Lead Story

Center for Retailing Studies announces partnership with (R)Tech Center for Innovation

Andrew Vernon, March 19th, 2018

The Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) proudly announces its partnership with the (R)Tech Center for Innovation. Texas A&M becomes one of 10 inaugural affiliate universities to align with the (R)Tech Center, organized by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and create a retail-tech talent pipeline.

RILA is the trade association for America’s largest and most respected retailers, representing more than 200 members. The partnership between Texas A&M and RILA strengthens corporate relationships with current CRS partners like H-E-B and Dollar General, while connecting CRS with other top retailers such as Best Buy, The Home Depot, and Apple.

The (R)Tech Center for Innovation, launched by RILA in 2017, focuses on helping retailers navigate the industry’s transformation through research, innovative technologies, and creating a culture of innovation – exposing retailers to the technologies and innovations driving change in retail.

“For 35 years, Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has promoted retailing as an aspirational career choice. Our graduates possess the business acumen to drive sales at America’s largest companies. The partnership with RILA enhances our ability to train students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and build essential technical skills so they can become transformational leaders in retailing,” said Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M.

The (R)Tech Talent Pipeline will attract and expose young graduates with tech backgrounds to opportunities in the industry, helping shape a 21st-century retail workforce as retailers continue to innovate.

“We are excited to bring innovation to the forefront of retail and provide a test bed for new concepts, technologies, and user experiences. Supported by strong research in the area of design, augmented reality and consumer behavior, we expect this will lead to significant new insights into today’s consumer, and what retail of the future will hold,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Hillman was among the Outstanding Doctoral Alumni from Mays Business School in 2008.

Beginning this year, RILA and the (R)Tech Center for Innovation will address the need for recruiting employees with technical skills in three phases. Phase one will focus on four strategies that initiate the talent pipeline: hosting hackathons that expose students to retail challenges, facilitating a global case competition for creative student ideas, creating multi-use experimental stores with physical locations on select campuses, and launching an online certification specifically for mid-to-senior-level retail executives to educate them on innovative trends. Phases two and three will involve a program to recruit new talent into the industry and help retailers build tech skills in-house.

For more on this announcement, visit www.rila.org.

The Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association recently honored Accounting Professor and Philip Ljungdahl Chair Konduru Sivaramakrishnan. He was honored with a Best Paper Award for his research published in the Journal of Management Accounting Research.

Sivaramakrishnan co-authored the paper, “A Critical Overview of Full-Cost Data for Planning and Pricing,” with Ramji Balakrishnan, Ernst and Young Professor of Accounting at the University of Iowa. The paper, published in the 2002 issue of the journal, discusses the accuracy of various methods companies use to determine a product’s price.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

A testament to the work ethic and quality of Mays faculty, Lamar Savings Professor of Finance Arvind Mahajan received the 2003 Bush Excellence in International Teaching Faculty Award.

Last year, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation established awards in teaching and research to recognize exemplary contributions to students’ international education. Management Professor Lorraine Eden received the 2002 Research Award. Recipients receive a $2,500 gift.

Mahajan, who specializes in international and corporate finance, has taught for 24 years, serving at Mays for 22 of those years. He says the effects of globalization demand that future decision-makers understand other cultures, as well as the interaction between the domestic and foreign markets in which businesses operate.

“The opportunity to positively impact another person’s development and future makes teaching a profoundly serious, but incredibly exhilarating, activity,” says Mahajan, who has also received the Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Teaching Award during his tenure at Mays.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Mays alumna Bonnie Miller ’02 was selected to participate in the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Postgraduate Technical Assistant internship program for 2003-2004. Miller, who graduated in December after completing the Professional Program, is the ninth consecutive Mays nominee to be selected for an internship. FASB accepts up to two nominations each year from 40 business programs throughout the nation and selects six nominees for internships. Accounting Department Head Jim Benjamin estimates that since 1990, Mays has had more interns than any other business school.During the one-year program, Miller will gain experience with the accounting standards-setting process and develop a thorough understanding of the various positions in the accounting field. Since graduation, she has been working in Dallas for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the audit practice. Miller will take a leave of absence beginning in July to complete the internship in Norwalk, Conn.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Former Students, Programs

