Too soon to write obituaries for department stores, despite closures and bad sales reports, says IU Kelley School expert

14823641123_afb4bbf0da_z-300x221John Talbott, associate director of the Center for Education and Research in Retailing in the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, has followed retail trends for a quarter century, including as a vice president or chief executive at three retailers before coming to Kelley.

While many question the future of established retailers, in light of disappointing sales reports at department stores such as Macy’s and Kohl’s and closures at Sears and Kmart, Talbott believes it is too soon to write obituaries for these traditional brands.

“It depends on what one means by the term ‘department store,'” Talbott said. “Despite reporting disappointing results, Macy’s will certainly survive and perhaps once again thrive once they complete the job of reducing store count and modifying their store experience.

“Sears, which has historically been known by many professional retailers as more of a mass market player, will leave a legacy of brands but will likely need the benefits of bankruptcy to rightsize their infrastructure,” he added. “The name Sears will certainly live on, but the financial entity will likely cease to exist in its present form.

“On a global basis, many department stores will thrive by providing a thrilling, unique store experience anchored by unique product and service offerings. The department store form has existed for more than 200 years. I predict it will evolve and eventually thrive for another 200.”

IU Kelley School of Business publication offers a preview of economic conditions in 2017

US economic forecast graphic

The Indiana Business Research Center is making its complete economic forecast for 2017 available through winter issue of the Indiana Business Review.

As we come to the end of another year, among our society’s many annual rituals is to make predictions for the coming year. Faculty in Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business are no different.

IU Kelley professors traveled to 10 cities across Indiana last month, presenting their annual economic forecast for 2017 with a local economist.

The school’s Indiana Business Research Center makes its complete forecast available through winter issue of the Indiana Business Review, a publication that has been around since 1926. That special, year-end issue is now available online.

Included are articles about more than a dozen urban areas across the state as well as Louisville and outlooks on agriculture, financial markets, housing, and research and development.

Kelley has issued the annual forecast since 1972, providing people with sensible perspectives as they plan for the future.

In preparing the national forecast, it was challenging for IU economists to be optimistic, especially amid the recent uncertainty.

“An observer of the political scene recently said, ‘I try to be cynical, but I just can’t keep up,'” Bill Witte, associate professor emeritus of economics at IU, said in his introduction to his article about the U.S. economy. “As an economic prognosticator, I feel a little the same. I try to be pessimistic (or at least not optimistic), but I just can’t keep up.”

Witte hasn’t altered his forecast since presenting it publicly last month. He continues to believe that the economy will continue to “muddle through, matching the past year, or perhaps do a little better.”

As in 2015 and this year, the IU Kelley School economists expect national output growth next year to average only slightly above 2 percent.

While most of the articles look at various factors in local communities that could have an impact on conditions for working Hoosiers, one article in the special issue takes a long view with regard to innovation and entrepreneurship in Indiana.

Timothy Slaper, director of economic analysis, and Thomas Walton, a research assistant, both in the Indiana Business Research Center, noted in an article that the Hoosier economy could be primed for entrepreneurial expansion due to the recently adopted Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the innovation-entrepreneurship bill.

They point to the value of creating a Hoosier entrepreneurial ecosystem, which they describe as a complex system of infrastructure, resources and human capital that drives innovation. They go on to explain how the economic development legislation might lead to such success in Indiana.

“Many experts agree that state interventions can be indispensable for catalyzing entrepreneurship” they wrote. “It is encouraging that the state is taking action because there is much at stake. Thankfully, Indiana legislators have done well to address the many facets of encouraging startup formation and economic development.

“There remain areas for improvement, such as attracting more immigrant populations to the state, or providing additional social services and workforce development opportunities for at-risk and lower-income individuals,” Slaper and Walton added. “Hoosiers have a reason to be optimistic though about the future of Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Perhaps, in the not-too-distant future, Indianapolis, South Bend and Evansville will join the ranks of the ‘best cities’ in America.”

In addition to the Indiana Business Review, consumers, policy-makers and business executives alike will find many other resources at the Indiana Business Research Center website.

Philanthropist Conrad Prebys remembered during groundbreaking for new Kelley School career center

Conrad T. Prebys

Conrad T. Prebys

Indiana University alumnus Conrad Prebys passed away in July after a battle with cancer, but his presence was clearly felt Thursday at an official groundbreaking ceremony for a new career services center that will bear his name.

