David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Dean's Message - October 2013

Dear Alumni and Friends of CSUN and COBAE,

Since the September issue of The Bottom Line, the College of Business and Economics (COBAE) has seen a dizzying array of activities and achievements, a few of which we are happy to share with you in this issue.  At less than three months into my service as dean of the College, my respect for the creativity and energy of our faculty, staff, students and engaged alumni and supporters grows daily. 

 The expertise of COBAE faculty can be seen in its growing imprint in academic disciplines and industry practices, regionally, nationally and globally.  The publication and presentation of our faculty’s scholarship continues unabated, achieving global penetration (for example, I was delighted to see the Université de Californie à Northridge affiliation attached to an article on luxury entrepreneurship written in French by Franck Vigneron, professor of marketing, for a leading European journal) andcontributing not only to the understanding and development of business theory, practice and pedagogy but also to the broader social issues of consumer welfare (such as the work of Rafi Efrat, professor of accounting, on the effectiveness of using refundable tax credits to increase after-school physical activity among children from low-income households and that of marketing faculty members Deborah Heisley and Mariam Beruchashvili on the role of lay theories on dieters’ goal setting).  Kristen Walker, associate professor of marketing, and two colleagues from other institutions were named Gold winners of the Jacobs & Clevenger Case Writer Award at the Marketing Edge Conference in Chicago.  Joy Griffin, director of the Business Honors Program, has been named chair of the Committee for Strategic Planning for the Small Business Institute, a role in which she will have a significant voice in the future direction of that important national non-profit organization.  The economic projections of Bill Roberts, professor of economics and director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center, were front and center at the Valley Industry & Commerce Association’s 25th Annual Business Forecast Conference and in regional economic reporting. 

 COBAE students continue to earn plaudits for their remarkable achievements.  Four exceptional students were honored by CSUN President Dianne Harrison as Northridge Scholars: Estevan Fernandez (business law), Razmik Kajberuni (accountancy and information systems), Steven Spanton (finance, management, and honors in business management) and Joseph Zapantis (management information systems).  I had the privilege of presenting Thomas C. Bloch Achievement Scholarships to Business Honors students Priskila Layesen and Steven Spanton.  A letter from the president of Beta Alpha Psi congratulated “Professor Sung Wook Yoon and the Epsilon Chi Chapter on their successful efforts toward achieving Gold Chapter status for 2012-2013” – a distinction granted to only 12 of the more than 300 chapters of the international honor organization for financial-information students and professionals. 

 A steady parade of executives has networked with and mentored our students on and off campus.  Two members of the COBAE Advisory Board – David Liston (CFO of Caruso Affiliated) and Paul Jennings (CEO of PCS Development) – kicked off the Real Estate Speaker Series before standing-room-only crowds.  Students in the innovative Field Studies in Executive Leadership course came face to face with C-suite executives from IDS Real Estate, One West, Hulu and ICM Entertainment, while those in the Insurance program spent a stimulating day interacting with the Farmers leadership team at the organization’s University of Farmers training facility.  Meanwhile our Financial Planning program, recently recognized by Financial Planning magazine as one of “25 great schools for financial planners,” hosted an impressive panel of high-profile executives in that profession at the CFP Program Career Expo.         

 I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the heart of COBAE, where we are daily “Connecting Opportunities in Business with Academic Excellence,” and will sample the other contents of this issue of The Bottom Line.  We welcome your input and engagement and invite your continuing support.

 With warm regards,

Kenneth R. Lord, Ph.D.

Dean

College of Business and Economics

California State University, Northridge