Tag Archive: SOM

  1. YLS Dean examines free speech issues

    Leave a Comment

    Two Yale professional school deans spoke freely about the First Amendment and freedom of speech at the School of Management Monday afternoon.

    Yale Law School Dean Robert Post LAW ’77  and SOM Dean Edward Snyder discussed how organizations, including private universities, regulate speech without infringing on First Amendment rights. The discussion was part of a “Convening Yale” speaker series at SOM featuring Yale’s leading researchers.

    Post, who is an expert on constitutional law, addressed a full classroom of 60 SOM students. He emphasized that the First Amendment has a political focus which does not include a non-political environments like schools or companies. Post also shared his thoughts on the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court case, Edward Snowden and the controversial letter that the University of Chicago sent to incoming freshmen defending free speech on campus.

    “Yale cannot violate the First Amendment in any way because we are a private organization,” Post said.

    Post said he disagreed with the conventional view that free speech creates a marketplace of ideas in which the truth can be pursued and instead argued that only people who specialize in a field can pursue truth in that subject. The discipline needed for such specialization, he added, requires a regulation of knowledge and speech.

    The purpose of the First Amendment, in Post’s view, rests on the notion that everyone has the right to his or her own political opinions. However, Post said that a total freedom of speech is impossible and undesirable in other realms of life beyond politics. An organization’s leader cannot sacrifice the organization’s larger purpose for its employees’ unrestrained freedom of speech, he said.

    Applying this argument to organizations like Yale, Post said Yale and most universities should regulate speech in a way that facilitates the education of its students.

    “The kind of freedom that is required to serve the purpose of critical education is not freedom of speech, which implies a political foundation, but instead academic freedom,” Post said, adding that academic freedom requires the regulation of speech. For instance, Post said that a college course needs to accomplish some end, and the professor must guide the discussion to reach that end.

    After the talk, Post said in an interview that the classroom is only one of the many domains within a university and that speech regulation in a classroom setting cannot be applied to other settings like residential colleges. Referring to last year’s Halloween controversy in Silliman College, Post said residential colleges require more protection, given that they are living spaces.

    Post also commented on the University of Chicago letter, which denounced trigger warnings and intellectual safe spaces.

    “This letter is very much premised on the freedom that someone would have as a political actor,” Post said. “That’s not the way we teach classes, not the way we judge the speech of professors when we tenure them or don’t tenure them, not the way any sane person would conduct education. We care very much that our students feel included… it’s also a matter of encouraging the students to speak their mind.”

    Yet freedom of speech is not always guaranteed in the political realm, as Post acknowledged in discussing the release of classified government information by Edward Snowden. Post said Snowden was contractually obliged to keep information secret in his position at the Central Intelligence Agency. Defenders of Snowden cannot justify his leaks using the First Amendment, Post said.

    Post also said that the Citizens United Supreme Court case was wrongly decided because it permits corporations to weigh in on political discourse in a manner that marginalizes individual voices.

    “If I don’t think the government is responsive to public opinion, but to those corporations, then my freedom of speech doesn’t mean anything; there is no reason to protect the speech at all,” Post said.

    Post also criticized the way universities implement Title IX regulations, which he said are really about equality of the sexes. Post said in an interview that people often misread Title IX as the “anti-rape law,” but in fact it was designed to ensure equal access to education.

    Post added that universities put disproportionate resources into punishment rather than enforcing equality.

    While the talk was not specifically tailored to SOM students, SOM professor David Bach said it is essential for future managers to understand the First Amendment.

    “Part of our interest is to give our students guidance on what kind of environment they should foster later on in the workplace,” Bach said.

    Certain parts of the talk raised concerns among audience members. For example, Norma Gibson SOM ’17 said she was worried that the homogeneous academic leadership at most universities stifles diversity.

    Gibson added that unlike the sciences, where an idea can be empirically wrong, subjects like history and art tend to allow and welcome more controversy, thriving with more robust freedom of speech.

