The Benton Cocanougher Chair in Business will be dedicated this Friday, October 23, at Mays Business School. The inaugural chair holder is Luis Gomez-Mejia, professor of management. The chair was funded by a gift from the school’s namesake, Lowry Mays ’57, who recently provided $7.5 million with matching funds to create a $12 million gift; this gift is dedicated to faculty support and will provide six faculty chairs and three eminent scholar chairs.
The chair is named in honor of Benton Cocanougher, who served as dean of Mays Business School from 1987 to 2001 and has been named dean emeritus and professor emeritus by Texas A&M. Cocanougher currently serves as interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service. Previously, he served as interim chancellor of the Texas A&M University System (2003-2004).
It was during Cocanougher’s tenure as dean at Mays Business School that: Peggy and Lowry Mays made their original gift to the business school; the college’s endowment increased from $10 million to $70 million; the college transitioned from a teaching orientation to a multiple mission research institution; various programs began appearing in top 25 national public school rankings; and the Wehner Building was built. His career experience before entering academia includes service in the U.S. Army, General Electric Company, consulting in corporate strategy and planning, and management positions with Legg Mason Mutual Funds, Randall’s Foods, Inc., and others. His primary research interests include marketing strategy and planning, and consumer analysis. His publications have appeared in professional journals including Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Social Science Quarterly. His professional awards and activities include the Distinguished Alumnus Award, College of Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin; Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award; and Distinguished Service Award, University of Houston-College of Business Administration Alumni Association.
Luis Gomez-Mejia, who will hold the Cocanougher chair, joined Mays this fall from Arizona State University. As an educator for more than three decades, Gomez-Mejia has honed his classroom skills at a number of American universities as well as two universities in Spain. With more than 100 publication credits to his name, Gomez-Mejia’s research ranges from management in high technology firms to socio-emotional concerns within family firms. His current research focuses on executive compensation and how financial incentives may be used to motivate people at work. His research appears in top-tier publications; his books are used in business classrooms nationwide. His work has garnered much attention and praise, including selection to the Academy of Management’s Hall of Fame, and a research fellowship granted by the Ministry of Education in Spain. Gomez-Mejia serves as president and founder of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, which covers Spain/Portugal, Latin America, and Hispanic faculty in U.S. universities. He has served two terms on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Journal and is editor and cofounder of Journal of High Technology Management Research and Journal of Management Research.