Cox School of Business rises 16 places in <em>The Economist</em>‘s global M.B.A. rankings

Albert W. Niemi Jr.

Cox School of Business rises 16 places in The Economist‘s global M.B.A. rankings

Fincher Building, Cox School of Business, SMUSMU’s Cox School of Business has risen 16 places in the newly released 2016 global business school rankings of The Economist magazine. The rankings appeared in the magazine’s Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 print edition.

The publication’s “Which M.B.A.?” survey ranks the top 100 full-time M.B.A. programs of the world’s business schools annually. Among U.S. schools, the Cox School ranks No. 46. Globally, SMU Cox is ranked at No. 66, up from No. 82 in the 2015 rankings survey.

The school also receives high marks for the quality of faculty: No. 6 in the world, and student/alumni potential for business networking: No. 20 in the world. The ratio of faculty to students, the percentage of faculty members who hold Ph.D. degrees and alumni/student opinions factored into the faculty ranking.

A survey of business school alumni from the Class of 2015, which asked alumni why they decided to enroll in a full-time M.B.A. program, resulted in the potential to network ranking.

> Find the complete “Which M.B.A.?” rankings online at The Economist

“We are proud of the world-class business education we offer all our students,” said Cox Dean Al Niemi. “While it’s true that ranking surveys are subjective, the fact that this one gives especially high marks to our faculty and our alumni network reaffirms our efforts to provide students with a well-rounded business school experience that will positively influence the direction of their careers.”

The survey weighs four main areas: being open to new career opportunities, personal development and educational experience, post-graduation salary increase and potential to network. In addition to measuring quantitative data from business schools, the publication conducts qualitative online surveys with business school alumni, this year from the Class of 2015, as well as each school’s most recent graduating M.B.A. class, in this case the Class of 2016.

> Read the full story from SMU News

October 20, 2016|For the Record, News|

Al Niemi announces plans to step down as dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business after 2016-17 academic year

Albert W. 'Al' Niemi Jr., dean, SMU Cox School of BusinessAlbert W. Niemi, Jr., the dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business during a time of great growth and increasing national stature for the school, has announced his intention to step down from his administrative post at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

He will continue to serve as dean during the University’s search, which will begin immediately.

Dean Niemi, who currently holds the Cox School’s Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership, will remain on the faculty as the William J. O’Neil Chair in Global Markets and Freedom after he completes his administrative duties.

“We just finished SMU’s first century and the Second Century Campaign, so now is a time to look ahead,” Niemi said. “We need someone with a vision to lead the Cox School to success in its next era. By stepping down as dean, but remaining to teach, I have the opportunity to support the next dean if he or she wants my advice, and I can be with my students, work with my faculty and staff colleagues, and continue to be part of this great campus. It will be a privilege to end my career the way I began it – in the classroom, doing what I love best.”

Since arriving at the Cox School in June 1997, Niemi has increased the school’s national and international visibility. Cox’s B.B.A., full-time M.B.A., Professional M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. programs are ranked among the best in the world by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. Niemi is the eighth dean – and, as he begins his 20th year at SMU, the longest-serving dean – in the Cox School’s history.

Niemi also has been an effective fund-raiser who has dramatically increased the school’s endowment from $78 million to more than $200 million. The new endowment funds have created 10 new endowed faculty positions, eight new endowed centers and institutes, and 60 new endowed scholarships. In addition, he helped raise $19 million to support the construction of the James M. Collins Executive Education Center.

During his tenure, donors have honored his service by establishing the Albert W. Niemi Center for American Capitalism at SMU Cox and the Maria and Albert Niemi Endowed Centennial B.B.A. Scholars Fund. The Niemi Center is a partnership with the George W. Bush Institute that puts the tenets of Niemi’s teaching and research into action through research fellowships, academic programs and community outreach. The Niemi Endowed Centennial B.B.A. Scholars Fund provides scholarships to support B.B.A. students in the Cox School.

“My professional relationship with Al Niemi pre-dates my own arrival at SMU as president,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He had already earned a reputation as an outstanding educator and business school administrator at the University of Georgia, so when the opportunity arose to recruit him to serve as the dean of the Cox School, it was an easy choice and one that has greatly benefited both Cox and the University. Under his leadership, the Cox School has strengthened its connection to the Dallas and North Texas community of which SMU is a part and has also become a globally prominent business school.”

Before coming to SMU, Niemi served as dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia from 1982-1996. An expert in economic growth, economic forecasting, and the history of capitalism in America, he has taught more than 15,000 students and consistently has been recognized for distinguished teaching. He also has written six books and more than 200 articles for leading academic journals and business periodicals.

“As an academician, administrator, and university citizen, Al Niemi is second to none,” SMU Provost Steven Currall said. “The business school faculty he leads enjoys a stellar global reputation. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs rank highly. The Cox BBA Scholars program, which allows first-year students with outstanding academic qualifications to be admitted directly into the Cox School, continues to attract the nation’s best and brightest undergraduates. In turn, the BBA Scholars program has helped enhance SMU’s student academic profile campus-wide.”

