Creating a global classroomIn his first travels back home to India, Associate Dean Bala Shetty brought American souvenirs back to his friends and family. That was over 25 years ago. Now, Shetty is at a loss as to what to carry home to India. “Everything I can get in America I can get there. The world has changed quite a bit,” he says.

The world indeed has changed. For one thing, thinking only in U.S. terms is out of the question. “The world has become very interconnected globally. It’s no longer an option to do business globally—it’s a requirement in order to remain competitive,” says Kelli Kilpatrick, director of the Mays MBA Program.

Starting this fall, a new international business policy course will be offered as part of the core curriculum for MBA students. An international business policy class was offered a few years ago, but now has been updated with a twist.

Mays administrators asked Christian Seelos from the prestigious IESE Business School in Barcelona to teach eight weeks of the 10-week course. Seelos is originally from Germany and has traveled across the world, teaching international business and strategy in Europe, Africa and the United States. His background is unique—not only has he worked with the United Nations, but he also has a master’s and a PhD in molecular biology.

Two of Mays’ own faculty also will teach the course. Michael A. Hitt, Distinguished Professor in Management, will teach one week on China, incorporating his own experience from strategy work in China. And Venkatesh Shankar, Coleman Chair Professor in Marketing, will teach one week about India, his country of origin.

Shetty and administrators hope that the new course will capture students’ attention and interest in international issues. They plan to engage students by showing them the culture of the countries studied in class, bringing food and native symbols or products of each country. One of Shetty’s goals with this new course is to help students find good opportunities. “We don’t want them to be afraid of other cultures. We want them to be comfortable in any market.”

— Lindsay Newcomer

Categories: Programs

James P. WilsonWilson
Gov. Rick Perry appointed three former students to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in July, including Mays Development Council member James P. Wilson ’81 of Sugar Land.

Wilson, whose term will last until 2013 pending Texas senate confirmation, joins current regents and business grads Lupe Fraga ’57 and Bill Jones ’81.

Wilson, BBA graduate, is chairman and CEO of JK Acquisition Corporation, a Houston-based investment firm. He is also chair of SupplyOne Holdings, a specialty paper manufacturing and distribution firm. Wilson is a board member of First Community Bank of Sugar Land and a director of Alpha Circuits, Inc., an electronics manufacturing services provider. He is also a member of the executive committee of the 12th Man Foundation.

Both Wilson’s father and father-in-law are Aggies, his son just finished his freshman year at Texas A&M, and his daughter plans to attend as well.

— Staff Reports

Categories: Former Students

Does good corporate governance mean higher stock returns for public companies?

The answer isn’t easy to come by, especially when the market tends to quickly price any “good citizenship” into the stock. Research from Wells Fargo/Heep Foundation Professor of Finance Shane Johnson and Associate Professor of Finance Sorin Sorescu, along with PhD graduate Ted Moorman, was the academic backing for a story on just this topic in the July 2 editions of The Wall Street Journal.

The trio found that companies may not see strong returns once their “good citizenship” is incorporated into stock price. Find the story, which appeared in The Journal‘s B section, at

— Staff Reports

Categories: Research Notes

Guanghua School of ManagementIn this fast-paced world, multicultural experience and knowledge have become key ingredients to success in business. As business becomes more globally focused, so does Mays Business School. This past spring, the Center for International Business Studies (CIBS) added an additional reciprocal exchange program with Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in Beijing, China.

Mays Business School now offers 23 reciprocal exchange programs in 17 different countries, ranging from Asia to Europe. Mays program administrators send undergraduate and graduate students abroad for one full semester to learn about business in an international setting, and Mays also welcomes international students in return to study at A&M.

The cultural opportunities through exchange programs have skyrocketed. In 1992, Mays only offered four programs, compared to 23 in 2007. “There’s no such thing as just domestic business. Our students need to know and understand how even developments abroad can impact American business,” says Julian Gaspar, director of CIBS and clinical professor.

In a reciprocal exchange program, Mays students spend a full semester abroad with a partner university. They take classes offered by the university’s own faculty and live in the city of the university’s home. “The objective for the exchange program is to expose our students to global business, culture and geopolitics,” Gaspar says.

Students drinking teaMays MBA student Lindsey Galloway (center) enjoys some tea with University of Indiana students Michael Conran and Abby Schneider in the Hutong district of Beijing.MBA student Lindsey Galloway didn’t have the opportunity to spend this summer in a complete reciprocal exchange program because of an internship in Dallas with Guaranty Bank. But she journeyed to Beijing for a two-week mini-mester at Peking University. “The most valuable part was getting to interact with people from different cultures—with people who don’t speak English as a first language or even at all,” Galloway says.

Mays students pay the same tuition for an exchange program that they would pay if they were spending a typical semester at A&M, even though tuition is often higher at international universities. Students are responsible for their own living expenses and airfare, but can apply for scholarships.

After a full semester with an exchange program, students will have earned 12 credit hours from the courses they take at the partner university that directly applies to their degree plan. Ninety percent of the international classes offered are in English, so A&M students are easily able to communicate with professors and participate in class. Each year, approximately 75 students choose to earn a certificate in international, European Union or Latin American business, which all require a study abroad or exchange experience.

