What do ExxonMobil, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco Systems, Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard, Walmart, Intel, Pfizer and General Electric have in common? A recent Harvard Business Review article by William Lazonick (“Profits without Prosperity”) identified these companies as being the greatest stock repurchasers for the 10-year period 2003 to 2012, with ExxonMobil leading the way at $207 billion. When considering the $80 billion of dividends paid and net income of $347 billion earned during this period, ExxonMobil returned 83 percent of its income to shareholders.

While this seems high, of these 10 companies, ExxonMobil was one of only three (along with Walmart and General Electric) to return less than all of their net income to shareholders through dividends and repurchases. Hewlett-Packard, whose recent problems have been well-chronicled, actually returned $73 billion to its shareholders while earning “only” $41 billion of net income!

Any discussion of the merits of share repurchases and dividends should consider alternative uses of the funds. For a number of years, Apple did not repurchase its shares or pay dividends, deciding instead to invest the funds in research and development and create new products. In 2012, after deciding to pay dividends and repurchase shares, Apple’s stock experienced difficulties, with some citing the company”™s failure to develop new products and technologies. Activist investor Carl Icahn recently withdrew his proposal for Apple to repurchase an additional $50 billion of its stock after receiving a “no” recommendation from proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services.

While large dividends and repurchases provide capital to shareholders, they may have unforeseen adverse consequences. An example cited by “Profits without Prosperity” was Intel executives’ lobbying efforts for the U.S. government to increasing spending on nanotechnology research in the mid-2000s.

Interestingly, from 2001 to 2013, Intel’s stock buybacks were almost four times the budget of the National Nanotechnology Institute. This raises the question about what is more important: returning capital to shareholders or investing in technological and business advances? One group of companies feels that short-term returns to shareholders are more important than building long-term value.

Categories: Deanspeak

Nate Sharp

Nate Sharp, an associate professor of Accounting and a Mays Research Fellow, has
just been awarded the 2014 Best Paper Award for the journal Behavioral Research in Accounting.

His paper, published in 2011 and titled “Reconciling archival and experimental
research: Does internal audit contribution affect the external audit fee?” was chosen
by the Accounting, Behavior and Organizations Publication’s Committee. The annual
award considers papers published during the past three years and recognizes
the publication with the greatest impact or potential impact on behavioral and
organizational research in accounting.

Sharp teaches intermediate accounting and conducts research in the areas of
financial reporting, financial misconduct and financial analysts. Along with
Behavioral Research in Accounting, Sharp’s research has been published in several
other leading scholarly journals including The Accounting Review, Review of
Accounting Studies, Contemporary Accounting Research, Accounting Horizons and
Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 students
in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing
and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public
business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for
faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and
developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Faculty

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A recent gift to support two high-priority programs will support Mays Business School students for years to come. A total of $550,000 has been provided to establish the Cathy and William W. Davis ’75 MBA Fellowship and the Cathy and William W. Davis ’75 Endowed Business Honors Scholarship Program.

“In talking with the leadership at Mays, Cathy and I felt like both programs needed attention and support,” Bill Davis explained. “Helping students was the priority, and we wanted to help all levels of students.”

Bill Davis is a longtime supporter of Texas A&M. He has served on the Dean’s Development Council at Mays and has maintained close ties with Memorial Student Center Council, where he held several offices — including president — while he was in college.

“Bill and Cathy’s most generous gift will serve many purposes. It will provide the opportunity for students to obtain a world-class education at Mays while providing us with the resources to attract the very best students to our two premier programs,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “We are most appreciative to them for their generosity and the impact it will have on our school.”

Bill Davis is retired from Crosstex Energy in Dallas, where he was CFO for 10 years and COO for three years. He and his business partners recently announced the formation and private equity backing of Vaquero Midstream Holdings LLC.

He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M. Cathy Davis is also an Aggie by association — her father graduated in the 1950s and their son Wes graduated in 2004.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Departments, Donors Corner

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The Memorial Student Center was brimming with small business owners and entrepreneurs attending the Governor’s Small Business Forum at Texas A&M on Aug. 15. Entrepreneurs from Houston to Dallas traveled to College Station to learn how to improve their business and network with one another at the day-long seminar hosted by Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures & Entrepreneurship (CNVE).

