College Resilience in the Time of COVID

In the time since we’ve transitioned to remote learning to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to share updates about the resilience and resourcefulness our college community has shown. Even in difficult times, there’s never been an opportunity to be more proud of the team that is the College of Business.

// Our Students

Our students are impacted in many ways by COVID-19. Since March, 258 students have reported that they’ve lost their jobs, and additionally, many family or support members also were impacted by job loss.

Even before the pandemic, a generous alumnus helped us establish the College of Business Student Emergency Fund, a resource for students facing a new, immediate and overwhelming challenge that threatened their studies.

Thanks to our emergency scholarship fund, we were able to supply nearly $200,000 in total emergency scholarships. Students can reach out to our college advising specialists from the Center for Advancing Financial Education, and we’ll get them connected to the most relevant resources for their situation.

Our alumni community proved to be here for us, immediately showing support with donations ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

// Our Future Students

With regard to our future students, undergraduate recruiting and marketing are pivoting to address the challenges and uncertainty confronting our newest pool of applicants. Traditional campus visits have shifted online to virtual tours, combined with online information sessions hosted by our recruiting team. In an effort to stay connected to our future students, direct mailings have increased with students receiving additional information about the College of Business directly to their mailbox. And to give students more time to make decisions, OSU shifted the deposit deadline to June 1. 

Our graduate programs also have extended deadlines, shifting the application deadline to June 30 for fall enrollment. We’ll promote our application fee waiver campaign in June as we focus on yield. We’ve increased our prospective student outreach with more regular info sessions and virtual application workshops, shifting our marketing efforts to broaden the target audience. We’re restructuring the spring class visits to now give prospects/applicants access to some key course material online and invite them to connect with student ambassadors who are enrolled in those classes.  

// Online Updates

The Career Success Center, interested in creating opportunities for our Ecampus students, began planning for the purposeful shift to a virtual career fair last fall. They procured the software, Virtual Career Fair, to manage the spring term two-day event. We’ve had more than 80 employers register and 1,800 students sign up to participate. These are the forward-thinking actions that make us leaders in our regional business network and well beyond.

Similarly, we’ve maintained engagement between students and our alumni, moving various meet-ups and seminars that took place in Austin Hall every term of the year to the online space. The first round of virtual meet-ups occurred mid-April. Each day brought in more than 20 of our alumni and industry friends to connect and encourage our students about how they are doing and what comes next. We’re grateful for this alumni support and for the hard work of the external engagement team that continues this essential networking for our students. 

// Social Updates

Continuing and Professional Education launched a series of webinars, designed to offer thought leadership and business continuity planning and advice to the community relative to the COVID pandemic. Primarily we’ve looked to provide good relevant content to support business, and created seven webinars to engage the community. Please have a look at our CPE offerings scheduled through the end of May, and share these events along your social channels to support this initiative when you see them advertised on our social networks.

//  Our Community

This is our beaver pride in action and our willingness, our resourcefulness and our innovation at work on solutions and so many other ways to help.

Professor Wu’s Supply Chain and Logistics Management Advisory Council is leading efforts to route donations of critical personal protective equipment from businesses throughout Oregon and Washington to organizations that work directly with healthcare providers. The initiative is managing supply and need for isopropyl alcohol, surgical masks, N95 medical masks, gowns and aprons, disinfecting wipes and other products for deliveries to our front line workers.

A coordinated effort with Marianne Dickson and her students in apparel design utilized safe, sanitized working stations in Milam’s apparel lab for three students to sew protective face coverings for essential workers on OSU campuses. Nine other students are working in their off-campus locations. The 1,000 face covering initiative, driven by our colleagues from across OSU, now looks to network with OSU Extension as the call for protective face covering usage in public expands.

And Chad Murphy, assistant professor of management, has leveraged his (not-so) secret life as the creative-mind behind Lord Birthday to raise funds among his 250,000 Instagram followers to make payments for people in need — groceries, a phone bill, a prescription, part of the rent. 

