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I n n ovat e OR Pe ri sh A n nou n c i ng t h e Fi r s t E x e c u t i v e Ph . D. i n Busi n e ss Today’s business world requires high-impact solutions to complex problems. The abilities to generate those solutions require leaders who can drive innovation across organizations. OSU’s Executive Ph.D. in Business develops these essential skills in senior executives. As a major American university, Oklahoma State is the first university to offer this groundbreaking degree. OSU has paired leading faculty members with a curriculum steeped in cutting-edge business science and practice.

The Executive Ph.D. in Business is tailor-made for the demanding schedule of today’s executives and contains all the rigor of a traditional Ph.D. program. Unique courses are delivered in an executive format, allowing students to continue their careers while pursuing the Executive Ph.D. in Business full-time.

Developing leaders to drive change across organizations is what we do. Go to for more information, or call Jay Boyington at 405-744-2951.

201 Business Building, Stillwater, OK 74078 • • Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Like to see more of these? So would we. Stay in touch with the Spears School of Business without filling up your mailbox. Register for paperless communication at

to receive Spears School news electronically, and save a few trees in the process.

Spears School OF BUSINESS

engage@spears @ a publication of Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business • Vol. I, No. 1, 2011

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Helping those who serve OSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Development goes above and beyond for its students.

Teaching a mindset Award-winning entrepreneurship professor Michael Morris is leading his field into a new age of teaching across disciplines.

Going vertical with vertical integration Billionaire Spears School alumnus N. Malone Mitchell 3rd’s DIY ethic pays off at home and abroad thanks to an age-old approach he learned growing up in West Texas.

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Bringing business to the business school Why did new Spear School Dean Lawrence “Larry” Crosby leave his career as a successful marketing executive to lead OSU’s business college?

Redefining ‘wealth of information’ If you want to know what factors lead to patients surviving complex medical procedures, read about OSU-Tulsa professor Dursun Delen’s new research using data mining.




engage@spears @ OSU Spears School of Business Dean

Larry Crosby

Associate Deans

Mark Weiser Robert Dooley

Spears School Marketing and Communications

Ruth Inman

Editor and Contributing Writer

Matt Elliott

Art Director

Valerie Kisling

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Contributing Writer

More than just neighbors Texas and Oklahoma are united by more than just a common border. Their big cities are linked economically, an OSU economist reports.


Ruth Inman Suzanne Simpson Leah Kuehne Nicole Roemer Photographers

Phil Shockley Gary Lawson

Spears School Department Heads

Don Herrmann

Losing the edge

School of Accounting

Jim Fain

Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business

Losing a star employee harms more than your workforce, reports management professor Federico Aime. Your competitive edge may be at stake.

Michael Morris

School of Entrepreneurship

John Polonchek

Department of Finance

Ken Eastman

Department of Management


Rick L. Wilson

Department of Management Science and Information Systems

Joshua L. Wiener

Department of Marketing


Kevin Cate

Graphic Designer


Letter from the Dean



8-21, 47-59

Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University 201 Business Building Stillwater, Okla. 74078-4011 405-744-5064

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. Title IX of the Education Amendments and Oklahoma State University policy prohibit discrimination in the provision of services or benefits offered by the University based on gender. Any person (student, faculty or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based upon gender may discuss their concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with the OSU Title IX Coordinator, Mackenzie Wilfong, J.D., Â Director of Affirmative Action, 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, (405) 744-5371 or (405) 744-5576 (fax). This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University, as authorized by the dean, Spears School of Business, was printed by Royle Printing at a cost of $9,586.50. 5.3M Job # 3558 4/11 engage@spears


Photo by Phil Shockley

Lawrence Crosby, Ph.D., Dean, Spears School of Business


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engage@spears @ Dear Spears School and OSU Supporter:

I hope you enjoy the new look, feel and content of the magazine of the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. We’ve renamed the magazine engage@spears for several reasons. First, the notion of “engagement” is central to our vision of where the Spears School is going and how we want to be known both domestically and internationally. It’s the concept that all stakeholder groups (students, alumni, faculty, staff, business community, et al.) are actively involved with the school and OSU and are participating broadly in our programs. Through this high level of engagement, we are in a strong position to positively transform organizations and the world around us. engage@spears specifically means that your experience with Spears will allow you to: •

Explore. Spears provides opportunities to explore ourselves and the world around us, learning both practical business skills as well as life lessons.

Inspire. Spears provides experiences that inspire us to reach higher, push harder.

Challenge. Spears creates environments that challenge our skills and knowledge, makes us lifelong learners and helps us realize our full potential.

Support. Spears fosters a supportive environment where our dreams are encouraged and we build lifetime relationships.

Transform. Spears instills in us the knowledge, skills and self-confidence to create change and make a difference in the world.

Examples of this engagement at the student level are the two newly elected leaders of the Student Government Association, both from the business school: President Ashley Leonard (accounting and finance) and Vice President Kyle Buthod (international business and Chinese language). Ashley and Kyle epitomize how our students are involved outside the classroom (as well as inside) where many important leadership lessons are learned. We feel the new name also conveys a sense of modernity that is in keeping with our state-of-the-art teaching, research and outreach programs. Further, the symbol “@” suggests linkage to the Internet and also the notion of being without boundaries. These are relevant concepts in many ways. For one, the Spears School is a leader in distance-based management education among fully-accredited AACSB schools. Our philosophy is that our distance classes should be taught by the same faculty as our in–person classes, with the very same professionalism, rigor, and content. Currently, we offer 210 distance courses touching nearly 5,000 students living in 44 states, 6 foreign countries and representing 192 different companies. The internet is also one of the tools that allows us to expand our impact well beyond the borders of Oklahoma. For example, we have online students aboard Navy ships and at military bases in the Middle East. Through the Internet, we advertise our programs to prospective international students and it is the medium that connects our study-abroad students back home. It is an important forum for collaboration between our faculty and scholars around the world who are working on joint research and represents an important area of grant research being done in the school that concerns internet security. My last comment about the magazine is that you will see an increasing focus on content that is relevant to our many alumni in the workforce. As well as helping you stay current on substantive topics being addressed in our teaching, research and outreach programs, this content will exemplify the Spears Engagement Experience values of explore, inspire, challenge, support and transform. We hope you find this information both interesting and helpful. Please enjoy this first issue of engage@spears and we look forward to your feedback.

Lawrence “Larry” Crosby, Ph.D. Dean, Spears School of Business engage@spears



Professor lauded by The Academy of Management Journal Robert Baron of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship was named an Outstanding Reviewer by The Academy of Management Journal in 2010. The academy, which gave Baron the award during its August annual meeting in Montreal, is the oldest and largest scholarly management association in the world. Each year, the academy journal’s editors honor reviewers from an elite group culled from several hundred people who evaluate its articles before they can be published. Peer reviewers are essential to academic publications such as this one, as the journal rejects more than 95 percent of the papers submitted for review. Baron said he attributes his success to his detailed and gentle critiques that help would-be contributors improve their work. “I was very flattered to receive this award, especially since I received it in 2007, too,” Baron said. “I submit papers of my own regularly, so I feel it is only appropriate for me to give back to the system by serving as a reviewer.” Baron has been reappointed to the academy journal’s review board for another threeyear term, and he is already working on new submissions. “This is a real honor,” Baron said. “It is great to receive a tangible reward for my many hours of careful reviewing.” Robert Baron

Baron is one of six faculty members within OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship. His career stretches back more than 40 years and includes teaching positions at Princeton, Oxford and Rensselaer Polytechnic. He joined OSU in 2009, where he teaches several entrepreneurship courses and publishes articles on innovation and creativity in business. @

Business instructor earns online teaching award A Spears School management science and information systems instructor won the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association’s 2010 Best Practices Award last December. The instructor, Charles Gray, teaches information assurance and telecommunications courses at OSU, and his online courses are part of hundreds the university offers each semester. He has dozens of students each semester, some of whom are in foreign countries and can’t attend in person, so they sign up for classes online. His work also involves making interactive videos that connect OSU’s Stillwater and Tulsa campuses. “Charles Gray has been an outstanding instructor at OSU for more than a decade, supporting both our nationally recognized programs in telecommunications management and in information assurance,” said Rick Wilson, management science and information systems department head. “He epitomizes our department’s commitment to excellence in the classroom whether in face-to-face settings or in classes distributed around the world. Without a doubt, students in our various programs get world-class instruction from faculty like him.” Prior to his role at OSU, Gray spent 20 years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, beginning as a radio repairman and


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rising to manage the Army’s European telephone network. He later worked for American Airlines in Tulsa, where he was director of international telecommunications issues. He joined the OSU Department of Management Science and Information Systems as a lecturer in 2000. “He does a great job of teaching by using his real-life experiences in his lectures,” said his anonymous nominator Charles Gray for the award. “He puts forth a high level of effort to make sure students watching via distance learning get the same experience as students in the classroom. He keeps distance learning students involved and does a great job informing them via email of things they need to be aware of for class.” @


16 Spears School professors win coveted research award Dean Larry Crosby presented the 2009-2010 Richard W. Poole Research Excellence Award last September to professors from all across the business school. The award lauds faculty members whose research is published in top journals, ranking them among the best in their fields. The professors are: • Todd Arnold, assistant professor of marketing • Robert Baron, professor and William S. Spears Chair of entrepreneurship • Antonio Camara, associate professor of finance • Dursun Delen, associate professor of management science and information systems • Bryan Edwards, assistant professor of management • Tim Hart, assistant professor of management • Laurie Lucas, assistant professor of economics and legal studies • Michael Morris, professor, N. Malone Mitchell Jr. Chair and head of entrepreneurship • Ramesh Rao, professor and Paul C. Wise Chair of finance • Rathindra Sarathy, Ardmore Professor of Management Science and Information Systems • William Schwartz, assistant professor of accounting • Ramesh Sharda, Regents professor and ConocoPhillips Chair of management science and information systems • Chad Stefaniak, assistant professor of accounting

Michael Morris

OSU professor receives international research award The Spears School’s Michael H. Morris was presented with the Paul Hershey Award for Best Paper from The Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship at the Academy of Management annual meetings in August in Montreal. Morris is the N. Malone Mitchell Jr. Chair in entrepreneurship and head of the School of Entrepreneurship. The award was in recognition of his paper, “Resource Acceleration: Extending Resource-Based Theory in Entrepreneurial Ventures,” which appeared in the April issue of the journal. “It’s nice to have the work recognized,” Morris said. “It’s a piece we worked on for quite a few years, so to be selected is reinforcing.” The paper, based on five years of research, concentrated on his concept of resource acceleration, or the rate at which entrepreneurs expand their resource base in a venture’s early stages. The focus was not just on financial resources, but on the entire range of resources that are critical for entrepreneurial success. “We found that how rapidly you grow the resource base in the first five years is associated with performance outcomes – what you get out of your actions,” Morris said. “As resource acceleration increases, the effect of resource-related experience on venture performance also increases.” Also, he found that the ability to accelerate is tied to entrepreneurs’ awareness of what’s available to them – their resource options. He says many entrepreneurs fail to recognize the creative resource solutions that can be employed or leveraged.

• J. Craig Wallace, associate professor of management

The results raised new questions for Morris. He’s following them up by looking at how acceleration relates to an entrepreneur’s background, how it differs across industries and how it’s associated with technology.

• Alex Zablah, assistant professor of marketing

Morris said his resource acceleration approach is a new focus in entrepreneurial research, which typically looks at resource types and acquisition methods. The award is not Morris’s first. He has written seven books and more than 150 academic articles in leading journals, all of which led to a number of awards. @ 2011 engage@spears



Spears School honors alumni Three alumni were inducted into the Spears School Hall of Fame during a Nov. 5 banquet in Stillwater, Okla. Three others were named Outstanding Young Alumni, and six received Orange Star awards. The Hall of Fame inductees were James Carreker, former CEO of Canadian furniture firm Bombay Co.; James Click Jr., co-owner of the Jim Click Automotive Team, which operates car dealerships in the Tucson, Ariz., area; and Neal Patterson, CEO of the health care IT concern Cerner Corp. Induction into the hall is the school’s highest honor. The Spears School also recognized Peter Davidsson, Behfar Jahanshahi, Kimberly Snyder and Mark Snyder as Outstanding Young Alumni. The Orange Star Award, the school’s honor for noteworthy alumni contributors, went to David Holsted, Rex Horning, Dan Howard, Michael Hyatt, Griff Jones and Mike Pregler. James Carreker has a long history of helming successful companies, including Burdines Department Stores, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Trammell Crow Co. and JDC Holdings Bombay Co. He has worked in investing since 2005 and serves on the boards of numerous firms. An Oklahoma City native, he studied marketing at OSU while on a football scholarship. He was Marketing Student of the Year in 1970 and earned a master’s degree in business administration in 1972. Also a member of OSU’s Alumni Hall of Fame, he lives in Dallas with his wife, Robin, and has leadership roles in nonprofits there, including Junior Achievement of Dallas and the United Way. James Click Jr.’s car dealership firm in Tucson, Ariz., sells vehicles manufactured by Ford, LincolnMercury, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Mazda, Nissan and Hyundai. Also, he 10

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has several dealerships with a business partner in California’s Orange County. At OSU, the third-generation car dealer from Pauls Valley, Okla., was an academic All-American football player and captain of the football team. Click graduated from OSU in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in business. In 1985, he received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award and has been inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame, as well. With his wife, Vicki, Click participates in numerous Tucson-area charities, including the Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement, the Capital Fund Drive, the Jim and Vicki Click Club and The Click Family Foundation. Neal Patterson’s Cerner is the largest supplier of health care information technology in the world. He also is the cofounder of the First Hand Foundation, the corporation’s nonprofit foundation helping children with critical health care needs, and is a trustee of the nonprofit medical research firm Midwest Research Institute. Patterson grew up on his family’s farm near the tiny northern Oklahoma town of Manchester. He studied finance at OSU, graduated in 1971, and obtained his MBA in 1973. In 1973, Patterson began his professional career as an information system consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co. He and two of his colleagues formed Cerner in 1979. He has been named one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” five times. In 2010, Patterson was fourth on Forbes Magazine’s list of “America’s Best-Performing Bosses.” Outside of health care, Patterson is co-owner of the Kansas City Wizards Major League Soccer team and a lifetime director of the 111 year-old American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City.