The morning of the forum began with a presentation by Hope Andrade, commissioner of the Texas Workforce Commission. She informed attendees of the many services the Texas Workforce Commission offers and how they can use these resources to grow their business.

After the initial welcome and presentation, the forum guests broke into different presentation sessions that covered topics such as the relationship between exports and small businesses, and social media. The participants came together during lunch to listen to Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry, the forum’s keynote speaker. She shared her inspiring story of how she became Secretary of State and the valuable position that small businesses hold in the Texas economy.

Berry joined Richard Lester, director of the CNVE, in presenting the State of Texas Small Business Awards. The recipients were Seed Sumo, T3 Multisports, Study On Board and Love Lemonade. The awards are intended to recognize and identify small businesses that have demonstrated best practices and have provided growth and development opportunities within the State of Texas.

After lunch, attendees broke out into sessions that focused on marketing for small businesses or important legal issues for small business owners. The final session of the day consisted of a combined financial panel during which forum attendees could ask questions to a group of prominent business leaders and professors.

The forum ended with a networking reception filled with speakers, attendees and exposition vendors. Many of the forum guests remarked upon the multiple opportunities to interact with other business owners and the high caliber of speakers.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Departments

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The 44 members of the Professional MBA Program Class of 2015 at Mays Business School spread some Aggie spirit while gaining international experiences this summer. The class visited Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic for the one-week International Business Policy course, required to be taken abroad during the summer between the first and second years.
The goal is for the class members to bond with one another, start relationships with people in the area they visit and learn how business differs in various parts of the world. The class members attended cultural events, visited eight companies, heard eight entrepreneur pitches and participated in two case studies.

While in Prague, the class members partnered with Orbi Pontes (Czech for “Bridges to the World”), which works with various MBA students from the U.S. It gives the students a chance to meet Czech people with hearing impairments, helps them better understand the “Czech deaf world” and allows them to witness how the Czech society helps people with hearing impairments.
Through Orbi Pontes, the students were able to help the Czech hearing-impaired community by spending a day volunteering and fundraising at Ticha Kavarna, Czech for “Silent Café.” The cafe is designed to be run by the hearing-impaired for the hearing-impaired.

The class raised $500, which was matched by International Study Programs, the program’s overseas partner. More important, said Professional MBA Program Director Mike Alexander, the students set an example of selfless service — one of the Aggie Core Values. He stated in an email to the class that their volunteerism, time, interest and donations made an impact on Ticha Kavarna. “Thank you for your trust. For diving in. Learning about the educational efforts for the hearing regarding the hearing impaired in the Czech Republic. And for giving with your heart, hands, and wallets.”
Brent Prigge, a student who attended the trip, recalls what an amazing atmosphere the café offered. “The Deaf culture is a fringe group in most of the world because of the inherent language barrier, but Ticha Kavarna helps to bridge that gap and show average people the amazing things that the deaf have to offer.”

The class was split into four smaller groups and paired with Czech sign language teachers and interpreters. They travelled across Prague learning Czech Sign Language and distributing pamphlets to commuters in the hopes of bringing Ticha Kavarna some new business.

“The opportunity that our class had to learn about the Deaf culture and to provide a small service for them as well was an affirming experience,” Prigge says. “Knowing that our trip was able to serve more than the needs of our classmates, even in such a small capacity, made the trip that much more valuable.”

Another student, Hank (Henry) T. Hunt, said working with the Prague Deaf community provided a rewarding opportunity to help others while understanding their challenges better and experiencing life outside the tourist area. “I thought of my hearing-impaired niece who did well in Texas public schools, though often smiling and nodding when unable to understand speakers,” he said. “My inability to speak Czech had me behaving the same way, frustrated and embarrassed at not being able to express what I wanted to say or to understand others.”

