The Paul Merage School of Business - Dean's Quarterly - Fall 2010
Dean Andy Policano

In Perspective

While the U.S. economy continues to struggle, jobs remain elusive and healthcare embarks upon a new era, one thing remains certain: the Merage School is on the move.
    We continue to climb in the rankings - U.S. News & World Report ranks our Fully-Employed MBA program 24th and our Executive MBA program 23rd in the U.S. Our Full-Time MBA program ranks 36th on the U.S. News & World Report list. We're also among BusinessWeek's elite top 45 and 25th for alumni success (lifetime income). Most impressive, we are ranked #1 among the top 50 schools in the nation by the Financial Times for percent of graduates employed at 3 months!
     Three new faculty members will begin teaching classes this month. Devin Shanthikumar, PhD, joins us from the Harvard Business School as assistant professor of Financial and Managerial Accounting.
Dr. John Turner, our new assistant professor of Operations and Decision Technologies, joins us from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Libby Weber from the Marshall School of Business joins us as assistant professor of Strategy.
     Along with our new faculty members, we are building strong programs - our undergraduate major continues to attract students with the highest GPA and SAT scores on campus. We are also expanding Executive Education and exploring the possibility of co-creating new masters programs with law, Dean Andy Policano Signatureengineering and biology.
     As always, we invite your involvement, suggestions and feedback. We hope to hear from you and to see you at one of our many events.


Professor Vandell's Expertise Sought by White House
Last month, Kerry Vandell, dean's professor of Finance and director of the Merage School Center for Real Estate, flew to Washington D.C. to attend a conference on the future of housing finance. Called by President Barack Obama and hosted by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, the conference addressed national needs and planning for financial and housing mortgage policies.
       The conference began with a discussion on the future roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac following the subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent federal takeover and conservatorship of both entities by the U.S. Treasury in September 2008.

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Professor Vandell's Expertise Sought by White House
The Power of Alumni
Roundtable Features Congress Members Barney Frank and Loretta Sanchez

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank led a roundtable discussion hosted by the Merage School on the UC Irvine campus in August. He was joined by Orange County's Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) and topics included the massive financial reform bill that he spearheaded and which was passed in June. According to Frank, the 2,300-page Dodd-Frank bill will control business models and investment instruments that led to the 2008 Wall Street meltdown and regulate non-banking businesses that fell outside of regulatory controls.

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Mark Your  Calendar
for all calendar events.
MBA Programs Information Sessions
invite prospective students for Full- Time, Fully Employed, Executive and Health Care Executive MBA programs starting in both spring and fall 2011.

Executive Education:
Advanced Program In Human Resources & Business Leadership

SEPTEMBER 22-23, 2010
Session 2 of 4
Strategic Issues in Management Series from Executive Education
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010
OCTOBER 14, 2010
IMPROVING OPERATIONS with Professor Tathagata Dasgupta
OCTOBER 28, 2010
Distinguished Speaker Series
NOVEMBER 4, 2010
Jeanne Jackson, President,
Direct to Consumer, Nike Inc.
FEBRUARY 10, 2011
Victor Nichols, CEO,
Experian North America
MARCH 31, 2011
Douglas Hutcheson, EMBA ‘91,
President & CEO,
Leap Wireless International, Inc.
MAY 12, 2011
Kevin Clifford, President & CEO,
American Funds Distributors
NOVEMBER 9, 2010
Real Estate Awards Luncheon at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Alumnus Takes Home the Emmy

Aaron Byzak
Aaron Byzak
Aaron J. Byzak, HCEMBA ‘08, and his coworker Erica Holloway each won two Emmy Awards: one for Writer - Short Form, and one for Public Service Announcement - Single Spot or Series for their work on the "Oxy Abuse Kills" public service announcement series. The director and editor for the PSAs also won an Emmy bringing the grand total to five for the project.
      The series was a project of the Oxy Task Force of San Diego County, a multi-faceted, multi-agency response to the rising problem of prescription drug abuse in San Diego, which Byzak helped to create and co-chair. Byzak was serving as Health Policy Advisor for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors at the time.
      In other news, Byzak was also recognized for the 40 Under 40 Award in the September issue of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, where he was included on the 2010 Honor Roll and profiled with his photo on the cover of the September issue.

