From The Dean: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Angelo DeNisi

As I write this, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill has finally been stopped, and, so far, hurricanes and tropical storms have avoided this part of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s the good news, but of course there may still be a lot of oil in the Gulf and people who make their living from fish and shellfish are hurting financially—and it may take years to recover from those financial blows. As you can see from the articles in this issue of Freeman, there are lots of people at Tulane and at the business school who are working in different ways to help with the disaster. The fact that all this is happening just five years after Hurricane Katrina, as the city and region are finally starting to get back on their feet, seems to suggest that it is our lot in life to be tested—repeatedly! Based on my experience of the last five years, however, I’m convinced that the people of New Orleans and Louisiana will continue to pass those tests with flying colors.

Summer is traditionally a slow time at the university, and so it is a good time to reflect on what has happened in the past year. We had a mixed year with the various rankings—up in some and down in others—although our Financial Times ranking of 61st in the world is pretty good and, of course, our No. 4 ranking among entrepreneurship programs by Entrepreneur magazine from last fall was one of the highest rankings of any Tulane program. More important than rankings, the job outlook for our students is much better than a year ago. As of Sept. 1, just under 90 percent of our MBAs looking for jobs had found one, and over 75 percent of our undergraduate students who were looking for jobs had found one. This is a huge improvement over last year’s numbers, which should make everyone breathe a little easier.

This coming academic year should be an interesting one. Last January we started a new Master’s in Risk Management with a small inaugural class, but we anticipate that this should be a fully functional program this coming year. We also hope to finalize plans to offer a new Master’s in Energy Finance, Risk Management and Trading this year, part of our overall initiative to develop a world-class Energy Institute which will include degree programs as well as research (see the article in this issue about Geoff Parker’s NSF-funded project, for example). This will be aided by the new faculty we have hired in that area, as well as new faculty in marketing and strategic management. On a much different note, we are in discussions with Jim Cramer and the producers of “Mad Money” to bring the show to campus this fall. Once plans are finalized, we’ll be sure to announce the date and time on our website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

Finally, this year the Freeman School will be undertaking a search for a new dean, who will succeed me as dean on July 1, 2011. I will remain at the Freeman School as a member of the faculty but will no longer serve as dean. All in all, it should be an interesting year.

Angelo DeNisi
Summer 2010

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