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

The Mays MBA Program has been ranked 14th in return on investment among regional business institutions, according to a recent poll released by Forbes magazine.

According to Mays MBA Program Director Dr. Dan Robertson, many rankings are narrow in scope and do not recognize value. “I delighted to see that the Forbes ranking focus on return on investment,” he says. “Since our program requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience, successful applicants are giving up income for two years in addition to the cost of graduate tuition and fees that they will pay. We encourage applicants to compare the value they receive from our program with the costs they will pay. Those who do so will find that the Mays MBA program provides one of the most attractive investments they will find available.”

To determine the monetary returns of an MBA degree, Forbes researchers sent out questionnaires to 20,000 MBA graduates from the class of 1996. The participants, who represented 104 U.S. and international schools, provided Forbes salary information for the year before they began their studies and for 1996 and 2000. Then Forbes compared the sum of five years’ pay with an estimation of the students’ median salary had they not received an MBA.

Mays MBA students who graduated in 1996 could expect to receive median salaries in 2000 of $81,000. This equals out to a five-year total gain of $53,000 more than they would have earned had they not sought an advanced business degree.

“In the Mays MBA Program we teach the importance of business organizations creating and sustaining value” Robertson says. “I am happy to point out that we practice what we teach.”

Categories: Faculty, Programs

In today’s tight economy, developing a personal competitive advantage has become more important than ever. At the 2001 Women’s Leadership Forum, sponsored by Graduate Women in Business, Mays graduate students learned how to develop the strategies necessary for successful careers.

“In today’s economic environment, it’s important to stay positive and look at the things that will help you become an effective leader,” said panelist Elizabeth Fratantuono, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Developing a network has become even more important today because that is often where you will find another job.”

Joining Fratantuono on the panel was Catherine Ghiglieri, president and CEO of rateGenius Inc.; Cynthia de Lorenzi, southwest regional director of The Concord Coalition; and Renee Armstrong, quality leader of GE Aero Energy Products.

Shell Oil Corp., Schubert Associates and PricewaterhouseCoopers supported this year’s event.

Categories: Programs, Students

Texas certified public accountants and attorneys were brought up to speed on the latest federal tax developments at the Department of Accounting’s 18th annual tax seminar.

Held in Rudder Tower on the Texas A&M campus, the two-day seminar covered The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, as well as other significant legislative, administrative and judicial developments.

The seminar began in 1984 to make area practitioners aware of the newly formed graduate tax program, as well as to provide more networking opportunities for graduate tax accounting students, says Shelton Tax Professor Dr. Dennis Lassila, who has overseen the event since 1993.

“Now the primary goal is to provide continuing education opportunities to area CPAs,” he explains. “Each year we focus on the latest developments in tax law and the important changes that have taken place over the past year.”

The various sessions were led by Mays faculty members as well as various taxation and accountancy experts from Big 5 and area firms. Attendees could receive up to 16 hours of Continuing Professional Education Credit for Texas CPAs for participating.

Lassila says funds generated from the seminar have been put toward several student scholarships. The scholarships are specifically designed to recognize deserving graduate students from the Department of Accounting’s Professional Program.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

This month we bring you the remaining new faculty members who have joined the staff this fall.

S. Trevis Certo
Assistant Professor, Management

-B.A. in Economics, Rollins College, 1995
-M.B.A. in Management, University of Florida, 1997
-Ph.D. in Strategic Management, Indiana University, 2000

Don’t let Dr. Certo’s recent graduation date fool you. A former teaching assistant at the University of Florida, associate instructor and a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University, Dr. Certo has had ample experience inside the classroom. He joins the Mays College as an assistant professor and teaches business and corporate strategy.

Outside the classroom:
When he’s not pursuing his intellectual interests of initial public offerings and boards of directors, Dr. Certo can be found on the basketball court or spending time with his four-month-old son, Skylar.

Traci Haigood
Visiting Professor, Marketing

-B.S. in Marketing, Texas A&M University, 1992
-M.S. in Marketing, Texas A&M University, 1995
-Ph.D. in Marketing, Texas A&M University, 2001

With a diploma from Bryan High School and three from Texas A&M, there’s no doubt that Dr. Haigood is nothing short of a full-blooded Aggie. But, it is her proven industry experience that enhances the quality of her principles of marketing and consumer behavior classes. Formerly employed in Dallas as a marketing research analyst and a marketing consultant, Dr. Haigood researches advertising strategies and strategies relating to brand equity.

Outside the classroom:
After a long week of teaching marketing courses, Dr. Haigood unwinds by exercising or curling up with a good book. She also enjoys traveling, especially with her identical twin Staci.