Paying it Forward Pays Off for Recruitment

Thomas Antunez '05, senior vice president of Prithvi Percentix, Inc., has long been a Merage School advocate, most recently demonstrating his support for the School by hiring Sumit Deo '10, who joined Prithvi Percentix as a consultant in September.
      "I met Sumit during the summer of 2009 when I had the privilege of working
Aaron Byzak
Sumit Deo
closely with him while volunteering as a coach for the Consulting Practicum course taught by Emile Pilafidis, a lecturer on strategy at the Merage School," said Antunez. "Sumit is a high performer with an intense intellect and strong motivation. While he will have a great deal to learn over the next 12 months, as much of the technology and methodologies we use will be new to him, the good news is that Merage School grads are well trained to deal with any type of business situation or environment. I have 100% confidence that he will perform at the highest levels in a short time."
      Prithvi Percentix currently employs three Merage School graduates including Antunez, FEMBA '05, Ed Abad, FEMBA '07, and now Sumit Deo, FTMBA '10.
      "As the economic conditions continue to improve, I will strive to fill more spots with Merage School grads. The Merage School talent pool is deep and I am serving Prithvi Percentix well with any new hire from that school," Antunez concluded.

What's In a (New School) Name?

Merage School and Dean's Leadership Circle Celebrate 5th Anniversary

Pelican Hill Resort was a beautiful backdrop for the 5th Anniversary Celebration of the Merage School naming and the establishment of the Dean's Leadership Circle. Overlooking the ocean in Newport Beach, more than 300 members and invited guests gathered.
      The star of the evening, Paul Merage, noted, "Some people see the world for what it is and despair; others see the world for what it could be and act. Strive for the latter." He shared with everyone how amazing it has been for him and his family to watch the success the Merage School has experienced over the past five years.

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EMBA's Tony Ruelas Sworn in as San Fernando's Police Chief
Classmate support

Classmate support: In attendance at the swearing in ceremony were (from left) Merage School alumni Sai Pratap, Randall Kaufman, Yvonne Coker, Sean Rawson, Julie Gutierrez-Farley, Ruelas, Cassandra Gray, Angie Montesinos, Garth Revtyak, Sue Padernacht (lecturer) Tina Hwang and Paul Rivet.
San Fernando's incoming police chief, Tony Ruelas, '10, was sworn in August 2 at the San Fernando City Hall Council Chambers in San Fernando. Ruelas is the second Merage School alumnus to take the helm of a police station in California. Timothy Jackman '99, was appointed chief of police for the Santa Monica police department in 2006.
      "This really serves as a testament to the EMBA program's leadership training, and we are proud of both Tony and Tim," said Marty Bell, director, Program Services, Executive and Health Care Executive MBA Programs at the Merage School.
      Ruelas was among the department's three lieutenants considered for the promotion. His priorities for the coming year will focus on a balanced budget, accountability and transparency, and operational efficiencies.
      "I was particularly impressed with Lieutenant Ruelas' can-do attitude and innovative proposals to address our shrinking city budget without compromising citizen safety," said San Fernando Mayor Mario Hernandez. "His talents and leadership skills will serve the department and city well."
      Ruelas commented, "I want to build upon the successful programs Chief Ordelheide laid into place and use this opportunity to make community members active participants in problem solving policing. Ultimately, my goal is to get ahead of and produce sustainable quality-of-life solutions for the San Fernando community."
      Chief Ruelas earned a bachelor's degree in economics from California State University, Bakersfield, prior to his MBA from The Paul Merage School of Business.

Undergrad Zhou Takes First Place in Figure Skating Competition
Undergrad Zhou Takes First Place in Figure Skating Competition
Figure Skating Champion Karen Zhou, a Merage School undergraduate, just returned from the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Collegiate Championships in East Lansing, Michigan, where she took first place.
      "As a representative of UC Irvine, I hope I made you proud," said Zhou in an email to Undergraduate Program Assistant Dean Denise Patrick. "I can't thank you enough for all your help these past couple of years!"

Making a "Skatement" During Commencement Ceremonies

Donning roller skates and derby attire, friends and coworkers cheered as Bethany Semeiks, FEMBA '10, founding partner and owner of Wicked Skatewear, skated across stage during the Merage School commencement ceremony in June.
Making a "Skatement" During Commencement Ceremonies
      Semeiks credits much of her success to her experience at the Merage School. "My company would not be where it is today without the knowledge I got from my Merage School education, and the support from faculty and staff," she said. "The education I received helps with many tactical strategies for Wicked Skatewear and conversations with the faculty and staff have kept me grounded."
      A true success story, Semeiks has opened new retail space in Huntington Beach and will be organizing monthly events to build a local roller skating community. To stay involved in roller derby, the company travels to events across the nation and soon will travel internationally! Semeiks plans to maintain her connections with the Merage School as well, and has recently joined the Dean's Leadership Circle.

