Freeman welcomes six to faculty

The A. B. Freeman School of Business welcomed six new full-time faculty members to the school for the 2016-17 academic year.

Gus De Franco

Gus De Franco, professor of accounting, came to the Freeman School from the University of Toronto, where he served as an associate professor of accounting. He was previously a visiting professor in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and in the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also worked at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland. De Franco has taught a wide variety of accounting courses at the undergraduate, master’s and PhD levels, including financial accounting, management accounting, financial statement analysis, accounting theory and accounting-based capital market research. An active researcher, De Franco has published articles in the Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Accounting Studies and Contemporary Accounting Research. Topics of his research include sell-side analysts, CFA charter holders, private firms’ accounting quality, relative valuation, and firms’ choice of compensation peers. De Franco has a broad business background including experience as an equity securities research analyst at CIBC Capital Markets and a marketing product manager at Kraft Inc. De Franco received his PhD from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, his MBA from Harvard University,
and his HBA from Western University.

Scott KubanAssistant Professor of Management Scott Kuban joined the Freeman School from Texas A&M University, where he received his PhD in strategic management. His research focuses primarily on two topics: entrepreneurial differences and top managers. Entrepreneurial differences include those between entrepreneurs and professional managers, as well as differences between smaller, recently formed firms and larger, more established firms. In investigating top managers, Kuban has examined CEOs, executives and the boards that oversee them in areas such as political activities and social capital. He has done research for both the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. His work has been published in the Academy of Management Annals. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Kuban worked for two Fortune 100 companies, the federal government and several tech startups, including his own. He also serves on the board of a nonprofit foundation. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee.

Seoungwoo LeeSeoungwoo Lee, assistant professor of marketing, came to the Freeman School from the University of Maryland, where he received his PhD in marketing in 2016. His research interests include mobile applications, crowdfunding and loyalty programs. For his dissertation, Lee built dynamic structural models and used Bayesian estimation methods and parallel computing techniques to explore strategic decision making on the platforms for mobile applications. Lee holds a master’s degree in operations
research from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Korea University.

Morad ZekhniniAssistant Professor of Finance Morad Zekhnini joined the Freeman School from Rice University, where he earned a PhD in finance. His research explores the interaction between aggregate economic factors, financial markets and asset prices. His dissertation investigated how the labor force can affect the risk exposure of a firm. Zekhnini also holds a BS and MS in computer science from Suffolk University and an MBA from Rice University.

Yuchen ZhangYuchen Zhang, assistant professor of management, received his PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder. Zhang focuses his research on innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship. Specifically, he investigates two interrelated themes: Knowledge and innovation in various types of organizations, and innovation and patenting in China. Zhang studies the intersection between strategy and innovation at different levels (firm, project, individual and patent), and he uses econometric methods combined with computational techniques to study the antecedents, processes and implications of organizations’ strategic decisions by drawing from theories of knowledge and innovation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and a master’s degree from Penn State University.

Timothy WestTimothy West, professor of practice in accounting, joined the Freeman School from Northern Illinois University, where he served as the Grant Thornton Professor of Accountancy. He teaches in the area of management and cost accounting with an emphasis on resource allocation methods, performance measurement and the development of key performance indicators. Over the past 15 years he has worked closely with the U.S. Army Medical Command to examine the efficient and effective delivery of health care to soldiers and their families around the world. He began his career with Touche Ross (now Deloitte) in Kansas City. After almost eight years with Deloitte, he became director of finance for a regional manufacturing firm, where he worked for another eight years before pursing his PhD at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. He has published in both academic and practitioner journals, and he has received numerous teaching awards, including the 2013 Illinois CPA Society Educator of the Year Award.

In addition to the tenured/tenure-track and professor of practice appointments, the Freeman School also welcomed seven visiting professors: Rambod Dargahi, visiting assistant professor of marketing; Haibo Jiang, visiting assistant professor of finance; Lakshmana Krishna Moorthy, visiting assistant professor of accounting; Jennifer Kuan, visiting assistant professor of management; Hongtao Li, visiting assistant professor of finance; M.H. Carol Liu, visiting assistant professor of accounting; and
Hae Sang Park, visiting assistant professor of management.

“Tulane University’s growing reputation in the field of business education and research has helped make the A. B. Freeman School of Business one of the fastest-growing business schools in the nation,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “This extraordinary growth is a testament to the quality of our faculty, so it gives me great pleasure to welcome these outstanding researchers and educators to the Freeman School and Tulane University.”

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