FISHER NEWS Oct. 22, 2007
  In this issue

Alutto named OSU provost and executive vice president

Executive Education presents leadership seminar
for securities IT managers from China

Deloitte Business Plan Competition kicks off

Leone's research on referral advertising featured in Harvard Business Review

Customer Loyalty Symposium offered at Fisher

Entrepreneurship Magazine ranks OSU’s undergrad program 25th

Fisher People: Samantha Schnitzer

Max M. Fisher College of Business > The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
Alutto named OSU provost and
executive vice president

Fisher Dean Joseph Alutto

President Gordon Gee announced on Oct. 11 that he is appointing Joseph A. Alutto executive vice president and provost for The Ohio State University.

Alutto, formerly the dean of Fisher, served as the university's interim president July 1 through September 30, as well as interim provost since July 1. Stephen L. Mangum will continue leading Fisher as interim dean of the college.

"Joe is the perfect candidate for provost of one of our nation's top research universities," said Gee, who hired Alutto as Fisher’s dean in 1991. "For the past 30 years – including 16 at Ohio State – he has devoted his career to providing access to excellence in public higher education.”

In a special message to the Fisher community, Alutto expressed his appreciation and pride in the college’s accomplishments. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my 16 years as Dean of the Fisher College,” he said in the message.

“I have always taken considerable pride in the students, faculty, staff and friends who, collectively, have been contributors to the Fisher story. All have worked so hard to create a truly wonderful Fisher community,” Alutto said.

As executive vice president and provost, Alutto will be the university's chief academic officer, overseeing collaboration among the academic and administrative vice presidents, deans and faculty regarding Ohio State's academic priorities.

As a professor of management and human resources and dean, Alutto held the John W. Berry Sr. Chair in Business. He also held a university leadership role as Executive Dean for the Professional Colleges, where he coordinated the activities of the Colleges of Education and Human Ecology, Engineering, Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Law and Social Work and represented the interests of those colleges in university-wide decision-making bodies.

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Executive Education presents leadership seminar for securities IT managers from China

Information technology executives for Chinese securities companies and officials from China’s stock exchange attended a three-week finance and technology leadership seminar developed by Fisher’s Executive Education program.

Finance and management and human resources faculty led classes for the 23 members of the Securities Association of China from Sept. 22 to Oct. 12. The association included officials from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and China Securities Regulatory Commission and information technology managers from securities firms.

Anil Makhija, the Rismiller Professor of Finance and chair of the Department of Finance, was the academic director for the program. The program provided finance courses and helped the managers improve and deploy effective technology in the securities field and for the country’s exchanges. The seminar workshops included, “Designing and Analyzing Software Architectures and Engineering,” “Deploying Services in a Complex Enterprise,” and “Managing Change in the Stock Market Environment.”

Makhija, Ingrid Werner, Oded Shenkar and Jay Anand were among the executive education team leading the courses. Noted technology guru, Thornton May, also gave presentations. Werner introduced the group to stock market simulation software. The students participated in weekly computer simulation activities, which provided experience in order and pricing.

The group toured Columbus and attended city cultural events, as well as taking several field trips to several major U.S. cities. Fisher faculty led a field trip to Chicago to observe the Chicago Board of Trade, the exchange and mercantile markets. The group met with several finance and investment executives from Ashland, Inc., Wendy’s and companies from across the country.

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Deloitte Business Plan Competition kicks off

The Center for Entrepreneurship is now accepting registrations for the 2008 Deloitte Business Plan Competition. Individuals can access complete competition details and register their teams online at

The competition, which offers more than $145,000 in cash and services to use as start up funds, is open to the public. However, teams must have at least one Ohio State student to be eligible to participate.

There are three rounds to the competition, sponsored by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP. Teams are required to submit a conceptual business case that clearly explains ideas and market opportunities for products or services during the first round.

Deadline for business case submission is Jan. 29, 2008.
Approximately 35 teams will advance to round two. During this round, teams submit a complete business plan that expands the ideas presented in the conceptual business cases.

The final round will be held on May 16, 2008, when the top six to eight teams present their business ideas to a panel of judges. The panel, which includes successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors, will select first, second, and third-place winners. An award will also be given to the top undergraduate business plan team. The $2,000 award is a scholarship to be divided among the winning team.
The competition will conclude with the Calfee, Halter & Griswold Awards Banquet.

For questions or more information, contact Nikki Modlich at (614) 247-4695 or stop by the Center for Entrepreneurship in Fisher Hall 256.

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Scholar Spotlight
Leone's research on referral advertising
featured in Harvard Business Review

New research by Robert P. Leone, the Berry Chair of New Technologies, on the value of word-of-mouth referrals is featured in the October issue of Harvard Business Review.

High-spending loyal consumers are traditionally the most coveted by corporations. However, new research in the October issue of Harvard Business Review by a Fisher professor shows that some customers who spend considerably less could be more valuable because of their vast social networks and their ability to to communicate their positive experiences with a company.

Corporations have long relied on consumers word-of-mouth referrals to capture new customers. Firms that effectively identify customers who generate the most referrals could expand their revenue streams by millions of dollars annually, according to Robert P. Leone, the Berry Chair of New Technologies in Marketing and co-author of the study.

The study, conducted along with University of Connecticut marketing professor V. Kumar and doctoral student J. Andrew Petersen, is the first to track the value corporations gain from this unofficial sales force of satisfied customers. It also examined how companies build marketing campaigns to motivate customers to refer new customers.

