Dr. Mehmet Dicle, Dr. Kendra Reed, Dr. John Levendis, and Dr. Daniel D’Amico
Dr. Mehmet Dicle, Dr. Kendra Reed, Dr. John Levendis, and Dr. Daniel D’Amico

By Shelby Schultheis ’14

Four Faculty Members Accept New Professorships

On January 29, 2013, four professors from the College of Business formally received invested professorships. For each professor, their respective investitures invoked different emotional responses, but all of their plans involve providing a better experience for business students. The professors are all grateful to the donors who have made the professorships possible and plan on using them to enhance their classes and their students’ experiences at Loyola.

Stanford H. Rosenthal Professorship in Risk, Insurance, and Entrepreneurship

Mehmet Dicle, Ph.D., assistant professor of finance, felt honored when he received the Stanford H. Rosenthal Professorship in Risk, Insurance, and Entrepreneurship.

“I feel that the things that I have done have been rewarded and I feel encouraged,” Dicle says.

Dicle teaches classes in Financial Management and International Financial Management for undergraduates, and Advanced Financial Management for MBA students. He has been at Loyola for six years, two of which he spent as a visiting professor before becoming a tenure track faculty member. He has already begun using his investiture to expand his own research and students’ opportunities.

He has hired business students as research assistants and plans to purchase research specific data, which usually comes from the professor’s own budget. Three of his current research projects involve his student research assistants.

“I’m working with one of my research assistants on a project for momentum and contrarian trading strategies on individual stocks based on their risk levels and based on their historic patterns,” Dicle says. “I’m also working with another student to see if there’s anything that we can do with executives’ share trading habits and stock performances. We also have a paper that’s under review that actually looks at the gold returns as a hedging instrument.”

Dicle researches on topics such as market efficiency and predicting market returns. He also does collaborations with faculty members, such as John Levendis, Ph.D., another investiture recipient, and Ron Christner, Ph.D.

“We’re currently working on the relationship between the risk and market prediction, whether the risk could actually make the predictions less reliable or more reliable,” Dicle says.

The Stanford H. Rosenthal Professorship in Risk, Insurance, and Entrepreneurship was established in 1990 by the children of Stanford H. Rosenthal in honor of their father, a long-time professor in Loyola’s College of Business. Contributions were made by Stephen R. Rosenthal, Leslie R. Jacobs, the Rosenthal Agency, and more than 130 other individuals.

Barry and Teresa LeBlanc Professorship in Business Ethics

Kendra Reed, Ph.D., associate professor of management, was initially bewildered when she heard she was receiving the Barry and Teresa LeBlanc Professorship in Business Ethics. Reed teaches classes in Management and Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Project Management, and Psychology and Management. This will be her first semester teaching Business Ethics, and she plans on using her professorship to better prepare herself.

“I’m going to use the professorship to explore and study ethics in business, what the students need, how I can best serve them in teaching so that they can be better prepared than I was to face the challenges they’ll face in their life and in business,” Reed says.

Reed wants her students to have the best possible foundation in business ethics so that when they come upon moral quandaries they know how to deal with them.

“What I really want students to do is deconstruct who they are right now, what they think about ethics, and what they think about business, to get to a point of confusion and chaos. While in this fluid state and with new knowledge and insight, they can begin to reconstruct how they look at and respond in ethical situations,” Reed says.

“I’d like them to build their moral reasoning on a house of rock because it’s really tough out there and I’ve experienced it,” Reed adds. “They’re going to get tossed about in the storms and they’re going to fall, and if you fall on a house of rock it hurts but they’re going to get up with their bumps and bruises and, with a solid foundation of moral reasoning, they can stand up with pride and integrity to face the next situation.”

Barry, M.B.A. ’82, and Teresa, M.B.A. ’82, LeBlanc, the founders of the professorship, were ecstatic when they found out Reed would be the recipient.

“I think Kendra is the perfect type of professor that’s going to take advantage of the funding of this and instill some of these values in her students, so we’re really happy,” Barry LeBlanc says.

The LeBlancs received their MBAs from Loyola, and business ethics stuck with them, which was why they decided to establish a professorship with business ethics as the main focus.

“One of the things we hope comes out of this for business students at Loyola is that they can learn that today businesses are expected to identify their responsibilities to more than just shareholders, and in the past it was about growing business, sales, and profits,” LeBlanc says. “Today there are business responsibilities for fair treatment of employees, suppliers, customers, and the whole community.”

Reed recalls the day of the investiture and how all four professors were so proud of each other.

“We were as equally proud of each other as ourselves, and I think it showed when we got up there,” Reed says. “It was not only about me, but more importantly, feeling the synergy of the wonderful people surrounding me and knowing they all are not only great scholars but amazing people as well.”

Dr. John V. Connor Professorship in Economics and Finance

John Levendis ’97, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, received the Dr. John V. Connor Professorship in Economics and Finance. He teaches Econometrics, History of Economic Thought, Economical Development, and this semester, he is teaching Mathematical Economics, an interdisciplinary class. Having taught at Loyola since 2005, he was pleased that he was awarded this professorship.

“It was humbling and gratifying, but humbling more than anything,” Levendis says.

Some professors in academia feel compelled to stay within their niche and avoid interdisciplinary work. Currently, Levendis has been veering from pure economics to financial economics. He feels that the professorship he received reflects this new direction, especially since it is oftentimes risky for professors.