Kelley School of Business Dean Idalene “Idie” Kesner recounted Prebys’ visit to the Bloomington campus shortly after his $20 million gift was announced in October 2015.

“He toured Kelley’s newly expanded and renovated Hodge Hall Undergraduate Center and was greeted right here in this room by dozens of excited Kelley students holding giant posters and signs proclaiming his ‘awesomeness,'” said Kesner, also the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management.

“I think he was genuinely surprised by the reception and genuinely moved by the gratitude of the students. They were eager to shake his hand and let him know how his gift would make an impact on their futures and the futures of generations of Kelley students to come.

“He leaves a wonderful legacy in San Diego and elsewhere in California. And it’s gratifying to know his legacy will also live on at Indiana University, a campus he loved so much.”

Kesner was joined at the ceremony by IU President Michael A. McRobbie and IU Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith in expressing gratitude to Prebys and expressing condolences to his family.

Once completed in December 2017, the two-story, $14 million Conrad Prebys Career Services Center will meet an important need for an increasing number of students at Kelley as well as other undergraduates across the Bloomington campus.

IU Foundation President and CEO Daniel C. Smith, left, IU President Michael A. McRobbie, IU Kelley School of Business Dean Idalene Kesner and IU Associate Vice President, Capital Planning and Facilities John Lewis break ground for the Kelley School of Business Prebys Career Center.

IU Foundation President and CEO Daniel C. Smith, left, IU President Michael A. McRobbie, IU Kelley School of Business Dean Idalene Kesner and IU Associate Vice President, Capital Planning and Facilities John Lewis break ground for the Kelley School of Business Prebys Career Center.

The career center was among several needs addressed when Prebys, president of Progress Construction and Management in San Diego, committed $20 million to IU and the Kelley School.

His gift also will support an endowment fund for attracting and retaining top faculty and scholarships for high-performing undergraduates from underrepresented populations.

The IU Bloomington campus also will benefit from his support for a new outdoor amphitheater for musical and theatrical productions.

Raised in South Bend, Prebys was the first in his family to attend college. At IU, he was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, the Playbill theater group and the ROTC program. After graduating with distinction in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in business, he returned to his hometown and worked there several years before relocating to San Diego in 1966 and beginning a career in real estate.

He co-founded Progress Construction and Management, which has distinguished itself in Southern California by being a developer of affordable, middle-class homes. He later shifted his focus from construction to property ownership and owned more than 80 properties in the San Diego area.

Over the years, Prebys has given generously to medical research, educational and arts organizations in the San Diego area. Viewers of PBS’ “Masterpiece Theater” each Sunday will see his name among the supporters of the Masterpiece Trust.

Prebys’ gift to IU and Kelley counts toward the $2.5 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.

Over the past decade, the number of IU Bloomington students served by Kelley’s Undergraduate Career Services Office has almost doubled. With the expansion of Hodge Hall and an increase in the number of students admitted to Kelley, the facility can no longer keep up with the demand.

Once completed, the addition will nearly double the amount of space where recruiters will be able to meet privately with students. It will include more than 70 interview rooms as well as nearly 30 staff offices. The design for the first floor will allow for flexible use, including a multipurpose area where visiting companies can set up displays and make presentations.

An artist's rendering of the Conrad Prebys Career Services Center

An artist’s rendering of the Conrad Prebys Career Services Center

“The Prebys Career Services Addition will help to ensure that the Kelley School’s career services remain among the best in the country,” McRobbie said. “His extraordinarily generous gift is a testament to his belief in the value of a quality business education that gives students the skills they need to succeed and instills in them the values and principles that will guide them in their careers and in their lives.”

“I love Indiana University, the beautiful Bloomington campus, and it’s exciting to be able to make this gift to the university,” Prebys said in October. “I am very proud to help the Kelley School build on its strong foundation and further its profound promise to students and their futures.”

Kesner noted that for everyone who enters the Conrad Prebys Career Services Center, it will be a reminder of Prebys’ enthusiasm, integrity, tenacity and generosity.

“Few of us leave legacies in this world that touch the lives of so many young people at such a pivotal point,” she said. “At the moment of their success, at the moment they accept their job moving them from unemployed student to successful, newly hired business executive, they will think of Conrad Prebys, the Prebys Center and a true Hoosier success story.”

