News Update

Photo of workers preparing for the Rwandan terrestrial
backhaul roll out, courtesy of SEACOM

Heard at Chicago Booth

"Not investing in Africa today is tantamount to missing out on the California Gold Rush of the 1850s."

Haskell Ward, senior vice president of SEACOM, a company that develops high-capacity fiber optic bandwidth in eastern and southern Africa, speaking to students at the Second Annual Chicago Booth Africa Business Symposium at Harper Center in April. To read more about Ward's remarks, visit and enter the keyword "gold rush."

Dean's Committee to Evaluate International Programs and Resources

A new committee is exploring ways to maintain Chicago Booth's role as a pioneer in international business education.

In announcing the formation of the Global Strategy Assessment Committee in January, dean Sunil Kumar said it was time for a comprehensive review of the school's global strategy. In the 17 years since the creation of Booth's first international campus in Barcelona, Booth's global presence has expanded significantly.

Booth now has campuses in London and Singapore, and provides career services and other support functions in Europe and Asia. Booth has also added new programming, such as the Global Leadership lecture series, in response to the growing need for corporate leaders to understand global trends. Furthermore, Kumar noted, faculty research practices have evolved rapidly over the past two decades, with different needs for global access and resources.

Chaired by Harry Davis, Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management, the seven-member committee will conduct acomprehensivereviewofBooth'sglobal programs, resources, and infrastructure. Considering a wide range of issues, the committee will make recommendations on how to ensure Chicago Booth maintains its preeminence in global management research and education in a rapidly changing world.

Members of the committee are Pradeep Chintagunta, Joseph T. and Bernice S. Lewis Distinguished Service Professor of Marketing; John Huizinga, Walter David "Bud" Fackler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics; Christian Leuz, Joseph Sondheimer Professor of International Economics, Finance, and Accounting; Bernd Wittenbrink, professor of behavioral science; Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship, with Caroline Karr, '88 (ex-officio), as the senior staff liaison.

The committee seeks broad input, and will consult with faculty, students, staff, and alumni and friends of the school, particularly the members of the Global Advisory Board and the Council on Chicago Booth.-E.O., J.S.

Read coverage of Kumar's recent discussion with David Booth, '71, in London at and enter the keyword "booth fireside."

University Veterans to Lead Admissions, Alumni Relations

Chicago Booth has tapped two university veterans to lead its admissions and alumni relations teams, the school announced last April.

Joseph Buck was named associate dean of alumni relations and development, and Kurt Ahlm, '09, was promoted to associate dean of student recruitment and admissions for the Full-Time MBA Program.

Ahlm has nearly a decade of experience in admissions at Booth. He previously served as the department's senior director, and was the primary driver of marketing efforts to introduce the Booth experience to prospective students, said Stacey Kole, deputy dean for the Full-Time MBA Program.

"As a direct result of Kurt's efforts, we have significantly exceeded the high goals that were set for our admissions office," said Kole, who added, "when the position was vacated last summer, Kurt stepped up and made sure our entire admissions function didn't miss a beat."

Buck also brings University of Chicago experience to his new role. An experienced fundraiser who led development teams at the University of Pennsylvania and La Salle University, Buck has spent the past four years in senior positions in the university's central development office. Most recently, he served as assistant vice president for individual giving. In his role, he managed a fundraising staff of 35 people that raised more than $35 million last year.

"Joe has demonstrated the energy, insight, and enthusiasm to continue our efforts to transform the relationship we have with our 46,000 alumni," said dean Sunil Kumar. "His ability to build strong relationships in complex organizations around the world is a perfect match for our goals; his knowledge of the University of Chicago's values and history will provide a smooth runway for his entry into this position."

Ahlm assumed his new responsibilities in April, while Buck began in May.—E.O., J.S.

Conference Celebrates Becker's 80th Birthday

The president of the Czech Republic, a former US secretary of state, a Nobel laureate, and many of the world's leading economists gathered in February to celebrate the 80th birthday of Gary Becker, University Professor of Economics and of Sociology.

The daylong conference, organized by the university's Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, featured a series of panel discussions that touched on key aspects of Becker's vast body of work.

Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic and a member of Booth's Global Advisory Board, described how Becker's work helped provide the intellectual foundation for transforming the economies of eastern Europe.

James Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, discussed Becker's influence in a historical context. "Gary Becker is our Isaac Newton," said Heckman, who credited Becker with "unveiling the mysteries" of such topics as labor markets, migration, discrimination, wages, family size, marriage and divorce, schooling, crime, and addiction.

In a discussion on the future of economics, Steven Levitt, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, said of Becker: "He has come up with the big ideas that have changed how we look at the world."—E.O., J.S.

Heard at Chicago Booth

"Don't ignore it; respond to it. You just have to manage that period until the next guy screws up."

Suzanne Martin, '95, Motorola's head of worldwide field marketing, on what to do when a negative critique on Facebook goes viral. Martin participated in an April panel discussion on how marketing is evolving as part of Chicago Conversations, a nationwide series of industry-specific discussions held in cities where those industries are most prominent. Read full coverage of the event at on the web and enter the keyword "viral conversations."


Last Updated 9/16/11