    “If your academics are primarily white men, then what do you get? You get more white men,” Gibson said. “If the academics assessing truth are homogenous in demographics or ideologies, the result is a self-perpetuating cycle of ideas rather than true academic discourse.”

    Economics professor and Nobel laureate Robert Shiller spoke previously in the “Convening Yale” series, and former Head of Silliman College Nicholas Christakis is scheduled to speak on Nov. 8.

  2. Joint-degree center celebrates 10th anniversary

    Leave a Comment

    As the Yale Center for Business and the Environment kicked off its 10th-anniversary celebration in September, students and faculty reflected on the center’s progress in the past decade, as well as issues it faces.

    Launched by the Yale School of Management and the School of Forestry & Environmental Science in 2006, the center provides a platform for research, networking and social gatherings for students pursuing joint master’s degrees in environmental management and forestry from the two professional schools.

    Bradford Gentry, associate dean for professional practice and a co-director of the center, said the number of joint-degree students has risen from fewer than 20 to about 60 since the center’s inception. The center also helped Yale earn a seat in leading world organizations on sustainability, such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Gentry said.

    “There’s a lot of work to be done, as we see more wealth in the economy, which usually leads to overconsumption [that] leads to environmental pollution,” Gentry said. “The center very much works to find business solutions to address these concerns.”

    The celebration will last through spring 2017 and will involve a series of dinners for donors, workshops and webinars.

    While most centers aim to enhance faculty research programs, Gentry said, the CBEY is unique in its focus on career-oriented events and social activities.

    Gentry added that the center has continued to create new programs to accommodate the increasing number of joint-degree students. For example, Gentry said the center offers a research project where students work with the Connecticut Green Bank, alumni and SmartPower — a national nongovernmental organization on clean energy — to build more solar panels across New Haven.

    “The joint-degree program between the two schools is the strongest from the point of view of each school. [CBEY] is the perfect example of what a center can do,” SOM Dean Edward Snyder said.

    Still, Gentry said the center faces funding problems and needs more money to fund more collaborative projects that connect theory with practice.

    According to Heather Fitzgerald, associate director of CBEY, the center’s funding comes from philanthropic sources, mainly foundations and private donors. She added that the center is rolling out a model for corporate partnerships to develop business solutions to social and environmental challenges. The financial commitment will depend on the level of engagement of each partner, Fitzgerald said.

    “We’re very much student-led, so we want to make sure that the center’s goals match the interests of the students,” Fitzgerald said. “While interests can vary as new students come through the program, our long-term goals and objectives remain focused.”

    Fitzgerald mentioned several long-term goals for the center, including training multidisciplinary leaders in global sustainability, creating research projects that engage all networks within and outside of Yale and transforming the world to a sustainable economy. Fitzgerald added that many of the center’s current partnerships, such as the one with the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition — a group that lobbies for taxing carbon emission — are working to achieve these goals.

    Pamela Jao FES ’17 praised the center’s commitment to creating a community for joint-degree students, adding that for example, the “secret Santa” event that the center has organized each Christmas showed the center’s efforts to bring students together.

    As the joint-degree program expands, however, Jao said the community ties felt weaker than before. She added that the program — which consists of about 15 percent students of color — could be more diverse.

    Fitzgerald said the center’s efforts to bring speakers who are racially diverse reflect on the students’ wish for more diversity.

    The first joint-degree program between SOM and F&ES was created in 1982.

  3. SOM hosts Live Pitch Competition

    Leave a Comment

    Last Thursday, Connecticut Innovations — the state’s leading source of financial support for early-stage companies and small businesses — held its inaugural VentureClash Live Pitch Competition.

    Eleven finalists competed at Yale’s School of Management for a grand prize of $1.5 million in capital and an additional grant of up to $100,000. Dream Payments, a cloud-based payment platform, took home first place.

    Participants were chosen from a pool of over 200 startup financial and health technology companies over the past six months, and keynote speakers at the event included Chief Technology Officer of Priceline.com — the “Name Your Own Price” internet service — Scott Case, who addressed the budding entrepreneurs as the “heroes” of the afternoon.

