Dean's Update

  • 1,000,000 Cups

    The Leighton School is a sponsor of, and participant in, a new initiative in the Michiana region called One Million Cups. One Million Cups is the creation of the Kauffman Foundation (a major funder of entrepreneurship activities in universities and municipalities nationwide) with the goal of creating collaborative and supportive entrepreneurship environments across the U.S. Alan Steele (North Central Indiana SBDC) and I are on the organizing committee for One Million Cups South Bend. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, September 13 at 101 E. Mishawaka Avenue (Southeast corner of Main Street and Mishawaka Avenue) in Mishawaka. Two entrepreneurs will present their businesses and then answer questions from the audience. This supportive effort is designed to nurture entrepreneurs, not to shoot down ideas and crush dreams. If you have an interest in joining us, I would encourage you to attend. Also, if you know of IUSB students who have developed their businesses to the point of launch or beyond, we should encourage them to apply to present at one of the meetings. What great publicity for our students and the Leighton School! One Million Cup meetings will occur every Wednesday morning at 8:00, starting September 13. Check out the website ( for more information. Interested faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.

  • River Park Community Connections

    The neighborhood surrounding IUSB has some amazing components – a university, public library, river, zoo, city park, greenhouse, high school, grade school, farmer’s market, and so on. It also has a significant business district that could use some assistance. I have begun work discovering what River Park wants to accomplish and how we can build stronger connections, so together we can make the neighborhood an even better place to live, work, and play. The resources of IUSB could make a significant impact on creating such connections. With all the energy, intelligence and interesting people in the IUSB community, why not emphasize the University’s community engagement initiative in our actual neighborhood?

  • Transformation Assessment Learning Institute

    The Transformative Learning Assessment Institute is a very exciting opportunity for the Leighton School. The potential is very high for this Institute to be a game-changer for our image and reputation both in the region and nation-wide. My goal is to move this Institute forward in a big way during the 2017/18 academic year. The Institute can help us achieve the deep engagement in assessment of student learning, as well as a clear understanding of how students learn. It can be expected that the Institute will affect new approaches to: pedagogy, testing, course and curriculum design, as well as mastery of threshold concepts, competency-based learning, appropriate levels of experiential learning, etc. This will help faculty members’ teach to their strengths, and help us obtain external funding, which will then bring faculty support to our School. Very exciting stuff!

  • Branding

    I am actively working on the branding of the Leighton School. At the base of this effort is that we have a powerful component for branding – a named school of business. My perspective is that a brand becomes valuable when people: (1) recognize the brand; (2) associate positive qualities to the entity; and (3) are motivated to connect to the entity because of what it represents. I have commissioned research to ascertain our current “image” in the business community, where our strengths and weaknesses lie, and ascertain what would make us well-recognized and valued in the business community and beyond. That will be key knowledge in helping us think through what brand we want to have going forward and how we will achieve that within the minds of key stakeholders.

Congratulations to both Samaneh Torkzadeh and Klajdi Bregu who arrived in South Bend this summer with degrees in hand. We always appreciate when our young colleagues arrive ready to become fully engaged in the life of the School and University. Thanks, Samaneh and Klajdi, for finishing your PhDs in a timely manner.

Kathi Russell (now Highland) was an award recipient for the Unsung Hero award at the Staff Appreciation Ceremony this past spring. We appreciate Kathi’s work in the Leighton School and believe her award is well earned.
Kathi has not only been the recipient of a service award – she also was married on August 25 to Mike Highland. Lois and I had the opportunity, with other IUSB colleagues, to celebrate her marriage at a reception on August 26. It was great fun to celebrate with Kathi and Mike as they start their new life together. Congratulations to you both.

Sung-Jin Park

A working paper, written by Sung and a co-author, was presented at the 2017 Pan Pacific Business Research Conference held in February. After the conference, Sung received a notice that his paper was selected for the distinguished paper award. Congratulations, Sung!
Sung had another paper recently accepted for publication in International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation (a Level 2 journal according to ABS Journal Guide 2015). It is uploaded to SSRN:

Alex Meisami

Alex Meisami’s paper, "The Debt Trap: Wealth Transfers and Debt-Equity Choices of Junk Grade Firms,” published in The Financial Review in 2016, won the Financial Review Editors' Choice Best Paper Award for 2016. This award is based on the votes cast by The Financial Review Editorial Board, which includes the Co-Editors, Advisory Editors, and Associate Editors. The award was announced during the annual conference lunch. Alex received a plaque in recognition of this accomplishment. Well done, Alex!

Andrew Swain

We are always excited with new faculty come into town with their research guns blazing. Andrew Swain spoke at a conference in NY this summer: NYU Summer Institute in Taxation—Intermediate State and Local Taxation, State Taxation of International Operations (New York, NY; NYU; The Westin at Times Square; July 20-20, 2017).
Right after that, and after he started at IUSB, Andrew presented a paper at a conference in Florida: Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Where Do the Burdens Lie?: Proving Equitable Apportionment (Boca Raton, Fl.; July 31-Aug. 6, 2017).

Next month, Andrew is presenting at a conference in Indianapolis: Annual Indiana Law Survey, Tax: State (Indianapolis, IN.; Alumni Assoc. of I.U. Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Convention Center; Sept. 15, 2017).
Finally, recently Andrew was contacted by Jéanne Rauch-Zender, the Editor-in-Chief at State Tax Notes (Tax Analysts) to help them with a new project they are working on. They are starting a new column to profile state tax agency directors titled, Across State Lines. They want him to interview Indiana's Commissioner of Revenue and write a 1500+ word profile of the director.