And as a reminder, there has never been a more opportune moment to support the College of Business’ social networks. As all eyes are turning to the digital spaces to conduct business and maintain connections, we need to be sure to share the news of our successes and these innovative opportunities we continue to offer. Please join and follow these channels.Thank you, all and again, for the great work and the beaver pride and everything you do on behalf of the College of Business.

College of Business Recognizes Contributions of Tom Dowling

College of Business Recognizes Contributions of Tom Dowling

“The year was 1982. Michael Jackson’s now iconic album, Thriller, had just been released. The average cost of a home was $82,000. Gasoline was a mere 91 cents per gallon. This also was the year Tom Dowling began a 36-year career educating students in the OSU College of Business…” begins Daniel Lykins, director of teaching and learning, in his roast to honor retiring instructor Tom Dowling’s three-plus decades of service to the college at the 2018 Celebration of Achievement.

Dowling, who began his career teaching undergraduate courses, has most notably contributed to the college’s MBA program with leadership of the students’ Integrated Business Projects.

Read more of Lykins remarks below:

“The most visible portion of Tom’s career is perhaps his work with our MBA program. In 1992 Tom started a new role in the graduate program as a thesis advisor, and in 2001, was a key contributor to the development and introduction of the Integrated Business Project or the IBP.

“Tom played a large role in our MBA IBP program. One of his peers noted that Tom has a knack for helping struggling teams do a more credible job by the end of the year. His role was more than a teacher – it required diplomacy, coaching, leading.

“The first IBP plan was written for Corvallis’ very own NuScale Power, a successful power technology company, which still maintains a close relationship with OSU.

“Many IBP projects led to successful businesses, including a new malaria medication, the first portable dialysis unit approved by FDA, a medical isotope approved by the NRC, and countless others.

“Since 2001, these partner companies have generated more than a billion dollars in revenue based on the projects completed by our MBA student teams.

“Tom was one of the first recipients of the Betty & Forrest Simmons Graduate Teaching Award. He also received the Byron L. Newton Undergraduate Teaching Award. Additionally, he was awarded not one, but two of those prestigious and highly coveted Bernie Newcomb Awards.

“In these last two decades, Tom has served as thesis advisor to more than 200 MBA student teams, and over the course of his career, taught more than 10,000 students.

“Tom’s colleagues fondly remember him as ‘just-in-time Tom’ — which might explain why he was the last one to arrive tonight.

“Nonetheless, there is no doubt that his efforts over his time at OSU will leave a lasting impact on the quality and reputation of our MBA program, and the future achievements of our graduate students.

“Tom, thank you for your three and half decades of service to this college. We wish you well in your retirement.”



Tom Dowling earned his bachelor’s degree in international studies from Ohio University, graduating summa cum laude, and in 1978, earned his master’s degree in management from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Shortly after his graduation, Tom founded Dowling Consulting Services, Inc., a firm providing consulting services in strategic analysis, strategic planning, and business plan creation. The firm has served both domestic and international clients, from small organizations to Fortune 100 and 500 firms. Tom also later co-founded American Computer & Electronic Services, an IT services and computer engineering consulting firm in 1981, and founded ACES Medical in 2014. 

Elisa Steele Offers a Practical Guide to a Stellar Career

Elisa Steele was CEO of Jive Software when the 15-year-old company was acquired for $462 million.

Among the Software Giants

We are excited to invite you to attend a lecture “A Balancing Act: How to live, learn and navigate your career ” by Elisa Steele, an influential leader of software technology firms and Silicon Valley start-ups.

Steele joins us as the 2017 Susan J. McGregor Memorial lecturer.

As the former CEO of Jive Software, Steele will reflect on the experiences that led to her success in the tech industry and as a public company CEO. She will share practical advice about how to live, learn and navigate your new career after your college years.

Jive Software – an enterprise collaboration platform – was formed in 2001. Its IPO in 2011 raised $161 million. Steele became Jive’s president in 2014 and the CEO and president in 2015. In May 2017 the Aurea Company acquired Jive for $462 million in cash.