Hunt said Renata Skopkova and the other Orbi Pontes teachers helped him realize his communication struggle was small compared to obstacles constantly facing the deaf in any country. “I understand the usefulness and respectfulness of learning to say important basic phrases in other languages, whether it is Czech or signing.”

The Orbi Pontes teachers, who taught the Aggies some sign language while riding on the subway, explained they were helping just by signing in public. “Our presence helped create positive interest in signing and integrate the hearing and Deaf communities. Our task of handing out flyers helped me overcome some of my own social anxiety: if I can promote an organization in a foreign language on a subway platform deep in a former Soviet Bloc country, then promoting back home in Texas should be easy!”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Departments

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When Shannon Deer returned to Texas A&M University to teach after working for two years at a Big 4 accounting firm in Houston, she knew she wanted to arm her students with information that is practical and can place them in a good job. Her emphasis on the energy industry has provided both.

Deer teaches intermediate accounting at Mays Business School and serves as the assistant department head for the accounting department.

She answered a few questions about her chosen path:

Why it is important for our current students to learn about energy

The energy industry has its own language. To obtain a competitive advantage in the industry, our students need to be fluent in the language. They need to know what operational terms such as fracking, casing, oil sands and even pig (used to clean a pipe) mean. They need to know where major shale plays are located and why Henry Hub in Louisiana, Cushing, Okla., and Mt. Belvieu, Texas, are important to product pricing. A petroleum engineering major or a geology major would likely have this terminology embedded in many courses. Until we started programs specific to the energy industry, most business majors were not exposed to these concepts.

Until our students understand the industry from an operational perspective, they cannot master industry-specific accounting and finance concepts. I want our students to walk in the first day on the job and be able to speak the language and understand a company’s strategy in addition to being able to account for derivatives or exploration costs. Every year I receive emails from former students who are excited because they were able to explain a concept they learned in class to their coworkers who did not attend schools with energy-specific business courses.

Additionally, the energy industry is facing many challenges today. Several examples of risks facing the industry according to Ernst & Young, who employs many of our students, include cost containment, a deficit of human capital, operating in new markets, and managing public perceptions about environmental and health concerns related to new technologies. (http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Industries/Oil—Gas/Turn-risk-and-opportunities-into-results–oil-and-gas—The-top-10-risks) Our students are the future leaders who will manage these issues as they progress through their careers. I want to teach them to think critically about these risks from a business perspective.

 

Why it is important for our graduates to work in the energy industry

It is important our graduates are able to work in the energy industry, because the corporate hub for many energy companies is only 90 miles from College Station — in Houston. Across Texas, there are many excellent opportunities to work in the energy industry and we want to make sure our students are initially competitive for those jobs and can quickly excel in those jobs.

Our students pursue a variety of career paths within the energy industry. Many of our students start their careers in public accounting. Especially for those working in Houston, there is a high probability some or all of their clients will be energy companies. Each year, several students go into consulting and investment banking focused on energy clients or become financial planners evaluating energy portfolios. I have one student who transitioned after several years in energy-focused investment banking to a private equity firm that funds new midstream energy companies.

Energy companies are very eager to recruit our students and are providing excellent and competitive rotational programs designed to give students broad experience in a short period of time. Baby Boomers are retiring from energy companies and need young professionals to fill those positions. Our students who complete rotational programs with energy companies are primed to fill the gap left by Baby Boomers.

Additionally, the energy industry helped insulate Houston and all of Texas from the devastating effects of the financial crisis. We are lucky our students are still being aggressively recruited when some industries were laying employees off.

                 

Programs I have developed

In developing energy programs in Mays, my goal has been to increase the number of cross-discipline opportunities for our students. Very early in our students’ careers they will be working with engineers and geologists in addition to accountants and finance professionals. The following opportunities are now available:

  • BUSN 302 — a one-hour seminar, open to all business majors. The course is designed to expose students to operational aspects of the industry, such as exploring, drilling, producing, transporting, and processing oil and natural gas. We have business and operations experts such as engineers and geologists speak to the students in interactive sessions.
  • Energy accounting — This course is accounting specific, but carefully links all accounting and finance topics covered to operational issues. Marathon was instrumental in helping me develop projects, which are the center of the course, that provide student hands-on practical experience.
  • Phillips 66 Energy Panel — Each semester, including the summer, Mays and Phillips 66 hosts an energy panel. Experienced and new business professionals represent some of the largest energy companies (for example, Anadarko, BHP Billiton, Enterprise, Marathon, Oxy, and Southwestern). Students have the opportunity to interact, in a group of 8-10, with the company representatives who rotate tables over the course of the evening. The event is sponsored by Phillips 66 and is open to students from all majors. See http://mays.tamu.edu/energypanel/ for more information and upcoming panels.
  • Halliburton Case competition — Teams for the case competition must include at least three members from Mays and can have up to one member from another discipline. Students are presented with a realistic issue facing Halliburton and given 48 hours to develop a solution.  Halliburton executives judge the competition. Prizes are awarded to first-place through third-place teams in the amounts of $4,000, $2,500, and $1,500 http://mays.tamu.edu/acct/halliburton/.
  • Certificate program — The certificate program requires students to take the courses listed above, as well as an energy elective (preferably in another discipline), a required foundational accounting course, and an energy related internship.  The certificate program is especially helpful in matching interested employers with top quality students interested in the industry.
  • Energy finance — A course I teach in the Professional MBA program designed to help students consider companies’ strategies when using derivatives to hedge price risk, analyze energy companies’ financial statements, and determine the impact of reserves.
  • Energy Club — The Energy Club is an excellent opportunity for students of all majors interested in learning more about energy companies.  I try to speak to them each year and I invite members to all energy related events in Mays.   http://energyclub.tamu.edu/
  • Energy Institute — we are now working more closely with EI to create cross-discipline programming for students across campus.

 

 

Categories: Departments

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  1. Leverage social media to build your business
  2. Expand marketing opportunities through exports
  3. Navigate the legal landscape
  4. Create a brand that’s credible and compelling
  5. Turn procurement into a competitive advantage
  6. Secure financing through traditional and unconventional sources

You’ll learn about these six imperatives and more from seasoned experts at the Governor’s Small Business Forum on Friday, Aug. 15 in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus.

The cost for this all-day crash course for small business owners is $50, and the registration deadline is 11 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12. Register at http://cnve.tamu.edu/programs/gsbf/.

Categories: Mays Business

R. Duane Ireland
Ireland

Duane Ireland, a University Distinguished Professor and the Conn Chair in New Ventures Leadership, recently concluded his service as president of the Academy of Management, the premier academic organization for management scholars. Ireland has served on more than a dozen task forces and committees within the academy and has made multiple presentations. As is customary in the organization, he will serve during the upcoming year as Past President of the organization.

Mays Business School has a long history of leadership and collaboration with the Academy of Management. Mays faculty who have served as president of the academy include Michael Hitt, a University Distinguished Professor and holder of the Joe B. Foster Chair in Business Leadership and Management Professor Emeritus Don Hellriegel. In addition, several faculty members have served as division chairs, including Ricky W. Griffin, Management Distinguished Professor and Management Department Head, who chaired the academy’s Organizational Behavior Division.

The Academy of Management is the largest and most widely known professional organization of management professors, teachers and scholars in the world. The annual meeting attracts more than 10,000 members from all corners of the world and the academy’s journals are among the most visible and impactful in the profession. “The fact that Duane Ireland was elected by academy members to serve as president is a real testament to his reputation and leadership, and brings enormous recognition and visibility to our department,” Griffin said.

Categories: Departments

McEvoy, M. K.

Texas A&M University and its Full-Time MBA program are dear to the hearts of Kevin McEvoy and his wife Maria, so they wanted to assist students enrolled in the program. They committed a $300,000 gift to establish the Maria B. and Michael K. McEvoy ’79 MBA Fellowship fund at Mays Business School to support veterans enrolling in the Mays MBA program.

One motivation for the gift was the military friendliness of Texas A&M University in general and the Full-Time MBA program in particular, said Kevin McEvoy. As president and CEO of Oceaneering International, he frequently hires veterans. “What we especially liked about this was the opportunity to support a veteran of our armed forces transition to a good civilian job.”

