Lead Story

Mays Professional MBA program exceeds national average in enrolling women

Dorian Martin, August 16th, 2018

The percentage of women enrolling in Mays Business School’s Professional MBA Program continues to grow in a sustained effort to increase the number of women leaders in the business world. Over the first five years of the program, female students made up on average 22 percent of each cohort, with a high of 31 percent and a low of 14 percent. The enrollments of the two most recent cohorts (Classes of 2019 and 2020) average 40 percent women, exceeding the national average of 36.8 percent.

This increase is part of the Professional MBA Program’s effort to fulfill Mays Business School’s mission to advance the world’s prosperity. A Morgan Stanley analysis points out that having more gender diversity in businesses results in increased productivity and innovation, better products and decision-making, and higher employee retention and satisfaction. However, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, women – who make up almost half of the U.S. workforce – comprise only 27 percent of chief executives and 27 percent of computer and information systems managers. Furthermore, 24/7 Wall Street found that only 14 of the top 234 companies that own many of the world’s top brands had a female CEO; nine of these companies did not have a woman serving in an executive position or on the board. …Read more

Recent Awards Include:

Dean Emeritus status granted by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents

Diversity Award presented by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Associate Provost and Dean of Faculties

Eagle Award presented by Private Enterprise Research Center

Award presented by the Business Student Council during Parent’s Weekend

Framed emeritus status plaque, a resolution and crystal bookends by the Academic Program Council and a crystal nameplate presented at a university-wide reception

Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Administration

Resolution presented by the Texas A&M Foundation

Framed rendering of the Special Events Center named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Cocanougher (located in the approved Wehner Building expansion) presented at a dinner honoring the Cocanoughers

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Texas A&M

What started as a routine chore of washing dishes has become a successful 29-year endeavor for Crate and Barrel founders Gordon and Carol Segal. The couple wanted to offer well-designed products at affordable prices and when they secured a storefront in Chicago’s Old Town in 1962, Crate and Barrel was born. Now, almost three decades later, Crate and Barrel offers an array of affordable, usable gourmet cookware and housewares in 96 stores in 21 U.S. markets. It also provides gift registry and catalog and Web shopping.

In recognition of Crate and Barrel’s success, Gordon Segal, who also serves as the company’s CEO, presented the fourth annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture. The lecture, which honors the late jewelry retailer and founder MB Zale, was sponsored by the college’s Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) and is made possible by an endowment established by the M.B. & Edna Zale Foundation.

“Mr. Segal is an innovative merchant and visionary leader,” said Dr. David Szymanski, director of the CRS. “He and his company are ideal examples of creativity and leadership the lecture series honors.”

Segal’s vision as an entrepreneur and merchant have not gone unnoticed, as he’s received numerous honors and awards, including the National Retail Federation’s 2000 Gold Medal Award Winner and the Gourmet Products Show/Home-World Business Industry Lifetime Achievement Award.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Faculty

Mays MBA students put aside the textbooks and PowerPoint presentations and tried their hands at singing and acting to raise money for charity at the recent MBA Association (MBAA) /Central Charity Challenge Follies and Auction. Held at the 3rd Floor Cantina in downtown Bryan, the first ever event attracted approximately 130 faculty and staff, students and guests.

“We raised almost $3,000 for the Innercity Games in Los Angeles, local shelters and other need-based organizations,” said Brenda Steinacher, a first year MBA student and event coordinator. “People donated various items to be auctioned, such as wine tasting, an hour to discuss the stock market, tutoring, dog obedience training and tickets to events.”

The fundraiser was a combined effort between the MBAA group and the Central Charity Challenge, a group of MBA students that competes with other MBA programs around the country to raise the most money for charity throughout the year. The event was sponsored in part by Equiva and 3rd Floor Cantina, while Four Seasons Hotel in Austin donated a night’s stay to be auctioned.

“The follies and auction had the best turnout of any event that we’ve sponsored this year,” said Leigh Robinson, MBAA social director. “So, we hope to continue it every year.”

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

While the California energy crisis has sparked a great deal of discussion regarding deregulation, Texans can rest assured they will have energy for years to come. Thanks to visionaries like TXU Chairman and CEO Erle Nye ’59, a level playing field now exists in the energy industry, stimulating competition and growth.

Because of his key role in the deregulation of Texas public utilities and his ability to reposition TXU during a critical time, Nye was named the 2001 Conn Distinguished New Venture Leader by the college’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship. Funded by a gift from Carroll (C.W.) and Dorothy Conn, the award recognizes an outstanding business leader who has achieved extraordinary success through a business start up or in the transformation of an existing company. The first recipient was college namesake Lowry Mays, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Communications, who received the award last year.

“Deregulation was not easy and competition is challenging as well,” Nye said during his recent lecture at the college. “During the transition from deregulation to competition, everything that was nailed down came loose — the change impacted every aspect of TXU. But we came through it well, because of the ability of our workforce to adapt to the new set of circumstances and because of our strong corporate culture.”

Nye has worked for TXU and its predecessor companies for his entire adult life. As chief financial officer, he presided over the mergers that formed TXU, including joining three Texas power companies with Enserch/Lone Star Gas in 1997. This merger expanded the company beyond electricity generation, transmission and distribution and into the natural gas business, making it one of the largest corporations in the industry. Today, TXU serves 11 million customers worldwide, with over $22 billion in yearly revenues.