As CEO, Steele ushered in this transition and then moved to board positions with a number of software start-ups in the Bay area, including machine data analyzing software firm Splunk; item and device location software Tile; HR software platform Namely, and the Webb Investment Network.

Prior to taking the helm at Jive, Steele was their executive vice president of marketing, strategy and products. Steele’s notable career among the software giants includes positions at Skype, Microsoft, Yahoo, Sun Microsystems and AT&T.

Elisa was recently named a Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. She also is an innovation advisor to the non-profit organization, Equality Now and is also a member and volunteers for National Charity League, donating time and resources in her local school community.


Mon., Oct. 23  |  7 pm  |  LaSells Stewart Center, Austin Auditorium
(We are not asking for an RSVP for this event.)


The Endowed Susan J. McGregor Memorial Lecture on Women’s Leadership for the OSU College of Business has been established through The Estate of Susan J. McGregor in keeping with her interest in supporting women’s issues. McGregor, College of Business ’85, passed away in 2014 after a valiant battle with brain cancer. Her career included stints at the Internal Revenue Service and Coopers and Lybrand before she joined Microsoft where she rose through the ranks of the tax department to become one of the company’s first female general managers in 2007. She was an Alpha Phi, an avid Beaver believer and a generous friend to the OSU Foundation.

Panel looks at workplace diversity

Panelist Tim Hall addresses the audience while moderator Audrey Iffert-Saleem, left, and panelists Monica Baez, Lawrence Houston III and Angela Batista listen.
Panelist Tim Hall addresses the audience while moderator Audrey Iffert-Saleem, left, and panelists Monica Baez, Lawrence Houston III and Angela Batista listen.

Workplace diversity can bring inner conflict to an organization, but that’s a good thing as long as it’s managed in such a way that the diverse individuals, their team and the entire organization can use it as a tool for growth.

That was just one of many points made by Lawrence Houston III, assistant professor of management at the College of Business, during a May 20 panel discussion at Austin Hall’s Stirek Auditorium: “Diversity in the Workplace: What leaders need to know.”

Joining Houston on the panel were Angela Batista, Oregon State’s interim chief diversity officer, and two Oregon State alumni: Tim Hall, class of 1978, chairman of the President’s Board of Visitors for Community and Diversity at OSU, and Monica Baez, class of 1987, a State Farm agent and the owner of the Monica Baez Insurance Agency, Inc., in Corvallis.

Audrey Iffert-Saleem, executive director of strategic initiatives at the College of Business, moderated the 75-minute discussion, during which each panelist shared a range of personal and professional perspectives.

Hall, who’s had a long career in public relations/public affairs, noted that when he was enrolled at Oregon State, he was one of just a couple dozen black students on campus. Batista described a background that included arriving in New York as a child-immigrant from the Caribbean who spoke no English, and Baez recounted being told how she was likely to get certain jobs solely on the basis of being a female minority.

“How do you think that makes you feel?” she asked, referring to having her abilities deemed not as important as her gender or ethnicity.

Houston, who studies workplace diversity, said organizations need to make a point to explain the purpose of minority-focused programs, both to minorities and non-minorities. Understanding why programs are in place helps everyone accept them, and use them. Houston recalled how as a graduate student at Penn State, he purposely avoided minority-focused programs – he is black – because he was offended by what he perceived as the implication he couldn’t succeed without them.

Had the programs’ purpose been stated clearly, he said, Houston realized later that he likely would’ve taken advantage of some of them.

In the workplace, simply having people of different nationalities, ethnic groups, religions, etc. doesn’t by itself complete the diversity puzzle, he said.

“Inclusivity means people feel that they’re valued as well feeling like they belong,” Houston said.

Both Houston and Hall touched on effective hiring.

“Human resources departments do need to discriminate – that’s what they do,” he said. “It doesn’t do anyone any good for someone to be hired who can’t succeed. Organizations need to hire people who can do the job and then put them in positions where they can succeed and be promoted.”

Hall said experience has taught him that pretty much all people, regardless of their status or non-status as a minority, can handle not getting hired as long as they’ve gotten a real chance to compete for the job.

