By Andrea Estey

Does Massachusetts Hate Business?

June 19th, 2013 in Entrepreneurship, Faculty, Faculty in the News, News

CEO magazine says yes, SMG’s Vinit Nijhawan says no

Excerpts from BU Today:

A generation after Massachusetts was dubbed “Taxachusetts” for its putative hostility to business, the charge has been resurrected in the magazine via its latest state rankings, determined by a survey responded to by 736 CEOs. The commonwealth was rated 47th among states for the warmth of its business climate, slightly better than New York, Illinois, and dead-last California. Texas won the best-of designation.

“If I were designing Hell for a company, I couldn’t do as good a job as Massachusetts has,” one anonymous CEO told the magazine. Another groused that the company was moving operations out of Massachusetts and three other states and firing employees there, as “the regulatory and tax environment has become untenable.” The magazine itself slammed Governor Deval Patrick’s plans to raise income taxes and eliminate corporate deductions (coupled with a cut in the sales tax), proposals that legislators may scale back.

We ran the matter by Vinit Nijhawan, managing director of BU’s Office of Technology Development and a School of Management lecturer. He has started or served on the boards of about a dozen technology companies since coming to Massachusetts from Canada a quarter century ago. “The biggest one grew to 400 people worldwide,” he says, “and it had about $60 million in sales.”

BU Today: California and Massachusetts are hubs for technology companies. If theyre so awful for business, why would CEOs cluster in those states?

Nijhawan: It’s really clear why: because a lot more emphasis is placed in those states on human capital and lifestyle. If you’re starting a technology company, you have enormous access to technology and people in those places, more than anywhere else. That suggests that the CEOs they interviewed were from bigger companies, especially companies in low-margin commodity markets, like retail. There, the difference between having a 6 percent state sales tax versus a 3 percent tax probably makes a difference to your bottom line, because your margins are thin.

But retail’s very complex, because your outlets could be all over the country. Your income gets taxed differently if you’re here, so who gets affected? Basically, in-state shareholders and management. In the past 30 years, CEO salaries have increased dramatically. So I could see CEOs getting a big personal hit if they were here, versus, say, New Hampshire, which has no sales or income tax. But people aren’t going to move out of Massachusetts to Texas because of sales or income tax.

Read the full article on BU Today.

BU Named One of Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges by Princeton Review

May 31st, 2013 in Energy & Environment Sector, News, Social Impact

Guide to 322 Green Colleges praises sustainability office, student organizations, and sustainability-related courses

Excerpts from Bostonia:

Boston University is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to the new edition of The Princeton Reviews Guide to 322 Green Colleges.

“In a few short years Boston University has made significant strides toward a sustainable future,” the authors write in the guide. “With its sustainability committee, four working groups, sustainability office, a one million dollar revolving fund, departments, student organizations, and nearly 400 courses related to sustainability, the university has developed an impressive sustainability program by any measure.”

The Princeton Review took note of BU’s green buildings and transportation and also drew attention to its retrofitting of existing buildings for energy efficiency through equipment, lighting and energy management systems, and window replacement projects.

In its section on Boston University, The Princeton Review wrote, “In 2011, BU became a member of the Founding Circle of the ‘Billion Dollar Green Challenge.’ Buildings currently under construction will seek LEED certification or better, and there are already two LEED-certified buildings on campus. BU has increased its waste-diversion rate from four percent to 31 percent. Ninety-two percent of students arrive to campus by alternative means. The main campus is organized along one of Boston’s main thoroughfares, with nine subway stops, thirteen intercity bus lines, the BU Bus, and three other shuttle services serving the campuses. BU has an active ride share program and boasts the first bike lanes in Boston’s growing network, which now incorporates more than 100 miles of city streets and parks.

“Other highlights include an award-winning website to engage the university community with a monthly sustainability challenge. To keep up the green pace, there are seventeen sustainable student organizations on campus, from BU Bikes to USGBC Students. BU’s green initiatives even extend to the university’s myriad dining halls. Efforts include 91 percent of the facilities running pre-consumer composting programs, sourcing cage-free eggs, and donating leftover baked goods to local meal programs, food pantries, and shelters.”

“Colleges train the next generation of leaders who will ultimately be responsible for putting green ideas into practice,” the authors note. “By infusing sustainability principles into every aspect of higher education, there is a new priority for a whole generation of leaders, educated and trained, to make a greener world now.”

