Harvard Professor Robert C. Merton to Receive MIT’s Muh Award

January 13, 2009

BOSTON, Jan 8, 2009 — Robert C. Merton, Harvard’s John and Natty McArthur University Professor based at Harvard Business School and winner of the 1997 Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in the Economic Sciences, has been selected as the recipient of the Robert A. Muh Award. The honor is given annually by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences to an MIT graduate who has made significant contributions to these fields.

Merton will receive the award at a dinner ceremony in March and deliver a lecture to an audience that will include MIT faculty, staff, and students.

At HBS, Merton currently teaches the second-year elective Functional and Strategic Finance, a course organized around the design and management of global financial institutions, markets, and the financial system.

Merton earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering mathematics from Columbia University, a master’s degree in engineering mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then served on the finance faculty of the MIT Sloan School of Management until 1988, when he moved to Harvard Business School. He is past president of the American Finance Association and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.


ISB feels effect of “India’s Enron”

January 13, 2009

M Rammaohan Rao has stepped down as dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, following further evidence of fraud at computer outsourcing company Satyam, where Prof Rao was on the board of directors. A new board of directors for the company has been appointed by the Indian government.

In a statement to the ISB community Prof Rao said that his continuing preoccupation with the evolving situation at Satyam was having a negative impact on his ability to continue as dean. “This is a difficult decision for me, given my commitment to ISB, its faculty, students, staff, alumni, research and academic associates,” he wrote. “But, it is precisely this commitment that has convinced me that this decision is in the best interest of ISB.”

Professor Rao went on to say he had “absolutely no prior knowledge” of circumstances revealed last week by former chairman, B Ramalinga Raju. Mr Raju wrote to the Satyam board confessing to manipulating the company’s accounts over a period of several years in a fraud worth more than $1bn. The scandal has been dubbed ”India’s Enron.”

The resignation will have limited impact on the running of ISB as Prof Rao had intended to step down from the dean’s position in June 2009 and a search committee is already in place looking for his replacement. In the interim six months deputy dean Ajit Rangnekar, who has been with ISB since 2003, will step up to the job.

Prof Rao was appointed dean of ISB in July 2004.



Manchester Business School secures €600,000 European defence policy funding

January 13, 2009

Manchester Business School has secured €600,000 of European Commission funding to investigate the impact of defence and security initiatives on the future shape of European science policy.

The funding will enable the MBS Team – headed up by Andrew James, senior lecturer at the School and defence industry expert – to conduct research on the future relationship between the EU strategy to move towards a single European Research Area and EU policies focused on the security of European citizens in the world.

The project team is led by MBS’ Institute of Innovation Research and includes partners from leading research institutes in Sweden, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark and Hungary.

Mr James has also recently given evidence to the European Parliament on the European Commission’s Draft Directive on Defence Procurement – consolidating his position as a leading authority in this area.

His evidence highlighted the dilemma facing European governments: how to move from protected national markets for defence equipment to a more open European market whilst recognising that the particular characteristics of defence make existing European procurement rules impractical.

Andrew James explains:

“I am delighted to be involved in the debate on this important European Commission initiative. In creating a European defence equipment market we need to move beyond thinking about juste retour – getting back what we put in. Instead, we need to focus on the creation of transparent, open and non-discriminatory procurement processes.

“Emphasis on fair procurement processes should be complementary to the aim of improving the efficiency of the European defence market and it’s the policy approach most likely to create and sustain a strong European Defence Equipment Market.”

His other recommendations called for:

    * The opening-up of national defence markets to facilitate more cross-border competition as a critical step towards building a European Defence Equipment Market that is fair and efficient
    * Contracts to be awarded to those suppliers providing the highest quality, most innovative and cost effective solutions to military requirements – rather than simply on the basis of nationality
    * The creation of an open market that gives access to SMEs and also suppliers from the newer member states
    * A greater transparency and consistency in offset practices across Europe including the creation of a Code of Conduct on Offsets under which member states would commit to reporting on their offset practices on a consistent basis
    * An awareness that the creation of a more open and efficient defence market will only have the desired impact if it leads to industrial restructuring that reduces duplication and over capacity.

Separately, Mr James has recently completed a study for the European Defence Agency advising them on how to develop tools to measure the strengths and weaknesses of the defence technological and industrial base in Europe.


manchester business school

London Business School appoints Robin Buchanan

January 13, 2009

London Business School appoints Robin Buchanan as President and Professor Sir Andrew Likierman as Dean

London Business School is pleased to announce that Robin Buchanan, the current Dean, has become President of the School.  This is a new role, created on Buchanan’s recommendation and endorsed by Governing Body, which focuses on the School’s development and external relations.

Professor Sir Andrew Likierman has become the School’s new Dean in succession to Buchanan.  He is the eighth Dean in the School’s 44 year history. Likierman, also Professor of Management Practice in Accounting at the School, brings to the role his extensive experience in the academic world and both the public and private sectors.

Likierman said of his appointment: “I am extremely honoured to have been offered the role of Dean. London Business School enjoys an enviable reputation for academic excellence and continues to attract many of the world’s best talents – both to its faculty and staff and to its degree and executive education programmes. The School’s Vision is to be the pre-eminent global business school, and my priority will be to build on the work of Robin and my other predecessors to ensure that Vision continues to be realised”.

The Chairman of London Business School’s Governing Body, Sir John Ritblat commented: “We are delighted that Andrew has agreed to take up the role of Dean. His distinguished record in the academic sphere and his wide-ranging experience in the public and private sectors mean that he is ideally placed to continue to take the School forward. I know that he is looking forward to building on our efforts to recruit the best faculty and staff and to deliver the finest degree and executive education programmes.

“We are grateful to Robin for all that he has done during his time as Dean.  He has helped us make a substantial number of improvements to the School.  Under his leadership the School’s programme and research rankings have continued to do well, our global reach has been expanded especially in the Middle East and East Asia, and we have made important progress in removing our space constraints.  Our priority is to continue to build our world class faculty and endowment and we are confident that the School has every chance of achieving its goals.”

Outgoing Dean, Robin Buchanan said: “I am proud of what we have all achieved at London Business School during my time as Dean. Our outstanding faculty and staff supported by our Governors and other friends of the School continue to make great progress. I look forward to working with Andrew in this new role and to continuing to move the School forward.”