Niemi has served on and led search committees that have brought new leaders, including the current provost, to SMU. He has worked extensively in business school and university accreditation. In addition, he has chaired or served as a member on accreditation review teams to more than 20 universities, including Emory, Washington University, DePaul, Vanderbilt, Claremont, William and Mary, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Syracuse, Monterrey Tech (Mexico), INCAE (Costa Rica), University of Monterrey (Mexico), the Autonomous Technological University of Mexico, and IESA (Venezuela).

The dean also served three-year terms on the Board of Governors of the American Association of University Administrators and Beta Gamma Sigma, and he served a six-year term on the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College, his alma mater, in Easton, Massachusetts.

Active in the business community, Niemi speaks to numerous civic and business groups across the nation. He is currently a member of the advisory board of the Bank of Texas and the Advisory Council of The Catholic Foundation.

Originally from Massachusetts, Niemi is the grandson of Finnish and Irish immigrants. He earned a scholarship to Stonehill College, from which he graduated cum laude with an A.B. degree in economics, and went on to earn his M.A and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Connecticut.

The dean and his wife, Maria, have two grown children, Albert III and Edward Charles, and three grandchildren.

August 25, 2016|For the Record, News|

Steven C. Currall named SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs

Steven C. CurrallSteven C. Currall, whose record of academic leadership includes achievements at Rice University, University College London and the University of California-Davis, has been named vice president for academic affairs and provost at SMU, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Currall, a psychological scientist, becomes SMU’s chief academic officer as the University begins its second century of operation. He will oversee all aspects of academic life, including admission, faculty development, libraries, the curriculum and study abroad. He will supervise SMU’s seven degree-granting schools and will hold departmental appointments in three of them – Management and Organizations in the Cox School of Business; Engineering Management, Information, and Systems in the Lyle School of Engineering; and Psychology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Most recently, Currall served as senior advisor for strategic projects and initiatives to the UC Davis chancellor, and previously served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis.

“Steven Currall brings the perfect combination of experience and skills to lead SMU’s rise among the nation’s best universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He brings interdisciplinary perspectives that are central to our academic mission going forward. He possesses expertise in the sciences and technology as well as in the humanities and social sciences, insights that are critical for SMU’s progress and that reflect the challenges and opportunities of a complex society. We are delighted to welcome him to SMU and back to Texas.”

“I am thrilled and honored to join the SMU community as the next provost,” Currall said. “SMU has a foundation of academic excellence, its teaching and research are transformational, and its interdisciplinary ethos fosters innovations by faculty and students that are positively impacting Dallas, the state of Texas, the nation, and beyond.  I am grateful to President Turner and the search committee for the opportunity to serve SMU. I look forward to listening, learning, and partnering with my colleagues to propel SMU into an ever higher orbit.”

Currall served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis for more than five years, during which time the school reached the highest ranking in its history, before becoming the chancellor’s advisor. He describes himself as an “organizational architect” and has conducted research in organizational behavior, innovation, entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, trust and negotiation, and organizational governance.

He is lead author on Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America’s Prosperity (Oxford University Press, 2014) and a frequently quoted source for national and international media.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Currall received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; a master of science in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a bachelor of arts cum laude in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

As chancellor’s advisor at UC-Davis, Currall has facilitated campus-wide deliberations on the university’s strategic vision for its role in the 21st century, including how UC-Davis will address global challenges relating to food, health, and energy. He developed plans for an additional UC-Davis campus in Sacramento. He co-led development of a blueprint for increasing annual research expenditures to $1billion. He led the development of a new framework for recognizing faculty excellence and a methodology for eliminating faculty salary disparities due to gender or ethnicity.

Currall also has served as the vice chair and member of the executive committee of  the board of directors for the 10-campus University of California system’s Global Health Institute.

He spent 12 years at Rice University, where he was the William and Stephanie Sick Professor of Entrepreneurship in the George R. Brown School of Engineering and a Rice faculty member in the departments of management, psychology, and statistics.   He was founding director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. He was formerly vice dean of enterprise and professor of management science and innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London and a visiting professor at the London Business School.

At the invitation of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Currall served as a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group. His other honors include:

Currall’s appointment ends a nationwide search through a committee led by SMU Cox School of Business Dean Albert Niemi.

“Steve Currall will be an outstanding addition to the SMU leadership team,” said Niemi. “In particular, his background in strategy and planning will be a tremendous asset as SMU embarks on a new strategic plan for 2016-2025.”

“I want to thank Steve for his dedication to UC-Davis over the years, and in particular while he served as my senior advisor during this last year,” UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “Steve will bring to Southern Methodist University strong academic leadership and a deep understanding of the needs of students, faculty and staff. We know he will contribute to and help advance the wonderful culture and distinguished reputation of SMU.”

Currall will be joined in Dallas by his wife, Cheyenne Currall, Ph.D. Read Currall’s full curriculum vitae.

