IMD's Fund-Raising Cycle

MBAs ride bikes to bring in cash for a clinic. Plus: A conviction leads to a name-change, a Chicago prof gets a genius grant, and more

By Jeffrey N. Gangemi

A group of students at the International Institute of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, are taking time out of their post-MBA job search to help children growing up in the war-ravaged city of Sarajevo.

From Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, eight students from IMD's class of 2005 will ride bicycles about 750 miles from Sarajevo to Lausanne in an effort to raise about $39,700 -- enough to build an in-house dental office for a local primary school. "Though the war is now over, the children of Sarajevo still have quite limited access to dental services," says Slovenian student Rok Trost, one of the project organizers.

Eight people will ride in teams of two, switching off every two hours, until they complete the distance between cities. Andreas Maier, a German student and lead cyclist, says he expects the trip to take about 50 to 60 hours.

It won't be the first time these riders have visited the Balkan region. As part of their yearlong program, IMD MBA students complete a "Discovery Expedition," where the entire class visits a country facing a difficult business environment. In partnership with the IEDC Bled School of Management in Slovenia, the MBA Classes of 2002 to 2005 took their expeditions to post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnian Children
Bosnian Children Dancing

When this year's class arrived in the country, they witnessed an event celebrating the completion of a playground funded by IMD's class of 2003. Many of the prospective MBAs felt so moved by the experience that they, too, wanted to do something for the children they met there.

"[Seeing the celebration] reminded me of times of peace," says Dijana Aleksic, a Bosnian student at IMD and another of the project organizers. Now, that's something to smile about.

Imd Students Bosnia
IMD Students with Bosnian Children

For more information on the event, visit the Web site, Cycling for Sarajevo.

Tyco Conviction Leads to Renaming

Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business in South Orange, N.J. stripped Dennis Kozlowski's name from its building and a rotunda on campus after the former Tyco CEO was convicted of stealing millions from his former company. Kozlowski is a graduate of Seton Hall and had donated about $3 million to it since 1997. On Sept. 20, Kozlowski was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison and given a $70 million fine for his actions.

In July, the disgraced executive asked Seton Hall's President, Monsignor Robert Sheeran, to remove his name from the building and rotunda. Kozlowski wanted to separate his affairs from that of the school, says Stillman Dean Karen Boroff.

The institution is making the best of a bad situation: Professors are using the Tyco scandal and its aftereffects as a case study in their classrooms. "You would love to avoid being the subject of a case study you're using, but it's certainly fair intellectual material -- how reputation ripples and affects other people," says Boroff.

The B-school's main building, formerly Kozlowski Hall, was renamed Jubilee Hall in recognition of the university's sesquicentennial anniversary.

Chicago Prof Gets "Genius Grant"

Kevin Murphy, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, recently became a MacArthur Fellow for his groundbreaking research in microeconomics. Murphy will receive $500,000 in "no strings attached" support over the next five years under terms of the award from The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

With his fellowship, popularly known as a "genius grant," Murphy plans to continue his research into how medical innovation affects human health and longevity. "What we really like to focus on is innovations that aren't just effective at improving longevity and increasing health, but also at doing that at a reasonable cost of implementation," says Murphy.

He was selected for "revealing economic forces shaping vital social phenomena such as wage inequality, unemployment, addiction, medical research, and economic growth," according to the foundation's Web site.

Murphy says the freedom the award money provides will allow him to pursue the most relevant and interesting research on health-care innovation in the U.S. And who better than a genius to solve the current health-care crisis?

Haas Gets a $25 Million Donation

The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, recently received a $25 million gift -- the largest in the school's history -- from an anonymous donor.

Acting Dean Richard Lyons says Haas plans to use the money to break ground on a Center for Executive Development, which he hopes will elevate the school into the top tier of the nondegree executive-education market. Though the donor is anonymous now, his or her name will likely appear on the building when it's completed. Lyons says within five years of the building's completion, Haas will be able to offer $20 million worth of executive education programs.

Whitney Hischier, assistant dean for executive education and director of the center, says the new building will include residential suites, classrooms, and office space. "The idea is to be somewhat of a retreat, like a very nice hotel," says Hischier. The administration is still looking for a site to place the new building, but expects it to be close to the business school.

Gangemi is a reporter for BusinessWeek Online in New York

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