Read the full article in Bostonia.

Photo via BU Today

Boston University School of Management Named 8th in Operations Management Among Undergraduate Schools by Businessweek

May 30th, 2013 in News, Operations & Technology Management, Press Release, Rankings

Rank reflects an improvement of 21 spots over last year

Boston University School of Management placed 8th in the 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek “Best Undergraduate Business Schools for Operations Management” ranking, an advancement of 21 spots over last year.

This is one of several specialty rankings being released by Bloomberg Businessweek as part of the 2013 “Best Undergraduate Business Schools” ranking. In April, the School of Management placed 7th in Finance.

Each of these specialty rankings are particularly significant because they are based 100% on student response to a Bloomberg Businessweek survey of seniors at universities across the country focused on curriculum, content, and student experience.

The ranking comes after the School recently placed 18th in the country for overall student satisfaction, the highest ever placement for the School, and the School’s overall ranking of 23rd, the second highest in the School’s history.

See the complete ranking of the top 10 undergraduate business schools for operations management.

2013 SMG Faculty Awards Announced

May 30th, 2013 in Faculty, Honors & Awards, News

Each year, SMG recognizes faculty excellence with the Broderick Awards for Teaching, Research, and Contribution to undergraduate and graduate programs.

This year, the SMG Faculty Awards were presented at the Undergraduate and Graduate Convocation Ceremonies on Friday, May 17. The recipients were:

Broderick Awards
Broderick Award for Outstanding Teaching 


John Kirks
Lecturer, Strategy and Innovation

Broderick Award for Outstanding Teaching 

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David Weil
Professor and Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Markets, Public Policy & Law

Broderick Award for Outstanding Research 


Kira Fabrizio
Assistant Professor, Strategy and Innovation

Broderick Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Undergraduate Program 


Jonathan Hibbard
Assistant Professor, Marketing

Broderick Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Masters-level Graduate Programs 


Douglas T. Hall
Morton H. and Charlotte Friedman Professor in Management, Organizational Behavior

Inaugural Broderick Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Doctoral-level Programs 


Krishnagopal Menon
Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Accounting

Two faculty were also nominated by student vote for recognition. The recipients were:

Student-Nominated Faculty Awards
Beckwith Award for Undergraduate Teaching 


John Kirks
Lecturer, Strategy and Innovation

PhD Program Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award 


Pat Kaufmann
Professor and Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Marketing


    Celebrating the Class of 2013

    May 21st, 2013 in News, School, Students

    [View the story “BU School of Management Commencement 2013″ on Storify]

    BU Team Soars at MIT Clean Energy Competition

    May 10th, 2013 in Case Competition, Energy & Environment Sector, Entrepreneurship, Graduate Students, News, School, Students

    Team Wins First Prize in Energy Efficiency Category

    By Mark Dwortzan via BU College of Engineering

    A College of Engineering and School of Management team took first prize in the energy efficiency category of the annual MIT Clean Energy Prize on May 6, one of six premiere regional clean energy student business plan competitions in the U.S.

    A collaboration between students and faculty from ENG and SMG, the team, Aeolus Building Efficiency, won $20,000 for its business plan and presentation for a full-service company that utilizes software to optimize airflow and reduce energy consumption in large office heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems. The technology could be a game-changer for today’s commercial buildings, which account for 18 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions and 36 percent of national electric utility demand.

    Consisting of ENG’s senior Ryan Cruz, Associate Professor Michael Gevelber, and former Professor Donald Wroblewski from the Mechanical Engineering Department, and MBA candidates David Cushman, Jonathan Ellermann, and Benjamin Smith from SMG, Aeolus outperformed 15 other teams from nine states, including three semifinalists representing Harvard University, MIT, and the University of Chicago.

    Aeolus drew on ENG members’ expertise in building energy efficiency and HVAC systems optimization, and SMG members’ business development, operations, project management and sustainability experience. The team’s presentation impressed a panel of six judges from academia, government and industry who based their assessments on environmental benefit, creativity, execution and financial strategy, market and customer knowledge, and team strength.

    Benjamin Smith (MBA’13) relished the opportunity to compete against outstanding teams and technologies from some of the nation’s top academic institutions. “Not only were we able to develop a comprehensive and compelling business plan, but the competition gave us an opportunity to substantiate that plan with cleantech industry leaders,” he observed. “It was an amazing experience.”

