The Real Estate Center recently conducted an extensive survey to determine attitudes ethnic groups have toward real estate agents. In The ” Home Buying Among Ethnic Groups” telephone survey, approximately 4,000 Texans, including Hispanics, Caucasians, African-Americans and Asians, were quizzed about their attitudes and expectations of agents.

The report shows that real estate companies looking to expand into America’s growing ethnic populations need to do their homework and not treat all homebuyers alike, explains REC Associate Director Gary Maler.

“All homebuyers expect the same basic set of real estate services,” Maler says. “However, the delivery and approach used by an agent should vary depending on many factors, including ethnic background.”

For example, survey respondents want agents to manage the closing process in its entirety. They consider it important for the agent to explain the process, explain contracts, set the right asking price and negotiate on their behalf.

More results from the study can be found at the Real Estate Center’s site.

Categories: Centers, Faculty

Dr. L. Murphy Smith, professor of accounting, received the Teaching and Curriculum Best Manuscript Award presented by the Southwest Region of the American Accounting Association.

The award recognizes scholarly research on teaching and curriculum issues. Smith’s research paper, “Presenting Ethics in Accounting Classes: Encouraging Future Accountants to Do What’s Right,” was co-authored by Katherine Taken Smith and Liz Mulig. It describes the impact of an ethics presentation on student perceptions.

Smith has served on the faculty at Texas A&M since 1984 and has long championed the need for ethics education. In 2001, he gave an ethics presentation to the cadets in the Honor Wing at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. In July 2002, Smith testified at a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. regarding business and accounting ethics. Additionally, he served on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy Ethics Task Force in 2003.

“Educators must do all that they can to encourage students to do the right thing, even in difficult circumstances,” says Smith. “This encouragement will serve them well in their college years and in their future careers.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

Mays alumnus Paul Kruse has been named president and chief executive officer of Blue Bell Creameries. Kruse succeeds his uncle, Howard Kruse, a 1952 graduate of Texas A&M who held the position for 12 years.

Blue Bell is the third best-selling ice cream brand in the nation, behind Breyers and Dreyer’s, but it is only distributed in 14 states. Paul Kruse told The Bryan-College Station Eagle he wants to keep the growth pace as it has been.

“We’ve always expanded gradually, and I think that works for us,” Kruse told The Eagle. “We have our own ways of doing things and we like to be deliberate about our decisions. We do only one thing and we want to do it right.”

Kruse graduated from Texas A&M in 1977 with a BBA in accounting and from Baylor University School of Law in 1980. He is chairman of the Texas Dairy Products Institute and the International Ice Cream Association. Kruse also serves on the boards of Brenham’s Economic Development Foundation, the local Boys and Girls Club and Blinn College.

Categories: Departments, Former Students

Changes are forthcoming in several key administrative posts, as Associate Dean and Executive MBA Director Dr. John Dinkel will retire in January 2005.

Since joining Texas A&M University in 1980, Dinkel has held numerous administrative posts. He served as head of the Department of Business Analysis, associate provost for Texas A&M Computing and Information Systems, and associate vice chancellor for information resources for the Texas A&M University System. In his current post, he was largely responsible for the creation and implementation of Mays’ Executive MBA Program, which he also oversees.

Dr. Bala Shetty will assume the position of associate dean for graduate programs. Shetty currently serves as the department head and PhD coordinator for the Department of Information & Operations Management. He has also held faculty positions at Southern Methodist University and the Madrid Business School in Spain, and he served as a Research Fellow at Princeton University in 1996.

Effective in September, Dr. Dean Wichern will serve the remainder of Shetty’s two-year term as department head. Wichern has taught a variety of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The results of his research, in such fields as experimental design and marketing and economics, have appeared in several academic journals. Wichern has also co-authored four textbooks.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Mays marketing doctoral graduates are among the nation’s most influential researchers, according to a recent study by Academic Assessment Services (AAS).

Mays graduates ranked in the top 60 on four of five separate measures of influence for their research. The five measures of influence included: number of graduates (33rd), total citations (51st), average citations (64th), median citations (42nd), median citations (42nd), and adjusted median citations (57th).

“We’re delighted with the recognition,” says Dr. Rajan Varadarajan, marketing department head. “Obviously many of the former A&M doctoral students richly deserve the recognition.”

Roy Alder, a Distinguished Fellow of the Academy who co-founded AAS, presented the study results at the annual meeting of the Academy of Marketing Science in Vancouver, Canada May 27. AAS is among the largest organizations in the country assessing research impact and has categorized nearly 4 million citations for business professors.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs, Students

Thirty-three of the state’s top high school students recently spent a week at Mays immersed in college life.

In its fourth year, the Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP), which ran from June 13-18, exposed participants to how a business operates and to the types of jobs available in business. Sponsored by Ernst & Young, the program also seeks to peak their interest in attending Mays.

“The purpose of this program was to familiarize them with A&M, Mays Business School, Mays faculty, and to get me in touch with them, so they can start asking questions,” says Sonia Garcia, Mays’ student recruitment coordinator.

During the week, participants interacted with Mays faculty, who led classes on basic business concepts, and with Mays students serving as peer counselors. Participants were placed on teams to create a business plan, which they presented at the end of the week in a competition. Teams were awarded various prizes, such as for plan effectiveness and creativity.

“The point of the entire week was so they would know how to identify a market, sell a product, do the budget, and the analysis,” says Garcia, adding that the students, who represent the top 1 to 9 percent of their high school classes, were eager to make the most of their time at Mays.

Since the program began in 2001, 51 of the 83 participants (excluding this year’s group) applied and were accepted to attend Texas A&M. Of those, 22 enrolled at the university and 18 enrolled at Mays.

Categories: Faculty, Perspectives, Students