    “The entrepreneurs are at the center of everything,” Case said in his address. “There are investors here and big companies here, but none of this happens without the founders who take the risks and put themselves out there every day and build their companies.”

    When it was time to take to the stage, each finalist had five minutes to make their pitch, followed by a five-minute question and answer section. From California to France to Israel, early-stage companies from around the globe took the opportunity to present to a live audience of over 150 attendees. Among the audience was a panel of six judges, comprised of leading financial and health experts representing athenahealth, Inc., Kepha Partners, Oak HC/Ft, Point72 Ventures, Magellan Health and Canaan Partners.

    The competition started off with Hong-Kong-based company AMP Credit Technologies, which offers a technological platform that allows banks and small loaning businesses the opportunity to make automated, paperless loan origination a reality. CEO Thomas Deluca emphasized that the system would be easily integrated into already-existing banking information, making credit assessment, loan repayment and risk portfolio management easier and more efficient.

    Other competitors included Belgium-based LindaCare, which endorsed OnePulse, a remote-monitoring system that gives health practitioners a unified view of a particular patient’s history of tele-monitored health alerts and follow-up background to help improve chronic disease care. Along those same lines, CSIS Director Aengus Moran presented his company’s case for a patient-centered clinical decision support software.

    The Irish company uses a combination of integrated information systems and clinician support that results in a platform which effectively reviews patient medications, integrates into existing health care information systems and is accessible to clinicians and administrators without much training.

    Deviating from the banking and health tech companies, U.K.-based Hubbub advocated for SponsorCraft, a system focused on acquiring and retaining donors for nonprofit fundraising.

    “We’re … a little bit less Fintech, and a little bit more Funtech,” said Jonathan May, co-founder of the company. “I spent my life as a child fundraising money for charities, schools, universities and startups … Fundraising is a funnel. You need to look at engagement, acquisition, growth and retentions strategies.”

    Capitalizing on social media, he highlighted how his company has evolved and helped change the landscape and concept of giving in a revolutionary way. The company, May said, uses social data mining to subdivide databases that recognize viable prospects with white-label crowdfunding and digital-giving tools to increase donor conversion and retention.

    With costumers like Oxford University, the University of London and the University of Southampton, Hubbub is looking to expand to the U.S., first by entering the market via universities, and later expanding to nonprofit agencies.

    “When you give, you give online and what happens when you do that is you share that with other people like you,” he said. “There is a huge transition right now from direct mail and phones, to the digital space.”

    As the event came to a close, May’s end-goal came $1 million closer to being achieved as his company won first-runner-up for the contest.

    The whopping $1.5 million, however, went to Brent Ho-Young’s early-stage company Dream Payments. The system itself is a “payments cloud” that banks, small businesses and a variety of other financial institutions can use to deliver mobile payment acceptance solutions to their customers.

    “This is as powerful as a register in a retail store, but it’s mobile, it’s low-cost and it can support any type of mobile wallet, Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip technology,” Ho-Young said. “The key thing for us is that we see a universe of billions of devices out there that, as long as they can connect to the Internet, we can secure them and process payments from that. That could be a wearable, that could be a connected fridge in your break room, it doesn’t matter. We can power them.”

    Dream Payments is headquartered in Canada, but counts multiple American banks among its clientele, such as TD and Chase banks.

    At the end of the competition, however, win or lose, it became startlingly clear that the very presence of these companies in Connecticut sent a vital message to the rest of the nation.

    “This particular program has generated a lot of interest within our state,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said at the competition. “It’s allowed us to reach out to a lot of individuals and organizations … and it is just one more tool that we’ve used to ensure that people understand that Connecticut is not only open for business, not only inviting that business, but we’re partners in so many of those businesses.”

    Four runners-up received $500,000 and a grant of up to $50,000.

