Lead Story

Dean Eli Jones coaches fellow deans on fund-raising at national conference

Kelli Levey Reynolds, January 12th, 2018

Mays Dean Eli Jones stepped up to teach his fellow deans from around the United States and Canada on advanced fund-raising techniques. He was one of two deans invited to lead sessions for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Advanced Development for Deans and Academic Leaders conference, held Jan. 10-12 in Philadelphia. More than 100 academic leaders from the U.S. and Canada attended.

Jones drew from his experience as a three-time dean – at Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, and Louisiana State University – to teach skills such as how to develop targeted strategies for programs and how to enhance relationships with donors.

“Among other subjects, I talked about our Strategic Plan and the grassroots process we used to gain buy-in; the strong support of our incredible donors and how we approach our donor base; and the impact the financial support is having on engaging our faculty, such as the creation of the Mays Innovation Research Center,” he said.

In the two years since Jones began leading Mays, the school has

Mays Executive MBA students who usually spend their time learning to build successful businesses tried their hand at building homes, assisting in the construction of eight Habitat for Humanity homes in the Tomball area. Hosted by the Northwest Harris County chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the building blitz focused on the eight homes already in various stages of completion and are part of a planned 20-plus home project.

Categories: Departments, Students

Two of the nation’s top executives will be honored this month at two of the college’s most notable spring events.

Colleen Barrett, president and chief operating officer of Southwest Airlines, has been named this year’s Kupfer Distinguished Executive. The cornerstone of Southwest’s fun-loving culture, Barrett will receive the award and speak to Mays students on Wednesday, April 10.

Retailing guru Marvin Girouard ’61, chairman and chief executive officer of Pier 1 Imports, will also be honored, as he will present the fifth annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture. Sponsored by the college’s Center for Retailing Studies, Girouard will speak Monday, April 15.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers

Mays student Robert Finch was selected for the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) postgraduate fellowship for 2001-2002. Finch, who is in the Professional Program, is the sixth consecutive Texas A&M nominee to be selected for the fellowship. The FASB accepts 41 nominations from different business programs throughout the country and chooses four fellows each year.

Categories: Programs, Students

Contributing significant research is central to a career in academia. And, when it comes to research, marketing professor Rajan Varadarajan is considered one of the best, so say his peers.

Varadarajan, who also serves as department head, was recently named the recipient of the American Marketing Association’s Harold H. Maynard Award. The annual award recognizes the contributor of the most noteworthy article published in the Journal of Marketing.

The award is decided by journal readers who vote on their top three articles. Rajan’s article, “Strategic Interdependence in Organizations: Deconglomeration and Marketing Strategy,” was co-authored by two Mays doctoral students, Satish Jayachandran & J. Chris White.

“This is the thirteenth paper I’ve submitted to the journal and each time you hope you will receive recognition,” says Varadarajan of the award

Categories: Departments, Faculty

The college recently received three departmental grants thanks to the Shell Oil Company Foundation. The grants, which total $16,500, were awarded to the Department of Accounting and the Department of Information and Operations Management to support teaching and research.

According to Dr. Jim Benjamin, head of accounting, the department uses grants for a variety of purposes, including funding student organizations, scholarships, faculty development and recruitment, acquiring library materials and computer hardware and software.

In a time when state funding is tight, Benjamin says grants such as the ones awarded by Shell are greatly appreciated. “State funds provide the basics, but grants are very helpful in supporting our students and faculty,” he says. “It’s grants like these that help us go beyond the basics and create margins for excellence.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Two of the 36 individual Fish Camps to be held this summer will honor two Mays College staff members.  Dr. Clair Nixon, associate dean and accounting professor, and Dr. Linda Windle, assistant director of undergraduate programs, have been selected namesakes for Fish Camp ’01. Each year students nominate faculty, staff and administrators to be namesakes for one of the individual camps held over six sessions throughout the month of August.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Mays business students recently had the opportunity to interact with some of the nation’s top retailers during the first annual Retailing Career Fair.

Hosted by the Retailing Society, the fair familiarized students with role retail plays within different industries, as well as provided both employment and internship opportunities. More than 30 retail companies participated this year, including companies such as Neiman Marcus, IKEA, Albertson’s and Barnes & Noble.

Unlike the bi-annual Business Career Fair, which includes anywhere from 120 to 150 companies, the Retailing Career Fair provided more personal interaction between recruiters and students

“The Retailing Career Fair is separate from the Business Career Fair because it narrows the field to those students and companies who are more interested in the retail side of business,” says Robyn Bairrington, president of the Retailing Society and a senior marketing major. “It’s a good way for students to find internships or permanent placement. But, the fair isn’t restricted to business majors only.”

In addition to the fair, the Retailing Society planned a College Relations Night, including an introduction to the history and traditions of Texas A&M as well as a “mini-Fish Camp,” to familiarize companies with potential applicants.

This first-ever event provided companies and students with new knowledge. “I got my feet wet and learned how to talk to companies,” says Katie Campbell, a senior management major. “I think the fair has really helped me in terms of interviewing skills and helping me learn about all the jobs in retail that are available.”

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

George Fowler, professor of information and operations system management, has been named director for the Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS). Fowler, who received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from A&M, has held previous administrative positions, including coordinator of student affairs for CMIS and coordinator of the department’s internship program.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

The college recently lost its long-time friend Foreman Rush (F.R.) Bennett. An Aggie to the core, Bennett graduated from A&M in 1927 with a BBA and headed straight to Chicago for graduate school a year later.

He was a highly successful businessman, owning an insurance business in Dallas until he retired in 1970. Even in his 90s, he daily analyzed his investments, says his long-time friend Dr. Malcolm Richards, finance professor and director of the Texas Real Estate Center. “F.R. had a great sense of humor and incredible business insight,” he says.

Yet his business career came second to his love of his family, fishing and Texas A&M. Bennett was one of the college’s biggest champions, creating eight endowed scholarships and four chairs. Yet, Richards says Bennett expected nothing in return.

“He just adopted Texas A&M as his family and wanted to give back to his family,” says Richards. “A large number of students has benefited from the scholarships he established. His impact on the college and Texas A&M will be felt for years to come.”

Categories: Departments, Former Students

Tossing horseshoes is usually a hobby reserved for Saturday picnics and lazy afternoons. But, it has become a pastime two former students in the college’s Business Fellows Program won’t soon forget.

Adam Hutzell, an ’02 accounting graduate, and Josh Pierce, an ’01 finance graduate, paired up late last fall to compete in the first annual George H. Bush horseshoe pitching competition.

After losing in the first round, the Fellows pair came back to advance to the finals. But, the next opponent wouldn’t be as easy — going up against the former president and his grandson.

“We played our hardest, but they totally demolished us in the first round,” says Hutzell. “It was close in the second round, but they were definitely better than us.”

While pitching horseshoes, Hutzell had the opportunity to find out Bush’s strategy. “President Bush told us that when he was in office, he had horseshoe pits built behind the White House because he enjoyed playing so much,” says Hutzell. “But when Bill Clinton became president, he had them torn down. Now, George Bush Jr. is having the pits rebuilt again.”

Even though Hutzell and Pierce walked away from the tournament without the first-place trophy, Hutzell says the experience is one of his most memorable at Texas A&M.

“It was a lot of fun,” he says. “I was able to have very personal interaction with a former president, which most people can’t say they have ever done. If I had gone to college anywhere besides A&M, I might not have ever had this experience.”

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students