Kevin McEvoy received an MBA from Texas A&M in May 1979. Prior to that, he received bachelor’s degrees in biology and geology from Brown University and then he served in the U.S. Navy – starting his 40-year career in offshore-related endeavors in 1972. While he was earning his MBA, he worked at the Hyberbaric Physiology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M.

“Our Full-Time MBA students are relocating to College Station, and entering a demanding program that does not lend itself to part-time employment,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “This makes financial support for our students extremely important. We are so grateful to Maria and Kevin for their generosity. The fact that they have expressed an interest in supporting veterans makes an already special gift even more meaningful.”

Kevin McEvoy said this is the first time he and his wife have directed their charitable giving to an educational institution. They felt called to do so because the cause was so worthwhile, he said.  Besides, the McEvoys are surrounded by Aggies, including two of their sons and a daughter-in-law. “We wanted to give to Texas A&M because we appreciate the quality of its programs and the positive impact its graduates have had in our family, community and business interactions,” he said.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

 

Categories: Donors Corner

A year ago, traveling to Africa was not even a distant dream for a group of Texas A&M University students. Most had had never flown across the state, much less internationally.

Now they can claim they have been there and back.

The trip was just amazing, recalls Aashraya Nakarmi, one of the students who went on the trip. It’s hard to comprehend it all. I’m so sad it’s already over!

Phillips 66 sponsors trip

Phillips 66 sponsored the trip with a $50,000 gift in addition to its annual giving to Texas A&M University. Judith Vincent, assistant treasurer, corporate finance at Phillips 66, said the company is committed to helping develop the workforce of tomorrow through education.

This trip not only presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Regents Scholars; it also enriches their educational experience and develops them into well-rounded job candidates, she told the students. Going on an overseas trip is a phenomenal opportunity for these students, and Phillips 66 couldn’t be more proud to sponsor the program.

The students who went on the trip are Regents’ Scholars first-generation college students whose families meet income criteria. In addition to financial
support, the Regents’ Scholars program provides the students with the academic and social assistance vital to the success of a first-generation college student. Regents’ Scholars live on campus their freshman year, participate in a learning community and
attend an orientation designed by continuing Regents’ Scholars.

At Mays, Regents’ Scholars are invited at the completion of their freshman year to apply for a two-week international opportunity. The trip for the 2013-14 freshman class included a week each in South Africa and Zambia. The students were selected based on their academic performance, extracurricular involvement and a short essay.

The excursion began with a July 8 safety presentation and send-off for the students by Vincent, Mays Dean Jerry Strawser and the students’ traveling chaperones “ Henry Musoma, a lecturer in the Undergraduate Special Programs Office at Mays, and his wife Tyra Musoma, an academic advisor in the Department of Accounting.

Henry Musoma has traveled extensively in Southern Africa, where his parents were posted in the diplomatic corps. He won the 2013 Dr. Robert M. Gates Inspiration Award for his work with the Regents’ Scholars, and said the purpose of this trip was to expose the students to global business dynamics as they play out in Sub-Saharan Africa (Zambia and South Africa, respectively).

The plan is to help foster their understanding of the global economy, he said. With this understanding of the complex nature of global business, the Regents’ Scholars will hopefully develop an understanding of the complex nature of their world and consequently, find meaningful careers in it.

Blog chronicles journey

Students wrote about their thoughts and emotions throughout the trip for the Mays site http://maysblogs.tamu.edu/regenttrips

Student Narely Najera said she had a change of heart as the trip unfolded. My summer classes had just ended two days before, and all I wanted to do was spend some time with my friends. A trip to Africa with fourteen complete strangers didn’t seem very appealing to me at the time and the morning of the trip I debated even getting up. As my peers will tell you though I hate missing out and so I went along, and I will be forever thankful that I did.

She went on to say the excursion was more than just a ˜study abroad” trip. Through this trip I became aware of the many stories of Africa, I learned of the importance of thinking of business not just on a national scale but a global one, and of being open to any and all opportunities because you never know what can come of them.

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Mays Business