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Message from the Dean

  Dean Mohan Tanniru
Moving Michigan Forward

Although key indicators show that Michigan businesses can continue to expect tough times ahead, recent news from economic activity indexes and surveys of top Michigan business leaders show some improvement on the horizon.

The School of Business Administration is taking advantage of opportunities presented to partner with local and international organizations to identify new roles for existing industries, provide our students with valuable experiential learning experiences, help businesses move forward with new ideas, and continue to lead through faculty research and business projects.

The stories in this issue of SBA Insight Online -- and new stories regularly posted on our SBA Web site -- offer a sample of how our focus on integrative thinking, experiential learning and global understanding continue to create excellence for our business and academic partners, our students and the community at large.

In this issue alone, you'll read about the leadership opportunities SBA undergraduate students have within the school when they work as peer advisers as well as how students and graduates from our Executive MBA program are leading the way in health care reform. The importance of global understanding is reinforced within and outside the school through the SBA's course that takes graduate students overseas to study as well as the leading research our faculty members take part in, as exemplified by the article on Professor Rajagopalan's research into information sharing in virtual communities. Of particular interest for SBA is a story on CIBRE Conversations, an outreach initiative in support of economic development in the State of Michigan.

You'll also have a chance to revisit -- or see what you missed -- the activities from the SBA's 40th Anniversary Celebration in stories about the 2009 International Business Conference and the 40th Anniversary Dinner Celebration.

Take some time to read this issue -- and updates on the SBA Web site -- to see how the SBA is helping move the Michigan economy forward.

Classmates offer knowledge and expertise through SBA Peer Advising program

 Peer adviser Natalie Mischley
 advising an SBA student.
When sophomore Andrew Makowski needed guidance on picking a major, he turned to an innovative new SBA program that pairs undergraduate students with a peer adviser to provide answers for common advising questions.

Through the SBA Peer Advising Program, peer advisers are able to provide on-the-spot advising to students in areas such as course schedule planning, general information and major standing.

"Students like talking to other students because it offers a different perspective," says Kellie Klinck, SBA adviser. "In addition, if the question is something basic, students don't have to wait for an appointment or walk-in time. The two advising models -- professional advising and peer advising -- work well together and increase student satisfaction and service delivery."

Since premiering last March, hundreds of SBA students have worked with peer advisers, who are selected from the SBA Scholars Program and work up to 20 hours each week. While the program was originally designed to assist the professional advisers during peak times in the registration cycle, the peer advising program has been expanded to accommodate students' advising needs throughout the year.
>>Read more>>

OU supporter helps makes global experience possible for grad students
 MGT 681 students
 outside the U.S. Embassy

Gaining first-hand knowledge of the global marketplace is the goal of the MGT 681 Globalization Impact-Case Study Europe graduate class. Through the class, students travel to Europe or to China and India to learn how economic, political and social issues impact business decisions.

As tough economic times hit OU students, the trip was cancelled in 2008. When this year's spring trip was in jeopardy, long-time OU SBA supporter George Seifert stepped in -- not only making this trip possible, but creating an endowment to ensure it continues to be an annual event.

Seifert coordinated a $2,000 gift from the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, where he is vice chair. Combined with additional support from other annual donors and the matching gift from the Elliott-Stinson Challenge, these gifts provided six students with $1,000 scholarships each, making it possible for them to experience life - and business - abroad.
>>Read more>>

Harley Davidson in England revs up students knowledge

 MGT 681 students at Harley Davidson
A meeting with Harley Davidson executives in England was an eye-opening experience for OU MBA students who traveled to Europe in June as part of the MGT 681 Globalization Impact-Case Study Europe class.

As an assignment before the trip, students researched Harley Davidson and created a marketing plan for its new European motorcycle. During the trip, students had the unique opportunity to compare their ideas to the company's actual marketing plan.

"We realized our ideas were not on par with theirs, as we failed to consider the difference in culture," says Kacey Dittmer, MBA student.
 >>Read more>>

CIBRE Conversations mobilize industry leaders, academia and government

SBA's innovative CIBRE Conversations are energizing participants and building momentum about what can be accomplished when academia, government and business join together.

"We have been successful in getting people to come together to share their stories and explore opportunities," says SBA Dean Mohan Tanniru. "I always thought there was a need for forums that cater to the needs of displaced white collar workers and small business entrepreneurs to interact with each other and collaborate."

Created by the SBA's Center for Integrated Business Research and Education (CIBRE) as an opportunity to support a variety of industries in an unbiased, agenda-free dialog, the meetings are gaining momentum and generating ongoing discussions.

Participants in the health care CIBRE Conversations created an affiliate group and are writing proposals for grant funding, while the energy management group is developing a tool for energy audits for residential and commercial facilities.

However, Tanniru is especially pleased by the progress made by members of the tool and die group, who are working to impact the future of the industry in Michigan, as well as addressing important legislative issues.
>>Read more>>

Health care leaders, EMBA members, students and faculty debate health care reform

"At a time when our nation is working on legislation to reform health care, OU's School of Business Administration offered a great opportunity to bring various perspectives from the health care industry into the discussion," says Dr. Bassam Nasr, president, Health Care Network, and 2007 OU SBA Executive MBA (EMBA) graduate.  Nasr served as moderator for an interactive panel discussion which debated the challenges and opportunities of reform, and included speakers from major hospitals, health insurance companies, research centers and academia.

The session was part of the school's October 2009 International Business Conference.