Charles Dhanaraj, assistant professor of management at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, will visit Mays in late March to collaborate with Management Professor Lorraine Eden. They are researching the legitimacy and survival of foreign subsidiaries, along with Stewart Miller, assistant professor of management at the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business. Dhanaraj was awarded the 2001 Barry Richman Dissertation Award at the Academy of International Business for his Ph.D. dissertation, “Legitimacy and Stability of Japanese Overseas Subsidiaries.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Corporate ethics is a hot topic these days. But, at Houston-based Newfield Exploration the issue isn’t a new one. Newfield CEO and President David Trice recently discussed the company’s approach to ethics with first-year Mays MBA students. Trice also addressed the core values inherent in the company, says first-year MBA student Lisa Buckley. “You can never have too many reminders about the importance of ethics,” she says. In fact, Newfield’s core values are closely tied to the Aggie code of honor, as Joe Foster ’56 founded the company, which employs many A&M graduates. Buckley and several other first-year MBAs had the opportunity to interact with Trice and Steven Campbell, head of investor relations, during a luncheon. Not being a native-Texan, Buckley says she came to Mays to become part of the Aggie Network. She didn’t expect it so soon. “After my conversing with Steven during lunch, he has already helped me set up three interviews for possible summer internships,” she says. “The Aggie Network is real.”

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Programs, Students

With state funding even more of a challenge for Texas’ institutions today, external support is critical to helping Mays achieve its goals. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently committed to establishing an Accounting Excellence Fund. Accounting Department Head Jim Benjamin says this $300,000 award will support research and curriculum development activities focused on assurance services, taxation, financial reporting and accounting systems.Benjamin credits Kevin Roach, Texas A&M liaison partner in Dallas, as well as Bill Atkinson ’82 and Ed Machir, Dallas partner and PWC Foundation Board member, for their commitment to Mays’ accounting program. Greg Garrison, national partner in charge of assurance services, will make a brief presentation of the gift at Mays in late March.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

For the third consecutive year, the Mays MBA Program has been ranked among the 100 best in the world by the London Financial Times, the pre-eminent worldwide business publication. This ranking places Mays MBA program in the top 5 percent of the approximately 2,000 MBA programs worldwide. The Mays program ranks 69th overall, up 13 places from last year. Of the 100 ranked schools, 56 are located in the United States. U.S. programs typically dominate the top 10, such as the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Business School and Stanford University. “Our increase in rankings reflects the quality of our students and faculty,” says Dean Jerry Strawser. “This ranking places us solidly among the top 20 public business schools and continues to indicate the high value of a Mays MBA, as we were ranked second among all U.S. schools in ‘value for the money’ behind only Brigham Young University.”The Financial Times evaluation, in its fifth year, conducts two surveys, one of institutions offering graduate business degrees and the other of students who graduated from the respective schools’ programs three years ago. The surveys are designed to gauge career progression as accrued from the MBA, including salary, salary increments and international mobility. It also includes institutional diversity, including number of women and international students; and quality of the schools’ research, including number of journal publications by faculty and rating of doctoral graduates for programs that produce them

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Thanks to a specially constructed networking environment, students are learning firsthand how to keep information systems and networks safe. The new Business Information Security Laboratory (BISL), within the Department of Information & Operations Management (INFO), gives students real-world experience in defending their systems against cyber attacks.

The laboratory was designed by Michael Grimaila, a visiting professor in the INFO department, to provide students an independent environment where they can learn how to prevent cyber attacks without disabling Mays’ or Texas A&M’s computer systems.

“The sandbox environment isolates the BISL from the university network to allow the safe study of real-world cyber attacks that could destroy or disable computer systems,” Grimaila says. “Tomorrow’s business managers need to be firmly grounded in information assurance principles and practices. Presidential Decision Directive 63 made it clear that our national security, in part, depends upon the information assurance and security of critical infrastructure industries, which are predominately private sector businesses.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Students

Each year Mays Business School recognizes outstanding staff members for their hard work and exemplary service. Those honored for 2002 were (from top) Bettie Poehl, Department of Information & Operations Management; Robert E. Brown Jr., Department of Accounting; Kris Morley, Fellows Program; and Sabrina Saladino, Department of Management.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

Dr. Leonard L. Berry, Distinguished Professor of Marketing and the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership, presented at the 2002 University Distinguished Lecture Series at Texas A&M in December. His lecture, “Improving Health Care Service in America,” was based on his behind-the-scenes research endeavor at Mayo Clinic focusing on healthcare service.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Faculty