Prabakar Kothandaraman
Assistant Professor, Marketing

-Degree in Chemical Engineering, BITS, PILANI (India)
-M.B.A. in Marketing, Xavier Institute of Management
-Ph.D. in Marketing, Penn State

With five years of experience in engineering software applications marketing and three years of teaching marketing at Xavier Institute of Management on his résumé, Dr. Kothandaraman has joined the Mays faculty to teach research for marketing decisions and business to business marketing.

On A&M:
“Texas A&M University is appealing because students don’t [automatically] accept what the professors say,” he explains. “They question everything, which makes a higher quality of education possible.”

Outside the classroom:
In his spare time, Dr. Kothandaraman enjoys listening to classical music and playing his violin. He has performed at Penn State to raise money for India’s cyclone relief fund.

M. Scott Poole
Professor, Information Systems Management

-B.A. in Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin, 1973
-M.S. in Communication, Michigan State, 1976
-Ph.D. in Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin, 1980

Dr. Poole can’t seem to get enough of Aggie students. After teaching speech communications classes for the past six years, he is now adding teaching groupware and collaborative technology to his teaching portfolio. Dr. Poole’s experience as a consultant for such entities as the Internal Revenue Service, Texaco and the Wisconsin and Minnesota state governments enables him to provide a richer understanding of communications and technology for his students.

Outside the classroom:
While Dr. Poole’s academic interests include organizational communication, group and team effectiveness, organizational innovation, and impacts of common technologies on people and organizations, his personal interests range from gardening, traveling (especially to Ireland) and coaching his son’s chess club at Rock Prairie Elementary School.
Sharda Prabakar
Lecturer, Marketing

– Degrees in Economics and Law, Delhi University (India)
-Master’s in Marketing, Penn State

Professor Prabakar knows what it’s like to stay busy. Teaching marketing research, studying legal issues in emerging electronic markets, and caring for her 11-month-old baby, her schedule is constantly full. Professor Prabakar has also published several articles focusing on her area of specialization and is married to Dr. Kothandaraman, who is also a new addition to the Mays faculty.

Outside the classroom:
When time allows, Professor Prabakar enjoys listening to music, dancing and playing tennis.

Art Smith
Senior Lecturer, Finance

-B.S. Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M
-M.S. Agricultural Economics, Texas Tech
-Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M

Dr. Smith’s ties to A&M started long before he landed his current position as a senior lecturer. A member of Texas A&M’s class of 1971, he served in Squadron 2 of the Corp of Cadets. Dr. Smith currently operates Agricultural Risk and Marketing Services and is a part-time member of the Mays faculty, teaching energy risk management.

Outside the classroom:
Although Dr. Smith may be a tried and true Aggie, his experiences range far beyond the College Station city limits. After graduating with his master’s degree from Texas Tech, Dr. Smith joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in El Salvador. Additionally, he has been employed with the Farmer’s Cooperative Service, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Wall Street Mercantile Exchange, Langham-Hill Petroleum and E.A. Trading Company.
Carol Wiggins
Lecturer, Information & Operations Management

-B.S. in Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1994
-M.S. in Management Information Systems, Texas A&M University, 2001

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 1994, Professor Wiggins put her technical knowledge into action, working as a systems engineer at Texas Instruments. She then joined the university’s math department as a systems analyst and later a Bryan-based company focusing on Web and database design. Since earning her master’s degree in May, Professor Wiggins has joined the college’s faculty as a lecturer of systems analysis and design.

On Teaching:
“What I like best about teaching at A&M is that it’s a totally new and different experience from anything I’ve ever done before,” she says. “I’ve always liked helping people learn how to do new things, so teaching is an ideal fit for me.”

Outside the Classroom:
In her spare time, Professor Wiggins enjoys quilting, cooking, and taking her four-month-old daughter, Catherine, on walks.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Linda Perry, a senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting, recently received a 2001 Outstanding Educator Award from the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. The award recognizes Texas accounting educators who demonstrate excellence in the classroom as well as distinguish themselves through service to the accounting profession. Recipients of the annual award are selected from four categories, including community college, small, medium and large universities or colleges.

Perry, who joined the accounting faculty in 1983, has without question proven that she is an effective teacher, says Jim Benjamin, accounting department head, who nominated her for the award.

“I believe that Linda has been a highly successful teacher because she will not settle for less than the best in her own efforts and those of her students,” wrote Benjamin in the nomination letter. “She truly inspires students to their best efforts and to achieve beyond their own expectations.”