A second session focused on health care posed the question, "Can IT save the health care crisis?" This panel, featuring CIOs, business analysts and educators, was moderated by EMBA student Denis Dudzinski, senior account executive, health care, Compuware/Covisint.
>>Read more>>

Seeking the motivation behind information sharing in virtual communities

 Balaji Rajagopalan, Ph. D.
SBA researcher receives grant to study knowledge sharing behavior

Online social, business and other networks continue to increase in popularity – gathering people with common interests into virtual communities (VCs) that flourish through the regular exchange of information. Without a vibrant community that engages in exchange of information, these communities will not survive. But what motivates those with the knowledge to share it with others?

That's the question Balaji Rajagopalan, associate professor, MIS, faculty director of SBA's graduate programs and research director for the SBA's Center for Integrated Business Research and Education, is investigating to address the biggest challenge VCs face: maintaining the supply of knowledge.
>>Read more>>

Short-term education leads to long-term career
 SBA alum
 Dennis Janowski

Earning a bachelor's degree in three-and-a-half years is practically unheard of – unless you're Dennis Janowski (BA Economics '72).

"The economy was in a recession in the early 1970s, much like it is today." says Janowski. "I knew the competition for employment would be greatest in the spring, when most students would be graduating. I thought I could get a jumpstart on the job market by earning my degree in December."

His strategy paid off. Janowski secured a position with Detroit Bank and Trust Co. — which later became Comerica – and he's been there ever since. He is currently senior vice president, deputy manager of the foreign exchange and commodity derivatives groups, and manager of North American foreign exchange risk.
>>Read more>>

SBA anniversary celebration offers something for everyone
 Dean Tanniru welcomes guests to
 the 40th Anniversary dinner

Early October marked the celebration of the SBA's 40th anniversary with events highlighting the strengths of the school, including a comprehensive international business conference and a celebration dinner honoring the accomplishments and contributions of SBA alumni, faculty, staff and friends.

The SBA launched the celebration by providing an opportunity for foursomes to golf on at the OU Golf & Learning Center.

A full day was devoted to learning, as business professionals from around the country came together for the SBA's 2009 International Business Conference offering in-depth discussions led by experts on key topics such as ethics, leading in a global environment, health care reform, IT and health care delivery, and improving the business student experience. An in-depth article on the sessions and discussions is available on the SBA Web site.

Saturday offered a night of celebration as the SBA hosted a dinner program recognizing the evolution of the business program as it moves from being a school recognized regionally to one recognized at the national level, including the accomplishments of its faculty, alumni and students, and support from friends.   
>>Read more>>

Explore and expand career options with professional development programs

Oakland University's School of Business Administration offers professional development and continuing education programs focused on high-demand and emerging sectors to help individuals enhance their current skills or prepare for a new career.

In fact, the commitment to assisting the professional student population drives our market-leading, innovative programming features. Programs often include an internship component to assist career changers gain experience, build skills and make business connections that help launch professionals into new careers.

"The Paralegal Program at OU's School of Business Administration is built to suit the needs of any individual. Thanks to the superb quality professors with real-world experience coupled with hands-on learning through an internship I graduated prepared and excited to begin my new career. I couldn't have asked for a better learning experience," notes recent paralegal program graduate, Lindsey Callewaert, legal assistant, Kelly Services.

Most SBA professional education programs qualify for Michigan Works! No Worker Left Behind funding. To find out if the program you're interested in qualifies, visit, then select No Worker Left Behind link, then select Oakland University from the provider list on the Career Education Consumer Report.   
>>Read more>>

Elliott-Stinson Challenge available through end of 2009

Double the impact of your gift to OU's School of Business Administration through December 31, 2009, thanks to the Elliott-Stinson Challenge Grant.
Make your gift today! Visit or contact Robin Michel at (248) 370-2121 or

FALL 2009
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Now-Dec. 31, 2009
Elliott-Stinson Challenge 
still matching gifts to the SBA.  Double the impact of your charitable gift!

Nov. 13, 2009
Economic Seminar Series
" Idea Generation: The Performance of U.S. States 1997 – 2007".

Jonathan Silberman, PhD
Oakland University

Nov. 17, 2009
Scholars Speakers Series
The Role of Non-Profits,
Col. Norman Marshall, Salvation Army

Nov. 20, 2009
Prospective EMBA Student Information Session

Nov. 21, 2009

CIBRE Conversations-Networking and Information Sharing on Career Transitioning

Dec. 2, 2009
Professional Education
Open House
for prospective students

Dec. 12, 2009
CIBRE Conversations-Networking and Information Sharing on Career Transitioning

Jan. 9, 2010
Process Management Certificate classes begin

Jan. 11, 2010
Certified Financial Planning classes begin

Jan. 11, 2010
Paralegal Certificate
classes begin

Jan. 14, 2010
Business Intelligence and Data Mining/Altair Certificate classes begin

Jan. 19, 2010
Scholars Speakers Series
Ethics in Corporations,
Rande Somma, Rande Somma & Associates, Inc.

Jan. 23, 2010
CIBRE Conversations-Networking and Information Sharing on Career Transitioning

Jan. 29, 2010
Economic Seminar Series
Applying Models of Customer Choice for Market-Based Engineering Design 

Joe Donndelingel, General Motors Corporation

Feb. 6, 2010 
SBA Alumni Gathering at OU Homecoming
234 Elliott Hall

Feb. 16, 2010 
Scholars Speakers Series
Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Paul Chapman, Cargo Solutions Group 

Feb. 18, 2010
Certified Financial Planning Certification Exam Review classes begin

Mar. 16, 2010
Scholars Speakers Series
Carl Camden, Kelly Services

Apr. 23, 2010
Marketing Forum

May, 2010 
CA International Case Competition 

School of Business Administration
Elliott Hall
2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4484
(248) 370-3286