The Paul Merage School of Business - Dean's Quarterly - Summer 2009
In Perspective
Dean Andy PolicanoThe current financial crisis hangs ominously over all of us. Who will survive and who will thrive during these uncertain times?
    If you think for a moment about today's most successful people and organizations, you realize there exists a simple yet elegant commonality between them – Innovation. Innovation is a hallmark of the individuals and companies who succeed despite the environment by adapting and acting flexibly to take advantage of opportunities even in a downturn.
     Within our programs at The Paul Merage School of Business, we are dedicated to graduating business leaders with the exceptional ability to help grow their organizations through strategic innovation – supported by analytical decision-making, information technology and collaborative execution. These concepts are enhanced by our highly-personalized learning environment and are embodied in our powerful theme:

Innovation to shape the future; Personalization to shape you.

     As leaders of the world's foremost companies grapple with how to sustain growth in the face of global innovation, the Merage School is enhancing its curriculum and surrounding students with world-class faculty and innovative business leaders. We continue to partner with the vibrant Orange County business community to create a platform for new leaders to launch powerful, successful business strategies. Together we are fostering an environment geared toward innovation, one that will transform our School, our students and our partners from "already excellent," to "truly distinctive."

Dean Andy Policano Signature

PAMELA M. ADAMSAlumni Leadership Highlight

PAMELA M. ADAMS, ’98 Founding Chair,
Dean's Leadership Circle

"School doesn't end when you walk out the door – your education has only begun," said Pamela Adams, CFP, Financial Advisor, First Vice President and Investment Officer of a large national brokerage firm and alumna of The Paul Merage School of Business.
       A true testament to this statement, Adams has continued to demonstrate success and growth both in her career and in her involvement with the Merage School. Besides serving as a mentor, joining the school's Corporate Partners program and the alumni association, Adams is the Founding chair of one of the most influential programs on campus – The Dean's Leadership Circle.

Read More

Where Do We Go From Here? State Controller and Merage School Dean Predict Challenges Ahead for California and Orange County

Andy Policano, dean of The Paul Merage School of Business, and California State Controller john chiangJohn Chiang shared a challenging economic outlook with a sold out crowd during the Economic Outlook Revisited: Changing Strategies for Changing Times conference held at The Pacific Club in late July.
      "We [the state] have taken the easy way out by borrowing and now that has come to roost," said Chiang who stated his goal was to keep California from defaulting on its debt. "The worst thing that can happen is that the State would default," said Chiang who is taking steps to try and avoid that outcome.

Read More

Subscribeto the Dean's Quarterly from The Paul Merage School of Business
Mark Your  Calendar Learn more at
Many of our events and seminars fill up quickly. To guarantee your ticket, please register as soon as possible.
MBA Programs Information Sessions invite prospective students for full-time, fully employed and executive MBA programs starting in both spring and fall of 2009.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2009
Alumni Reunion 2009 – Members of the classes ending in 4 or 9 from 1969 to 2009 are invited to gather with staff and faculty to share memories and more.
Visit for more information.

OCTOBER 1, 2009

"Comparative Effectiveness: Lessons from Abroad" – One day conference hosted by the Center for Health Care Management and Policy featuring an international panel.
Visit for registration information.

OCTOBER 29, 2009
CIWM Conference Series – Save the date for the next luncheon conference featuring a special guest speaker (soon to be announced).
Visit for the latest details.
NOVEMBER 5, 2009
Distinguished Speaker Series –Neel Grover, CEO of Visit for more information.
Economic Good News

Is There a Silver Lining?

Experts agree, our economy will recover from this economic turbulence; the question is, "When?" While we search for the silver lining, it is important that we keep our focus on positioning ourselves and our companies to take advantage of the recovery. Considering the negative news circulating daily is important, but more important is seeking out the good news that is starting to surface.
      In an effort to facilitate the distribution of the good news, Dean Andy Policano has launched a new Economic Good News blog. On this blog you will find some factual counterbalance to the overwhelmingly negative news in the media. These positives should provide some comfort in the midst of many depressing reports, and serve as a reminder that recovery will come.
      Policano posts some of the good news about the economy that has taken place recently along with published economic indicators that support it. You are welcome to contribute good news items on the blog at any time. Visit economic, join in the discussion, and see if you can spot the silver lining.