Peter Davidsson is an executive director and the global co-head of Oil Derivatives Trading at Morgan Stanley. He oversees a team of traders in New York, London and Singapore. Davidsson received his bachelor’s degree in finance and international business in 2001. He began his career with Morgan Stanley as an analyst in the firm’s Fixed Income Division. He began overseeing Morgan Stanley’s Global Oil Option Trading in 2007 and has been in his current position since April 2010. Davidsson lives in New York City with his wife, fellow Spears graduate Maria, and their young son. Behfar Jahanshahi is the founder of Interworks, a full-service IT consulting firm in Stillwater, Okla. Since founding the company, Jahanshahi has consistently grown its revenue. In 2010, Interworks was listed 45th on technology news site CRN’s “Fast Growth List.” He earned his bachelor’s degree in management information systems in 1998 and his master’s degree in telecommunications management in 2000. Jahanshahi and his wife, Staci, live in Stillwater and have a 2 year-old daughter, Sophia. Kimberly Snyder has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from OSU. After she graduated in 2003, she finished a master’s degree in accounting taxation, and worked for the Houston branch of Ernst and Young in their tax department. She later worked as a tax specialist with MetroNational Corp., a billion-dollar real estate investment, development and management company. Today she’s a stay-at-home mother looking after her toddler, Kherington, and enjoying dates with her husband, Mark.


Photo by Genesee Photo Systems

From left, James Carreker, Neal Patterson and James Click Jr. pose for a photo with their Hall of Fame induction awards during the November banquet in Stillwater

Her husband, Mark Snyder, is an IT project manager with ExxonMobil Global Services Co. In the nearly 10 years he has been in this position, he has managed IT projects for ExxonMobil Exploration, Development and Production and Upstream Research Companies. In 2002, he earned his bachelor’s degree from OSU in management information systems and a master’s degree in finance and management from Tulane University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, in addition to playing golf.

David Holsted manages Hall Capital Partners, a group of private equity funds for the Fred Jones Cos. in Oklahoma City. He was the companies’ chief financial officer for 18 years. A class of 1983 graduate, he has bachelor’s degrees in accounting and agricultural economics and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1984. Holsted is an avid supporter of higher education and a trustee of the OSU Foundation and the OU Medical Center. He also is a member of the advisory boards for the Spears School and its School of Accounting. He recently started an endowed scholarship for undergraduate accounting majors at OSU. He lives in Edmond, Okla., with his wife, Nancy, with whom he has three children: Nicole, Philip and Erin.

Rex Horning is the president of Stillwater National Bank and a 1974 OSU business graduate. He has served as an executive officer with banks throughout Oklahoma, Kansas and Alabama. He is a trustee for the OSU Foundation, as well as a board member for the university’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development and the OSU Alumni Association. Horning also is active in Stillwater nonprofits, having once chaired the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and been awarded Stillwater’s Citizen of the Year award. Horning and his wife, Charlotte, have two children, Meredith and Judd, and two grandsons, Carson and Cooper.

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Dan Howard is a business, internet and intellectual property lawyer with the firm Rubenstein, McCormick & Pitts, in Edmond, Okla. He also is the cofounder of the real estate investment firm Two Pokes and ThinkFast Enterprises. He is a 1985 computing and information sciences graduate and holds an OSU MBA, which he finished in 1994. In 2003, he earned his law degree from Oklahoma City University. Howard is a board member for the Edmond Chamber of Commerce, Edmond Young Professionals and the Children’s Medical Research Institute of Oklahoma. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children. Michael Hyatt is senior vice president of UBS’s Investments Regional Institute Sales Group in Ft. Worth, Texas. As a UBS financial adviser, Hyatt is a consultant to individuals and institutes regarding investment accounts, asset allocation and business retirement plans. He has worked as a financial professional for more than 40 years. Hyatt earned his bachelor’s degree at OSU in 1967 and his master’s degree in business administration later from Texas Christian University. He now serves on the OSU Foundation Board of Governors and is an active member of his community, holding leadership roles throughout the Fort Worth area.


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Griff Jones is the CEO of Twin Eagle Resource Management, a startup natural gas and powermarketing firm based in Houston. He graduated from OSU in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. After that, Jones worked for Natural Gas Clearinghouse and cofounded the companies Eagle Energy Partners and Champion Energy Services before starting Twin Eagle. He also is active in charitable organizations and leads numerous Christian nonprofit groups. He is a trustee of the OSU Foundation. He and his wife, Mindi, have two children, Kennedy and Kale. Mike Pregler manages Real Estate and Facilities Shared Services for ConocoPhillips. He is a certified internal auditor, a member of the OSU Accounting Advisory Committee and the chairman of the Spears School of Business Executive Associates. A Tulsa, Okla., native, Pregler earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from OSU in 1975. He began his career with ConocoPhillips as an accounting trainee. He has since worked as a senior supervisor of Natural Gas Liquids Accounting, Director of Finance for Research and Development, Director of Consolidation for Corporate Financial Staffs, Manager of Financial Processes and Controls, Chief Ethics Officer and Senior Audit Manager for ConocoPhillips. @

Debra Nelson

Instructor wins outreach award Debra Nelson, Spears School Associates’ Professor of Business Administration and professor of management, received the 2010 Richard W. Poole Faculty Outreach Excellence Award last October. Nelson, an expert in work relationships, organizational behavior and leadership, joined the management department in 1985. She is a sought-after speaker on the corporate seminar circuit and a management consultant known for her research into what makes employees and employers tick. Nelson offers courses through outreach, study abroad programs and management development programs. “Outreach, for me, means living an integrated work life,” Nelson said. “It’s the opportunity to put your research into practice.” During the last three years she has taught nearly 1,500 participants. Last July, she offered an “emotional intelligence” webinar to more than 600 members of the Southern Gas Association. “We are very proud of Dr. Nelson for receiving this award and believe she illustrates how a faculty member may conduct research and offer seminars to help executives and managers,” said Larry Crosby, Spears School dean. @


Rice speaks at OSU Photo by Genesee Photo Systems

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a featured speaker during OSU events in Tulsa, Stillwater and Oklahoma City in February 2010. Rice, now a Stanford University political science professor, discussed her education, global affairs and her wish that students remain open-minded about their life choices. In Tulsa and Oklahoma City, she spoke during the Tulsa Business Forum and the Executive Management Briefing. Both programs feature leaders each year from business, politics and scholarship who bring critical and thoughtful insights to the Oklahoma business community.

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Business professors win teaching and research awards Two Spears School of Business professors, Betty Simkins and Kevin Voss, won the OSU Regents Distinguished Research Award and the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award, respectively, last October. The awards’ winners are nominated by peers and students. Each winner receives a $1,000 salary increase. Simkins, a finance professor and Williams Cos. professor in business, received the award for her research in risk management and corporate governance. “I am very honored and thrilled to receive this award,” Simkins said. “It is wonderful to be recognized for the research I love to do.” Simkins has won other awards for her research, including the Richard W. Poole Research Excellence Award and the Best Paper Award in Risk Management. She said she believes whole-heartedly in the academic tradition of “publish-orperish.” “It is fascinating to study its theory and practice, and try to improve the theories and share insights on practices with companies,” Simkins said. “It’s always thought-provoking and challenging.” Voss, an associate marketing professor, received the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award for his dedication to his graduate courses. He teaches the global competitive environment class for MBA and international studies students, plus a marketing research methods doctoral seminar. “It is a terrific honor to be nominated, since that depends on the students,” Voss said. “I put in a lot of time and effort to designing an education process to light a path students can follow.” Voss also has been awarded the Kenneth D. and Leitner Greiner Teaching Award from the Spears School. @


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Betty Simkins

Kevin Voss

Spears School distance learning a “Best Buy” Reviewers with the consumer watchdog group ranked three Spears School of Business online graduate programs among the nation’s top 10 for 2010. OSU’s master’s programs in business administration, telecommunications management and management information systems came in at fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, a press release states. reviews universities’ online programs and ranks them according to their quality, credibility and cost, the release states. The “Best Buy” rankings were calculated by comparing tuition and distance learning fees for similar programs at universities accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate School of BusinessInternational. The study shows OSU’s Spears School continues to provide affordable solutions for students looking for a quality degree but can’t attend traditional classes. Each of the OSU programs recognized costs less than $11,000 for Oklahoma residents and less than $25,000 for

nonresidents. That’s thousands of dollars below the average costs for those degrees. “OSU and the Spears School have a long history of delivering distance education programs,” said Robert Dooley, the business school’s associate dean for graduate studies and research. “We are pleased by this ranking and see it as validation of our commitment and dedication to making high-quality graduate education more accessible to non-traditional students and working professionals.” Although they cater to students of different types, the Spears School’s online programs, such as its MBA, offer the same teamwork focus found in traditional programs. In fact, its online MBA was developed specifically with working professionals in mind. For more information about distance learning options in the Spears School of Business, call the OSU Center for Executive and Professional Development at 1-866-678-3933 or 405-744-5208 or visit @


Spears School welcomes new women’s group OSU announced last September the formation of a chapter of the American Association of University Women at the Spears School of Business. The OSU AAUW held a successful first meeting that month, one that was attended by more than 40 people from all colleges. The organization is part of a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors. The OSU chapter was formed to break educational and economic barriers through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research on the OSU campus. To learn more or join AAUW, email the group’s advisor, Jeretta Nord, at jeretta. or visit 201 Business Building. @

Honors for digital forensic database The Center for Telecommunication and Network Security in OSU’s Spears School of Business received a project management award of excellence for its National Repository for Digital Forensic Intelligence. The Government Information Technology Executive Council, a group of senior-level government executives supporting the delivery of highquality and cost-effective information technology services to their customers, selected NRDFI for its outstanding collaboration with government. NRDFI is a knowledge base for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to share digital forensic tools, techniques and procedures to help solve cases involving digital media. It is a partnership between CTANS and the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, which houses the largest accredited forensic computer lab in the world. “A great percentage of criminal prosecutions introduce digital evidence. Rapidly changing technology means constant innovation in digital forensics to handle evidentiary items,” says Mark Weiser, associate dean and director of CTANS. “The idea of NRDFI is to tie together law enforcement in the United States, Australia, Canada, England and New

Zealand so officers don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every case.” CTANS serves as OSU’s focal point for research, teaching and outreach in information assurance and forensics. Its research and development projects have brought millions of dollars to Oklahoma. Because of its success with NRDFI and other projects, the center is developing repositories to house informationsharing for intrusions against the nation’s information infrastructure and for exchanging academic information among universities that are educating the next generation of information assurance professionals. “Being recognized along with some very high-profile projects around the world speaks to the quality of output provided by OSU through the NRDFI,” Weiser says. CTANS fosters teaching, research and outreach in information assurance and digital forensics at OSU. The multidisciplinary center unites faculty from five colleges and has led OSU to be Oklahoma’s only National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research. For more information, call 405-744-3000 or visit @

The ranking question How do students choose a business school among the 10,000 worldwide? Unfortunately, checking a school’s ranking isn’t the best approach. There are many concerns with the various media rankings used for business schools and universities, many of which the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business identifies in its report, “The Business School Rankings Dilemma,” available at For instance, the standings may differ based on the criteria and weight used. Each ranking has its own methodology and collects its own data. Some use surveys of different groups, such as students or recruiters. Others rely on the data the school reports. Lacking formal definitions and verification processes, the data reported is inconsistent. Also, the criteria used may not match students’ needs or reflect the overall quality of the educational experience. OSU’s Spears School of Business participates selectively in media rankings. For instance, it does not participate in the Businessweek rankings because schools have to provide the email addresses of students, alumni and recruiters. Many schools do not participate in the Businessweek rankings because of this requirement. The school takes part in the U.S. News and World Report rankings because they include all U.S. business schools with AACSB accreditation that offer master’s degree programs in business. AACSB provides accreditation for business and accounting programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels for institutions in 37 countries. In 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked OSU 89th of the 426 MBA programs surveyed. @

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Spears School students get free iPads OSU was one of just a few universities nationwide in 2010 to evaluate the iPad’s uses in higher education, and the Spears School led the way on campus. About 100 students, nearly half of them in business, received the iPads as part of a pilot program examining the mini computers’ usefulness in the classroom. The iPad, which has sold millions since Apple introduced it in 2010, has many of the same features as a conventional laptop but is lighter, has more uniform programs and is less customizable, making it easier to use in the classroom. OSU marketing professor Tracy Suter, who led one of the courses and helped coordinate the research of the iPad’s usefulness, says he polled his students about the devices before and after his course. He found having the web-ready, mobile device in the classroom let the students work together directly over the Internet. Traditional paper and pencil research was done immediately. “Having mobile, instant-on technology in the classroom allowed us to do things in class that would have to be done outside of class and would take days,” Suter said. “The faster pace let us do more, more trial and error, more content and more review.” Suter and Bill Handy, an OSU communications instructor who also collaborated in the study, presented the results during Research Week last February at OSU. Suter detailed how his students used the computers as they conducted their research, shared their results with their peers and used Apple’s Keynote program to make presentations. Also with the help of the iPad, he integrated other courses into iTunesU, Apple’s online service that connects students with lectures and other course materials.

