrate the management and leadership skills of its graduates.

“Our many goals with EMC projects often come down to just two: a best-of-a-lifetime learning experience for our students, and professional-grade, world-class consulting deliverables for our clients,” said Assistant Professor James W. Hutchin, director of EMC’s Initiative for Sustainability Strategies. “The global launch of a report on sustainability in insurance underwriting, an undertaking which relied heavily on the exceptional work of five Fox MBAs from around the world, is another fine validation of the success of our unique educational model.”

The 100-plus-page report, based on the survey and backed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), was released Thursday, Oct. 22, at a major UN gathering of financial service companies in Cape Town, South Africa. The report reveals that many insurance company executives believe that in order to sustain their industry’s long-term economic health, they must integrate key ESG factors into underwriting guidelines, product development and other core operations. The report also builds a case for the development of “Principles for Sustainable Insurance” to guide the industry.

“While other business schools may encourage their students to ‘go forth and change the world for the better,’ our EMC program provides them the opportunity, structure and instruction to do that now,” Hutchin said.

The UNEP FI report, “The Global State of Sustainable Insurance — Understanding and integrating environmental, social and governance factors in insurance,” is available at www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/documents/global-state-of-sustainable-insurance.pdf

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 (Philadelphia, PA) — Stanley Angelo, Chairman of Westinghouse Lighting, has been named Entrepreneur in Residence at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) of the Fox School of Business, Temple University for the 2009 – 2010 academic year.

Mr. Angelo was selected for his accomplishments in transforming a family owned business into an international supplier of lighting products, as well as his entrepreneurial thinking, innovations and leadership in the lighting industry. Entrepreneur in Residence is the highest recognition of entrepreneurial success given by the IEI each academic year.

Says Moshe Porat, Dean and Laura H. Carnell Professor, Fox School of Business, “We are fortunate to have Stan Angelo as our Entrepreneur in Residence.  His vision and accomplishments will be an inspiration to our aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs, especially since he is an alumni of the Fox School and Temple.”

In addition to providing strategic guidance for 2009-2010 applied programs in entrepreneurship, Mr. Angelo will teach workshops and “toolbox sessions” for students and alumni, and provide consulting for a select number of Temple alumni whose ventures are slightly post-revenue and rapidly growing.

“I am very honored to be selected as ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ of such a great University and business school.  My Temple business education was the foundation of my success in the global lighting marketplace, and I expect to share my 45-years of on-the-job training and business experience with outstanding Temple students,” says Mr. Angelo.  I always felt that to know and not to do is not to know at all.  I hope to excite and inspire students with the practical challenges and adventures that await them, and I’m sure, learn something from them, too.”

“Stan Angelo has all the attributes we seek in the IEI’s Entrepreneur in Residence:  he is a highly accomplished entrepreneur, an out of the box thinker, someone who has transformed his/her industry, and a highly personable executive who can relate to and inspire our constituency,” remarks Jaine Lucas, Executive Director of the IEI.  We are honored he accepted our invitation, and look forward to a productive year ahead.”

Temple University was ranked #5 in undergraduate and #11 in graduate programs in entrepreneurship byEntrepreneur magazine and the Princeton Review in fall 2008, and was cited as a Top 20 Most Entrepreneurial Campus by Forbes and the Princeton Review.

Fox School of Business, Temple University
Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business, Temple University has a distinguished tradition of preparing business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs for successful careers. Today, it is the largest, most comprehensive business school in the greater Philadelphia region, and among the largest in the world with nearly 6,200 students, 155 full-time faculty and more than 52,000 alumni. Related websites are www.sbm.temple.edu (Fox School of Business) and www.sbm.temple.edu/iei (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute).

Westinghouse Lighting Corporation
Westinghouse Lighting Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of lighting products, including light bulbs, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and decorative lighting hardware.  Dedicated to offering the latest advancements in technology, Westinghouse Lighting Corporation provides lighting innovations for residential and commercial applications.  For more information, visit us at www.westinghouselighting.com.