The Venture Capital – Private Equity Roundtable Gives Beall Center the Nod

The Venture Capital – Private Equity (VCPE) Roundtable, an industry trade association, provides the Merage School's Beall Center a standing time slot in its monthly deal screening process held in Silicon Valley. Attending these luncheon meetings are representatives of Angel Groups, Venture Capital firms, Private Equity firms, and Hedge Funds. VCPE has over a trillion dollars under management, collectively, among its Member Firms. The purpose of the Organization, established in 2001, is to promote the motto: Meet. Connect. Invest.
      During the monthly sessions, the Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship-sponsored ventures are evaluated. If the screening committee agrees the ventures have "the right stuff" they will invite them to present at the VCPE regular monthly meeting to 50-60 VCs, angel investors, institutional investors and foundations.
Top According to Business week
Merage School Wins Design Excellence Award
If you've visited the Merage School's new Center for Real Estate or Executive Commons recently, then it will come as no surprise that the School has been selected as a winner in the 2009 American School & University Education Interiors Showcase. Recognized for design excellence in interior renovation, both the Center for Real Estate and the Executive Commons will be profiled in the next edition of the industry journal American School & University.
Merage School Wins Design      "University projects are always unique," said David Rova, Principal and Director of Design for HMC and lead designer for the two Merage School projects. "Today's business faculty members are engaged and interactive with students and they need a vibrant environment in which to work. That was our goal for these two spaces and we have truly exceeded our expectations."
      According to John Clarke, Assistant Dean and CIO, and Chair of the Building Committee, "The Center for Real Estate is a dynamic facility with its ultra-sleek design and abundant use of technology. The 2,000 square foot facility houses meeting rooms, research and administrative offices. The 26-seat conference room features a 60" LCD flat screen video monitor with computer and video conferencing capabilities. The resource center offers high speed wireless and multiple flat screen displays providing real-time market information, and streaming business and financial news. A variety of real estate databases, evaluation software and a core collection of professional and academic publications are also available."
      The resources required to design and finish out the Center were made possible through the generosity of gifts from Ranney and Priscilla Draper and the Center's Advisory Board.
      Kerry Vandell, Dean's Professor of Finance and Director of the Center, cites the new space's virtues: "Our new facility has proven to provide a superb example of the oftquoted design goal, 'form follows function.' We have made extensive use of new technology and design for everything from bringing executives from Jones Lang LaSalle in Mumbai, India into our classroom, to allowing our students the latest market information on REIT share price movements. It has clearly brought us into the 21st century."
      The Executive Commons, the other new facility, serves as the Merage School's auditorium and provides a workspace and meeting area for students in the Executive MBA program. Highly versatile, the Commons can be converted into a dining hall, complete with catering kitchen and service area, and can seat as many as 100 people.
Design Excellence Award