    Taking part in the competition reinforced Ryan Cruz’s (ME’13) aspiration to pursue a career in the energy efficiency field. “I was able to learn more about the business side of engineering and aspects of building energy efficiency that I would not have normally been exposed to in the classroom,” he said.

    “It was a great learning experience for all the team members, and we’re proud to get BU’s name recognized at such a highly competitive event,” said Gevelber (ME, MSE, SE).  “We also had great mentoring from other BU faculty in both schools, and received support from BU’s Office of Technology Development, Institute for Technology, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (ITEC) and Sustainable Neighborhood Lab.”

    HVAC systems account for a large portion of energy use in mid- to large-sized buildings, and energy use and cost scales strongly with airflow. This is particularly true in older buildings designed when energy was much cheaper and HVAC systems were designed with high air flow rates. Based on concepts developed by Paul Gallagher (ME, MS’13) in his master’s thesis, Aeolus aims to commercialize its software-based service that enables room-by-room measurement and optimization of airflow rates, thereby reducing energy consumption while maintaining thermal comfort and meeting ventilation requirements.

    Invented by Gevelber, Wroblewski, and Gallagher and now being patented by BU, the breakthrough technology uses existing, computer-based building automation systems to reduce large building HVAC energy consumption by up to 20 percent without equipment installation, intensive manual labor or long payback periods.

    “What’s amazing about our approach is that the system would take the same time to work on a building the size of Sargent College as it would for the Prudential Center,” Gevelber explained.

    Formed in 2007 to help develop a new generation of energy entrepreneurs and companies and sponsored by NSTAR and the U.S. Department of Energy, the MIT Clean Energy Prize offers awards in three categories—renewable energy, infrastructure and resources, and energy efficiency.  The competition’s $20,000 Energy Efficiency Track Prize is sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which seeks to accelerate the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts.

    Pictured above is Team Aeolus Building Efficiency: Professor Michael Gevelber (ME, MSE, SE), David Cushman (MBA’14), Jonathan Ellermann (MBA’13), Ryan Cruz (ME’13), and Benjamin Smith (MBA’13) with $20,000 Energy Efficiency Track Prize. (A sixth Aeolus team member, former Professor Donald Wroblewski (ME) was unavailable for the photo.)

    Sandra Procopio Named a 2013 John S. Perkins Distinguished Service Award Winner

    May 6th, 2013 in News

    Procopio has served as Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate Program for 20 years

    04-2448SMGSMG Faculty H&S Session II09/15/04Sandra Procopio, Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate Program at SMG, was named one of three winners of the 2013 John S. Perkins Distinguished Service Award. The Perkins Award honors those members of the BU family who have served the University with great distinction and have made important contributions to the community. Procopio has been at Boston University since 1975, and came to SMG in 1993. She is retiring in June 2013.

    From BU Today:

    Procopio (SED’89) says she was stunned to learn she’d been selected for a Perkins Award. The assistant dean, who has worked at BU for almost 38 years, has “consistently maintained a commitment to excellent student service and supported new initiatives that support student engagement and retention,” noted one professor in a recommendation letter. She has been crucial to the school’s success by “serving students, supporting faculty, and creating a richer, warmer community,” noted another colleague.

    Asked what she likes most about her job, Procopio says there is no greater joy than seeing a student develop over a four-year period. “They start out as an 18-year-old and become an adult, with leadership skills and poise,” she says. She estimates she has worked with as many as 10,000 students who have passed through the halls of SMG since she started at the school 20 years ago. Procopio plays an integral part in SMG’s honors program as well.

    “Sandra’s recognition is a special point of pride for the entire SMG community,” said Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman in a school-wide announcement. “She has touched the lives of countless students, staff, and faculty – and has done so for nearly twenty years at the School.”

    An award ceremony and reception will be held for the winners at 5pm on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at the Metcalf Trustee Center on the 9th Floor of 1 Silber Way, Boston. The ceremony and reception is open to all members of the BU community.

