David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Dean's Message - Sept 2013

Dear Alumni and Friends of CSUN and COBAE,

As the month since my arrival at CSUN has been enriched by daily discoveries of the dazzling achievements of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, I am delighted to share with you some of what has so excited me.  We in the College of Business and Economics (COBAE) count you among our friends and hope you will find the news of the dynamic developments identified in this issue of The Bottom Line to be of interest.  Please take advantage of the link at the bottom of the screen to share your thoughts, achievements, and to let us know how you would like to engage with us.

Before my move to Los Angeles, I took advantage of my east-coast location to meet with some prominent COBAE alumni in New York and New Jersey.  They were unanimous in their praise for the quality of our faculty, staff, students and programs.  It did not take long for me to discover the cause of their enthusiasm. 

Even before setting foot on campus, as I checked into a hotel for my first night in Northridge, I was greeted by a COBAE student who regaled me with tales of the inspiration and life-changing career focus he derived from a course taught by Ms. Sheila Walker, a lecturer in the Management Department.  The impact of our outstanding faculty spreads out in more directions and reaches more people than could be addressed here, but two other examples from the Marketing Department that have surfaced in the last month are noteworthy.  Dr. Oscar DeShields received the Honored Guest Award from the Ph.D. Project for his commitment to and involvement in that organization, which is dedicated to realizing greater diversity in corporate America and in the ranks of the professoriate, while on the scholarship front the just-published research of Dr. Stephen Samaha on resource-based theory is eliciting significant commentary from leading scholars in that research domain even before his article in Journal of the Academy of Marketing Research is available in print.

COBAE students are taking the region and the nation by storm!  Of some 300 Beta Alpha Psi chapters internationally, ours is one of only 12 to achieve “Gold” status – hardly a surprise when one considers its array of achievements over the last year, including winning, placing and showing in three Deloitte Best Practices competitions and the Ernst & Young Diversity Initiative.  Meanwhile, over the last year business students took home first prize at the 13th annual Redefining Investment Strategy Education international student portfolio competition (besting about 200 other teams in the  value-portfolio category), CSUN teams won first place in both Business Systems and Telecommunications categories in the regional IT Competition at Cal Poly Pomona, Internet Marketing students worked on a client project with Fox Deportes and the UFC that led to the development of a national campaign, and recent finance and TV-production graduate Ryan Mallick was nominated for an Emmy.

Innovation and excellence in both the curricular and co-curricular opportunities available to our students have left me amazed at the breadth of best practices in business and economics education.  On September 17 and 18, nearly 100 COBAE classes were addressed by senior executives from top organizations around the region in the annual Professor for a Day event.  Elsewhere in the curriculum, team teaching that pairs COBAE faculty with top executives is providing students with exposure to C-suites and sophisticated industry practices.  My first visit to a classroom was to our innovative Gateway course, where I saw the fruits of COBAE’s commitment to develop skills in and knowledge of teamwork, communication, ethics and interdisciplinary integration early in the undergraduate program.  Likewise our Career Education Conference’s freshman-sophomore track begins students’ professional development from their earliest years. 

Speaking of ethics, our commitment to that essential ingredient of business education and the related considerations of corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability are evident throughout COBAE’s programs and activities.  CSUN is the birthplace of the national Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (preparing returns for some 3000 taxpayers in 14 locations throughout the Greater Los Angeles area this year) and the home of the renowned Bookstein Institute, where over the past five years student tax experts have advocated the cases of some 560 low-income tax payers before the Internal Revenue Service.  Dr. Richard Moore’s work with FamilySource Network exemplifies the contributions of faculty to the region through their work with not-for-profit organizations.  Meanwhile, students minoring in sustainability have prepared nine comprehensive sustainability reports for both public and private clients and institutions.

With all of this and more, it is no surprise that COBAE, home of the seventh-largest undergraduate business program in the nation, is recognized for excellence by multiple external organizations.  Its accreditation by AACSB International places it among the top 5% of global business-degree-granting institutions.  This year the CSUN MBA program again appeared in the US News and World Report rankings for best part-time MBA programs, and was recognized by Princeton Review for the seventh consecutive year among the Best Business Schools.  Within the last year, CSUN was named one of "25 great schools for future financial planners" by Financial Planning Magazine.

Please enjoy this issue of The Bottom Line and know of our sincere appreciation for your interest in and commitment to the College of Business and Economics.  Thanks for all you do to help CSUN Shine!

With warm regards,

Kenneth R. Lord, Ph.D.

Dean

College of Business and Economics

California State University, Northridge