“The Conn New Venture Leader Award recognizes recognizes people in large corporate settings who demonstrate the creativity and innovation needed to change the very face of business in this country,” explained Dean Benton Cocanougher. “The contributions of our first two recipients, Lowry Mays and Erle Nye, have made definite, lasting impressions both on their own companies and on their industries.”

Nye also plays a variety of roles in Texas higher education, including a current six-year appointment to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. He also serves on the Texas A&M Foundation Advisory Committee and is a member of the Chancellor’s Century Council of Advisors.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Former Students, Texas A&M

The Mays College will have new leadership starting July 1, as Dr. Jerry R. Strawser, interim dean of the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, has been named Dr. Benton Cocanougher’s successor as dean. The appointment is pending final approval of the Texas A&M University System Chancellor.

The move to Texas A&M will be a return home of sorts for Strawser, who received three accounting degrees from the Mays College, including a BBA in 1983, a master’s of science in 1984 and a doctorate in 1985. In 1999, he accepted the position of interim dean at the University of Houston, where he is the Arthur Andersen and Co. Alumni Professor of Accountancy and Taxation. Before serving as interim dean, he served four years as the associate dean for academic and research programs. Strawser was on Louisiana State University faculty for five years before joining the University of Houston.

In making the announcement, A&M Executive Vice President and Provost Ronald G. Douglas said, “I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Strawser’s ability to provide the leadership required to continue the growth in quality programs of the Texas A&M University Lowry Mays College and Graduate School of Business.”

Be on the look out for more coverage of Strawser in upcoming issues of Mays Business Online.

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Texas A&M

Class II participants of the Mays Executive MBA Program are preparing to wrap up their first year by attending The Washington Campus in May. Held in Washington D.C., the program is part of the MBA curriculum and provides insight into public affairs and public policy and how they impact organizations’ operations.

The Washington Campus provides the opportunity for participants of the Mays Executive MBA Program to interact with members of Congress and their staff, including senior administration officials, lobbyists, journalists, noted scholars and corporate executives. With an intimate knowledge of the Washington scene, these speakers provide an unparalleled view of the U.S. government at work. Mays participants will attend seminars and simulations to discuss topics, such as business and the public policy process, health care, and public policy and the global business environment.

As part of a consortium of 17 distinguished business schools, The Washington Campus has been providing public policy education for over 20 years.

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

The Mays College will be represented well at Fish Camp this summer and not just by incoming freshmen business students. Several Mays faculty members have been selected as namesakes for the annual camp. Namesakes chosen this year include management faculty members Michael Abelson, Rick Larson, Peter Rodriguez and Keith Swim and accounting faculty Mary Stasny and Carlton Stolle.

Each year students nominate faculty, staff and administrators to be namesakes for one of the 36 individual freshmen orientation camps, which are held over six sessions throughout the month of August.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

“It seems that most people get into retail accidentally and that very few people plan to get into it,” said R. Bruce Bryant, senior vice president for Western Store Operations for Walgreen Co. during a recent visit to the Mays College.

While that may be true for some, students in the Mays College are preparing now for careers in the retailing field. And, through the Center for Retailing Studies’ (CRS) Executive-in-Residence Program, students have the opportunity to interact with business leaders, such as Bryant, who are shaping the retail industry.

During his guest session, Bryant recounted his experiences in the field, particularly the opportunities and challenges he’s witnessed during his 30-year career with Walgreen. Like many Mays students, Bryant was mesmerized by the industry and wanted to make it his career. “My dad had a wholesale grocery business that I worked at when I was in high school,” said Bryant, who serves on the CRS Advisory Board. “I loved it and went to college knowing that I wanted to go into retail.”

The interactive session also provided time for students to volunteer suggestions on how Bryant could help improve Walgreen’s retail efforts, ranging from offering more drive-through window services and removing clutter from storefronts.

For more than 15 years, the CRS has been bringing retailing executives to campus from numerous companies, including Payless ShoeSource, JCPenny, Hastings Entertainment, Zale Corporation, Pizza Hut, Walgreen and Mary Kay, among others.

To learn more, visit the Center for Retailing Studies online.

Categories: Departments

Two Mays undergraduate business students have been selected to participate in a twelve-month work/study program in Germany. Jason Bourland, a senior information and operations management major, and Ashli Simpson, a senior finance major, are among two of the 60 U.S. students selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals program.

The yearlong program, which begins in late July, includes two months of intensive German language training; four months of professional training in a specific career field; and a five-month internship with a German company or organization. The students will also experience the country’s culture first hand, as they will live with a German family.

Bourland and Simpson will return to Texas A&M following this yearlong program to complete their programs of study.

Categories: Departments, Students

Five students in the college recently encountered a taste of real-world consulting. The team advanced to a national competition in late February in St. Charles, Illinois after winning Arthur Andersen’s Business Consulting Case Competition at Texas A&M.

The team was composed of junior marketing major Arati Bhattacharya, graduate finance major Bonnie Miller, junior accounting major Ty Popplewell, junior finance major Gran Potter and junior agricultural business major Kristin Ware.

Advancing to the national competition was a feat Bhattacharya credits to the preparation the team received from the business school as well as their own teamwork. “Our business classes prepared us to pull from each of our strengths to solve the problem,” Bhattacharya says. “For us, the secret to getting to nationals was all about cooperation and team dynamics.”

Categories: Departments, Students