Suter said the iPads sped up his course, letting him cover more content and review more key information than he could previously. Also, having all the students using the same programs and technology made teaching easier. “I commend Dr. Suter for his insight into the motivations and needs of today’s students, who desire constant access to information in a format familiar to them,” said Larry Crosby, the Spears School’s dean. “By delivering information via iTunesU, Dr. Suter has not only enhanced educational content for his students, he also helps fulfill OSU’s outreach mission by reaching various audiences beyond the campus.” Whether the iPad will remain useful in higher education depends on its software quality, Suter said. A survey program made for the iPad was the best of the three platforms the students used. Also, its usefulness to students will only increase as its sharing capabilities improve and more publications produce interactive material designed for it. @ Oklahoma State is on iTunesU at

OSU to host 2011 AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium “This honor gives us the opportunity to showcase OSU’s marketing department, the Spears School of Business, and the university to some of the brightest business scholars in the world,” said Tom Brown, a Spears School marketing professor and Ardmore Professor of Business Administration. “We are excited to host this event.”

The Spears School’s Department of Marketing will host the 2011 American Marketing Association-Sheth Foundation’s Doctoral Consortium for four days starting June 15. Established in 1965, the AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium connects top marketing doctoral students with the world’s premier marketing scholars. The event will introduce students to state-of-the-art marketing scholarship and methodology as they prepare to launch their academic careers. 16

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Organizers expect about 200 professors and students at the invitation-only event, considered the world’s most prestigious marketing academic conference. @


Seizing opportunity OSU establishes a “hub for creativity and innovation” OSU launched its Institute for Creativity and Innovation during a ceremony Sept. 9 inside the Wes Watkins Center, unveiling a key addition to university officials’ plan to make OSU a national leader in creativity and innovation.

The Spears School began a new master’s degree last fall in entrepreneurship, one of just nine schools in the nation to offer the degree. True to cutting-edge practices in the field, OSU’s entrepreneurship master’s degree immerses students in the discipline and its process. Its focus on experiential learning is part of the overall thrust of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship

The event kicked off with a welcome by Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby and OSU President Burns Hargis. Both urged the 400-person crowd to take up the challenge of becoming the most creative and innovative campus in the world. Also addressing attendees was the institute’s director, psychology professor and Riata Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Melanie Page. She outlined a plan for the effort including serving as OSU’s hub for creativity and innovation and as a model for the nation. “OSU has the chance to be the leader in developing the next generation of worldchanging faculty, staff, and students,” Page said. “The Institute for Creativity and Innovation is here to provide support and resources to achieve that goal.” Page added the institute also will sponsor a speakers’ series and support OSU students, faculty and staff looking for new ways of thinking, understanding and doing. She challenged the crowd to get involved and reverse a national trend of decreasing creativity. She also encouraged people to contact her directly with ideas, participate in designing the institute’s logo and compete for the award honoring the most creative and innovative person on campus. Also during the event, the AT&T Foundation’s Jerry Bayliss gave President Hargis a $25,000 check on behalf of Creative Oklahoma, the state’s nonprofit agency that promotes new ideas and approaches. The money was used to

OSU offers master’s degree in entrepreneurship

support the World Creativity Forum last November in Oklahoma City. The launch ceremony also featured Robert Sternberg, OSU’s provost and a nationally-known psychologist. Sternberg counseled attendees to take heart and continue being creative even when no one else is. The crowd was also treated to a panel discussion on creativity with faculty members Michael Morris, Diane Montgomery and Tracy Suter. The group answered questions including why OSU should become a creative campus and the requirements to make the change. They also delved into the university’s strengths it can build upon to become a global leader in creativity. Suter urged OSU “to be the Beatles of academia.” Morris encouraged the campus to dream and do big. Wrapping up the ceremony was Bonnie Cramond, head of University of Georgia’s gifted education program. Cramond led the crowd in a session on increasing personal creativity. To learn more, email Page at melanie. or call 405-744-7334 or visit @

“The MSE is a special degree aimed at helping students turn their promising ideas into viable ventures,” said Michael Morris, professor and head of the school. “Students will actually start ventures during the program, while being exposed to a world-class mix of courses and other experiential learning opportunities.” The master’s degree is for students with a passion for entrepreneurship, usable in both the private and public sectors. “We are targeting students with undergraduate backgrounds in the sciences, engineering, art, social work or most any other discipline, and who have a dream to start their own ventures,” said Professor Bruce Barringer, the program’s coordinator. “Some of these will be nontraditional students who have been out of school for a while.” The degree requires 33 credit hours of coursework and is offered on campus as well as through distance learning. The program was jump-started in 2008 by a multi-million dollar gift from OSU alumni Amy and Malone Mitchell 3rd that established the school and OSU’s outreach-focused Riata Center for Entrepreneurship. For more information or to apply to the program, call the OSU School of Entrepreneurship at 405-744-3325 or send an email to @ 2011 engage@spears


NOTABLE@ Photo by Genesee Photo Systems

From left, 2010’s Outstanding Seniors Brandon McVey, Conner Mahan, Hayley Zimmerman, Kamille Brewer, Emily Robben, Dana Sewell, Amanda Dexter, Elizabeth Upton, Aubrey Gooden and Tucker Weems pose for a photo with their awards.

Spears School lauds students and faculty The Spears School Honors and Awards Banquet lauded 53 students and two professors last April for making strides in academic achievement. The awards, the top honors given each year by the school, were handed out following a dinner on campus attended by students, their families, professors and OSU officials. The event is the 57th in the school’s history. Aubrey Gooden received the 2010 Raymond D. Thomas Award given to the school’s top senior scholar who also excels at leadership and citizenship. Also, 10 students received the 2010 Spears School Outstanding Senior Award. Winners included Kamille Brewer, Amanda Dexter, Aubrey Gooden, Conner Mahan, Brandon McVey, Emily Robben, Dana Sewell, Elizabeth Upton, Tucker Weems and Hayley Zimmerman. The banquet also honored seven students selected as OSU Seniors of Significance by the OSU Alumni Association.


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They were Kyle Andrews, Amanda Dexter, Aubrey Gooden, Sarah Hodge, Abbie Field, Jonathon Wyckoff and Hayley Zimmerman, who was also an Outstanding Senior.

award to Beta Alpha Psi. Also, one member from each business student organization was recognized as the organization’s outstanding member. Honorees included:

The Gold Key Award for graduating seniors with the highest GPAs went to Melanie Boaz, Lana Brewer, Abbie Field, Jonathan Freeman, Elizabeth Pitcock, Emily Robben, Brett Tatum and Tucker Weems, who graduated with 4.0 GPAs.

Brandon Lee, Association of Information Technology Professionals

The honor society Beta Gamma Sigma inducted Margaret Billingsley, Kelsey Buck, Samuel Chandler, Katherine Dreger, Katie Fielding, Samantha Garrison, Gina Hancock, Cecily Hooper, Krystal Krug, Meredith Lee, Christopher Long, Allison Lyons, Nicholas Miller, Emily Robben, Sydney Shepherd, Ryan Siemens and Kent Sloan. Membership in the society is considered the highest national recognition for a business student. Other awards presented include the Outstanding Business Organization

Allison Brewer, Business Honors Organization Derek Ellis, Business Student Council Elizabeth Upton, Economics Society Matt Villareal, Entrepreneurship Club Conner Mahan, Financial Management Association Mallory Hovde, Human Resource Management Association Kyle Beverly, Information Security and Assurance Club Christine Miklosko, Marketing Club Sarah Kester, Phi Beta Lambda Amalia Deines, Spears School Ambassadors


Spears School wins homecoming’s “most spirited college” The Spears School of Business received the “Most Spirited College” award during OSU’s 2010 Homecoming celebration. During homecoming, OSU’s academic colleges put on events to welcome back alumni and show their school spirit. The events, part of “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration,” are part of the tradition that draws thousands of alumni and others to Stillwater. Kyle Buthod, the Business Student Council’s marketing chair, led the business school’s activities. Buthod and other council members competed in the library lawn sign competition, chili cook-off and lobby decor competitions. “When we heard the announcement at the football pregame show, we were ecstatic,” said Buthod, a junior international business and Mandarin Chinese major. “It has been a long time since our school has competed, and this award will put us on the map and provide more competition for other colleges on campus. It has been great to hear from faculty, staff, students, and alumni saying how proud they are of BSC for its efforts and participation in the competition.” Another business student, Spencer Lucas, an accounting senior, led the Homecoming Executive Committee’s organization of Alumni VIP activities, the “Football Frenzy” competition and the trophies for homecoming activities. Also, business students were selected as royalty for homecoming. They include Emily Cole, management and entrepreneurship major; Chelsea Johnston, a marketing and studio art major; Andrew Henry, an economics and pre-law major; and David McKellips, an accounting and finance major. @

Class project fights paper consumption A group of Spears School management students recently helped campus computer labs save paper through a course project. During the fall 2009, students Severin Nesselhauf, Kristin Spaans, Zac Fleming, Sarah Soules and Chase Dickinson took a senior-level course in managerial decision-making taught by Robert Dooley, the school’s graduate programs and research associate dean, who had them read the book Nudge: Improving Decisions and Health, Wealth and Happiness. The book highlights how small decisions can bring about big changes. Along those lines, one of the students’ assignments was to create their own “nudge” to solve a real problem on campus. The students knew paper was wasted in dozens of campus computer labs each year due to Microsoft PowerPoint’s default print settings. The settings cause the machines to print one presentation slide per page and on only one side. The students decided to work with the labs’ management and change the printers’ default settings to use less paper. They also created a graphic for the desktops of lab computers that reminds users to “think before you print.” “This group created a classic nudge, something very simple that has relatively no cost associated with implementing it but is going to make a difference on campus,” Dooley said. They estimated the change would save anywhere from 10 to 20 percent in paper costs. Also, the students’ work was free, while printing costs are paid for through student fees. Changes have also been implemented in other campus computer labs. “I really saw how a nudge can make a big change, and it did not cost anything to do,” said Zac Fleming, one of the students who worked on the plan. “Little changes really can make a huge difference.” @

The Spears School of Business received the “Most Spirited College” award during OSU’s 2010 Homecoming celebration. 2011 engage@spears



600 female entrepreneurs attend OSU Women Entrepreneurs Inspire conference More than 600 female entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs attended the first Women Entrepreneurs Inspire conference in 2010 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. This new OSU program seeks to provide participants a unique opportunity to learn tools to help start and grow a business and get inspired by successful women entrepreneurs from across the country. The event was presented by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. “This conference gave entrepreneurs real tools to take home to improve their businesses,” said Nola Miyasaki, the Riata Center’s director. “They got answers to their most pressing business questions in the breakout sessions, which essentially provide one–on-one counseling with experts in that respective field.” At the event, Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder, chairman and “chief executive bear” delivered a keynote address. Clark shared her entrepreneurial story behind the creation of Build-A-Bear Workshop and its success and inspired


participants to live in a world of possibilities and always dream big. The event also featured keynote addresses from other successful women entrepreneurs, including Cordia Harrington, founder and CEO of Tennessee Bun Company in Nashville, Tenn.; Susan Lacz, CEO of Ridgewells Catering in Washington, D.C.; Dian Stai, founder of Owen Medical; and Shannon Carter, founder and CEO of Crayons to Computers in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition, Amy Mitchell, partner and managing member of Riata Management in Oklahoma City, served as honorary chairperson for the conference, and Kirsten McIntyre of KWTV News 9 served as conference emcee. The Women Entrepreneurs Inspire conference also featured breakout sessions in two tracks: one track with sessions for entrepreneurs who are starting ventures and one track with sessions for entrepreneurs who are growing and building ventures. The topics addressed ranged from how to acquire quick funding and using social media to guerilla marketing tactics and a roundtable discussion about growing businesses in a down economy. @

More than 600 women attended OSU’s first Women Entrepreneurs Inspire conference in March 2010. Maxine Clark, the founder of the toy chain Build-A-Bear Workshop, spoke to the attendees, encouraging them to dream big. That message was driven home by other speakers including Tennessee Bun Co. CEO Cordia Harrington and Amy Mitchell, Managing Member of Riata Management in Oklahoma City. engage@spears 2011


Veterans receive venture advice at OSU

Attendees of OSU’s first Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, shown above, recently received business advice on starting up new ventures during the program at OSU’s ConocoPhillips Alumni Center. The program offers training to veterans who want to start their own businesses. It is presented by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship. For more information on the program, go to

New Board Chairman

From left, outgoing Board Chairman Rex Horning passes the gavel to incoming Board Chairman Paul Cornell during the 2010 OSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors meeting in May 2010. 2011 engage@spears


Courtesy photo

Helping those who serve by Matt Elliott

OSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Development accommodates the nation’s service members 22

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ou think your first accounting course was hard? Try taking it in a warzone.