November 13, 2015|For the Record, News|

$2 million gift to SMU establishes endowed directorship in the Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship

SMU Cox School of BusinessA $2 million gift from two Dallas entrepreneurs will support a new faculty directorship in the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The Linda A. and Kenneth R. Morris Endowed Directorship honors Jerry F. White, who has served as director since 1988. The endowment provides for the continued professional leadership of the Institute, which promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship through credit and noncredit courses as well as numerous business community outreach programs.

The gift also raises the University to 103 endowed faculty positions and closer to the Second Century Campaign goal of 110.

“Endowments such as this are vital because they allow us to retain individuals of great distinction at the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This farsighted gift provides permanent funding for faculty, and we are proud that it comes from an SMU alumni family.”

The Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship supports everything from business plan competitions and entrepreneurship clubs to participation in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

“Supporting the spirit of entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox School bolsters the University’s commitment to student learning both inside and outside the classroom,” said Cox Dean and Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership Al Niemi. “This is at the very heart of what puts Cox graduates head and shoulders above their peers.”

Ken Morris is currently vice president, student systems software, at Workday, Inc., where he has served in a variety of technology- and development-related roles since shortly after the company was founded in 2005.  He was the co-founder of PeopleSoft Inc., where he served as its chief technology officer and in various other technology-related roles for 11 years until his retirement in 1998.

Linda Morris spent most of her professional career in recruiting and human resources.  She served as a principal at American Management Systems, Inc., heading up a nationwide college recruiting effort, and later was manager of human resources for PeopleSoft Inc.  She currently is involved with various philanthropic activities. Together, the couple founded the Morris Foundation, which assists social services organizations, especially those focused on education and animal cruelty prevention and care.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris were among the first of two investors in the SMU Cox MBA Venture Fund, directed by White through the Caruth Institute, which allows MBA students to gain practical knowledge in venture projects. The fund was established with $600,000 in seed capital, made its first investment in 2002, and is now valued at approximately $4 million after 15 student-driven investments.

The gift to fund the new endowed directorship counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $942 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 23, 2015|News|

SMU announces two new gifts for endowed faculty positions

Two new gifts to SMU totaling $3.5 million will create two new endowed faculty positions in two schools.

A gift of $2.5 million, made through the Texas Methodist Foundation, will establish the Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology in Perkins School of Theology. A gift of $1 million from two SMU alumni will establish the Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations in Cox School of Business.

The new gifts were announced Friday, Nov. 14. 2014 at a campus event honoring donors of endowed faculty positions.

“Increasing the number of endowed faculty positions at SMU is a major goal of our Second Century Campaign,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These two new gifts for faculty positions in the theology and business schools move us closer to our goal of achieving 110 endowed faculty positions by the end of the campaign in December 2015. We are grateful to all of the donors who have helped us add to the strength of the SMU faculty by supporting this goal.”

Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist UniversityThe Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology honors the woman referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” Her sons, John and Charles Wesley, led a revival within the 18th-century Anglican Church that sparked the emergence of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the American colonies. Historians point to her “practical theology” as a source of inspiration for her sons.

The Texas Methodist Foundation, which conveyed the gift, provides grant and stewardship services that advance The United Methodist Church and Christian ministries.

The chair’s “Centennial” designation represents a gift that includes operational funds to provide immediate impact while the endowment matures. The Wesley Chair commitment includes endowment funding of $2 million and annual operating support of $100,000 for the first five years. These operating funds will make it possible to fill the chair in the next academic year.

“The discipline of practical theology helps students reflect on and formulate conclusions about the various fields of theological inquiry as they relate to one’s practice of ministry,” said Perkins School Dean William Lawrence. “Perkins School of Theology graduates are facing an ever-changing world of ministry opportunities. Helping students think theologically in ministry settings is essential for successful pastors and Christian workers.”

SMU Cox School of BusinessThe Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations is designed to strengthen the Cox School of Business in an area of increasing importance to corporations and other types of institutions.

“The Department of Management and Organizations in the Cox School offers students tools to succeed in a globally competitive environment,” said Cox Dean Al Niemi. “The increased faculty strength provided by this new professorship will enable more students to develop skills that help prepare them for future leadership in the business world.”

Janet and Craig Duchossois earned B.B.A. degrees from SMU’s business school in 1966 and 1967, respectively. Craig also earned an M.B.A. degree from SMU in 1968. he is CEO of The Duchossois Group, Inc., which deals in commercial and residential access control. Mr. Duchossois was honored in 2002 with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Janet previously owned an interior design and home furnishings business..

The Wesley Centennial Chair and the Duchossois Endowed Professorship bring the total to 40 endowed faculty positions established during SMU’s Second Century Campaign. SMU now has 102 fully endowed faculty positions toward its goal of 110, which includes positions previously endowed throughout the University’s history.

> Read the full story from SMU News

November 20, 2014|News, Year of the Faculty|
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