Merage on the Move

Call for Fellowship Applicants

Call for Fellowship Applicants

The Center for Leadership and Team Development is calling for applicants for a 2011 Summer Fellowship in Research Translation for Practice. The Fellowship provides a $3,000 summer stipend to a doctoral student or faculty member upon completion of a translation by September 21, 2011.
      The Fellow must translate the implications for individual practical action of any body of social science research within the field of management or leadership (broadly defined). The translation shall consist of no more than three pages of text, in addition to an appended reference list. The translation must be based on research judged to the highest standards in the field; however, the translation may clearly state that the action implications are generalized from the scholarly research.
      This translation will be edited by a professional writer and then posted on the Center's web page. Through this fellowship program the Center hopes to facilitate the translation of quality research into practice, and make those translations easily available to practitioners throughout the world.
      All applications received by December 31, 2010 will be considered. For more information or to obtain an application, visit

New Research, Books & Ideas

Professor David Hirshleifer'sProfessor David Hirshleifer's paper titled, "Investor Overconfidence and the Forward Premium Puzzle," coauthored by Craig Burnside, Bing Han, and Tracy Wang, has been accepted at the Review of Economic Studies.
Professor Philip Bromiley'sProfessor Philip Bromiley's paper titled, "Looking at Prospect Theory" will be published in the Strategic Management Journal.

Professor Shivendu Shivendu"Mechanism Design for ‘Free' but ‘No Free Disposal' Services: The Economics of Personalization Under Privacy Concerns," a paper written by Professor Shivendu Shivendu and co-authored by Ramnath Chellappa, was accepted at Management Science.
Peter Navarro The Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity, by Peter Navarro, professor of Economics and Public Policy, has been published. In this book, a top Republican and Democratic economist each explain why recent economic policies are failing… and offer a commonsense blueprint for re-igniting long-term growth and prosperity for all Americans. The book describes how to overhaul the tax system, increase business investment, slash government spending, control entitlements, and even rebuild American manufacturing.
Jone PearceStatus in Management and Organizations, by Jone Pearce, Dean's Professor of Leadership, has been published discussing the relatively recent attempt by management scholars to define the powerful role that social status plays in organizations. This book brings together important work showing how a better understanding of status can be used to address problems in a number of different organizational settings.

WORKSHOP: Effective Boardroom Leadership

WORKSHOP: Effective Boardroom LeadershipNext spring 2011, corporate leaders are invited to take part in a weekend workshop: Effective Boardroom Leadership. Now in its third year, the program, accredited by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), will address the latest thinking on the variety of issues facing boards today, with a focus on risk evaluation.
      The sessions are geared toward new or aspiring directors, C-level managers, directors, and non-profit and family business owners. Topics range from the board's role in mergers and acquisition, planning and strategy, to ethic responsibilities and enterprise risk management.
      The program is co-sponsored by the Forum for Corporate Directors, a non-profit business organization committed to increasing the effectiveness of directors, CEOs and senior level executives by anticipating important issues facing companies in today's global economy and presenting peer-to-peer forums to share ideas and key strategies.

Program News

Professor Devin ShanthikumarProfessor Devin Shanthikumar has joined The Paul Merage School of Business as assistant professor of Financial and Managerial Accounting. Formerly a faculty member at Harvard Business School (HBS), Shanthikumar teaches financial accounting and managerial accounting. Prior to joining HBS she earned her PhD in Business Administration with a focus in Finance from Stanford University and her BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley.

Professor John TurnerProfessor John Turner
has joined The Paul Merage School of Business as Assistant Professor of Operations and Decisions Technologies. Turner previously served as an instructor at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University where he taught Production: Operations Management and served as a recitation leader and head TA, project course TA, and teaching assistant.