CIBS administrators hope to extend the reciprocal exchange program even further, but that relies on increased interest from Mays students. “It’s largely demand driven. If we have more students wanting to study abroad, CIBS can negotiate additional exchange programs with other countries,” Gaspar says.

Galloway emphasizes the value of learning from other cultures. “It seems really intimidating because it’s China and there are so many differences. But I can’t stress enough the importance of international experience and China in particular,” she says. “It was stressful. But I learned a lot from it.”

— Lindsay Newcomer

Categories: Programs

Richard Scruggs
The Houston A&M Club honored longtime entrepreneur Richard Scruggs ’77 with its annual Outstanding Houston Aggie award this summer.

Scruggs has long been the kind of man who recognizes opportunity, and helps others learn how to find it. As director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays, the Aggie MBA graduate has driven efforts to cultivate initiative and risk-taking among students, form partnerships with business, and recognize former students who have taken risks and found reward in their own businesses.

Scruggs is also a principal with business management and consulting firm Winston Sage Partners in Houston.

He rarely makes it through the halls of Mays without meeting a student under his mentorship or sharing conversation about critical business issues with faculty and staff. And that’s precisely what the Outstanding Houston Aggie award recognizes: graduates who exemplify love of and service to Texas A&M and their communities, and who contribute to their professions and industries.

“The Outstanding Houston Aggie is vital to our mission and we feel strongly to continue recognizing these Aggies,” said Harry McMahan ’94, president of the Houston A&M Club.

Chief among Scruggs’ roles at the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship has been aiding the startup of three companies based on Texas A&M technologies. He also helped craft the Aggie 100 program to recognize and celebrate the success of the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-led companies in the world, and to put those graduates in touch with today’s student population.

His professional history showcases an accumulation of insight into building and sustaining new ventures. He worked with Andersen Consulting, BSG Alliance/IT and Perot Systems before founding Align Solutions—recognized in 1999 as the fastest growing private company in the Houston area. After Align was purchased by Luminant Worldwide Corporation in September 1999, Scruggs helped take the company public and served as vice-chairman and executive vice president.

— Sommer Hamilton

Categories: Faculty, Staff

Sanjay Jain

Professor of Marketing Sanjay Jain’s paper “Pricing Digital Products: A Model and Application for National Academy Press” was one of four finalists selected in the Marketing Science Practice Prize competition.

The Practice Prize is awarded for outstanding implementation of marketing science concepts. Methodology must be appropriate to the problem and organization, and the work should have had significant impact on the performance of the client organization.

The finalists will showdown in October, presenting their work at a special session of the Marketing Science Practice Conference, with winners announced later that night.

— Staff Reports

Categories: Faculty

A new administrative team has been formed at Mays in the wake of Jerry Strawser’s recent move to the interim provost and executive vice president chair across campus.

Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin announced a new administrative lineup in July. Bala Shetty, currently associate dean for graduate programs, will take over the executive associate dean’s role beginning summer 2008. Department of Finance Head David Blackwell will step up to fill Shetty’s role as associate dean for graduate programs beginning in January.

And former Department of Marketing Head Rajan Varadarajan will step into a one-year appointment this month as associate dean for research and doctoral programs. Varadarajan’s role is to ease the transition—until Shetty takes his new role—before returning back full-time to the Department of Marketing next summer.

— Staff Reports

Categories: Faculty

In a country where cities of 3 to 4 million people are referred to as “small towns,” the marketing scene is quickly blossoming. China is kicking into high gear as it prepares for the summer 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But even a booming country like China has its slumps.

One advertising campaign for a new morning beverage is for Aloe Milk, whose slogan is “U.S. Bull-Puncher Amorous Feeling Beverage.” That doesn’t make sense to either the Chinese or American culture. “Seeing that they didn’t get someone from the U.S. on their marketing team is very interesting,” says Duane DeWald, senior lecturer in marketing at Mays.

DeWald in China
Mays senior lecturer Duane DeWald recently spent seven weeks in China teaching marketing principles.

DeWald returned in July from a seven-week trip to China, where he taught a principles of marketing class to 150 junior-level students at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. He was in demand there, as the university doesn’t currently have a marketing department.

Part of the honors curriculum at Shanghai requires students to take 30 percent of classes in English, since English has become the international business language. The language barrier created some difficulty, as most of the Shanghai students are not yet fluent in English—and Dewald isn’t fluent in Mandarin. “There’s no such thing as a Chinese alphabet. You either know the characters or you don’t. It shows you what it’s like to be illiterate,” he says.

But despite a language barrier, Dewald was able to get a feel for the prospering Chinese culture. Although he has traveled to Europe and taught in Ecuador, Dewald found China most starkly contrasted with the United States. Television commercials are advertised differently than in the U.S. because the Chinese government approves product recommendations. Dewald was also surprised to find commercials giving tips on how to be courteous and polite to tourists, which may have originated with the Olympics in mind.

Dewald’s China teaching experience will carry over to his students here at Mays. “Not only has it given me more material to present to Aggies, but it has changed my teaching style,” he says. “Rather than just trying to encourage our students to work for U.S. corporations, I want to encourage them to branch out—especially to the global scene.”

— Lindsay Newcomer

Categories: Faculty