Working with managers at a telecommunications firm and a financial services firm, the researchers polled a sampling of customers on their referral intentions and then tracked the consumer’s actual spending and referral habits. Read More»

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Customer Loyalty Symposium offered at Fisher
While attracting new customers is an important business strategy, companies successful in retaining just five percent of current customers are able to increase profits by up to 75 percent.

A Tuesday, Nov. 6 symposium at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University will help business leaders develop new approaches to service that will help them exceed customer expectation and increase profits.

Registration information is available on Executive Education's Web site.

Created by Fisher’s Initiative for Managing Services, the symposium, Retention: People, Customers and Profitability, will feature business leaders and Fisher faculty. Presentations will be given by Fred Reichheld, author of Loyalty Rocks and leading authority on customer retention, and Robert Leone, professor of marketing at Fisher and co-author of a new Harvard Business Review article on relationship marketing and customer referrals.

“Lots of businesses spend big on attracting new customers, then skimp on their current customers,” said Michael D. Smith, associate director of the Initiative for Managing Services. “The reality is market research shows that retaining current customers is far more profitable."

The symposium will include presentations on employee development identified as a a key to successful customer retention. Two presentations on staff development and retention will be given by Ana-Claudia Dutra, Accenture, managing partner for organizational development, and
Claudia Abrams, senior director, Human Resources Shared Services, OSU Medical Center.

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Entrepreneurship Magazine ranks OSU’s undergrad program 25th
Entrepreneurship Magazine and The Princeton Review ranked Ohio State University’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program No. 25th in the nation in its fifth annual survey of programs.

Ohio State’s entrepreneurship offerings stretch across many parts of the university and include Fisher College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and its interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor.

“This is very remarkable honor considering the Entrepreneurship program has really only been formalized in the last few years,” S. Michael Camp, academic director of the Center for Entrepreneurship said. “As our program continues to grow, we strive to make the interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor available to as many students as possible across OSU.”

The publications surveyed 900 schools based on key criteria in the areas of academics and requirements, students and faculty, outside-the-classroom support and experiences to formulate this year’s ranking.

This is the first year Entrepreneurship Magazine and The Princeton Review numerically ranked the programs. In previous years, Ohio State and Fisher were acknowledged as a top tier national program.

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Fisher People: Samantha Schnitzer
Title: Student Services Associate in the Graduate Programs Office

Hobbies: I enjoy running, playing soccer, and spending time with my family.

FisherLure: Working in the Graduate Programs Office allows me the opportunity to plan events and activities for students from all of our graduate programs, ranging from orientation through graduation, which I especially enjoy.

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Calendar of Events

Oct. 23-27
Business undergraduates from schools around the world will compete in the Fisher 2007 CIBER Case Challenge at the Blackwell. Hosted by Fisher’s International Programs Office and Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the business case challenge is organized by Fisher undergraduate students in coordination with faculty and staff.

Oct. 24
Jean Bartholomew, an OSU graduate and entrepreneur, will discuss her 15-year career conducting business deals in China and working with the World Bank and United Nations Development program in Mongolia at 12:30 p.m. 305 Schoenbaum Hall.

Oct. 25
Mike Russell, vice president of Therm-O-Disc Division of EMERSON Electric China, will discuss the business challenges the company faced during its expansion in Asia. EMERSON's Therm-O-Disc is opening a manufacturing facility in Vietnam.

Oct. 26-27
Teams of undergraduate business students from across the country will test their knowledge of significant business news in a fast-paced quiz show, the Nationwide Fisher Biz Quiz National Challenge. Preliminary rounds will be held Friday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in Schoenbaum Hall; then 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the WOSU studios at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).

Nov. 1
Orian Williams
, a financial leadership program analyst for Johnson & Johnson, will discuss building a career in international business at 12:30 p.m. in 330 Schoenbaum Hall. The recent OSU alumnus is part of the RealWorlds Lecture Series, presented by the Institute for Chinese Studies, CIBER and the Undergraduate International Studies Program.

Nov. 6
Fisher’s Initiative for Managing Services will present the symposium, "Retention: People, Customers and Profitability," featuring business leaders and Fisher faculty. The symposium is designed to help business leaders develop new approaches to service that will help them exceed customer expectation and increase profits. Registration information is available on

News Briefs

MLHR students awarded ExxonMobil scholarships

Two Fisher students were recently awarded $5,000 in scholarships through a gift by ExxonMobil Corp. to Fisher’s Office of Minority Student Services. First-year Masters of Labor and Human Resources students Gerard Alfred and Kelli Thompson were each awarded ExxonMobil's MLHR $2,500.00 Minority Scholarships during a luncheon on Oct. 17 at the Blackwell Inn.

Fisher in the News

J. Richard Dietrich
, chair of the Accounting and MIS program, was quoted in a Sept. 21 Columbus Business First story on the limited solutions for Ohio homeowners facing foreclosure.

Dietrich told the paper that most mortgages are sold to investment groups, which makes it difficult for lenders and borrowers to re-negotiate the terms of the loan.

H. Rao Unnava, professor of marketing, was quoted in a Sept. 16 Columbus Dispatch story on consumers who repeatedly stand in line to be one of the first to own a new high-tech gadget.

Unnava said companies achieve high levels of hype from consumers by changing the paradigm and offering a device that is different than anything else on the market.


For questions or comments about this newsletter, please contact Patty Allen at