Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, October 15, 2001

***The Women in Leadership Conference takes place on Saturday, October 20. Tickets are available at http://www.wilconference.org/2001/index.html.***

Weekend Option Added to the Evening MBA Program
Central Campus Starts National Search for a New Dean for the Haas School
George Akerlof Wins Nobel Prize in Economics
The Haas Admissions Office Reorganizes and Streamlines Its Processes
Alumni Draw on Each Other for Expert Advice
Faculty News: Pete Bucklin Receives Honorary Degree from the Stockholm School of    Economics
New Staff
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas
Alumni Events

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Beginning next fall, the Haas School will admit the first weekend cohort in the renamed and expanded Evening & Weekend MBA Program. These students will earn their MBAs by taking classes on Saturdays, and about half of the courses will be offered in Silicon Valley - the first time Haas has offered a degree program in the South Bay.

The new weekend option is an expansion of the school's popular and highly competitive Evening MBA Program, which is ranked one of the top ten part-time MBA programs in the US. Marketing of the new weekend option began on October 15.

Students enrolled in the new weekend option earn the same Berkeley MBA and take the same courses taught by professors drawn from the Haas faculty pool that teaches in the Evening and Full-Time Programs.

"With Saturday instruction and with about 50% of the classes being held at a site in Silicon Valley, the new Weekend Option offers real choice and convenience to the hundreds of men and women who apply to the program each year," said Andy Shogan, associate dean for instruction. "In this turbulent economy, it also meets the needs of the growing number of working professionals who want to differentiate themselves in the job market and get a jump start on a better career."

Shogan said the decision to teach half of the program in Silicon Valley recognizes the importance of the South Bay area and the fact that about half of the current Evening MBA students commute to their Haas classes from the South Bay on two evenings a week.

For six semesters (Fall and Spring) over three years, the 60 students in the weekend option will attend classes on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Weekend students will also have access to an equivalent level of the student services, library facilities, and career center services as those provided to Evening Cohort students.

The core (required) courses and a set of the most popular elective courses will be offered on Saturdays, thereby enabling students in the Weekend cohort to complete on Saturdays all coursework required for the MBA degree. Students in the Evening and Weekend Cohorts will be able to enroll in electives in the other cohort, and in the Full-Time MBA program, on a space available basis.

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The chancellor's office at UC Berkeley has begun the long process of selecting a new dean for the Haas School. As is the case with all of the dean searches conducted by UC Berkeley, Chancellor Robert Berdahl will make the final decision on the new dean for the Haas School based on recommendations from a search committee.

The dean's search committee is being formed, on behalf of the chancellor's office, by Jan De Vries, vice provost for academic affairs and faculty welfare. De Vries' office handles all searches for deans at UC Berkeley and has contacted faculty and administrators at Haas to suggest members for the search committee.

"We do know that the committee will have three faculty members from Haas, three faculty members not from Haas (one of whom will chair the committee), one administrator from Haas, at least one current Haas student, and representation from the local business/alumni community," said Ben Hermalin, associate dean of academic affairs. Beginning January 1, 2002, Hermalin will serve as interim dean until a new dean is in place.

None of the names of the people being considered for the committee have been released at this point, but in the next month or so an official memo announcing the committee members will be sent to the Haas School. The committee list will also be posted at http://www.chance.berkeley.edu/vprovost/ once it is official.

The search for the new dean will be national. As with most high-level positions, the names of potential candidates will be held in strictest confidence until quite late in the process. In the past the campus has employed an executive search firm to identify candidates for the Haas deanship. This is likely for this search as well.

The members of the Haas community are normally involved in the late stages of the selection of the new dean, most likely hearing from the candidates that make the short list. Once this list is announced, members of the Haas community will have a chance to give their feedback on each of the candidates.

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George A. Akerlof, a professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Economics, was named the 2001 co-winner of the Nobel Prize in economic sciences on October 10, 2001. It is the second consecutive year in which the Nobel Prize has gone to a UC Berkeley economist. Akerlof is married to economist Janet L. Yellen, the Eugene and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor at the Haas School.

"He has real flashes of insight into human problems, into what may explain social phenomena," Yellen said. "It's wonderful to work with him; he's so original." Akerlof and Yellen have worked together on numerous research projects.

Akerlof is the author of a landmark study on the role of asymmetric information in the market for "lemon" used cars. His research broke with established economic theory in illustrating how markets malfunction when buyers and sellers - as seen in used car markets - operate under different information. The work has had far-reaching applications in such diverse areas as health insurance, financial markets, and employment contracts.

"Economic theorists, like French chefs in regard to food, have developed stylized models whose ingredients are limited by some unwritten rules," says Akerlof. "Just as traditional French cooking does not use seaweed or raw fish, so neoclassical models do not make assumptions derived from psychology, anthropology, or sociology. I disagree with any rules that limit the nature of the ingredients in economic models."

Akerlof shares the prize with economists A. Michael Spence of Stanford University and Joseph E. Stiglitz of Columbia University for their contributions to the analyses of markets with asymmetric information. Stiglitz served as the chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1995 to 1997, between the terms of Yellen (1997 to 1999) and Dean Laura Tyson (1993 to 1995). Jay Stowsky, associate dean for school affairs and initiatives, was Stiglitz's chief of staff at that time.

Akerlof, 61, is UC Berkeley's 18th Nobel Prize winner. He is the university's fourth economics professor and the third in seven years at the university to be so honored. Economics professor Daniel McFadden shared the prize last year. The late Haas Professor John Harsanyi won the Nobel Prize in 1994. Gerard Debreu, a professor emeritus of economics and mathematics, won the prize in 1983.

Akerlof earned a bachelor's degree at Yale in 1962 and a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966. He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a research associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He also is one of five Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professors in the College of Letters & Science, appointed in 1997 for five-year terms.

Additional awards he has received include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, Fellow of the Econometric Society, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as senior staff economist with the Council of Economic Advisers from 1973-1974 and was visiting research economist in the special studies section of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors from 1977 to 1978.

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A revamped and revitalized admissions office awaits the applicants to the Haas School's full-time MBA program this year. The increased staff and streamlined application process will speed decision-making and give applicants more information on the status of their applications.

Last year, applications to the program went up modestly, but the office was overwhelmed by a doubling of applications in the second round. The admissions office, partially in response to this problem, has added to and reorganized the staff, shortened its application, and put the application process entirely on the Internet. In addition, customization of the computer management system, Edulink, is almost complete.

The position of director of admission (previously held by Cherrie Scricca) has been split in two. Former associate director Jett Pihakis has been appointed director of domestic admissions and former associate director Pete Johnson has been appointed director of international admissions. The office has hired two new employees; Sharon Joyce is now associate director of MBA admissions and Cristina Velarde is an admissions advisor. Two current employees have been promoted; Cindy Jennings and Tiffany Grimsley, both formerly admissions advisors, will now serve as assistant directors of MBA admissions. The staffing increase was partially driven by an informal survey that Pihakis made of several other MBA programs and found they had a median of six full-time traveling staff while Haas had just three.

"I'm very pleased with the quality of the team we have put together, and I think we're going to have an excellent year," said Johnson.

The staffing additions and reorganization are meant to offset the travel demanded by international recruiting efforts; to help with reading and evaluating more than 3,000 applications; and to manage new projects.

The application for the MBA program has also been streamlined. Most notably the number of essay questions has been reduced and Haas now only accepts two letters of recommendation.

For the first time, the Haas MBA program has its own online application running on the Haas computer network. In addition, a PDF of the application is available on the Haas web site and prospective students can still apply online through Embark, a clearinghouse for MBA program applications. A print application was not produced this year.

Applicants are being asked to apply online, which should help to increase the efficiency for processing applications by reducing the amount of data entry done by the admissions office. Applicants who apply online will receive a user name and a password so that they can check the status of their application online at any time, which should cut down on the number of phone inquiries to the admissions office. To help with the paperwork and administration of the admissions process, Haas has customized the Edulink system to meet admissions and other school needs.

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Sharing expertise and building networks seems to come naturally to Haas alumni. A group of about 400 Haas MBAs have joined the fledgling Haas Alumni Help Forum e-mail/listserv to tap the expertise and contacts of fellow alumni to help quickly solve business problems and leverage opportunity.

Currently the list includes members from the classes of 1990 through 2000, but Andy Silvert, MBA 98, who manages the list, would like to expand the group to include alumni from all years and degree programs and current students.

"My personal experience has been great," says Silvert. "I asked a question about reseller channels and got a number of e-mail and phone responses. I got my rather complex questions answered, had a number of great conversations, and renewed some old acquaintances."

The mailing list is set up so that replies will only go to the person who asked the question. This will hold down the number of e-mails received by alumni who subscribed to the list. The question-and-answer archives are available to any list member.

To join the list, Haas alumni and current students can subscribe directly at http://www.topica.com/lists/haasmbahelp?p=HAHF or send a blank e-mail to haasmbahelp-subscribe@topica.com.

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In September, the Stockholm School of Economics awarded Pete Bucklin, professor emeritus of marketing, an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding scientific contribution to the academic field of marketing and distribution and the valuable service he provided to the school's programs over the years.

Bucklin was feted at a black tie ceremony in Stockholm. "It is a very formal affair with tails and long dresses," said Bucklin of the ceremony. "It is used for the honorary degrees and the awarding of the regular doctorates, of which there were about 20. It was replete with musical performances and dances."

As part of the ceremony, Bucklin received a diploma, a Swedish doctoral hat, and a gold ring. Two other Haas faculty have received Stockholm School of Economics honorary degrees. One is former dean E. T. Grether. The second is the current finance chair, Nils Hakansson.

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Lochland Trotter joined the Haas Alumni Relations staff in August as the alumni relations assistant. Prior to starting at Haas, Lochland was a copywriter and the lead project manager for all Apple Computer design projects at a San Francisco ad agency. Before that, she worked at UC Davis as a project assistant for the Research and Outreach division of the Office of Research. She holds a degree in international relations from UC Davis with a minor in Italian.

Lochland's cubicle is in the dean's suite. Her e-mail is lochland@haas.berkeley.edu and her phone number is 510-642-7790.


Josh Bortman, formerly a student employee in the Evening MBA Program Office is now a program assistant. He holds a bachelor's degree in integrative biology from Cal. When he isn't at Haas he pursues his hobbies: ichthyology, herpetology, photography, and skiing.

Bortman's office is in 460 Student Services. His e-mail address is bortman@haas.berkeley.edu and his phone number is 510-642-1406.

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Haas Alumnus, Paul Otellini, MBA 74, was featured in Business Week's October 15 issue in the cover story about the legacy of Intel CEO Craig Barrett. Read the story at http://www.businessweek.com:/magazine/content/01_42/b3753001.htm.

The Berkeley Columbia Executive MBA program was also mentioned in Business Week's issue of October 15. Read the article here at http://www.businessweek.com:/magazine/content/01_42/b3753601.htm.

Pablo Spiller, the Joe Shoong Professor of International Business and Public Policy, appeared in the New York Times on October 11. He commented on using supply and demand indicators to keep airline industry from losing money after the September attacks. Spiller also appeared on Channel 9 on October 4.

Janet Yellen, the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business Administration, was mentioned in many publications after her husband, George Akelof, and two other scholars were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics on October 10. The October 11 mentions appeared in: the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News.

Karen Southwick, MBA 88, wrote an article titled "CascadeWorks' Understated Leader" about Diana Jovin, MBA 95. It appeared in Forbes.com on October 10. Read the article at http://www.forbes.com/2001/10/10/1010jovin.html.

CNN's "The Money Gang Show" featured Dean Tyson on October 9. Tyson commented on tax cuts as a temporary solution to help fight the war on terrorism.

The Latin American magazine America Economia, released their MBA rankings on September 13 ranking Haas #11 in the Global MBA category. The ranking is based on the total number of full-time students, total cost for the first-year MBAs, and starting salary after graduation. The ranking does not separately evaluate the executive and full-time MBA programs.

Emmanuel Savioz, MBA 00, described the attacks of September 11, which he witnessed, to a French journal, Le Temps on September 13. Read the article (in French) at http://letemps.ch/template/recherche.asp?page=rechercher&contenuPage=afficheArticle&artid=72924.

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