Coronavirus Updates

Pietro Veronesi is the Chicago Board of Trade Professor of Finance and Deputy Dean for Faculty. He will teach two courses this academic year: Advanced Models of Option Pricing and Credit Risk and Corporate Finance. Professor Veronesi is responsible for overseeing Booth’s curriculum, and shares exciting new developments in curriculum and faculty with us.

What are you most excited about regarding the curriculum?

Our curriculum is very flexible and it evolves with the times. I am excited that we adapt and make changes as times change, which requires students to acquire different skills. That's the way you keep at the front of the educational frontier. 

Booth has now added an 8th category to the curriculum, called Society. Tell us about this new development.

Firms and people do not only operate in an economic environment, but in society more generally. There are many important questions that leadership needs to be able to tackle that are not only relegated to the maximization of profits. Leadership often needs to deal with ethical or political questions, with fairness and with optimality, for instance. Even if something is legal it does not mean it should be done from an ethical standpoint. Adding this category to the curriculum will allow students to think about the big picture, which leaders of tomorrow must be able to do.    

Does this change impact the flexibility of the curriculum? 

The curriculum is as flexible as it was before we added the 8th category, because we moved around the courses that belong in each category. We calculated the possible combination of courses that could have been taken before and after the change, and they were essentially the same. 

Tell us about some of the new incoming faculty this year and any other updates prospective students would be interested to know.

Every year we hire numerous new faculty who may be top researchers in their field, or fantastic instructors interested in teaching new courses for us. That's the way to keep the curriculum alive—for instance, by ensuring the constant flow of new leaders in new areas. Last year we connected with UChicago Medical Center and added a new course on Global Health and Social Policy, which expands our offerings in healthcare and allows us to connect Booth to our world-renowned Medical Center. The instructors, doctors Olufunmilayo Olopade and Christopher Sola Olopade, are fantastic and we are happy to have them. Other new courses this year include Pivot for Success, taught by the entrepreneur Amy Hilliard, Culture in Organizations, taught by Booth’s own Elena Grotto and Felicia Joy, and a new course on Capitalism that we hope to start in the Spring. 

From your perspective, what makes Booth a great place to teach and do research?

Booth is unique as a business school. Research and rigorous inquiry permeates every aspect of our lives at Booth. Faculty and students are challenged to think rigorously about problems, using both data and logical thinking to support their views. There are of course disagreements, as there will always be when you do research and come up with new problems, but the beauty of Booth and the University of Chicago as a whole, is its utter belief in freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. It is very inspiring to hear the different views and different interpretations of facts, always expressed with extreme respect for each other.

Booth’s students are what make my job unique. I love Booth students. They are engaged, interested to learn, they came to Booth not just to do "networking" but to learn skills. They love to hear the latest research and they are hungry for facts, data, and rigorous thinking. At Booth, we teach disciplines and methodologies that can be applied to new situations when times change. We know the world is changing and that our students will face new challenges going forward. Therefore, it is important to teach universal methodologies that can help students in the future. Students understand these methodologies, and it is a pleasure to teach them the latest research on a subject.