“I’d hear gunshots sometimes while I was studying,” says U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kristie Robson, a medical doctor who was assigned to a combat hospital in Iraq while working on her MBA at OSU. Robson, from Chesapeake, Va., took two classes while she worked with a “shock trauma” platoon accompanying U.S. Marines in Ubaydi, a city near the Syrian border and in Iraq’s dangerous Al-Anbar Province. Robson ran a team there providing emergency medical care for soldiers injured in the field. Her team helped man the medical frontlines, assisting injured soldiers as well as civilians. Their job was to stabilize the wounded so they could survive transportation to a place where they could get more advanced care.

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kristie Robson, shown here while serving in Iraq, is a medical doctor working on her master’s degree in business administration online from OSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Development. Robson is one of dozens of service members who use the program to get advanced degrees while they’re on active duty.

Amidst her significant duties with the military, Robson had to surmount many logistical challenges to complete course requirements. Those challenges ranged from simply connecting to the internet to watching lectures and turning in assignments. “We had a satellite we could connect to, but it wasn’t working right,” says Robson. Worried that technical difficulties might interfere with her ability to complete her degree, she called Jami Spiva at OSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Development for assistance. Spiva and staff at the CEPD administer all the distance learning programs offered through the Spears School of Business. Customer service is a hallmark and priority of the program. “Jami’s my hero. She said, ‘No worries,’ we’ll get DVDs out to you,’” Robson says. “That was a complete lifesaver.”

Spiva says it was no big deal. It’s her job. She says part of the reason why distance learning, or taking courses over the Internet, was developed at OSU is to help people such as Robson. The Spears School and OSU have a long history of working closely with members of the military. In fact, OSU was included in G.I. Jobs magazine’s list of “Military Friendly Schools” for 2010. The list honored the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s veterans and active-duty military as students. OSU offers a discounted tuition rate to active-duty military members who take distance learning courses offered through the Spears School of Business. The rate is for active-duty military personnel interested in graduate and undergraduate distance learning courses. This type of military-friendly programming in the Spears School has been popular with students. Of the approximately 360 students enrolled in the school’s online graduate courses, 127 were students enlisted in the military last fall. Some of them, like Robson, rely on the distance learning MBA to further their careers in the military or start new ones once they become civilians. Robson hopes to use her MBA to one day manage a military hospital. “I can’t get across enough the point that OSU helps you get a degree in the worst possible situations,” she says. “I moved eight times in a six-month period, and the staff and faculty supported me in a combat zone. I didn’t need to ask for changes in exam dates, but I had a heck of a time sending in answer sheets. Each time though, Jami Spiva helped me out. My schedule this year is ridiculous – Africa, South America, floating on a ship, back to Africa. The biggest comfort is knowing OSU will help meet my international lifestyle.” continues on next page



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“Everyone says they want to help veterans, but OSU actually has a program in place that enables returning soldiers to start businesses. That is impressive.” — Joe Perez Another service member, U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Thompson, has high praise for OSU’s MBA program. Thompson is one of 105 Air Force personnel taking Spears School online classes and last year took 24 hours of coursework. Thompson first heard about the OSU MBA’s distance learning option from one of his fellow officers at the base. Now he knows of several others who are in the program. “There’s a big push in the military now for officers to get master’s degrees,” he says. “When I was deciding which school to attend, none of the ones I looked at seemed to be as accredited as OSU’s. I was looking for something where I could get a good education. And I knew the management portion of the MBA would help in running different organizations, if that’s what the Air Force wants me to do. Also, in case flying doesn’t work out, I’d like to go into business for myself.” Thompson, a 27 year-old Assistant Flight Commander at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla., says the program works well around his odd schedule that could have him in any corner of the country in a few weeks. He is training to fly one of the Air Force’s tankers, the KC-10 Extender. Thompson says the military has taught him a great deal about leadership, and that complements the MBA well. Taking the courses online helps him get added expertise that will help him no matter where his life takes him. Also, for future veterans such as Thompson who aspire to be entrepreneurs, the Spears School provides additional support beyond reduced tuition rates for continuing education. The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is an entrepreneurial training program offered by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and School of Entrepreneurship. It offers a three-stage learning experience providing business support and resources 24

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for veterans of the U.S. military to launch or expand their own businesses. Participants complete an online self-study session and an intense eight-day on-campus boot camp, followed by 10 months of mentoring and support from VEP faculty members and volunteer entrepreneurs. The most impressive aspect of VEP is that the entire program – transportation, accommodation, books, food and instruction – is free to participants. OSU alumni and supporters have rallied around the program, donating thousands of dollars to make the program possible. “I believe we owe it to these veterans who have paid such a price in serving their country,” says Michael Morris, head of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship, who is also a veteran. “The whole idea is to empower veterans and show them a path forward that centers on entrepreneurship.” Joe Perez, a previous VEP participant from San Antonio, says the program came at just the right time for him. Because the costs were covered, the program was nothing short of a blessing. Before enrolling in the program, Perez had a rewarding job managing his family’s business. But he suddenly decided he wanted to start his own business. Two days later, he received a call about the program and decided to seize the opportunity. “Everyone says they want to help veterans,” Perez says. “But OSU actually has a program in place that enables returning soldiers to start businesses. That is impressive.” These are just a few ways OSU supports students who serve in the military. And these efforts will continue for years to come as OSU fulfills its responsibilities as a land-grant university, serving Oklahoma and the nation. @

You face a business world that changes every day. Invest in your future through professional development programs offered through the OSU Center for Executive and Professional Development. CEPD offers more than 390 programs that reach more than 25,000 business professionals and participants. These programs include management development and professional seminars, degree option programs, and courses offered through distance learning, study abroad and travel short-term programs, retreat and conference planning and programs tailored to fit every organization’s need.

Go to or call 1-866-678-3933 for more information.



Teaching a mindset By Matt Elliott Photos by Gary Lawson

“Entrepreneurship is the future for our state and nation. Economic growth isn’t going to come from anywhere else.”


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t’s creating 80 percent of the jobs generated today. Yet most people still think entrepreneurship is about small business management, says Michael Morris, head of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is inherently interdisciplinary, Morris says. Teaching it is more than just content, concepts or frameworks. It’s more of an approach to a problem or opportunity. It’s a way of thinking, a system of beliefs.

“Starting a small business is something we teach, but entrepreneurship is more than that,” Morris says. “Entrepreneurship is the future for our state and nation. Economic growth isn’t going to come from anywhere else.”

Morris has that boiled down to 11 “competencies” that don’t apply solely to business. Art students need to know how to take advantage of opportunities. Engineers need to know how to manage risk. Political science students need to know how to use networking to their advantage.

Morris has been teaching entrepreneurship in one form or another since 1983. But during the last 25 years, programs have sprung up at universities nationwide responding to the business world’s need for visionary thinkers and change agents. A generation ago, there were nine entrepreneurship programs at American universities. Morris started two of the top ones at Miami University and Syracuse University before he came to OSU in 2008. Now more than 3,000 such programs exist, and Morris says most faculty members involved struggle with the question of how to awaken the inner entrepreneur in every college student. “The evidence is pretty clear-cut,” he says. “We strongly believe that entrepreneurs are not born. Every student on this campus has innate entrepreneurial potential. Can they all be Richard Branson and create Virgin? No. Their entrepreneurial ability to think and act in entrepreneurial ways is unlimited.”

Those core competencies are what power the new academic curriculum in entrepreneurship. They are also at the heart of an exciting portfolio of outreach and community engagement initiatives being pursued by the entrepreneurship program. A good example of that is the Experiential Classroom. First offered in 2000 when he was at Miami University, this nationally-renowned program is entering its 12th year. It connects faculty from across the country with the most innovative kind of approaches, tools and concepts to teach entrepreneurial principles to students of all majors. Taught at OSU-Tulsa, the three-day clinic covers everything from social entrepreneurship to creating class exercises, fostering creativity, learning what students want and building a top program. It features a series of clinics taught by the top minds in the field, including former AT&T executive and continues on next page

Facing page: Michael Morris lectures during OSU’s Spears School of Business Experiential Classroom in entrepreneurship. Morris came to OSU in 2008 after teaching at the Syracuse’s Whitman School of Management. Right: An instructor teaches during the Experiential Classroom in entrepreneurship. The program is a clinic that advances entrepreneurship in universities.



Delegates interact during the Experiential Classroom in entrepreneurship. Each year the program is filled to capacity with faculty members looking to participate. continued from previous page

current OSU “executive-in-residence” Jon Wiese and entrepreneurship professor Bruce Barringer. “We expose people to the leading edge practices in entrepreneurial education,” Morris says. “And every year we try some new edgy things, some alternative approaches.” Others include one of the discipline’s founding fathers, Karl Vesper, an internationally-known expert in startups and ventures, and creativity expert Jeff Stamp. Organizers accept 75 faculty members each year, and there is a lengthy waiting list, Morris says. Adding an intensity factor to the clinics, faculty members get the chance to teach in front of college students and receive critiques from leaders in the field. “We live in a time period when this is especially apropos,” Morris says. “More businesses are being started and more products are being launched than at any time in history.” His take on entrepreneurship appears not to be limited to this part of the world. Each year, a team of U.S. faculty presents the Experiential Classroom to professors in Russia with a different partner university during each visit. The course is extraordinarily popular, says Morris, who, ironically, worked on nuclear missiles for the Air Force during the Cold War before becoming a professor. Entrepreneurship has taken off in Russia, he says, where just a generation ago, free-market ideals were considered off limits.


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“One loses sight of how really radical that is,” he says. “That’s when you feel you have an impact. Much of what you’re saying really resonates there.” Feedback from former students shows why his course has been so popular. David Choi, an entrepreneurship professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., says the course is extremely helpful for faculty members just starting their teaching careers and those who are re-tooling. “When you go through a Ph.D. program, you don’t learn how to teach,” says Choi, who took the course at Syracuse in 2003 while changing careers from a consultant to a professor. The program gave him the confidence to teach with the best practices and most innovative approaches, he says. “I learned to have the attitude that I get to teach entrepreneurship rather than I have to teach entrepreneurship,” he says. As the course progresses, Morris will continue to adjust it as new ideas come into vogue, but much of it will remain as it is for the future. That’s because its message is nearly timeless. Entrepreneurship is an approach factoring in that the world changes each year. The experiential course for faculty members considers change by encouraging adaptive qualities in its members. “Our fundamental job is to get people with dreams to believe in those dreams and give them the tools to act on them,” he says. “It’s a job a lot of people would love to have.” @

How do you create value and wealth given the everchanging business landscape? Through creativity and innovation, the cornerstones of entrepreneurship. OSU’s Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship provides a strong foundation for students who want hands-on experience launching their own ventures. Individual empowerment is the force behind OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship, which pairs the classroom with dynamic, experiential learning to immerse students in the entrepreneurial process. MSE students, exposed to a world-class, comprehensive curriculum, must start a venture as they work with some of the field’s brightest minds.

For more information, go to

Spears School OF BUSINESS




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by Matt Elliott

Going vertical with vertical integration

Photo by Gary Lawson


OSU alum’s DIY work ethic pays off

SU alumni Amy and Malone Mitchell 3rd have never been content to do it the easy way. They don’t pay for somebody to do a job that either they or their company could do just fine.

OSU alumni Malone and Amy Mitchell, at left, prefer to do themselves what they could pay others to do. That simple approach to vertical integration could pay off for Mitchell’s TransAtlantic Petroleum, which is expanding its operations in the Middle East.

That’s why the company Malone Mitchell chairs, TransAtlantic Petroleum, is jumping at the chance to expand its reach into oilfields in Turkey, Romania, Iraq and Morocco. Competitors such as Chevron and Petrobras are already cashing in despite the uncertainty and risk associated with Iraq, as well as the remoteness of the fields in Turkey. However, Mitchell, a billionaire who made his name in the 1980s and 1990s with Riata Energy, stands to make a serious windfall if its gamble pays. That’s because he practices vertical integration – owning upstream and downstream stages of production. The competition – massive, multinational corporations with fixed costs as big as their bank accounts – does not. That’s because it requires huge investments up-front. Instead, they pay others for different stages of production. That thins their profit margins because they can only sell their products at what the market will bear.

it’s cheaper and helps local economies. That makes public officials much more willing to work with him. Training is a necessity because most of the region’s workers aren’t familiar with the process, hydraulic fracturing, needed to access the deeper and more remote wells, he says. “When we are in southeastern Turkey, the people we meet with are stunned that I’m there,” Mitchell says. “They say, ‘Wouldn’t you rather be at the posh hotel in Istanbul?’ I’d say, ‘Man, I love a posh hotel in Istanbul but I also love doing business.’ I love working the oil fields.” He has found willing partners. Turkish officials are keen on developing their own energy reserves. Turkey has hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in its fields, many of which sit on the Arabian Plate – part of the massive interlocking network of stone slabs comprising the earth’s crust. The Arabian Plate is also home to the huge fields in Iraq and Saudi Arabia providing much of the world’s energy supply. However, the Turkish wells have not been tapped. That’s because they are largely inaccessible due to the nation’s dearth of trained workers and technology.

With vertical integration, Mitchell doesn’t have to pay a middleman. He can sell at the same price as his competitors, but his costs will be lower. Thus, his company will be more profitable.

As a result, Turkey’s secular government imports more than 95 percent of its energy needs, according to a TransAtlantic investors presentation. About 70 percent of those imports come from Russia. The former communist superpower has been known to use its energy supplies in the past to influence nations relying on its exports.