Professor Libby WeberProfessor Libby Weber has joined the faculty of The Paul Merage School of Business as Assistant Professor of Strategy. Prior to her position at the Merage School, Weber taught Strategic Management and Contemporary Issues in Competitive Strategy at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
Tony Hansford ‘98 Tony Hansford ‘98 has accepted the position of Assistant Dean of Executive Degree Programs and began his new role September 15th. In this position, Hansford will have responsibility for leading both the Executive MBA and Health Care Executive MBA programs. For the past seven years, Hansford has served as Assistant Dean for the Fully Employed MBA Program. During his tenure, the FEMBA program gained national prominence ranking 24th in the U.S. News and World Report and among the top 10 in the West in Business- Week. He also played a significant role in strengthening the international component of the program and adding new destinations that reflect the vibrancy of emerging global markets.
Jon Masciana, FEMBA ‘08Jon Masciana, FEMBA ‘08, has rejoined the Merage School staff as director of FEMBA Admissions & Recruitment. Previously, Masciana served as associate director for the department and was later promoted to admissions director before leaving to serve a vital management role at UC Riverside as director of Web Development for the Office of Strategic Communications, University Advancement. Masciana has over 11 years of experience in MBA admission and recruitments, online marketing, market research and operations in higher education and the entertainment industry. He received his MBA from the Merage School in 2006.
Fox BusinessWatch for The Paul Merage School of Business featured on the Business Outlook on the national Fox Business Network Saturday, September 18
beginning at 9:00 a.m. (Pacific Time).

World Renowned Entrepreneur to Keynote Real Estate Awards Luncheon

Peter Ueberroth
Peter Ueberroth
Peter Ueberroth, managing director of the Contrarian Group, will be the keynote speaker at the 2010 Real Estate Awards Luncheon to be held Tuesday, November 9, at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. The public is invited to attend.

      Hosted by the Center for Real Estate at the Merage School, this event marks the 21st 21st anniversary of the presentationanniversary of the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award which will be bestowed upon John O'Donnell, managing general partner of The O'Donnell Group. This year's Rising Star Award will be presented to Greg Merage, CEO of Stoneridge Capital Partners, with the Orange County Community Foundation's Power-packed Philanthropist Award being presented to Bob Campbell, Chairman of the Board & Co-Founder of CT Realty Corporation.
      "For more information, please visit

Merage Alumni Reunite at Annual Fete

Merage School Alumni from the classes ending in 0 or 5 (1970 - 2010) returned to campus to reunite with classmates and the Merage School community at "Merageville," a festive resort-themed party for the 2010 reunion. Donning their favorite tropical attire, guests relaxed to calypso music from Alan Lightner and enjoyed a barbeque with friends and faculty.
     Professor Emerita Judy Rosener welcomed more than 150 guests and shared stories with former students along with Paula Milano, class of 1980 and Dean's Leadership Circle charter member.
     The celebration continued on Sunday at Anaheim Stadium where alumni enjoyed bringing their families to a pregame tailgate party and Angels baseball game.
     See more photos when they are posted at

Merage Alumni Reunite at Annual Fete
Merage Alumni Reunite at Annual Fete Merage Alumni Reunite at Annual Fete
Merage Alumni Reunite at Annual Fete Merage Alumni Reunite at Annual Fete

Alumnus Takes Charge of Operations at Western Digital

Timothy Leyden '92
Timothy Leyden '92, was recently appointed chief operating officer for Western Digital Corporation. Leyden has been with Western Digital for more than 20 years in a variety of worldwide finance, manufacturing and information technology leadership positions.

      From December 2001 to May 2007, Leyden served in senior finance capacities at the U.S. subsidiaries of Sage Group PLC. Since 2007, Leyden served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Western Digital. As COO he will have responsibility for the company's sales, business unit, marketing, operations, engineering and materials groups.

Distinguished Speaker Series Features Leadership Stars

The fifth annual Paul Merage School of Business Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) is underway with some impressive business leaders on the docket. Held at the UC Irvine Student Center, the 2010-2011 line-up includes:
Merage Alumni Reunite at Annual Fete
Jeanne Jackson
President, Direct to Consumer
Nike Inc.
Victor Nichols
Experian North America.
Douglas Hutcheson
President & CEO
Leap Wireless International, Inc.
Kevin Clifford
President & CEO
American Funds Distributors
     "The caliber of speakers participating in the Distinguished Speaker Series and post reception is a testament to the success of this program," said Shaheen Husain, executive director of Corporate Relations and Business Development for the Merage School. "Participants and guests alike value the opportunity to share ideas and insight on some of the top companies in the country."
     The Distinguished Speaker Series brings together prominent business executives with MBA students and future leaders to address current business issues, leadership, ethics, and other relevant topics. The series is organized by the Merage School's Center for Leadership and Team Development and supported by corporate sponsors. Bank of America is the presenting sponsor for the 2010-2011 series.
     For more details, visit


Can Sustainability and Profitability Co-Exist?