    MBA Team Wins First Place in P&G Sustainability Challenge

    April 30th, 2013 in Case Competition, Energy & Environment Sector, Graduate Students, News, School

    BU competition featured eight multidisciplinary teams of undergraduates and graduates; first place team will go on to present ideas to Gillette’s top managers

    By Gilberto Millares (IMBA’13) from the BU MBA Student Life blog

    Some of Procter & Gamble’s sustainability goals for the future include completely eliminating the waste they currently generate, using only renewable energy in all their facilities, and having environmentally-friendly products and packages. As you might guess, such endeavors present an extremely difficult challenge for a global company, so they are constantly looking for ways to make marginal or disruptive changes in their operations that allow them to be closer to achieving these goals. One of the ways they’re doing this is by sponsoring the P&G Gillette Sustainability Challenge, which brings together multidisciplinary teams from different Boston University schools and colleges and challenges them to come up with ideas that might be applied in P&G operations.

    On April 12, eight teams consisting of undergraduate and graduate students from programs including engineering, public policy, biomedical engineering, and management had the opportunity to showcase their findings to a group of managers from P&G Gillette, Veolia, and NSTAR. We presented different ideas that would allow P&G to increase their renewable energy consumption at the South Boston Gillette site by making a business case for each proposed project.

    While the format differed a bit from the standard case competition, the results were just as meaningful. Rather than diving into the project for 48 hours, we were given two weeks to find different approaches to help them achieve their goals. And even though it might sound like more than sufficient lead time, we had to fit several seminars into our busy schedules to learn about energy projects throughout the country and the world, research technologies that are being implemented in the industry, and find ways to link business and engineering aspects for each submitted idea—no easy task!

    Finally, after all the teams had presented their ideas, we had a small reception as the judges made the final decision. First place was awarded to a team consisting of MBA and IMBA students (pictured above), as well as LEAP, mechanical engineering, and public policy students, who will now have the opportunity to present their pitch to a group of Gillette’s top managers. However, I think the most rewarding aspect of the competition was working with a truly diverse group of people that mimics the diversity and complexities of the business world.

    Pictured: The winning team of MBA and IMBA students with the panel of judges from P&G Gillette, Veolia, and NSTAR. Group photo courtesy of the BU MBA Student Life blog.

    Homepage image via flickr user Pylon757.

    Two SMG Student Athletes Honored

    April 25th, 2013 in News, Students, Undergraduate Students

    Two SMG seniors, Josh Friedman of the men’s tennis team and Jessica Morrow of the women’s soccer team, were among the 10 student-athletes honored at the annual BU student-athlete reception on Monday, April 22. Jessica received the E. Ray Speare and Gretchen Schyler award, given yearly to the top male and female scholar-athletes. Josh was a recipient of the John B. Simpson Award, given both to a male and female senior who has demonstrated enthusiasm and leadership.

    From BU Athletics:

    Jessica Morrow concluded her career as a NSCAA Third-Team All-America honoree after claiming America East Defender of the Year honors. She posted a standout season in which she anchored BU’s defense that allowed just four goals in eight conference games to lead the league with a 0.49 goals-against average and help the Terriers to a perfect 8-0 league record and their sixth straight America East regular-season title. In addition to being BU’s leader on defense, the co-captain tied for the team lead with five assists on the season, which ranked fourth in the conference. The two-time member of the America East All-Academic team owns a 3.80 GPA as a business administration major which earned her NSCAA First Team Scholar All-America accolades.

    A selfless, tireless and vocal leader both on and off the court, Josh Friedman was named the men’s tennis team MVP the last three seasons. He is a two-time all-conference honoree and an America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll member. As a sophomore, he moved to the No. 1 singles position and helped the Terriers win 10 matches, a feat not accomplished since 2007. The highlight of his junior season occurred when he defeated No. 60 Harvard’s two-time All-Ivy League First Team member, Jon Pearlman. This year competing at the top singles and doubles slots, he led the Terriers to their first winning season in six years and 7-0 sweeps against five opponents.

    Pictured honorees, from left: Josh Friedman (SMG’13), Jessica Morrow (SMG’13), Mo Moran (CAS’13), Chantell Alford (CGS’11, MET’13), Ryan Ruikka (CAS’12, GRS’12, MET’13), Tina Hoppe (SHA’13), and Nestor Taffur (MET’14). Photo by Steve McLaughlin via BU Today.

    Conversations with Ken: David Barger, CEO of JetBlue

    April 25th, 2013 in Conversations with Ken, Dean Freeman, News

    David Barger, President and CEO, JetBlue
    Watch Ken Freeman, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean at Boston University School of Management, as he interviews David Barger, President and CEO of JetBlue. Barger discusses his personal leadership philosophy, the evolving definition of business in society, and JetBlue’s charge to bring humanity back to air travel.