In addition to the CPA award, Perry has received several teaching awards while at A&M, including college and university-level awards from the Association of Former Students. In 1994, she received a President’s Special Citation for extraordinary commitment, service and devotion to the students of Texas A&M from the Brazos Valley chapter of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

To give you a better understanding of who and what the Mays College really is, we’ve put together a fact sheet. From enrollment to the endowment, this breakdown provides you more insight into what makes the college great.

The Mays College
Academic Success and Rankings
Creating Leaders
Mays Centers of Excellence
Mays Faculty
State-of-the-art Facilities
Current Financial Information


Our Mission

The mission of the Mays College of Business is to be recognized as a leading provider of lifelong business education and a creator of new business ideas and knowledge.

The Mays College

  • Since 1968 the Mays College of Business has been preparing Texas A&M students for diverse, global business careers.
  • In 1996, the College received a $15 million gift from Mr. Lowry Mays, founder and CEO of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. In recognition of this gift, the college was renamed the Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business.
  • The college has five academic departments: accounting, finance, information and operations management, marketing and management.
  • The college offers a full range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees that are fully accredited by the AASCB – International Association for Management Education.

Academic Success and Rankings

  • Our undergraduate program is currently ranked 26th in the nation (18th among public schools) in the 2002 U.S. News & World Report survey.
  • Our MBA program is ranked among the leading programs in the world by Business Week, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and The Financial Times.
  • Our specialized master’s programs are the third largest in the United States, with over 500 students enrolled.

Creating Leaders

  • The college has approximately 4,900 undergraduate students and more than 800 graduate students.
  • Undergraduate students have numerous opportunities for leadership development outside the classroom through programs such as Aggies on Wall Street, Freshmen Business Initiative, the Honors and Fellows Programs and the Business Student Council.
  • The college also supports graduate students’ participation outside the classroom through such organizations as the MBA Association, the Graduate Women’s Business Network, and the Graduate International Business Society.
  • Our Executive MBA program (offered in The Woodlands, Texas) provides high-quality, graduate business education for individuals with an average of 17 years of work experience.
  • Each year the college places hundreds of students in internship positions with leading organizations in all areas of business.
  • Our undergraduate and graduate students also have opportunities to gain international experience through the Center for International Business’ study abroad programs.
  • With approximately 40,000 alumni, the Mays College has educated numerous business leaders, many of whom hold executive positions at Fortune 500 companies.
  • More than 320 business leaders are closely involved with the Mays College through their activity on college and department development councils.

Mays Centers of Excellence

  • The college has eight centers of excellence that combine curriculum development and delivery, faculty development and support, and community outreach.
  • These include: Center for Executive Development, Center for Human Resource Management, Center for International Business, Center for Entrepreneurship and New Ventures, Center for the Management of Information Systems, Center for Retailing Studies, Real Estate Center, and Reliant Energy Securitites & Commodities Trading Center.

Mays Faculty

  • The college has 72 tenured faculty, 94 tenure-track assistant professors, and more than 40 part- and full-time lecturers.
  • Our faculty are leaders in creating new business knowledge. A recent Academy of Management Journal ranked the Mays College faculty 26th in the world (16th among public schools) in terms of their research productivity.
  • Our faculty hold significant positions of influence in academic organizations, professional societies, and learned societies.

State-of-the-art Facilities

  • The college’s home in the Wehner Building provides a technologically advanced learning environment with numerous labs and networking classrooms.
  • A planned building expansion will be complete by fall 2003 and will house the college’s graduate programs and will include the Reliant Energy Securities & Commodities Trading Center.

Current Financial Information

  • Our annual operating budget for 2001-2002 is $18.7 million.
  • The current market value of the Mays College endowment is $63.5 million.
  • The Mays College currently has 20 chairs, 31 professorships, and 10 fellowships to recognize faculty excellence in teaching, research and service.
  • We also have approximately 100 scholarships, which help deserving students fund their educational pursuits in the college.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Former Students, Programs, Students

Judging from the number of students crowding the halls of the Wehner Building, it must be time for the bi-annual Business Career Fair. Sponsored by the Business Student Council, the fair provided recruiting and networking opportunities between students and recruiters.

While the event did encourage career networking, the impact of the current economic downturn could be felt. “Most of the companies I talked to told me to come back next semester,” says Ben Scoggin, a senior finance major. “I can tell a definite difference in the recruiting process from last year. It’s still strong, but since the economy is somewhat down right now, businesses are a lot less likely to hire.”

It’s true that this year’s fair did have slightly fewer companies in attendance. Adam Hankins, Business Student Council vice president of Career Fair and senior accounting major, says the number of businesses represented dropped to 140 this fall, compared to last year’s 160-plus. Five to 10 companies also cancelled after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Yet the fair still proved to be a success giving students opportunities to network with potential employers. It drew students from other A&M departments and colleges as well as from surrounding universities.