Frank KavanaughProsperitas Kicks off Second Year with New Value Proposition

Exciting new plans are underway for Prosperitas, a growing group of successful business leaders and philanthropists who meet to discuss critical social, economic, and scientific issues with thought-leaders in each field. Thesupport group, which also benefits The Paul Merage School of Business, is working to continue to maintain quality programming while increasing the value proposition of the membership investment to allow for greater growth and participation.
     "Over this past year we've had the opportunity to privately sit down with an astounding line-up of people in a format that allowed for intimate conversation and debate," said Executive Director Mary Patrick, who facilitates the group with Prosperitas Founder Frank Kavanaugh. "Moving forward, we are excited about the prospect of adding new members and expanding our presence in the Orange County business community."
      The 2009-2010 Prosperitas program will feature twice-monthly meetings in salon-like settings where members can exchange ideas with thought-leaders and peers. Last year members were offered the opportunity to meet with economists (Andrew Policano, Dean of The Paul Merage School of Business; Peter Navarro, author of The Coming China Wars; Richard McKenzie, author of Why Popcorn Costs So Much At The Movies); investment advisors (Paul McCulley, Managing Director, PIMCO; Michael Shedlock, author of Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis; John Mauldin, multiple NYT bestselling author and financial expert); political leaders & activists (Maajid Nawaz, founderof Quilliam, the world's first counter-extremism think tank; Anne Korin and Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security; Dan Schnur, NYT political columnist, McCain campaign consultant, and USC professor; Steve Young, OC congressional candidate); scientists (Dr. Hans Kirstead, renowned stem cell researcher; Dr. Michael Prather, climate change research scientist), spiritual leaders (Dan Millman, author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior; Dr. Roger Walsh, author of Essential Spirituality), and local and national business leaders (sports agent Leigh Steinberg; plastic surgeon Dr. Jay Calvert; commercial real estate investor Burton Young).
      "The name Prosperitas is the Latin term for 'hope' and 'success,' and now more than ever it's apparent that the secret to survival and success requires remaining focused and optimistic, informed and connected," says Patrick.
      For more information visit, or contact Mary Patrick at 510.260.6279 or email her at

New Building Gaining Momentum

With more than $1 million in new pledges received from generous corporate donors, the Merage School has cause for celebration. Two new pledges from Experian and Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company (PAAMCO) have moved the project another step toward funding the first new business school structure to be built since 1989.
      Since news of the new building was first presented to the business community in January 2009, pledges totaling $1.5 million have been received by the Merage School. These pledges are significant since they have been made during a severe economic downturn even before the building has been fully designed and prior to a fully-launched fundraising campaign. The Merage School will recognize these significant gifts by naming a space in the current building for both donors.
      "Due to our innovative curriculum, executive programs, and research conducted and presented by the School and its highly regarded faculty, we are expanding at an accelerated rate. We have outgrown our existing facility and significant added space is vital," said Dean Andrew J. Policano. "Thanks to the outstanding generosity of Experian and PAAMCO, our other generous donors and the continued support of our business community, the expansion of our school will someday be a reality."
      In recognition of their generous contributions, the names of Experian and PAAMCO will also be featured prominently in the new building on executive classrooms and other architectural features.
      "We have many strong ties with both Experian and PAAMCO," said Policano. "Chris Callero, President and COO of Experian Group, and Jane Buchan, PAAMCO's CEO, are both active members of our Dean's Advisory Board. Our own Professor Philippe Jorion works closely with PAAMCO and there is a significant, growing presence of Merage alumni at Experian. Our partnerships make these gifts that much more gratifying," said Policano.

Merage on the Move

13-Year-Old CEO Partners with Merage School Students to Make Literary Difference

Andele Ann Tavlor A.L.L. is on the EDGE of something really big! Adele Ann Taylor, Founder/ CEO of Adele's literacy Library (A.L.L.) and a group of students from the Merage School have launched the A.L.L. for Books Webstore powered by Amazon.
      Created exclusively for A.L.L., the All for Books Webstore delivers on its goal of empowering others to read. Shoppers to the online store can purchase books from various categories with proceeds from the sales donated irectly to A.L.L. Guests to the Webstore can also donate books by shipping them directly to A.L.L.'s library where they will put them in the hands of the groups in need.
      "We found out about Adele's amazing story when Amazon mentioned her in their blog," says Merage School student team member Karl Ring. "The Edge class and our whole program at the Merage School have a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. We thought it would be great to collaborate with a young social entrepreneur on taking her non-profit business to the next level."
      Edge is a unique and innovative Merage School course that seeks to explore how technology and Web 2.0 tools are reshaping and redefining traditional entrepreneurial models. Students have teamed with to design and implement fully functional, profit-generating Web 2.0 business within a 10-week academic quarter.
      To visit the ALL Webstore, go to

