News update

Gifts Support Entrepreneurship,
Energy Research

By Kate Fratar
Published: Summer 2012

Booth Faculty on the AirTwo contributions to Chicago Booth will enable the school to develop new initiatives in the fields of entrepreneurship and energy. A $2 million gift from Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, will endow the New Venture Challenge (NVC), of which he has been the title sponsor since its first competition in 1996. A $1.5 million gift to the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago from the Fuel Freedom Foundation will be used to explore economic and policy questions surrounding transportation fuels.

The NVC endowment, once fully funded, will enable the competition to be self-sustaining for years to come. Hosted by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, the NVC has helped launch scores of companies, including GrubHub, Inc., Braintree, and BenchPrep, all based in Chicago. Kaplan is cofounder of Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Zebra Technologies Corp., a pioneering company in barcode technology that went public in 1991.

“Ed was an important catalyst for the New Venture Challenge and, more broadly, for the Polsky Center,” said Steven Kaplan, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and faculty director of the Polsky Center. “In the mid-1990s, he was one of a few alums who advocated that Booth should develop a strong entrepreneurship program.”

The NVC’s influence has extended to the University of Chicago campus and beyond. The more-than 75 alumni companies whose founders participated in the competition have raised more than $242 million in equity capital collectively and have created more than 1,000 jobs. This year, the NVC received a record 119 applications, up from 89 entries in 2011.

“It is one of the country’s most successful venues for creating new business ventures,” said Ellen Rudnick, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Polsky Center. 

“The endowment now being created by the Kaplan Foundation will insure the long-term viability of the NVC and enable it to expand beyond its current limits,” Rudnick said. “We are thrilled that Ed’s name will be forever linked to this capstone program at Booth.”

Another flourishing discipline at Booth gained recognition with a gift from the California-based Fuel Freedom Foundation to the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC).

Founded in 2011, EPIC is an interdisciplinary joint enterprise of Chicago Booth and the Harris School of Public Policy that focuses on economic and social policy questions related to energy. The gift will help launch the Initiative on the Future of Transportation Fuels.

“This generous gift will help EPIC conduct the data-driven research that policy makers and business leaders need to make sound, evidence-based energy policy decisions,” said Robert Topel, codirector of the center and Isidore Brown and Gladys J. Brown Distinguished Service Professor in Urban and Labor Economics.

Learn more about companies involved with the New Venture Challenge »



Two Deans to Fill Leftwich's Shoes

By Chicago Booth Staff
Published: Summer 2012

Leftwich, Davis, and Heaton

Dean Sunil Kumar named two deputy deans for faculty to replace Richard Leftwichwho has held the post for the past eight years and plans to step down on July 31. The second deputy dean is being added as a result of the growth in faculty, Kumar said, and in order to accommodate the expected future increase in demand.

Steven Davis, William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics, began sharing responsibilities with Leftwich on April 1. John Heaton, Joseph L. Gidwitz Professor of Finance, will succeed Leftwich on August 1. Leftwich, Fuji Bank and Heller Professor of Accounting and Finance, joined Booth in 1979 and will continue to serve as a member of the faculty. Under his leadership as deputy dean, the number of tenure-track faculty grew from 113 to 130, with 12 new hires for the 2012 - 13 school year. Overall, the number of teaching faculty grew from 169 to 197 during his tenure.

Davis, who joined the Booth faculty in 1985, is an applied economist with research publications on employment and wage behavior, worker mobility, job loss, and other topics. He is the former editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomicsa research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, an economic advisor to the US Congressional Budget Office, and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Heaton studies asset pricing, portfolio allocation, and time-series economics. His research in these areas has earned him numerous fellowships, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Fellowship. Before joining Booth in 2000, he was the Nathan S. and Mary P. Sharp Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. He is a former editor of the Review of Financial Studies. (Photos of Leftwich and Davis by Beth Rooney; photo of Heaton by Dan Dry.)


New Chief Information Officer Leads Information Technology

By Chicago Booth Staff
Published: Summer 2012

Kevin BoydKevin Boyd has joined Booth as senior director, information technology, and chief information officer. He has overall technical responsibility for the school’s campuses in Chicago, London, and Singapore, and manages a staff of 45 in operations, application development, and project and service management. He replaced Ligia Moreno, who retired after more than eight years at Booth.

For the past two years, Boyd was director of the project management office at the General Board of Pensions (Wespath) in Glenview, Illinois. Earlier in his career, he held technical leadership positions at Tribune Company, CNA Financial Corp., United Airlines, Bank One Corp, and W.W.Grainger, Inc.

Boyd taught e-commerce at Northwestern University as an adjunct faculty member from 2003 to 2012. He has a master’s degree in communications systems, strategy, and management from Northwestern and a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Boyd.)

Last Updated 9/27/12