“We can’t change the geology,” says Mitchell, in an interview from his Riata Management company’s office in Oklahoma City. “What we really came to do is change the cost structure of developing what you already know is there. That’s better done with a man on a rig than a man in the office a lot of times.”

“Turkey catches a lot of heat for saying they need to get along with their neighbors,” Mitchell says. “Securing your energy supply forces you to get along with whom you import your energy from. So anything related to energy is a front-page item in the newspapers there every day.”

TransAtlantic has leased about 9 million acres among the four countries and just four landowners to work with. But Mitchell says Turkey is particularly promising. Land prices, income tax and royalties are low there. In some cases, his company pays a dollar or two per acre, compared to $20,000 per acre in the United States.

That’s where his company comes in. But if it sounds easy, it isn’t. He says getting a “play” in Turkey has been harder than he expected. First, TransAtlantic had to prepare to supply services and transfer them. These are advanced services such as threedimensional seismic imaging and hydraulic fracturing systems. Plus, there’s only a finite number of rigs available in the world. Getting more of them to the region will be difficult, he says.

“In a period of about three years, we’ve put together an acreage base equivalent to Chesapeake’s. That would be impossible in the U.S.” He has traveled the region, too, looking for government officials and business leaders to help with training and providing employees to start drilling operations. He prefers to use local workers because

In Iraq, the standout among the remaining three countries, he sees a very different situation. The nation is still recovering from the 2003 American continues on next page engage@spears


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invasion and the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. In the Kurdish-controlled north, the risk of doing business is much less than in the south. His private company has been making “plays” at real estate development there. “Iraq is literally a country that, if it maintains course, will be one of the richest countries per capita in the world. They want to change their status from third world to first world. And they want it over the course of the next ten years.” He has learned a lot of things since he started visiting the region. He marvels at cities such as Istanbul, classically thought of as the bridge between the East and West. He says it’s easy to see why it has been the most important city in the world for 15 of the last 20 centuries. “I’ve come to believe that we would be a lot better country if we prayed five times a day,” Mitchell says. It’s a long way from his days as a West Texas oilman. Mitchell was born in Stillwater, Okla., where his parents attended college, but he grew up on his family’s ranch in Sanderson, Texas. He learned from his dad how to run a business. “I saw dad buying his own cattle trucks instead of hiring them and buying his acreage instead of renting it from someone else,” Mitchell says. No stranger to hard work, Mitchell and his brother spent their childhoods working alongside migrant workers on the ranch. Together, they built fences and dug ditches. “We chopped their firewood – they still had woodburning stoves back then – in exchange for tortillas,” Mitchell says. “From my standpoint, I guess I feel like I’ve always had a bias toward people who do, and a bias against people who feel like they’re entitled.” He attended OSU in 1979 and graduated in 1983 with a degree in agriculture. A year later, he took out a $500 loan and started Riata Energy, an oil and gas exploration company. Applying the same skills he learned back in Sanderson, his company acquired its own service companies and rigs. He took on more risk but higher potential rewards by looking for cheaper land that could pay off if his workers struck it rich. Other companies at the time were flocking to the most popular places, buying less risky but more expensive land. His approach paid. When he sold half of Riata Energy in 2006 to fellow Oklahoma billionaire Tom Ward for $500 million, today’s SandRidge


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Energy was one of the largest privately-held land drillers in the nation, fattened off its profitable fields in northwest Colorado’s Piceance Basin and West Texas’s famous Permian Basin. “Riata didn’t do what was popular or highly competitive,” Malone says. “We tried to find places where we believed there was value.” He stepped down from his post as chief operating officer in 2007. He sold half of his remaining shares in 2008 for $500 million and remains SandRidge’s second-largest shareholder behind Ward. Also in 2008, he became the second-largest (second to fellow oilman Boone Pickens) donor ever to his alma mater. He donated more than $57 million to OSU, part of which created an entrepreneurship program at the Spears School. That’s around the time the opportunity came up to invest in TransAtlantic, a company that had had a great deal of experience in the Mediterranean region. In early 2008, company officials got in touch with him about an investment opportunity. This was at a time when most of his competitors were interested in so-called “domestic shale plays,” or oil shale, back in the United States. “I felt that the geology of those plays was already understood by the Chesapeakes and the Devons – very capable domestic players. So, our chances were limited as far as putting together meaningful acreage and building a large company with it were concerned.” He knew of low-cost acreage in the Mediterranean that featured good wells. But they were underdeveloped by American standards. Regardless, he and his people knew they could take advantage of them. “We felt that TransAtlantic was a great platform for us to come into to add capital,” Mitchell says. With TransAtlantic, he certainly doesn’t plan on doing things differently than he has previously. He prefers to do things his way instead of relying on others. A great deal of his family’s money is tied up in his companies. He believes he takes better care of his shareholders that way, too. “It doesn’t make me right all the time, but I believe we get a better outcome this way than we would otherwise.” Mitchell lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Amy. They met and married between their sophomore and junior years at OSU and have four children. @

Tulsa Business Forums and

Executive Management Briefings present

“Remarks by Tony Blair� Nov. 1, 2011 10-11:30 a.m. Mabee Center, Tulsa

Tony Blair Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

For tickets and event information, go to, or call 1-866-678-3933.

Nov. 1, 2011 4-5:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Civic Center Blair was Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2007, and a member of the British parliament from 1983 to 2007. Today, he is the Quartet Representative working with the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government and nongovernmental organizations to build a Palestinian state.

New dean brings business to the business school By Matt Elliott Photos by Phil Shockley


eet Larry Crosby, the new dean at OSU Spears School of Business. He brings with him more than 10 years of experience in academia as a marketing professor plus two decades of practical business management experience. Crosby, the son of an auto industry executive, grew up in Michigan in the 1960s during the heyday of the Big Four automakers. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Studying psychology and political science, he gradually became fascinated with marketing and connecting consumers with the products and services they need – much like his father did in the automobile industry. “He was a marketing guy – business-to-business marketing,” Crosby says. “He had a lot to do with sparking some interest for me in that particular business discipline.” Crosby tells a story about when his father, working in steel supply, noticed the wrong type of steel loaded for shipment to Oldsmobile in Lansing. “My father had it taken off the truck and reloaded with the steel that Olds had ordered,” he says. “He called the customer and said, ‘There’s going to be a slight delay while we reload the truck. They have the wrong steel on here.’ The customer was so happy that dad had that integrity and did what he promised he was going to do. That’s probably the most fundamental thing in business-to-business relationships.” Crosby decided to study, develop and expand that trust relationship between a customer and a business. After graduating, he took a position as a Senior Project Director with Nordhaus Associates, at that time a marketing research and consulting company. “At twenty-five years old I had the opportunity to present the annual marketing plan to the general manager of the Buick division. It was pretty heady stuff,” Crosby notes.


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Later, he returned to the University of Michigan, finishing an MBA and a doctoral degree in marketing and public policy. “I was pretty well hooked on marketing at that point,” he says. “I think it performs a huge service for society. Matching what organizations can offer with the needs of their customer base … what can possibly be wrong with that? Promoting customerorientation has been my life’s work and I feel good about that. There is social value in identifying and fulfilling needs and wants. You can look at yourself in the mirror each morning.” From 1978 to 1992, he worked in academia, indulging his love of research and working with students. He taught at the University of Nebraska, Michigan and Arizona State, where he was cofounder and research director of the Center for Service Leadership. In 1992, Crosby joined the business community and he became CEO of CSM Worldwide, then owned by Walker Information, where he was charged with building an international network of customer research and consulting firms. CSM Worldwide designed and implemented global measurement systems for clients such as Johnson & Johnson and IBM. In 1996, Crosby co-founded, with his sister Elaine (a golfer on the LPGA Tour) and other investors, Symmetrics Marketing Corp., taking customer relationship measurement and management to even higher levels. The company’s big clients included Whirlpool and Hewlett-Packard. He sold that company in 2004 to Synovate, one of the world’s top marketing research firms, and remained as head of its global customer experience practice until just before joining OSU. And now he’s the dean of OSU’s Spears School of Business, bringing a new spirit to the driver’s seat as chief academic officer of 4,500 students and leader of a 100 person-strong faculty.

Dean Larry Crosby, at center, meets with staff and academic officials from the Spears School of Business. Under his leadership, the school has embarked on a campaign to build a new facility for the School, as well as adding degrees such as the Executive Ph.D. in Business.

What’s next?

Q: A:

So, why decide to lead a business college right now?

I always had this thought that I’d go back into academia. That’s where I originally started. I envisioned being a professor, maybe even a clinical professor, and not even worrying about tenure, and maybe doing some consulting on the side. I was chatting with some of my academic friends on that. They said, “You know, with that combination of a Ph.D., experience as a professor, 20 years in business and being a CEO running your own firm, you’d make a great dean.” My first reaction was, “What? You’re talking about me, here.” The more I thought about it, the more I decided that maybe I did have some of the needed skill sets. I view a dean as needing the same

skills that any leader requires to run a successful organization. The job has multifunctional responsibility. There’s the operational side of any business. Here, it’s teaching and research. On top of that, you have the common business functions: human resources, information technology, finance, strategy, and marketing.

Q: A:

What business and leadership practices do you think will be most effective for you here?

I think leadership in academia as well as business ultimately requires affirming a common set of values and purpose with the key members and stakeholders of the organization. I believe that’s really the key to how you move people. People will follow you if you continues on next page engage@spears


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Dean Larry Crosby conducts business in his office at OSU’s Spears School of Business. He came to OSU in 2010 after two decades leading some of the world’s top marketing research firms and serving as a faculty member at the University of Nebraska, Michigan and Arizona State.

can identify those core, shared beliefs and connect them to a destination or future vision state. That’s really fundamental. You can’t make anything happen without that.

Q: A:

And have you identified that common set of shared beliefs of the school’s stakeholders?

Yes. We’ve been doing some very exciting interactions with our stakeholders over the past few months. We’ve gotten input and listened to the stories that our students, alumni, faculty, staff and business leaders tell about their experiences with the Spears School. We’ve been able to articulate what I believe is a very inspirational purpose for the school: “We engage and inspire the student in everyone to dream big, stretch their leadership potential, transform organizations and make a difference in the world.” Dream big and stretch. Imagine if we could touch and teach each of our students to do this. If we did, then I’m certain our students would make a difference in the world. They would be inspired to work hard, to look for new ways of doing things, to grow personally and as our future business leaders. Imagine how it would feel to know that our work— be it teaching, research, outreach or administration— had made such an impact … made a difference. That is purposeful work; meaningful work.

Q: A:

You’re right. That’s a fantastic motivator to start your day. Will having this new purpose change the School?

There is one important thing I need to clarify. Establishing a common purpose is necessary but not sufficient for change leadership. There also has to be a readiness for change. In this regard, I think I’ve been very lucky. While there was a high degree of pride about what had already been accomplished, I also saw a spirit of “we can do better” and a thirst on the part of the faculty and the staff to raise it up a notch. In so many words they said, “We’re open to change, but we need to know where the flag is moving so we can follow it.”

Q: A:

And this flag is the notion of transformation. Making a difference?

Yes. Transforming the lives we touch. What do we have to do to transform the lives of all we touch, to add value to


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all and everyone who shares the Spears experience? I believe we can do this as long as we have a strong organizational alignment among our faculty and staff and focus on some common strategic initiatives. For example, as part of the stakeholder interaction I mentioned earlier, we discovered that although our stakeholders come from many diverse groups, they share some common needs and expectations about what they want from Spears. All our stakeholder groups – students, alumni, business leaders, faculty, staff—told us that they want to be associated with a respected and recognized school. This will be one of the school’s strategic initiatives over the next few years. We must be proactive and aggressive in managing our reputation. We must promote and market ourselves through both traditional and social media. We do a lot of new and innovative things at Spears. We need to get the word out more frequently and consistently. With greater recognition of our outstanding reputation come the benefits of more effective recruiting of high quality students, faculty and staff, as well as increased donations from alumni and businesses who seek to support a recognized leader. We need to achieve and maintain leadership status as a business school in the nation.

Q: A:

Are there any other strategic initiatives that will guide the school’s actions?

We also want to really focus on strengthening bonds with our stakeholders, by creating strong, lifelong relationships. This will mean starting to build those relationships even before a student’s first day at the school; providing the guidance and resources necessary to successfully graduate; offering programs to alumni that help them keep their skills and knowledge current and relevant.

look at the income statement. What are the sources of top-line revenue? What can we do to enhance that? Are there revenue opportunities that are not in the normal spectrum of what we do? For instance, are there entrepreneurial services or technology commercialization projects that we could be a party to that will enhance our top-line revenue? I think academic leaders must take a real business-like look at the generation as well as the use of resources.

Q: A:

It seems like your ideas have resonated with alumni and major financial supporters. Getting folks behind you is obviously a huge part of the equation. What has it been like to show people your ideas? They’re basically investing in the vision. If they don’t buy into the vision, they’re not putting their money behind it. So I’m out selling the concept of the school we can become. My message to the donor base has been, “There’s a lot to be proud of already. But we can do more.” I think the time is ripe here for a plan, and there is a willingness to get behind change. Obviously, we’re not going to get it 100 percent right coming out of the blocks. We’re going to experiment and try some new stuff. Some efforts will succeed and others won’t. But we’re going to cultivate a bias for action, take calculated risks and adapt. It’s the only realistic way to move forward. The potential payoff is immense. I’m thinking student attraction and retention, favorable word-of-mouth, engaged alumni who want to give back, employers who return year-after-year for career day, reduced faculty and staff voluntary turnover, high event attendance, increased company sponsorships and donations. You name it. It works in business, and it will work in higher education. @

Effective relationships with stakeholders are essential for the school’s long-term success. We depend on the support of our stakeholder communities. The benefits of strong stakeholder relationships include mutual trust and understanding, growth in loyalty to the school, advocacy of our purpose and vision, and an opportunity to differentiate ourselves and stand out among our peers. All of these benefits will help sustain a thriving Spears School of Business. We need those relationships because, economically, it’s a challenging time for public higher education. OSU, like most state schools, has a dwindling portion of its revenue coming from the state. The majority is coming from tuition and fees paid by parents, as well as students, alumni donations and grants. This says to me that academic leaders have to be taking a hard

Dean Larry Crosby meets with students outside the Spears School of Business’s Riata Center for Entrepreneurship. Crosby believes the school must differentiate itself using service quality by researching its students’ experiences during their time at OSU. engage@spears


An unlimited resource Data mining’s uses are as versatile as its users. It can be applied to almost any measurable phenomenon. Dursun Delen, a professor in OSU’s management science information systems department, decided in 2006 to apply it toward understanding why college students drop out. OSU keeps track of a host of student information that could be useful. Delen, working with former master’s student Sharmila Mohan, decided to mine it to see if he could predict when a student was about to drop out. The results would be extremely useful for universities such as OSU. Usually just around half of its students finish their degrees. If a system were crafted to make predictions, university employees could focus on students they know need help. “We all have limited resources to do something about retention,” Delen says. “If you can focus those on people who’re more likely to drop out, then you can optimize the utility of the resources you have. And you’ll eventually increase your retention rate, which helps later with things such as national rankings by organizations that rate universities’ overall quality.” Delen plugged the data, measuring nearly 40 variables such as students’ debt loads and expectations, into his computing servers that processed the numbers, looking for patterns and correlations invisible to researchers using traditional statistical methods.

was the number of coursework hours students earned compared to the number of hours in which they were enrolled. In other words, the more hours they earned, the more likely they were to stay in school. Other factors included SAT scores and whether they had loans, scholarships, grants and waivers for the spring, as well as their fall grade point average. As those factors rose, Delen was able to predict when they were about to drop out with more than 80-percent accuracy. The results were published in one of the top management science journals, Decision Support Systems.

Instead of reworking the system, he simply worked with information the university had for years and found the patterns. Nobody that he knows at OSU has done this type of research using data mining to predict dropouts. “That’s where the value of this research is. The only thing that’s used is what we know about students in our student databases, from financial support to academic to the registrar, all of those data are collected and used in a multi-dimensional fashion.” The results haven’t been implemented yet into a system at OSU that predicts dropouts, he says. But some within university administration have expressed interest in his work. @

He found a model that linked freshman dropout rates to several factors. The factor with the biggest effect



More than just neighbors By Matt Elliott

Illustration by Valerie Kisling


esearchers with OSU’s Center for Applied Economic Research have discovered a link between economic performance of the Oklahoma City and Dallas metropolitan areas, indicating growth in one state results in growth in the other state. The research was conducted by Russell Evans and Kyle Dean, director and former associate director of the CAER, and shows that the economic performance of the two states are linked via undeniable trade flows. Evans and Dean constructed a multi-regional inputoutput model to estimate the level of economic interdependency that exists between Oklahoma and Texas along the Interstate 35 corridor from Oklahoma City to Dallas/Fort Worth. Interestingly, the data shows that although the gross regional product of the Texas region is roughly 5.6 times more than the gross regional product of the Oklahoma region, the interdependency between Oklahoma and Texas flows in both directions.

Study uncovers economic link between Dallas and Oklahoma City 42

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In fact, the study shows that a hypothetical 1 percent increase in the Texas region input, or gross domestic product, will likely result in a .08 percent increase in Oklahoma output. This resulting .08 percent increase is the equivalent of $56 million in output and 281.73 full-time equivalent jobs with an added payroll of $37 million to the Oklahoma regional economy. Conversely, a hypothetical 1 percent increase in Oklahoma regional input will likely result in a .04 percent increase in Texas’s output, which is the equivalent of $173.7 million in output and 877.17 full-time equivalent jobs with an added payroll of $120 million to the Texas regional economy. This information could be used to help guide economic development activities along the Interstate 35 corridor that connects the two areas, but the trick is figuring out how to do that, Evans says.

Q: A:

So how was this link discovered?

The way we calculate economic impact is we look at some new activity. Every study starts with a region. If I’m looking at the impact of a new aerospace manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City, I start with some new production. Then I look at the economy in Oklahoma City. I look at what else has to occur for that production to take place. What business supplies have to be produced? It used to be, when you looked at Oklahoma City and you envisioned this new activity, any purchase made outside of Oklahoma City was what we call a “leakage.” It didn’t have any impact at all. But now we can look at linkages between the regions. To understand how much leaks from “Region A” to “Region B,” the Oklahoma City to Dallas area, computing and software advances have allowed us to do some things that we weren’t able to do previously. We’re able to look at originating economic activity in Oklahoma and how many of those supporting activities occur in Oklahoma City. And we’re also able to look at leakages in these operations that leak to Dallas. We’re able to trace these back and forth.

Q: A:

Explain a little bit more about what you found.

Our report looked at chasing what used to be considered lost economic activity. We looked at how strong the linkages are between the Oklahoma City and Dallas metroplexes. We found the linkages are small, but not insignificant. You’d expect them to be small because they’re linkages after all.

Q: A:

What are those linkages due to?

All of that is complementary industries and geographic proximity. Those are the two drivers. Companies find suppliers in each other’s regions. And there’s the proximity to run our supplies up and down I-35.


How can this information be used to increase economic development?


The difficulty here is exploiting the linkages. The challenge is trying to get economic development efforts on both sides of the border to somehow exist in concert. How do you get all these economic development entities buying into the same broad vision? That is really what you want. You really want economic development in Oklahoma City and in the Dallas Metroplex to be unified by some broad, overarching economic vision. We need to see that in this corridor. Ideally, we’d like to see economic development efforts in Ardmore, Pauls Valley, Sherman and Denton. And you have to be careful about taking the view that anything that’s positive for Texas is bad for us, or anything that’s good for us is bad for Texas. To a lesser degree, I think there would be a potential within a broad geographic region – and this is a dream scenario – if you could get Dallas, Oklahoma City, Wichita and Kansas City working together all the way down I-35.


Your work with the center largely goes into detailed economic forecasts upon which government and business leaders rely to make decisions and plan for the future. Much of it goes unpublished. Has this study appeared in any journals or in any publications outside the usual regional media?


No, it hasn’t appeared in any journals. But we’ve received interest from national media outlets. I took a call from Russia a few months ago. This topic comes up all over the place – finding the links between regional cities. A business publication in Russia was interested in the possibility of using these types of studies, to see what they might entail and put together an economic development plan.


What’s the next step for you in regard to this study, taking this data and exploring these linkages more?


I think the next step would be to customize the linkages. Take our local knowledge and customize our understanding of the local economy so we could find the linkages. We sort of started with the most generically defined linkages between Oklahoma City and Dallas. I’ll go in, adjust the underlying data matrices to reflect what we know to be reality. When we do that, I’ve got to find some way of estimating how much activity is going on in Oklahoma City. So I look at trucking data – what’s shipped down the interstate. With more local knowledge, I could make some changes to the underlying data and get a more detailed representation of it and flesh out this relationship more. @



Losing the edge By Matt Elliott

Research shows losing employees to competitors hurts leading organizations’ competitiveness. Illustration by Valerie Kisling 44

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Photo by Phil Shockley

Federico Aime

routine with them and implement it perfectly in their new organizations.


eople come and go. Common business knowledge indicates it is organizational routines, and not the people that take part in them, that matter for competitive success.

As a result, employee mobility is sometimes considered irrelevant to organizational competitive success. That’s because the routines of successful organizations continue to operate well even after people leave. But it turns out that may not be true, says OSU strategic management professor Federico Aime. Aime and a team of OSU researchers have found evidence suggesting while organizational routines continue performing well when key people leave, the routines’ effectiveness is lessened. That’s not because people are irreplaceable and routines get disrupted when they leave, Aime says. It also is not because departing employees take the

Aime states when key employees leave a leading organization to join competitors, that lessens the value of those routines to compete successfully. His conclusions are detailed in a study published in The Strategic Management Journal. It is co-authored by fellow OSU management professor Scott Johnson, and 2010 OSU doctoral graduates’ Jason Ridge and Aaron Hill. They find three main ways a leading organization loses advantage as key employees join the competition. Leading organizations become less competitive against organizations that hire employees directly from them. That’s probably because competitors use the new employees’ imported information to erode the dominant company’s advantage, Aime says. Also, the leading organization loses some of its advantage when competitors increasingly compete against those who have hired away key employees from the leader. The OSU team uncovered those results in a study of the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 2002. The 49ers coach at the time, Bill Walsh, came up with a system, the “West Coast Offense,” which revolutionized the sport. Walsh won three Super Bowls using the system during the 1980s. The 49ers won 66 percent of their

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games over the 23-year period Aime’s group studied, and Walsh’s famous offense made household names out of players such as Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. But just as in the corporate world, when Walsh’s team did well, the competition attempted to hire away his coveted assistants. Eventually, the 49ers and its competitors ended up facing teams that ran pieces of Walsh’s offense and had learned how to play against it. The 49ers’ average victory margin of 6.4 points dropped by five points when they faced a team with a former 49ers assistant on its staff, the study reports. The comparisons to the corporate world are easy to make. Winning is as essential in sports as it is in business. Just as Walsh did, companies have to work harder to maintain their routines’ advantages as the competition hires away their key employees. “Since parts of the routine get replicated in many other settings and companies, now everyone who’s going to compete with this company is also competing with other companies that are implementing parts or aspects of those routines,” Aime says. “That routine that was so wonderful and so valuable is not that much of a competitive advantage anymore.” This is the first study to analyze the effect of key employee mobility on competitive performance outcomes. The study’s conclusions are a significant rebuke of the traditional argument that people are replaceable and organizational routines create sustainable competitive advantages. Its results make several major contributions to management practices, chiefly that the routines can’t stand alone. “It’s important to understand that losing people is not only about what it does to my company,” he says. “It’s more about what it does to everyone else’s competitive knowledge.” For employers losing key employees, Aime also offers ways to limit the losses. “You might as well try to make sure you continue to introduce elements in the routine that continue to change its competitive value. Also, you might want to manage or plan turnover by planning employee careers including placement and transitions to constrain the competitive diffusion of your core practices.” Aime has several other important studies ongoing. In one of these studies, Aime and OSU management doctoral student Jeff Paul worked with researchers from Penn State and the University of Michigan to study power relationships in cross-functional teams. Results indicate that mixing people in teams from


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different backgrounds, hierarchies or leadership roles limits rather than helps performance. “Teams where power flows with ease to the right people do way better in terms of creativity than hierarchical teams,” Aime says. Furthering his research into routines is another project looking into the Indian film industry, Bollywood. “Bollywood is a great setting to study temporary organizations,” Aime says. “Because there are no large studios, each movie is produced by a new temporary organization that is put together specifically for that one movie.” Aime looked at how those organizations achieve routine-like advantages when there is no time for the organization to develop effective routines. “The Indian film market is like a bazaar where you meet the same people over and over again,” he says. “What we find is that a lot of the things that make routines work exist in these companies because of the past experiences workers have with each other from previous films.” Another of his studies takes observations from how children interact on a playground and compares them to corporate teams. Preliminary findings show teams usually end up being dominated by two people. The other group members compete for the two members’ attention, and the duo’s attitudes and behaviors become the team’s personality. “So if these two people are conscientious, the team puts in a lot of effort, but if they are lazy, everyone is going to work less. It’s the combination of these two as opposed to the average qualities of the team that apparently drives the team’s characteristics and performance.” Among other studies, Aime is also looking at decision makers’ tendencies to make decisions based only on dynamic information instead of information that does not change from period to period and is therefore less visible. The result, he says, is a management style that is more reactionary and less nuanced. @


Business professor begins SMA term Mark Gavin, the Spears School’s Carson professor of business administration, began his term as president of the Southern Management Association at the organization’s annual conference last October in St. Pete Beach, Fla. As president, Gavin will spearhead the organization’s annual meetings and activities. He previously served as the association’s president-elect and in various other positions. Lee Manzer and his wife Saundra pose for a photo during his induction into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.

Legendary professor makes higher ed hall of fame The Spears School’s Lee Manzer was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

State University for two years. He returned to OSU in 1975.

Manzer, an OSU professor for more than 35 years, has taught more than 25,000 students, given presentations for more than 500 organizations, and won 14 teaching awards. Among other things, he is an expert in customer relationships, service quality and storytelling as a management technique.

“I’ve always enjoyed teaching,” Manzer said. “It’s fun to teach people who are interested in what you have to say. I’ve been very fortunate that most people – both in the university and in seminars, et cetera, react positively.”

“It is a nice honor to be recognized,” Manzer said. “There are a lot of other people that could receive this award. I feel very fortunate, and it is very humbling.” Manzer earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1965 and his Master of Business Administration in 1966 - both from OSU. He worked for several years at Dow Chemical Co. and later returned to OSU to get his marketing doctoral degree. After that, he taught at Memphis

Since then, he has won the Spears School of Business Outstanding Teacher Award four times and been OSU’s instructor of the year four times.

“I love the Southern Management Association, and it feels wonderful to spend my time and effort on the organization,” said Gavin, who has a doctoral degree in organizational behavior from Purdue University. “I have been a member of the SMA since 1993, and I truly believe in what it has to offer.” The SMA is an affiliate of the Academy of Management. It advances research, teaching, learning and practice of management by providing professional activities and events while keeping members up to date on the latest practices in the field. More than 900 professors, students and executives from more than 200 organizations are members. @

At 70, he is the oldest Spears School faculty member, and he has no intention of retiring any time soon, he said. “Once, I was asked if I was going to move to Florida when I retire,” Manzer said. “I said, ‘Why would I go where there are old people?’ It’s fun to be around young people. I like both my students and my colleagues a lot. We’re blessed in this university, and I plan to stick around for a while.” @

Mark Gavin 2011 engage@spears



In Memoriam

He also taught several accounting classes each year. Wetzel’s friend, Professor Gary Meek, said he was a huge OSU sports fan, and traveled with a group of faculty members, dubbed the “Road Crew,” to one OSU football away game per year.

“He would have been incredibly excited at how well our football team did this past year,” Meek said. “He was a great friend to a lot of people across campus and in our community, and he was one of my best friends. All of us will miss him very much for a long time to come.”


Thomas Sterling Wetzel

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; his two daughters, Janine and Laura; his sister, LaVergne Malone, of Oakland, Calif.; his brother, William, of Portland, Ore.; and numerous cousins including Cheryl Adams and Olive Whitley.

Thomas Sterling Wetzel, 67, the Spears School’s Wilton T. Anderson professor of accounting, died Oct. 7 at his home in Stillwater.

“He was the first to come to work each morning,” said Don Herrmann, the head of OSU’s accounting school. “He was tough but fair and loved interacting with college students.” During his career, Wetzel had many works published and received the OSU Award of Excellence for Advisement, as well as the Kenneth D. and Leitner Greiner Undergraduate teaching award. 48

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Camara worked for a while as a business journalist in Portugal before beginning his academic career at the Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa. He later moved to the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland, said John Polonchek, his department head. He later joined the University of Michigan-Flint in 2003 before coming to OSU. Popular among his students, at OSU Camara was known for his love of teaching derivatives pricing and financial engineering.

“He always encouraged us to focus our attention on publishing papers,” said Subramanian Iyer, one of his doctoral students. “He also did things he didn’t have to do, things that showed he cared. I had to pass an English-speaking test to teach at OSU. To show his support, he attended my test.”

In research, Camara was productive and internationally recognized, Polonchek said. His work appeared in everything from The Journal of Finance to The Journal of Banking and Finance.

He was born June 5, 1943, in Chicago, to William V. Wetzel and Olive LaVergne Wetzel. He married Mary Ann Santo on Jan. 6, 1979, with whom he had two daughters.

Wetzel attended Northern Illinois University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA. In 1980, he obtained his doctoral degree from OSU. He later moved to DeKalb, Ill., where he taught at Northern Illinois before returning to OSU in August 1986, where he became the coordinator for the accounting school’s master’s program.

Superior de Economia e Gestao in Portugal, and later obtained a doctoral degree from England’s Lancaster University.

“He had a zest for life up until the very end,” said Simkins, one of his friends and collaborators. “He loved being at OSU and said these were the happiest years of his life.” Camara

Antonio Camara Antonio Camara, a native of Portugal and award-winning instructor at OSU, died Jan. 19, 2010, in Tulsa. Camara, who joined OSU in 2006, was the Watson Family Chair in commodity and financial risk management in the finance department. Born Oct. 13, 1962, in Lisbon, he attended the Catholic University of Portugal, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He obtained his MBA from the Instituto

At OSU, Camara received the Richard W. Poole Research Excellence Award, which honors faculty members published in leading research journals, and the Best Paper in Risk Management Award from the Financial Management Association.

The Stillwater NewsPress reports Camara is survived by his parents, Joao and Teresa Camara, of Portugal; his wife of 32 years, Ana Camara, of Stillwater; 11 year-old son Antonio; an 8 year-old daughter, Isabel; a brother, Francisco Camara, and sisters Isabel Camara and Teresa Camara. @


Spears School marketing and communications staff honored The Spears School’s communications staff was honored last July during the Oklahoma Collegiate Public Relations Association’s annual awards contest and meeting at the Post Oak Lodge in Sand Springs.

Spears School staff members recognized for service

Ruth Inman, former communications specialist, won second-place in newsletter writing for the 2009 School of Accounting News, as well as third-place for a news article co-written with intern Suzanne Simpson. Graphic designer Kevin Cate won second-place in event promotions materials for his work on 2010 CEO Day. Cate and Inman received an honorable mention as well for a display promoting the Spears School’s program for women business students. The OCPRA is Oklahoma’s professional organization for communicators from public and private universities and colleges. The Spears School’s marketing and communications staff directs the school’s public relations through media work, graphic design, publications, copywriting and editing.

From left, Jan Analla, assistant graduate programs director; Shelby Clanahan, executive administrative assistant; David Myers, computer support services manager; Gaye Trivitt, program manager with the Center for Executive and Professional Development; and Barbara Bremer, student services assistant director were honored during the business school’s annual staff appreciation luncheon in 2010. Along with Joe Haney, who is not shown above, they were honored for their service to the business school.

For more information, visit @

Two Spears School staff members honored 2010’s winners of the Spears School’s Outstanding Staff Awards are Sherry Roberts and Lisa Fain. Roberts is the administrative support specialist for the accounting school. She wears a number of hats each semester, including working with classes, Sherry Roberts ordering textbooks, scheduling appointments, tracking progress of the school’s graduate students and coordinating scholarship dollars. In addition to arranging banquets, board meetings and conferences, Roberts

her anonymous nominators. “Lisa has the highest level of integrity and demonstrates it constantly in her interactions with others.”

has even been a friendly shoulder for students going through tough times. “Sherry is by far the most loyal administrative assistant with whom I have worked,” said one of her anonymous nominators. “I’ve known her to counsel students about schooling, personal affairs or other matters in a very friendly, confidential manner.” Fain is the director of operations for the Spears School. In addition to a host of other roles, she advises the school’s leadership on policies and procedures. “Lisa maintains her calm in the face of daily challenges, offering positive support, encouragement and opportunities for staff growth as well as development,” said one of

The $500 award is given each year to two Spears School staff members. Employees are nominated based on their service and high-quality work, knowledge of their position, positive interpersonal skills, willingness to improve the school and an overall positive attitude. @ Lisa Fain

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Jadlows retire from Spears School Professors Janice and Joe Jadlow retired from OSU in June 2010 with 77 years of OSU teaching experience between them. Janice Jadlow, a finance professor since 1984, had served OSU students for 35 years. She became the Spears School’s first female administrator when she was promoted to department head in 1990, a position she filled until 2006. She taught more than 5,000 students and reveled in every chance she had to help them. She also coordinated the department’s doctoral program for a time and spent 14 years as the finance student organization’s faculty adviser.

Janice Jadlow

“I really enjoyed the students,” she said. “It is a joy to see them progress from beginning finance students to OSU graduates. I also love keeping up with their careers. Teaching is a little like a mystery novel. If the students don’t stay in touch after graduation, it’s like tearing out the last chapter of the book.” Prior to joining the finance faculty, she was a research associate in the Office of Business and Economic Research, working with the state’s only large-scale econometric forecasting model. She also taught economics for six years as a doctoral student and instructor. Her contributions to the university were recognized when she was designated a Regents service professor. Her husband, economics professor Joe Jadlow, was a Spears School faculty member for 42 years. He taught courses in the economics of legal analysis, antitrust economics, microeconomics and other areas. He was a regular reviewer for National Science Foundation grant proposals and published articles in top-10 economics journals. “I have been involved in a wide variety of activities over the years,” said Jadlow. “I have a lot of good memories of students, good friends and great colleagues.” 

Joe Jadlow

He came to OSU in 1968 and was his department’s head during the 1990s. A Regents service professor like his wife, he chaired OSU’s athletic council, which oversees the university’s intercollegiate athletics policy, served twice on the OSU faculty council, and was his department’s graduate student coordinator. He was the major adviser for 17 doctoral dissertations in economics and more than 40 master’s theses. In 2005, he was honored by the Southern Economic Association, a 1,000-member academic economists organization, for his 28 years as its executive director. He received a number of teaching honors, including the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2001, alumni Tom and Mary Beadles honored him by endowing a scholarship in his name to support economics undergraduate students, as well as an endowed scholarship later for graduate students.


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Accounting professor retires after 33 years Patrick Dorr, who held the Spears School’s Haskell Cudd professorship, retired June 30, ending his more than three decades as an OSU faculty member. Dorr taught courses in the five major areas of accounting: financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, auditing and accounting information systems – the last of which he is credited with developing. His devotion to OSU and its students has helped him earn several accolades, including the University Service Award in 2009, the 2008 Richard W. Poole Faculty Outreach Excellence award, and the 2008 Great Plains Region Excellence in Teaching award. “I’ve enjoyed it all,” Dorr said. “I’ve loved teaching, I’ve loved doing the student groups, and I’ve loved teaching in the study abroad. Those are three things that I have just loved.” He said one of his most cherished OSU memories is his 20 years as the faculty

adviser for OSU’s Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honors society. His work with the chapter helped it become the top student service organization on campus and earned him Student Organization Advisor of the Year in 2007. A lifelong Cowboys fan, he attended OSU as an undergraduate in 1965. After completing his bachelor’s in accounting, he obtained his master’s degree in accounting from OSU in 1970. He worked for KPMG in Tulsa, Okla., as a staff auditor and an audit supervisor for OSU’s internal audits department. Once he acquired some practical experience, he decided to begin teaching and took a position at East Central University. He finished his doctoral degree in 1979 at the University of North Texas. Outside of work, he was an outstanding volunteer and citizen of Stillwater, which resulted in a nomination to carry the Olympic torch through town during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga.

Spears School of Business

Study Abroad and Travel Programs Spring and Summer 2012 destinations include:

China France Greece Ireland Italy

London South Africa Spain NYC Phoenix

Education beyond the usual Center for Executive and Professional Development Spears School of Business | 215 Business Building 1.866.678.3933 | 405.744.5208 |

Patrick Dorr

“That’s probably the highlight of my personal life,” Dorr said. During retirement, Dorr said he intends to live out his “bucket list” of future plans, including spending time with his family, learning to play the guitar and expanding his travels overseas. @


Are companies with female leadership more profitable? Maybe, reports research by a team of Spears School researchers. But companies with more overall diverse leadership, according to ethnicity, race and gender, tend to be more profitable, says Betty Simkins, a Spears School finance professor. Simkins and fellow finance professors David Carter and Gary Simpson looked at about 13,000 “board seats” at different points in time, examining women’s status on boards and whether the companies performed better as a result of their leadership. The findings came from two nearly decade-long studies and yielded conflicting results. “Our first study, which only looked at data for one year, found companies were more profitable if they had boards with more women on them,” Simkins said. “But the latest study, using five years of data, didn’t find the connection. We found evidence firms have more diverse boards over time, but we can’t say that brought them more profits. It is possible, though, more profitable companies work on leadership diversity because their leadership believes it’s the right thing to do.” Aside from the conflicting results, the group’s research yielded other interesting facts about female business leaders. They found 11 percent of board directors were women. Larger companies had more female leadership. They also found that among other things women board members were more independent and younger than their male counterparts. They were also less likely to serve as committee chairs or be a company CEO.


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Simkins presented the research last October at a Harvard University conference on gender’s economic value, one that featured leading experts from around the world, including people from the World Economic Forum and the Council of Women World Leaders. Its keynote speaker was U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Simkins, who said she was honored to attend and present her colleagues’ work, also served on a discussion panel during the conference. Meanwhile, the jury is still out on what causes the dearth of women on boards, says Gary Simpson, one of Simkins’ co-authors. “At first I thought maybe the fact there weren’t that many was due simply to prejudice,” Simpson said. “Most boards are dominated by aging white men … I think it’s more complicated than that.” Their interest came about after the massive energy firm Enron collapsed in 2001 due to shady accounting practices. “Presumably, it should be the board of directors who ensure the top management does the right thing,” Carter said. “A lot of people began to look at boards very closely after the Enron scandal. The bottom line: is there some way we can structure the boards so they do the right thing? This research is a part of that.”
 Carter added he believes gender issues are important to companies and will be in the future as even more women enter the corporate workforce. @


OSU study uncovers commonalities between gamblers, investors

OU, OSU partner to assist FAA

Think the bleary-eyed gambler slouched over at a slot machine has nothing in common with the average stock market player? A study by the Spears School’s Janice Jadlow and John Mowen begs you to think again. The study, published in 2010 in the The Journal of Behavioral Finance, reported investors and gamblers were risk-takers who were materialistic, competitive, superstitious and numbers-oriented. The results were based on surveys of gamblers, non-gamblers, investors, and those who don’t invest in the stock market. “What drives a lot of my research is just interesting questions – in this case, the stock market crash of 2008,” said Mowen, a marketing professor and psychologist. His co-author, Janice Jadlow, retired in 2010. “At the time, it seemed a lot of individuals were using the stock market to gamble.” The data also showed how the two groups differed. Investors tended to be more emotionally stable and future-oriented than the gamblers. A connection emerged, too, linking impulsiveness and gambling, while no such relationship was found among investors. The study’s results can be used in a host of ways, Mowen said. Casinos can cater to those traits and use them to encourage more customers to gamble. Meanwhile, governments and other organizations can use the results to spread anti-gambling messages or take other actions to fight problem gambling. “For example, messages encouraging less impulsive behavior may impede gambling,” he said. “Of course, if you’re running a casino, you’ll want to increase gambling and can use this information to help with that.”