The Bottom of the Pyramid Takes Center Stage

Is targeting the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) in fact a realistic market or development strategy? How does the current economic climate influence the BoP approach? Are particular types of services better suited to delivering value and development services? Where do the opportunities lie? These questions and more were the focus of the "Bottom of the Pyramid in Practice" conference, co-sponsored by the Merage School's Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations(CRITO).
      The term "bottom of the pyramid" refers to the four billion people who live on less than $2 per day in developing countries. In recent years, interest in this group has grown substantially with the understanding that increasing the well-being of the poor while increasing the profits of the private sector can simultaneously be a sound development and business strategy as well as a sociallyresponsible investment.Merage First
      Speakers included representatives from organizations such as the Gates Foundation, Microsoft Research, Intel Corporation, Nokia, London School of Economics, UC Berkeley, Queensland University, and of course, UC Irvine.
      Notably, Merage School Professor Dr. Vijay Gurbaxani, Director of CRITO served on the closing discussantpanel with distinguished experts Paul Thomas, Intel's Chief Economist, and Mohammed Mohammed of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Each presented their own point of view about the Bottom of the Pyramid – as a market segment and as a concept – in relation to the other panel presentations. Gurbaxani emphasized his own ethos as a former Indian national who knew about communitybased technologies and the bottom of the pyramid from personal experience growing up in Bombay (Mumbai). He described how business model innovation creates new means of value creation and that IT-led innovation is often an integral part of the solution. Samantha Cross, a newly minted PhD in Marketing from The Paul Merage School of Business, also served as a moderator for the discussion surrounding consumption and emerging markets in the BoP.
      UC Irvine's Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) hosted the conference. IMTFI is a new research institute (funded with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) which focuses on the growing use of mobile technology in providing banking and financial services to people in developing countries. The workshop was organized by Bill Maurer, Professor of Anthropology and Director of IMTFI, Professor Isha Ray of UC Berkeley and Renee Kuriyan from Intel Research. Additional information about the workshop can be found at

Pyramid Takes Center Stage at CRITO

Vijay Gurbaxani named Taco Bell Endowed Professor

Vijay Gurbaxani Vijay Gurbaxani, Professor of Information Systems and Computer Science and Director of the Center for Research on IT and Organizations (CRITO), has been appointed Taco Bell Endowed Professor at The Paul Merage School of Business by Chancellor Michael V. Drake, MD, effective July 1, 2009. The endowment will enable Gurbaxani to further facilitate collaboration between the Merage School and the extensive IT and technology business community in and around Orange County.
      Gurbaxani is an accomplished professor with extensive experience in management education and advisory services. He has lectured worldwide on management issues, taught extensively in degree and executive education programs, consulted for and provided research expertise to many organizations, and been a visiting scholar at the business schools at Stanford University and at MIT.

EMBA Programs Hits a Trifecta

The Executive MBA Program is growing and the School is proud to announce the following three outstanding talents have joined the team:
Joann PitteloudJoann Pitteloud joins the Merage School as the Associate Director, Executive MBA Admissions, and will serve on the Program Management team to identify and recruit qualified Executive MBA students. Pitteloud comes to the Merage School with a combination of expertisein small-business growth advising, coaching, and consulting. Her professional experience includes Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at the International Institute for Management Development, (IMD), in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she was responsible for recruiting full-time MBA students.
      Pitteloud earned a BA in business communications from Michigan State University and a MA in Organizational Leadership from Biola University.
Marty BellMarty Bell has been selected as Director of Program Services for the Executive MBA Programs. Bell is responsible for logistics and operations of program management including scheduling, faculty and university policies and procedures.
      For the past sixteen years Bell has served as the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Business Programs, Director of the Full-Time MBA Program overseeing both Admissions and Student Services, Director of MBA Program and Student Services for all MBA Programs, and he has an ongoing role as the Director of MBA Financial Aid. Prior to coming to the Merage School, Bell was Assistant Director of Financial Aid at UC Irvine and Director of Financial Aid at Orange Coast Community College.
Doug RegnierDoug Regnier has accepted a position as Student Affairs Officer. Together with Marty Bell, Regnier is responsible for logistics for both the Executive MBA and Health Care Executive MBA programs and student needs.
      Prior to joining the Merage School, Regnier managed the internal purchasing,travel and credit card programs for Intuit in San Diego, where he served as a business analyst for accounts payable and managed the company's credit card program.
      Doug earned his BA in Art History at UC Santa Barbara.

UC Irvine Gets a Boost from the Merage School

Dean Sharon Salinger from the Division of Undergraduate Education expressed her enthusiasm about the large number of quality applicants to the Merage School's new Business Administration major. As a result, UC Irvine's freshman admission rates are rivaling those of UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Other Faculty on the Move

Professor Rick SoProfessor Rick So, Operations Management, has accepted the role of Associate Dean of Undergraduate Program effective July 1, 2009, for a renewable two year term. So will oversee the vision, strategy, curriculum and academic matters for the undergraduate major and the two undergraduate minors in the Merage School. In this role, he will work closely with the Area Coordinators, the Undergraduate Programs Committee and Programs Office, and the Dean's Office. So will also join the Merage School's strategy team and serve on the Faculty Advisory Committee in his new role as Associate Dean.

Professor Mort PincusProfessor Mort Pincus will take a well-deserved sabbatical upon completion of his role as Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program. Pincus has led the development of the Merage School's new undergraduate major, which boasts the highest freshman GPA on campus. Pincus also oversaw the highly successful minor program which, at over 500 strong, constitutes one of the largest minors on campus, again with excellent students.

Professor Robin KellerProfessor Robin Keller has agreed to be the new PhD Program Director, starting July 1, 2009, for a renewable two-year term. Keller received her PhD from UCLA and has been at UC Irvine since 1982. She is a renowned researcher in the area of Decision Analysis, and has served our School in a number of important roles, the last main one being as the Associate Dean for our Full-Time MBA program. She is enthusiastic and passionate about our PhD program, and has a great history of working with and helping our PhD students. She will play a leading role as our school continues to streamline and improve our PhD program.
Professor Alladi VenkateshProfessor Alladi Venkatesh has been a passionate and able leader serving as the Director of the Merage School PhD Program for three years. We wish him well as he steps down and embarks on a one-year sabbatical. Venkatesh worked diligently to streamline many aspects of the program and has improved the time-to-graduation and placements. He worked with other academic units on campus, such as Department of Statistics, School of Social Sciences, and School of Social Ecology, to make it easier for our students to take courses in these units. Among his other initiatives, he started the Research Fest, a day-long event attended by Merage School alumni, faculty, students and community from other units on campus. Venkatesh's service to our school has been exemplary.

General Leon J. LaPorte '77 Sent Grads Off in Style

Global Focus in Real Estate Curriculum

Distinguished Merage School Alumnus, General Leon J. LaPorte, '77; U.S. Army (Ret.), shakes hands with Merage School MBA graduate, Shayan Rezvani, '09, during the commencement ceremony
held June 14, 2009.
Merage School Alumnus General Leon J. LaPorte gave the 2009 commencement address at the Bren Events Center in June to a crowd of more than 3,000 people. Nearly 400 students received their MBAs this year along with a distinguished group of PhDs.
      LaPorte, a retired four star General in the U.S. Army, earned his Masters of Science degree in Administration from UC Irvine in 1977. He is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. General LaPorte received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the University of Rhode Island, University of Maryland, and Pai Chai University. He was a Distinguished Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Peace Studies, Korea University.
      General LaPorte currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LaPorte & Associates, LLC, an international business development company.

CRE Announces $7500 Student Fellowship Competition

NAIOP SoCal, the region's leading commercial real estate organization, and the Center for Real Estate at UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business, have joined together to build the industry's future leadership through creation of a fellowship. The CRE-NAIOP Fellowship will provide a deserving student with financial support to pursue an unparalleled learning experience with some of the nation's top real estate executives and scholars.
     NAIOPCRE-NAIOP Fellowship will provide one recipient with a $7,500 financial award, which will be honored in the form of tuition over a period of three quarters, beginning fall 2009. To provide a richer learning experience, the student will have the opportunity to become an intern or mentor at a NAIOP member company along with the opportunity to serve an internship with the NAIOP SoCal Board of Directors.
      Those interested in applying to the CRE-NAIOP Fellowship must complete a scholarship application and submit the one-page essay by 5:00pm on September 1, 2009. Visit for the scholarship application. Essays can be submitted via email to the Full-Time MBA office at or to the Fully-Employed MBA office at
      All applications will be reviewed by the respective MBA program office and the Center for Real Estate. A short list of finalists will be established and interviewed by the Academic Director of the Center for Real Estate Development. The fellowship recipient will be announced by October 15, 2009.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Continued from top of the page