2010-11 GLOBAL CONFERENCE: PROFIT+PLANET?The simple answer is, "Yes." Sustainability strategies can drive profitability and innovation. We'll show you how at the Merage School's upcoming sustainability conference. Scheduled for March 24, 2011, the conference promises to be an inspirational event that you won't want to miss.
     Hosted at the Irvine Marriott, the two-day Profit+Planet? conference will feature insightful panel discussions and intriguing keynote presentations by some of the most forwardthinking innovators of our time.
     Take part in the "Sustainability University" where different "tracks" of learning will take place: Sustainability 101 designed for companies just beginning to implement sustainability initiatives; Sustainability 201 for managers with responsibility for a sustainability function, and Sustainability 301 for C-level leaders guiding sustainability strategies. The second day of the conference will offer optional field trips to local Orange County companies who will share their innovative sustainability programs.
     More information will be forthcoming as the details of the Merage School's Profit+Planet? sustainability conference become available.

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White House Conference

Professor Kerry Vandell
Professor Kerry Vandell
     "We explored whether these entities should be government sponsored, with implicit debt guarantees and the same affordable housing goals as before, or whether the government should move away from any involvement in housing finance," said Vandell. "In reality, the answer is going to lie somewhere in the middle. However, there was general agreement on the reality that we need a measure of a federal role in the residential mortgage market."
     Further discussions took place in break-out sessions covering questions such as:
  • What is the role of the private sector and how do we restructure the financial institutions?
  • How do we continue to deliver access and affordability?
  • How do we continue the securitization process?
  • What is the best way to align private market incentives in the housing finance chain to make sure they achieve certain efficiencies?
  • How do we support capital for multi-family finance?
  • And finally, how do we manage the process of transition to this new system?
     About 120 participants took part in the conference. Among them were several academics and representatives from the lending and development industries. Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of PIMCO, was present and voiced his observations concerning the need for government involvement in the stabilization of the market.
     Vandell commented, "I believe the group came around to agreeing with Bill on the need for some sort of continuing government involvement. I actually believe in deregulation as it promotes a competitive market. But we do need government oversight to make sure the conditions of competition are present."
     Further discussion centered on whether or not affordable housing goals should be adopted, and how to develop the resources necessary to handle what some deem to be high risk loans.
     The conference was held to gather comment for a proposal to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Obama administration has committed to having the proposal prepared by January 2011.

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      "The private sector is constantly innovating and at some point in history, innovation reaches a critical mass," Frank stated. "There were no rules (to govern the innovation). The role of the public is to establish regulations."
      Frank continued, "Deregulation was not the problem (that caused the Wall Street financial crisis); it was the lack of new regulation… If only banks were making loans, we would not have had a crisis. The problem was unregulated entities were making loans and there were no rules."
      The Dodd-Frank bill places new requirements on mortgage banks, takes the profit out of derivative trades, requires price transparency and restricts the ability of large banks to profit from activities outside of making loans.
      Hosted by the Merage School, about 50 business leaders and academics attended the roundtable.
      House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank has been in Congress since 1981 and represents the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts. He is best known for spearheading legislation such as the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the most sweeping overhaul in history of the regulatory system that was just signed into law.

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What's in a Name?
Paul Merage shares with members of the Dean's Leadership Circle

Paul Merage shares with members of the Dean's Leadership Circle how amazing it has been to watch the success of the Merage School.
      Edwin Fuller, chair of the Dean's Advisory Board and president of Marriott International, and UC Irvine Executive Vice Chancellor Michael Gottfredson were also on hand to commend the members of the Merage family for their extreme generosity. Dean Andy Policano highlighted several of the School's accomplishments, including:
  • Enhanced faculty excellence and recognition
  • Rise in rankings in every survey - including 15 point leap in this year's U.S. News & World Report
  • Increase in demand for admittance into MBA and undergraduate programs
  • Support and engagement from the community and from talented alumni
     Policano recognized the Founding Chair of the Dean's Leadership Circle, Pamela Adams '98, for her vision and leadership. Dean's Leadership Circle Director Sandra Findly was also honored for her service to the School, dedication to strengthening strengthening alumni relations, and support in helping the DLC become the largest academic support group on the UC Irvine campus.
     For the Visionary DLC members with their guests, the celebration continued at the home of Paul and Lilly Merage for a reception and dinner.

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