Students shouldn’t get discouraged recruiters say. Companies haven’t stopped hiring, it simply comes down to who wants the job more. “We’re just looking for personable, goal-oriented students. Their major often means far less to employers than their personal qualities and credentials,” explains one recruiter from Wells Fargo. “If students really want a job, they should just remember to be assertive. When you have this many students with a limited number of businesses, only the extremely aggressive candidates will survive.”

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

Consider this: Your employer gives you a year off from your normal job responsibilities. Would you volunteer to become a hospital patient?

That’s just what Distinguished Professor of Marketing Leonard Berry is planning to do. For his sabbatical, he’ll be spending five months as a visiting scientist at the famous Mayo Clinic. For part of that time, he’ll go undercover as a “mystery patient,” to assess the quality of healthcare services provided there.

“In many ways, healthcare is America’s most important industry,” says Berry who holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership. “Healthcare expenditures devour a big chunk of our nation’s GDP, and the level of health services impacts the quality of life of each of us.

Berry approached Mayo Clinic more than a year and a half ago with a proposal to conduct on-site research into their delivery of healthcare. He will study Mayo’s operations at the original clinic in Rochester, Minn., and at a second clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. “I thought studying the clinic would be a true growth experience for me, while offering the chance to make a real contribution to the industry,” he explains.

When Berry first arrives at the clinic, before anyone on the staff gets to know him, he’ll pose for two days as a real patient with a fictitious disease. Later, he’ll observe and interview patients, physicians and nurses.

Research at the Mayo Clinic will form a pilot for a larger empirical study on healthcare service quality, which Berry will conduct after he returns from his faculty development leave. “Of course, one of my goals is to share what I learn at the Mayo Clinic with Texas A&M’s medical school and the local medical community,” he says.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

The Mays College Fellows Program, a professional program for junior business students, is helping children in the Brazos Valley learn to read. Through their second annual golf tournament, held Sept. 24 at the Pebble Creek Country Club, the Fellows raised money for the Helping One Student To Succeed (HOSTS) program, a project sponsored by the Bryan Independent School District.

For the past two years, the Fellows have supported a charitable organization through their Project Make a Difference program, says Sarah Gillespie, a junior accounting major and Fellows member. “We find a global issue and try to act on that locally,” she says.

With the help of corporations — such as the Big 5 accounting firms, Enron, Grant Thornton and Northwestern Mutual — who sponsor the golf tournament, the Fellows hope to raise approximately $4,000 for the HOSTS program.

The funds will help purchase new books for the program. The Fellows are also trying to work out a deal with Apple to purchase computers with the remaining funds, adds Gillespie.

“The best thing about the tournament and raising money for HOSTS is that we have the opportunity to be role models for the children,” says Gillespie. “It takes away the focus on our business careers and gives us the chance to see how fortunate we are to be getting a college education. We hope to encourage younger kids and help them see the importance of education.”

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

Dr. Albert Cannella wants to develop the entrepreneurial spirit among students at Texas A&M University, and as director of the college’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), he’s in a prime position to do just that.

This fall, the center, which is part of the Department of Management, is sponsoring a Business Idea Competition. Open to all Texas A&M students, the competition aims to encourage students to think outside the box.

While many business schools host business plan competitions, Cannella believes the Business Idea Competition is more conducive for busy students. And, by opening it to the entire Texas A&M student body, students in other colleges can put their ideas to the test.

“A business idea competition would permit students to develop their business ideas without the intensive time and effort required by a business plan competition,” says Cannella. “A lot of business schools host business plan competitions, which are aimed mainly at advanced undergraduates and MBA students. I wanted to modify these ideas into a contest that regular students from across the university could enter.”

A panel of Mays faculty members and business executives will select the top 50 entries. From there, they will pick the best 20 entries, which will each receive a $1,000 prize. The deadline for entries is Feb. 1, 2002.

By working with corporate sponsors, such as Microsoft, Accenture and Neutral Posture Ergonomics, the center is also offering seminars to help students think through the process. Topics will include finding and developing a business idea; identifying customers and analyzing their needs; and analyzing competition and competitors.

Through projects such as the Business Idea Competition, the CNVE continues to reach out to the campus and business communities. Ultimately, Cannella says this will provide students greater opportunities and exposure.

“The Mays College wants to develop and market graduates who are business-savvy, technically expert professionals,” Cannella says. “CNVE can help in that process by lighting the fires of the entrepreneurial spirit in our students.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs