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Fairfield University's Dolan School of Business Newsletter


  • DOLAN UPDATEDolan School of Business

    Winter 2016


    Message from the Dean 1

    Dolan School Fast Facts 2

    Introducing Two New Academic Programs 3

    Entrepreneur-in-Residence 4

    Meet Our New Professors 5

    Real Estate Club 6

    Dolan School Internships 7

    Spotlight on Accounting 8

    Faculty Newsbreakers 10

    New Advisory Board Members 12

    New Advisory Board Chair 13

    Dolan School Highlights 14

    Business Plan Competition 16

    Ethical Business Leaders For A Global Future

    Dean Donald E. Gibson, PhD

    Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs Mark Ligas, PhD

    Assistant Dean and Director of Undergraduate Programs Dawn DeBiase, LCSW


    Integrated Marketing Manager Alison Wade

    Designer Roberta Reynolds

    Send Inquiries to: Dolan School of Business Fairfield University 1073 North Benson Broad Fairfield, CT 06824-5195 203-254-4070

  • 1This is my fifth year serving as dean of the Dolan School

    of Business, and it has been quite a ride. I began with

    a strategic focus on building student career readiness,

    assuring a caring learning community, and increasing

    our recognition in the marketplace. This newsletter will

    provide a glimpse of the ways weve made progress on

    all three of these fronts in the last year, and our plans for

    continuing our upward trajectory.

    The Fast Facts on the next page capture some of the

    highlights, illustrating a key aspect of the last four

    years: strong growth, especially in our undergraduate

    programs. In spring 2012, we had 1,088 business majors;

    by spring 2015, we had 1,565, a 44% increase. Business

    minors grew from 191 to 328 in the same time period,

    a 72% increase. Why are we growing? There are many

    factors, but certainly this growth is a reflection of the

    word getting out about the quality of our faculty, our

    programs, and our students.

    The Fast Facts also reveal some recent positive rankings

    and excellent student job-related outcomes, such as the

    percentage of students completing internships and our

    coveted 99.5% of students who have full time jobs or

    are in graduate school six months following graduation.

    In an environment where the value of college is being

    questioned, its important to demonstrate our ROI, and

    these strong measures tell a great story.

    While the news on the following pages will give you

    insight into some of the activities of our busy school,

    you really have to be here to get a feel for whats going

    on. I invite you to see the students in action making

    professional-level class presentations and engaging

    with industry guest speakers; catch a business start-up

    idea at our elevator pitch competition, attend a faculty

    research presentation or join one of our alumni events

    which bring students and alumni business leaders


    Thanks for being part of our family, and for keeping up

    with our progress. I encourage you to take a moment to

    send me a note at I would enjoy

    hearing from you.


    Donald E. Gibson, PhD

    Dean and Professor

    Message from the Dean


    Why are we growing?

    ...word getting out about the quality of our

    faculty, our programs, and our students.

  • 2Dolan School Fast Facts

    Ranked #7 by LinkedIn, the Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs, 2014.

    73% of the Class of 2015 Internships are paid

    99.5% of DSB graduates have a job or are accepted to graduate or professional school within six months of graduation

    A+Quality of Teaching grade from

    Majors Minors

    93% of graduating seniors completed at least one internship (Class of 2015)

    YEAR 2012 2013 2014 2015






    Undergraduate Enrollment is Growing

    The average salary of Class of 2015 graduates is $56,225

    Nationally ranked by

  • 3This year the Dolan School introduced two new academic programs:

    The MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) and the Graduate Business

    Essentials Certificate. These programs are designed to offer students

    the cutting-edge skills and professional business knowledge needed in

    todays workforce and economy. To learn more about these programs

    we sat down with the professors who have been instrumental in piloting


    DR. JIE TAOAssistant Professor of Information Systems and Operations Management

    The M.S. in Business Analytics is designed to provide students with

    the skillsets, knowledge and confidence to effectively use, and make

    strategic sense of, a wealth of data.

    Q. Dr. Tao, are you currently working on any special projects as

    part of the program?

    A. Im working with local businesses to develop course projects

    from real-world business problems. The idea is to give students

    first-hand exposure to challenges that real companies face, and have

    them use analytics to determine a solution.

    Q. Why would you recommend an MSBA degree?

    A. Data analytics is the most popular and cutting-edge topic in the

    business world today. Data has turned out to be at the core of all

    business applications for decision making. When students possess

    the analytical skills to use big data they will be better positioned to

    succeed in the business world.

    Q. What can students expect to get out of the program?

    A. Students will walk away with a comprehensive understanding

    of data analytics including contexts and techniques. Theyll gain

    hands-on experiences, critical thinking skills, and problem solving


    DR. MARK LIGASAssociate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs

    Q. Dr. Ligas, what influenced the Dolan School to offer a program

    such as the Graduate Business Essentials Certificate?

    A. This certificate is a great way to launch a business career. Most

    people, regardless of whether their undergraduate major was English

    or Biology, will end up working in business. In order to succeed, they

    need the language and skills of accounting, organizational behavior,

    marketing management, and finance. Thats what we offer. This

    certificate also provides a solid alternative for those who desire

    advanced business knowledge but are not yet ready to commit to an

    MBA program.

    Q. Who should apply to the Business Essentials Certificate program?

    A. The certificate is available to anyone with an undergraduate

    degree. If you believe that having foundational business skills will

    enhance your ability to compete for and obtain a desirable position,

    or if you would like to gain experience with graduate-level business

    coursework as a way to see if youre ready for graduate study, then

    this certificate program is an excellent choice.

    Q. What can students expect to get out of the program?

    A. Students in the program can expect to gain by increasing their

    understanding of how business works. And a benefit of the program

    is that students will be able to take these courses in flexible, conve-

    nient formats, both online and in-class, over a short period of time

    potentially one summer.

    Introducing Two New Academic Programs

    Give us one year,well give you a career

  • 4This year the Dolan School of Business welcomed Chris Hamer, a

    highly experienced digital executive, founder and CEO of CrowdFlik,

    Inc. as the Schools fourth Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR). Having

    Chris here as our EIR is significant for the Dolan School, said Dr. Don

    Gibson, dean of the School. Hes working directly with students and

    providing a vivid example of how high motivation, clever ideas, and

    a good business sense can lead to a very successful start-up. Having

    him here is an amazing opportunity for us.

    Hamer will be engaging with students in a variety of ways, including

    involvement with Dr. Carl Scheragas Technology Ventures course,

    mentoring StagUp Business Plan Competition teams, and coaching

    new businesses in the Fairfield University Accelerator and Mentor-

    ing Enterprise (FAME). Hamer explained he decided to take the role

    as EIR because of his experience with students. When I attended a

    Business Plan Competition event two years ago I was so impressed

    with how dialed in the students were. They were there at 9:30 a.m.,

    wearing business attire, eager to network and engage.

    In the fall, Hamer spent much of his time working with students in

    the classroom. He kicked off the school year by pitching real business

    ideas hes prepared to fund that students could work on during

    the semester. The idea is to stimulate research, discussion and work

    that students would be doing if they were employees of CrowdFlik.

    The students are working on ideas Ive brought to them that Im

    prepared to take to market. Its really exciting to be able to offer

    students the chance to be a part of my business and give them expe-

    riences that will set them apart from other candidates when they go

    on their first job interview, said Hamer.

    To continue the fall semester momentum into spring Ill be moving

    my company CrowdFlik into the FAME building in downtown Fair-

    field, explained Hamer. Here Ill conduct my busines