“The hiring process must be fair, equitable and honest,” he said. “Productivity suffers when workers see leaders embrace cronyism.”

What leaders need to do, Houston said, after following the type of hiring process Hall says is critical, is “create an environment where it’s OK to disagree” and then manage that disagreement in ways that foster growth.

REAL People: Sam Yul Cho

Sam Yul Cho

Our REAL People of the College of Business series continues with Dr. Sam Yul Cho, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship.

Cho has been at Oregon State since fall 2014, arriving after four years of doctoral study at Washington State University in Pullman. In the small town in the Palouse Hills, Cho worked under his current OSU colleague, Jonathan Arthurs, then reconnected with Arthurs in Corvallis to be part of the launch of the College of Business’ first Ph.D. program.

Here’s more about Cho, in his own words:

“I’m from Seoul. I lived in Seoul for about 20 years and also lived in Tokyo for about nine years. I grew up in Tokyo for three years when I was in elementary school, and then I went back to Seoul for high school and university, then back to Tokyo to get my master’s degree, and after that I joined Suisse Bank and worked there for about three years. Then I went back to Seoul and joined LG Electronics for about three years, then I came to the U.S. to get my MBA.

“I went to the University of Rochester – in Rochester, it snows a lot. I had a finance background, and the University of Rochester is kind of a finance school. Basically they have great finance academics; their publications are phenomenal. It was very cold and it snowed a lot, but I think it was a good investment; it opened the door for me to join the Ph.D. program at Washington State. I spent four years there; I majored in strategy and minored in entrepreneurship.

“Pullman is a very small town. It’s cold and windy – actually there’s nothing there. The good thing is you can concentrate on your studies – the only thing you can do is study. It’s good to be there because once you get out, wherever you go, it’s better.

“We’re starting a new Ph.D. program (at OSU), and that’s a great opportunity. You can actually build up your own legacy, so to speak. If an organization is growing, you can grow too. And Oregon, location-wise, it’s awesome. I started hiking. When I came here I found a few small mountains, and when the weather is good, I go hiking. It’s so beautiful to see the city of Corvallis when you’re up there.”

Sam Yul Cho



COB wins big at University Day

University Day 2015 had a decidedly College of Business flavor as COB members collected two of Oregon State’s highest honors during the awards presentation part of an all-day program Sept. 21 at the LaSells Stewart Center, Reser Stadium and the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

Sandy Neubaum, Dale McCauley, Lauren Caruso and Vaerine Bauder accepted the Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award on behalf of the college’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program.

And Malcolm LeMay picked up the OSU Professional Faculty Excellence Award.

Neubaum is the AEP director, while McCauley serves as program manager, Caruso is civic engagement coordinator, and Bauder is an office specialist. Headquartered in the Weatherford Residential College, where roughly 400 budding entrepreneurs live each year, the AEP’s multifaceted mission includes outreach in the form of financial literacy education and social entrepreneurship, including a summer 2015 student trip to Uganda.

LeMay becomes the 22nd winner of a Professional Faculty award that dates to 1992. The COB’s director of operations, LeMay oversees both long-range administrative projects in the dean’s office and the college’s day-to-day operations. A former Marine Corps aviator, he was instrumental in organizing the college’s move from Bexell Hall to Austin Hall – which opened exactly one year prior to the day he received his award.

The honors for LeMay and the AEP were part of a full day of recognition and addresses, including remarks by OSU President Ed Ray, to kick off the 2015-16 school year.

Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education, delivered the keynote address, titled “Aiming Higher Education at Great Jobs and Great Lives.”

Busteed noted how surveys of academic officers indicate a strong belief that universities are producing graduates ready for the work force, but similar surveys of employers and the general public show something entirely different. He also talked about how university mission statements, of which he has read more than 1,000 – “It’s a terrible hobby to have,” he joked – love to talk about goals such as instilling critical-thinking skills but uniformly avoid wording related to trying to place graduates in terrific jobs.