Lawrence Crosby, dean of the OSU Spears School of Business, Lindy Ritz, director of the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, and Kenneth Evans, dean of the OU Price College of Business, signed an agreement for the two universities to provide a leadership development series for the employees of the center operated by the Federal Aviation Administration. The two schools announced the agreement last November.

Finance students win big

The study used an approach based on Mowen’s personality theory, the “3M Model,” or the “Meta-theoretic Model of Motivation and Personality.” The model connects people’s actions to an interconnected set of traits to influence their behavior. He has applied the model to reams of research examining everything from aggressive driving to cosmetic surgery to tanning. He has a doctoral degree in social psychology from Arizona State University and is a Regents professor at OSU. He has published more than 80 journal articles and nine books in marketing, psychology, and finance. @ From left, OSU finance graduate students Karin Kinnerud, Kyle Mendenhall, Divya Krishnan and Michael Gentry, shown above inside the Spears School’s Watson Trading Floor, placed 20th out of 43 teams during the 2010 Rotman International Trading Competition in Toronto that lets students use Wall Street’s latest automated trading technology. Also shown are their adviser, Assistant Professor Ali Nejadmalayeri, and Professor Tim Krehbiel, the coordinator for the school’s quantitative financial economics master’s program.

2011 engage@spears



OSU dominates 2010 Data Mining Conference

Building video games builds brainpower Remember that kid who designed levels for video games on his parents’ computer? Don’t dismiss him as a stereotypical shoegazer. A literature review by OSU researchers, published in The International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing in January 2010, suggests creating computer games builds students’ critical and creative thinking abilities. Although it requires more research, the project’s leader, Professor Nik Dalal, from management science information systems, reports it could be used as an innovative teaching method, too.

These Spears School graduate students took first place, among other honors, during the M2010 Data Mining Conference last October in Las Vegas. Shown here, at left, Tim Rey with Dow Chemical Co. and Tracy Hewitt with Central Michigan University, at right, present a $5,000 check to students Chongwatpol Jong, Larasati Aisyah, Sangasoongsong Akkarapol, and their professor, Goutam Chakraborty. The conference is the largest gathering of data mining professionals in the world.

Spears School’s international stature growing

“At this stage, we have looked at how this approach is being used at schools and colleges all over the United States,” Dalal said. “We propose to develop a teaching model that can be taken to developing countries.” To measure the games’ effects on users, Dalal worked with his son, computer science student Parth Dalal, Subhash Kak, a computer science professor, and Pavlo Antonenko and Susan Stansberry, professors in educational studies. They combed scientific literature for research and tabulated their results. Their goal was to see whether a curriculum could be created with the program Rapid Computer Game Creation to teach computer users technology, creative thinking and development. Rapid Computer Game Creation is the simplest and most common of dozens of game engines available. It lets users build video games from scratch. They can construct their own plots, characters and graphics. The level of thought required to build complex games can be pretty involved. Realizing that, Dalal believes this approach may be a way to bridge the educational/ digital divide.

Nine students from Coimbatore Institute of Technology in Coimbatore, India, spent three months at the Spears School. Shown above, Anish Deenadayalan, Kishore Iyer, Madhumati Ragavendhiran, Ambika Nair, Aravind Balasubramanian, Mukhil Sivakumar, Akila Balakrishnan, Reynald Sagayaraj and Sindhujaa Chandrababu studied in various departments as part of the school’s largest international internship project.


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A curriculum using the program lets students have fun while also honing their brainpower in high-level programming, storytelling, and plot creation. Dalal said more study is necessary before he can come to more definitive conclusions on the program’s utility.


Students’ plan wins OSU’s Spears School professors partner with “What’s Your Big Idea” competition Mexican university Four faculty members from the Spears School of Business taught at colleges in eight northern Mexico cities during March 2010. Dave Carter, Tom Gosnell, Tony Kang and Betty Simkins guest-lectured several courses there, working with students and faculty to help grow the schools’ business curricula. The trip was through a visiting scholar program with the Rectoria Zona Norte of Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, and took them to cities including Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Juarez, Laguna and Zacatecas. During the visit, Carter, an associate finance professor, taught a financial management course. Simkins, also a finance professor, lectured students on international financial management. Gosnell, another associate finance professor, visited Tampico and taught a course on portfolio management. Kang, an associate accounting professor, taught a financial statement analysis course.

Jay Hanan, at left, presented the OSU Riata Business Plan Competition’s $25,000 grand prize to Ranjan Mahadevan, Advait Bhat, Balaji Jayakumar and Amir Bhochhibhoya. Their plan for Metcel, a composite manufacturing company, joined those of 96 teams in the contest. The competition lets students get feedback from business leaders and professors on their ideas.

CEO Day 2010

“I really enjoyed the teaching experience as well as the visit,” Kang said. “I hope to return in the near future.” The partnership with the institute in Monterrey is supported by several OSU outreach units, including the Spears School’s Center for Executive and Professional Development. “We are excited about the partnership with Monterrey,” said Larry Crosby, Spears School dean. “Sending faculty supplements the Monterrey curriculum. This type of international exchange is also beneficial for our own faculty in that they learn about another culture and business environment and bring back those experiences to the classroom at OSU.”

OSU alumni Rick Darnaby, at left, Managing Partner of Darnaby & Associates; Rhonda Hooper, president and CEO of Jordan Associates and Griff Jones, CEO of EDF Trading in North America, spoke to business students during OSU’s CEO Day 2010. The event gives students an insider’s look behind the decision making of toplevel management in the business world. 2011 engage@spears



Spears School faculty win teaching awards Professors Marilyn Kletke and Kevin Voss last October received the 2010 Ken and Leitner Greiner Excellence in Teaching Awards for undergraduate and graduate teaching, respectively. Kletke is a management information systems professor in the Spears School’s Department of Management Science and Information Systems. She also serves as coordinator for the Master of Science in management information systems program. Voss is an associate marketing professor. “It is a pleasure to honor Dr. Kletke and Dr. Voss for their notable dedication to instructional excellence,” said Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School. “High-quality classroom instruction is central to our mission. The efforts of instructors like Dr. Kletke and Dr. Voss are vital to prepare students for success.” The awards, established in 1987 by alumni Ken and Leitner Greiner, recognize outstanding undergraduate and graduate faculty members nominated by students and fellow professors. Kletke has been at OSU since 1981 and is published in numerous academic journals. In 2008, she received a grant from the ConocoPhillips Faculty Sponsorship Program to develop a $1 million endowment for scholarships to support management information systems students. An expert in online course development and design, Kletke won the Best Practices Award for Distance Learning Teaching

from the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association in 2009. She also was a participant in the first ConocoPhillips Information Technology Professor Leader Forum in 2010. “I feel so humble to have received this award,” Kletke said. “I believe I am standing on the shoulders of many other people who make it possible for Spears School faculty to achieve excellence in teaching. I am so grateful to all those who make it possible for us to provide our students with excellence throughout their educational experiences.” Professor Voss’s doctorate, MBA and bachelor’s degree are from Washington State University. He has been a member of the OSU faculty since 1999. He teaches graduate courses in global competitive environment and measurement as well as experiential design. Voss researches international strategic alliances, international branding issues, brand alliances, marketing phenomenon measurement and cross-cultural research methods. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Marketing Research, International Marketing Review, Marketing Letters, Psychology & Marketing, and The Journal of International Consumer Marketing. “I put in a lot of time and effort to design an educational process that will help light a path for students to follow,” Voss said. “In many ways, this award signifies that my effort has paid off, not for me, but for the students.” @

OSU students take third at governor’s cup Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry presents OSU MBA students, from left, Kip Kelley and Samantha Collingsworth with the third-place graduate division award of the April 2010 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. Kelley and Collingsworth, honored for their proposed business Novel Water Softening, are joined by Professor Bruce Barringer, at right, their adviser. The annual competition encourages students to use their entrepreneurial skills in the real world.


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Force for change retires after 41 years Jim Hromas, an associate marketing professor and former director of international education and outreach, retired Aug. 2 from the Spears School. For two decades, Hromas was the driving force behind OSU outreach and a catalyst for change, bringing to the university regional, national and international recognition. The university’s International Education and Outreach received the “best practices” award for his leadership. “Jim’s influence in the Spears School was enormous, and his policies will have tremendous results for many years,” said Larry Crosby, the Spears School’s dean. “He designed the Spears School’s Center for Executive and Professional Development, which annually brings OSU programs and courses to thousands of executives and students. His service on the International Board of Sister Cities is also highly valued. And his vision for students to travel abroad has encouraged numerous donors to provide scholarships.” Raised on a small farm in Waukomis, Okla., Hromas went to OSU in 1962 and graduated in 1967 with a degree in accounting. He then enrolled in the master’s of business administration program at OSU, but had to leave early for active duty with the Oklahoma National Guard.

Jim Hromas

Once he finished his active duty requirements, he took a job in accounting with Amoco Corp. in Tulsa, Okla. He soon realized corporate accounting wasn’t his cup of tea, and he returned to OSU as a fraternity adviser and re-entered the MBA program. He finished his degree in 1970 after a half-year internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. After graduation, Hromas became assistant director of OSU’s Business Extension. He was promoted to director in 1981, a position he held for 10 years, during which time he obtained his doctoral degree in business administration. He also served as Dean of University Extension in 1994 and oversaw University Extension International and Economic Development in 1997. In 1998, then OSU president Jim Halligan asked Hromas to form the School of International Studies. He directed the school and oversaw international education and outreach until 2004. The school now has about 100 graduate students, half of whom are from more than 30 different countries. More than 450 students participate in its study abroad programs. Among his other accomplishments are the development of the School of International Studies and the Global Briefing Series, developed after 9/11 to address global issues. It has featured more than 25 notable speakers, including billionaire Steve Forbes and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. @

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Spears School professor joins IT forum

Marilyn Kletke

Management information systems professor Marilyn Kletke gained valuable insight into recruiting high school students into information technology-related majors during the first ConocoPhillips Information Technology Professor Leader Forum in April 2010.

Program to develop a $1 million scholarship endowment for supporting 10 management information systems students each semester.

The forum was a two-day session at the oil company’s offices in Bartlesville, Okla. It brought together IT faculty and university administrators to network and share best practices about information technology skills, curriculum and student organizations.

The company provided transportation, lodging and food at no cost to participants.

About 20 faculty members representing six states and nine universities were selected to join the meeting. Representatives from each university spoke about their experiences and successes at their schools. Kletke spoke about a grant she received from the ConocoPhillips Faculty Sponsorship

The conference also included breakout sessions with ConocoPhillips employees, who discussed recruitment, high school outreach programs and IT curriculum.

“They had a really nice program for us,” said Kletke, the Spears School’s coordinator of the master’s degree in management information systems program. “I loved networking with the other university MSIS faculty and seeing how they are having issues similar to us and their solutions. “It was a very energetic event,” Kletke said. “It was full of synergy. We all enjoyed it, and it was very nice of ConocoPhillips to host it.”

MBA Corporate Strategy students travel to Vietnam

From top left, Sarah Summers, Chris Davis, Shane George and Harlan Ross joined Associate Dean Robert Dooley, Blaine Rider, Sonja Hightower, David Burwell, Pablo Esqueda, Shannon Boynton, Bavico CEO Nguyễn Hữu Biểu, An Nguyen, Laura Nieto, Minh Uyen Dinh and a Vietnamese newspaper reporter outside the offices of Bavico, a major Vietnamese plastics manufacturer. With Dooley, the students traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in May 2010 to present Nguyễn their research on the American market.


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Energy association donates to Spears School From left, finance professor Betty Simkins and OSU students Nicolas Hutnyak, Yanyi Yaun, Tommy Smithy and Collin Balke joined John Polonchek, the finance department’s head, and students Grant Killion, Kobe Liu and Maciej Pietrus in accepting a donation from the Natural Gas & Energy Association of Oklahoma. The NGEAO is a nonprofit association representing energy industry figures who rely on Oklahoma’s natural resources. Each year, the organization supports industry education by making donations to colleges and programs to further the state’s energy industry. OSU’s donation was presented during the annual NGEAO Meeting and Sports Tournament dinner in Catoosa, Okla.

Entrepreneurship professor lauded for study abroad The head of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship was honored for his work leading Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa, a sixweek program in Cape Town where students help emerging entrepreneurs. Michael Morris received OSU’s 20092010 Outstanding Faculty Study Abroad Leader award. “EESA is a model program allowing students from OSU and other major universities to travel to South Africa and assist historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs,” said Julie Weathers, director of the OSU Center for Executive and Professional Development, which facilitates study abroad programs in the Spears School. “We are extremely excited that Dr. Morris brings this unique course experience to students.”

use creativity and critical thinking to help the businesses. Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students are accepted. Morris explains, “The entrepreneurs gain much from the student teams, but experience shows the students gain even more from the entrepreneurs.” The program is the result of a partnership with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, the University of Colorado and Texas A&M University. Its students form consulting teams that work with emerging businesses and are coached by three faculty members. It’s just one of dozens of ways Morris has contributed to OSU’s reinvigorated entrepreneurial spirit since he came to the university in 2008. @

The program’s students, chosen through a rigorous selection process,

2011 engage@spears


engage@spears Magazine-Spring 2011  

Official magazine of the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.

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