“Here’s a professorship that was specifically created to promote this kind of interdisciplinary work, so it was nice to be rewarded for such a risk rather than to be criticized for taking that risk,” Levendis says.

The first purchases Levendis made with his investiture were a jar and some marbles. He wanted to show his students an experiment involving the wisdom of crowds, during which the students guessed how many marbles were in the jar. Their individual guesses were aggregated and an average was taken that was surprisingly close to the actual number. This was to show that the consensus of a group can be used as an indicator for economists. The purpose of the experiment was to simulate the market for a financial asset, where each participant has a slightly different opinion of its worth. The average opinion is surprisingly close to the actual number, showing how markets might usefully summarize the populace’s varying opinions. Moreover, students see that the highest bidder usually overestimates its value, in what is called the “Winners Curse.”

“It’s one thing for me to just tell students that they’ve run these experiments, and it was another thing for me to actually go and put the jar full of marbles out there and have them try it,” Levendis says.

He typically has at least half a dozen research projects going at one time, but currently Levendis is looking at the relationship between the value of the dollar and the value of U.S. stocks to see whether the economy is driving the financial markets or the financial markets are driving the economy.

“I like to hop around a lot in my research,” Levendis says. “If I have questions, I want to look up the answers. If no one has definitive answers, then I start researching it and creating my own statistical research on the matter until my curiosity is satisfied.”

The Dr. John V. Connor Professorship in Economics and Finance was established in honor of Dr. John V. Connor, the founding dean of Loyola’s College of Business. The Connor professorship fund was begun in 2004 with a sizable contribution from an anonymous donor, and a committee of generous alumni raised the remaining funds necessary to permanently endow this professorship. More than 40 alumni and friends—including Arthur Hayes, Roland Hymel, and the ExxonMobil Corporation—contributed to this professorship in honor of Connor.

William Barnett Professorship in Free Enterprise Studies

Daniel D’Amico ’04, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics, was excited upon hearing that he was receiving the William Barnett Professorship in Free Enterprise Studies.

“If you had told me when I was an undergraduate studying under Bill Barnett, that I would one day hold this professorship, I never would have believed it,” D’Amico says.

D’Amico is also pleased that he received the investiture early in his career, “because you get to put those funds to good use and really help our department and our students,” D’Amico says.

D’Amico attended Loyola from 2000 to 2004 and initially wanted to major in international business or marketing.

“I started taking economics classes and it seemed like that was where the action was. There were debates and conflicts and more advanced theories.”
For many business majors, taking classes with Professor Barnett is a rite of passage.

“He’s a wealth of knowledge and his standards are very high,” D’Amico says. “It’s a format of a class that requires students to take responsibility for their own reading and their own attention and their own learning.”

D’Amico tries to employ Barnett’s manner of teaching in his own Microeconomics and Macroeconomics classes and encourages students to explore topics that interest them since the body of knowledge in any field is overwhelmingly vast.

He plans to use his investiture to attend conferences and is arranging to conduct field study in South Africa on the role of private security in the continent’s market economy. If he is able to go, he also plans to launch an online learning module for business students which would simulate the field research experience.

“Ideally we would be in the field doing ground level interviews and archival research and then debriefing via Skype and the online materials and sharing pdfs online and having a network of both students and similar faculty to constantly give feedback and interaction on the project,” D’Amico says.

The experience would also benefit his current book project which is a comparative history about case studies in stateless environments. His field work would be an original complement of research, whereas the book is predominantly focused on surveying other existing research.

The William Barnett Professorship in Free Enterprise Studies was established through lead gifts from Eric Eckholdt, David Ingles, and Mari Vasan in honor of their former professor, Dr. William Barnett. Additional significant gifts were also received from Richard Barnett, on behalf of the Barnett family, Matt Gaston, Robert LeBlanc, Goldman Sachs, and approximately 40 other individuals and corporations. Barnett has been a professor of economics at Loyola since 1974.

College of Business Endowed Professorships

• William Barnett Professorship in Free Enterprise Studies – Daniel D’Amico, Ph.D.
• Chase/Francis C. Doyle Distinguished Professorship – Mike Pearson, Ph.D.
• Chase Distinguished Professorship of International Business – Bill Barnett, Ph.D.
• Chase Minority Entrepreneurship Distinguished Professorship #2 – Brett Matherne, Ph.D.
• Dr. John V. Connor Professorship in Economics and Finance – John Levendis, Ph.D.
• Dean Henry J. Engler, Jr., Distinguished Professorship in Management – Wing Fok, Ph.D.
• Merl M. Huntsinger Distinguished Professorship in Investments and Finance – Ron Christner, Ph.D.
• Barry and Teresa LeBlanc Distinguished Professorship of Business Ethics – Kendra Reed, Ph.D.
• Stanford H. Rosenthal Professorship in Risk, Insurance and Entrepreneurship – Mehmet Dicle, Ph.D.

College of Business Endowed Chairs

• Gerald N. Gaston Eminent Chair in International Business – Len Treviño, Ph.D.
• Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics – Walter Block, Ph.D.
• Hilton/Baldridge Eminent Scholar Chair in Business – Jerry R. Goolsby, Ph.D.
• Legendre-Soulé Chair in Business Ethics – Nicholas Capaldi, Ph.D.
• Jack and Veda Reynolds Endowed Chair in International Business – Jeffrey A. Krug, Ph.D.

Shelby Schultheis ’14 (English) is the publications intern for the Office of Marketing and Communications during the spring 2013 semester.

View the complete spring 2013 issue of Loyola Executive.

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