Busteed also focused on the topic of well-being and its impact on everything from on-the-job productivity to the need for medical care (the more well-being you have, the more productive you are and the less health care you need, research has shown). Given those sorts of factors, Busteed pointed out, well-being isn’t just something that’s nice for employees to experience, it’s economically vital.

Gallup uses survey methodology that breaks well-being into five types: Purpose, social, financial, community and physical. Especially with what’s at stake beyond simply happiness, society is best served when higher education and employers team up to help each person attain well-being in as many of those five as possible.

university day
OSU Faculty Senate President Mike Bailey, onstage with a sign interpreter, introduces keynote speaker Brandon Busteed of Gallup Education.

Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series: CEO John Hall on the Importance of Ethics in Business

CEO John Hall speaks to the audience at the LaSells Stewart Center as part of the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series

John Hall, owner and CEO of 16 Degree Advisory, discussed the importance of business ethics to about 475 attendees of a public lecture May 7 at Oregon State University’s LaSells Stewart Center.

Hall’s talk, “Making Ethical Decisions When Success Is Defined by Profits,” was the latest installment of the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings business leaders from across the United States to Oregon State’s campus to address a variety of today’s most relevant business topics.

Hall discussed the ways in which corporate fraud is detected and reported, the types of industries that are most prone to fraud and other ethical lapses, and who the individuals are within organizations that are most likely to perpetrate the fraud.

John Hall sits down with assistant professor Inara Scott for a post-lecture Q & A.

In order to prevent ethical lapses and fraud, Hall stressed the importance of employers and organizations instilling an “ethics culture” that starts at the highest rungs of leadership and reaches all the way to the entry level employees.

The topic of Hall’s discussion was especially poignant, as the College of Business at Oregon State recently became the first college on campus to institute its own Code of Honor. The code was developed by students and then approved by faculty members and focuses on integrity, responsibility and respect – three facets of an ethical organization that Hall whole-heartedly endorsed during his lecture.

The good news? According to Hall, observed episodes of workplace misconduct are actually on the decline, based on data from the National Business Ethics Survey’s Ethics Resource Center. This is largely due to the fact that two out of three companies now have “positive” ethics cultures.

“This increase in ethical commitment is significant because ethics culture drives employee conduct,” said Hall. “When companies value ethical performance and build strong cultures, misconduct is substantially lower.”

Misconduct Declines
The stronger an organization’s ‘Ethics Culture,’ the less misconduct is observed within that organization

Before launching 16 Degree Advisory, Hall was the co-founder and owner of EthicsPoint, Inc., which later became the $100 million software company NAVEX Global, where Hall was the chief ethics and compliance officer.


Harvard professor Francesca Gino speaks on decision-making

At the beginning of her College of Business Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Harvard Business School Associate Professor Francesca Gino gave the audience a short quiz.

Harvard associate professor Francesca Gino speaks about her new book Sidetracked: Why our decisions get derailed, and how we can stick to the plan.
Harvard associate professor Francesca Gino speaks about her new book Sidetracked: Why our decisions get derailed, and how we can stick to the plan.

After asking the crowd to rate their own decision-making abilities, she told all those who said they were above average to raise their hands.

“I see about 98 percent of people,” Gino said. “That’s a mathematical impossibility.”

It was just one of a number of entertaining demonstrations Gino used to show the crowd of nearly 1,000 how we often don’t realize the subtle cues affecting how we make decisions.

The talk focused on Gino’s research and findings she shared in her book “Sidetracked: Why our decisions get derailed and how we can stick to the plan.”

One of the issues that can sidetrack a decision includes our perceptions of ourselves. Taking time and honestly assessing a situation and how it will affect us can go a long way to creating a positive outcome, Gino said.

From there, it’s important to look at the context of a situation — our emotions, relationships and other influences — and imagine if those could be changing the way you see a decision.

Gino showed an experiment where subjects were more likely to cheat if they saw someone wearing shirt for their school do it, but less than average if the cheater had a rival’s shirt on.

Francesca Gino sits down with College of Business assistant professor Keith Leavitt for a Q&A at the end of her talk.