  4. HubSpot acquires SOM student startup

    Leave a Comment

    The marketing software company HubSpot has announced that it is acquiring Daniel Wolchonok’s SOM ’13 startup PrepWork, an online service that enables users to build strong business relationships by creating “smart” interpersonal data.

    Though HubSpot has not disclosed the financial terms of the acquisition, it is moving PrepWork’s team from New Haven to the company’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. Representatives from the company announced that HubSpot will eventually include PrepWork’s services in its offerings, adding that HubSpot used PrepWork’s services even before the acquisition.

    Among other services, Wolchonok’s startup sends users emails with information such as relevant blog posts and social network profiles to prepare them for their upcoming meetings.

    Last year, Wolchonok was one of three SOM students awarded a spot in the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Summer Fellowship Program, a 10-week boot camp that supports student-founded entrepreneurial ventures. Before enrolling at SOM, he worked as a technical solution professional at Microsoft.

  5. SOM not among top 10 business schools


    The Yale School of Management will not be in the top 10 of this year’s U.S. News and World Report ranking of the best business schools in the nation.

    Though U.S. News will publish the full list of schools on March 12, it released the top 10 business schools in alphabetical order in a Tuesday teaser. The only school included in last year’s top 10 that did not make the cut this year is SOM, which was replaced by NYU’s Stern School of Business. Stern ranked 11th last year, just one place behind SOM for last year’s rankings.

    John Byrne, a former executive editor of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine who designed the publication’s business school rankings, said in a post on his business school news site “Poets and Quants” that SOM’s drop is “small yet surprising,” given that SOM Dean Edward Snyder has been trying to improve the school’s standing in rankings.

    Though no school would want to fall out of the top 10, Byrne said SOM’s drop might not reflect any substantial setback for the school.

    “The numerical rank of a school is often decided by fractions of an underlying index number with little, if any, statistical significance,” Byrne said in the post. “So it is likely that Yale’s drop is inconsequential, in terms of the actual underlying data used to crank out the ranking.”

    Bloomberg Businessweek gave SOM the 21st ranking in its 2012 biennial ranking of full-time U.S. MBA programs, and the Financial Times ranked SOM 16th in its 2013 global rankings.

    The other nine schools that made the top 10 business schools cut this year are Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania.

  6. SOM admissions officers give tips on getting in

    Leave a Comment

    So you want to go to the School of Management? You might want to check out an interview published Monday in U.S. News & World Report, in which SOM admissions officials pull back the curtain on the admissions process.

    Though the so-called “How to Get In” guide mostly just lists a number of admissions truisms like “be yourself” and “applications are considered holistically,” the Q & A includes some interesting points. The admissions officers said previous workplace experience can be a predictor for future workplace success, adding that they consider the quality of candidates’ previous work experience, which averages at three to five years. It described the inner workings of the admissions process, however briefly, and it provides some mistakes many MBA applicants make.

    “Most applicants understandably shy away from identifying growth areas (or, more concretely, weaknesses) in their application for fear of looking less attractive to us,” the admissions officers wrote. “In many ways, the opposite can be true. Although it certainly isn’t a mistake not to mention weaknesses, it can also make your application much stronger if you show that you have a realistic and balanced sense of yourself and compelling reasons for wanting to get an M.B.A.”

    The third round application deadline for prospective SOM MBA students is April 12.

  7. SOM to partner with international business schools

    Leave a Comment

    As Yale’s new campus in Singapore approaches completion, the National University of Singapore, which will co-lead the institution, is already partnering with other parts of the University.

    The Financial Times reported Tuesday that NUS and Insead, a business school with campuses in France, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, will be the first two schools to send students to the School of Management’s new Masters in Management program next year. The program will enroll students who have completed Master of Business Administration degrees at the partner institutions.

    SOM Dean Edward Snyder told the Financial Times that similar agreements are already in place at many other business schools — the Master of Science in Management Studies at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, for instance, admitted its first group of students from three international partner business schools in 2009. The SOM, he said, could benefit from participating in a similar network with other business schools.

    The first class of Masters in Management students will arrive on campus in 2012.