      Policano commented, "We cannot sustain the current budget path; things will have to adjust." He added, "The key to gaining some traction lies in innovation, reasonable savings, and a decrease in the size of government. We will recover, but it will be slow."
     Policano forecasted the U.S. would not reach full employment until 2013. As the unemployment rate drops toward 5.5 to 6% in 2012-2013, he also predicted there will be be some combination of an increase in taxes, inflation and interest rates.
     Both Chiang and Policano agree that information and transparency are critical, and keeping the public informed is key. Chiang posts monthly reports to his website at on the tenth of every month. Policano keeps a blog at, where he posts up-to-date reports on the latest economic indicators.
     Economic Outlook Revisited: Changing Strategies for Changing Times was hosted by the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business. The conference was a follow-up to the Economic Outlook conference in January of this year. The Irvine Chamber of Commerce co-hosts the twice-yearly updates together with the Merage School. The next update is scheduled for January 22, 2010.

About the Center for Investment and Wealth Management
     The Center for Investment and Wealth Management's mission is to create and disseminate vital, applicable research and knowledge concerning the creation, management and inter-generational transfer of wealth. The Center is gaining national recognition as a source of cutting-edge research and innovative programs that advance our understanding of an successful practice in the field of wealth management, including all of its relevant disciplines and audiences.

Alumni Leadership Highlight

Continued from top of the page

     "Pam is very active with the Merage School. She's been the most committed alumna we've had the entire nine years that I've been here," said Sandra Findly, director of the Dean's Leadership Circle. "She does so much that some people think she's getting paid! We couldn't have accomplished all we have without her."
     In 2005, Adams was asked by Andy Policano, dean of the Merage School, and Mitch Spann, senior director of development, if she would consider expanding her relationship with the Merage School. The dean was looking to develop a new business networking group to build connections with surrounding businesses and the community, and enhance the worldwide reach of the Merage School. Adams accepted the challenge and helped found what is today a highly successful fundraising organization and networking community.
Alumni Leadership Highlight      "I am proud to have helped establish the Dean's Leadership Circle and proud of our accomplishments. This organization not only serves as an important base to strengthen our alma mater's reputation and enhance our relationships, it has helped to create a legacy in support of Dean Policano and his goals for the School," said Adams. "Since 2005, we have funded fellowships, remodeled classrooms and are now supporting 'The DLC Endowed Professorship,' providing the ability to impact future generations."
     The DLC is the premier business network for executives in southern California and beyond. Members from diverse industries have a special interest in supporting management education while building stronger ties with each other. The DLC sponsors fundraising drives toward specific projects such as Endowed Professorships and dedicated classroom improvements.
     In addition to her involvement in the DLC, Adams is also a founding member of the Merage School's Center for Investment & Wealth Management. As a highly involved member,Adams chairs the Center's quarterly conferences, most recently the Economic Outlook Revisited: Changing Strategies for Changing Times, a sold out event featuring California State Controller John Chiang.
     "Establishing and continuing my involvement with the Merage School and the Dean's Leadership Circle has been tremendously rewarding," she said. "I encourage all Merage School students and alumni to stay connected with the school and continue to connect with peers around the globe. After all, we are all interdependent. It is a world economy and the only way we can grow is to seek to understand people, understand their cultures and continue to expand our world view."

UCI Home   |    Catalyst   |    Merage Webmail   |    Site Map   |    Terms of Use   |    Suggestion Box   |    Contact Us

© UC Irvine | The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California · Irvine, CA 92697-3125