“Even in a situation as important as ethics, we’re often swayed by those close to us,” Gino said.

While Gino said realizing the effect small factors have on us can be discouraging — would we really act differently if someone next to us had a Beaver or Duck on their shirt? — it’s also empowering to know we can change.

“You can sort of end up with your hands in your hair, screaming ‘We are so biased!’” she said. “But it’s also hopeful, because you can find that context and next time make a better decision.”

Pair of College of Business faculty honored at University Day


Each year as the start of school approaches, the faculty and staff of Oregon State University take a moment to celebrate and honor the achievements of the past year at University Day.

Dr. Ed Ray, Oregon State University president, told a record turnout at the LaSells Stewart Center that while the Oregon State community has begun to reach many goals — including the coming completion of the Campaign for OSU — there is still much to do to continue pushing OSU forward.

“Today marks the promise this new year holds,” Ray said.

This year two College of Business faculty members — both associate professors of finance — were honored at the event for their work over the past year.

John Becker-Blease earned the OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, honoring unusually significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship which enhances effective instruction. The award recognizes those who combine the ability to impact students in the classroom as well as produce original and nationally-recognized research. In 2011 Becker-Blease was the first professor in Oregon named the Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer in the Rising Star category.

Dave Berger received the Promising Scholar Award, recognizing the scholarship of junior faculty. The award highlights faculty members who have achieved a high level of accomplishment in a relatively short time at Oregon State. Since joining Oregon State Berger has been published in Applied Financial Economics, the Global Finance Journal and the Journal of Financial Economics among others.

Hilda Jones remembered as professional in classroom, proud rooter for Beavers

Hilda Jones was a woman who exuded the prim, proper professionalism expected of working women in the era following World War II, but who also knew how to let it out when supporting her Beaver sports teams.

Most of all, the former Oregon State College of Business professor was a positive influence on a generation of women who came through Bexell Hall.

Jones passed away in July at the age of 94.

A graduate of Newberg High School and then Oregon State College, Jones earned a master’s degree in business from New York University in the 1940s. She married Robert Dean Jones in 1947, and later, the couple settled in Corvallis where Jones began teaching in the College of Business secretarial science department

Connie Palmer, a former colleague of Jones in the late 1960s, remembered Jones’ high standards in the classroom and her refusal to accept anything less from her students.

“She was an old-school perfectionist teacher,” Palmer said. “She was the best shorthand teacher I’ve ever known. No matter how much you didn’t like her, you learned from her.”

Jones enforced a business-like code in her class, expecting each student to come prepared as if they were entering a real office. Up until the 1970s, a student without a skirt could be sent home.

“Hilda and I were the last ones to wear pantsuits,” Palmer remembered with a laugh.

During the late 1970s Jones was part of a transition as the college moved away from secretarial classes. At that time Jones was a writing instructor for the College of Business, working with professors to insert writing assignments into courses.

Jane Siebler was a graduate teaching assistant for Jones in 1978-79, helping her grade writing assignments.

“She was a great lady,” Sieber said. “She was just one of those together women that kept going and blazing her trail.”

While Sieber said outwardly Jones was very traditional, the professor did everything she could to make sure women at the college could advance and succeed.

“It was a real different world and Hilda and Pat Wells, there were some professors helping women get on their feet,” Sieber said. “She quietly and in her own way supported female students.”

Despite her distinguished teaching career, Jones may have been most known as a loyal Beaver fan, both attending games and contributing to the Beaver Athletic Scholarship Fund.

While she was all business in Bexell Hall, those same rules didn’t apply while attending football and basketball games.

“She was an avid Beaver fan,” Palmer said. “They had to be sick to miss a game.”

Sieber said it was always fun to see Jones let loose while cheering on OSU.

“She dressed very professionally, acted very professionally, then she went to games and was a different person,” she said.

According to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, the family suggests donations in Jones’ name to the Benton County Historical Society, Albany Regional Museum, First United Methodist Church, the Jackson Street Youth Shelter, the Linn-Benton Community College Foundation or a charity of choice.