Top executives speak with students, public at Indiana University on state of the retail industry

Post courtesy of IU newsroom intern Bailey Briscoe:

Jenny Ming

Jenny Ming

Each year, the Retail Studies Organization at Indiana University Bloomington brings top retail experts to campus for a forum centered around current retail challenges and hot topics. This year’s Retail and Design Forum features executives from Burberry, Finish Line and Charlotte Russe.

While the speakers are particularly relevant to students studying apparel merchandising and business, the event is free and open to the public. The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25 in the Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union.

“We are so fortunate to have three amazing executives from the retail industry coming to campus,” said Janis Shaffer, a senior lecturer in the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. “These executives have extensive backgrounds in the industry and they will be sharing their experiences and knowledge with students. It is a tremendous gift to IU students.”

In addition to the public talk, select Retail Studies Organization students will be having individual chats with the executives to network and learn more about how they, too, can have careers in the retail industry.

“I love the Forum because it makes retail come alive for me,” said Hannah Klipsch, Retail Studies Organization president and a senior studying apparel merchandising in the School of Art and Design. “These incredible professionals bring life into the field that we are studying and make what we are learning every day in the classroom feel real and exciting. It reminds me of how much I love what I do and I cannot wait to be in their shoes one day.”

Imran Jooma

Imran Jooma

Students like Klipsch aren’t the only ones looking forward to the event. The presenters can learn from the students, as well.

“Next week, students and I will engage in a discussion about overcoming today’s retail challenges and preparing for the obstacles of tomorrow in that environment. As I prepare for that presentation, I look forward to the energy, creativity and integrity they will bring to the table,” said Imran Jooma, divisional president of omnichannel strategy of Finish Line. “Students have fresh ideas and I will value hearing from them and evolving that input as we at Finish Line strive to deliver the epic finish to our customers.”

The Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, which supports the student-run organization, joined with the Department of Studio Art in August 2016 to create the new School of Art and Design in the College of Arts and Sciences. The new school creates a “culture of creative interaction and opportunity” for students interested in both art and design. In Fall 2017, the school will officially launch their new academic programs.

Retail + Design Forum schedule:

4 p.m. — Marianne Naberhaus Smith, senior vice president of wholesale and digital at Burberry Americas, “Connecting with the Customer in Today’s world”

5 p.m. — Imran Jooma, divisional president of omnichannel strategy of Finish Line, “Overcoming Today’s Retail Challenges and Preparing for the Obstacles of Tomorrow”

6 p.m. — Jenny Ming, CEO and president of Charlotte Russe, “Fireside chat with a CEO”

Two-for-two: Kelley School team returns to campus as winners of national competition

For the second straight year, a team of students at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business has returned from the National Black MBA Association’s national conference as victors of its undergraduate case competition.

Jade Haynes, sophomore Landon Davidson, senior Kevin Brown, junior Siphiwe Muze, sophomore

The case competition took place at the National Black MBA Association’s annual conference.

No other business school has won the contest, which this year involved teams from 15 business schools around the country.

The benefits for the Kelley students go far beyond the $15,000 cash prize, which they plan to use to fund upcoming study abroad trips to Costa Rica, Hong Kong and Germany.

“This experience has made me more confident in working with a team, creating a presentation and speaking in front of an audience,” said Siphiwe Muze, one of four members of Kelley’s winning team and a sophomore from Mishawaka, Ind. “These abilities will make me a competitive classmate and future employee.”

Kevin Brown, a teammate and a junior from Hermitage, Tenn., added, “As I am nearing the end of my college, this experience allowed me to realize that I am able to apply the concepts I have learned in my classes. This has given me confidence and eased my nerves regarding whether I am actually prepared to intern next summer and graduate soon thereafter.”

Brown and Muze were joined on the winning team by Jade Haynes, a sophomore from Naperville, Ill.; and Landon Davidson, a senior from South Bend, Ind.

The 38th annual National Black MBA Association conference, which took place in New Orleans last weekend, is the largest diversity career expo in the country and one of the largest professional development and job recruitment events overall. It attracted more than 7,000 people, including black business leaders from well-known companies including Bank of America Corp., Starbucks Coffee Co. and FedEx Corp.

The association created the case competition for undergraduate business students last year to help prepare them for career success by providing them with an experience that has helped many graduate business students of color.

The Kelley students came out on top over finalists from North Carolina A&T University and South Carolina State University, which placed second and third. More than 15 corporate recruiters judged the competition, providing real world feedback and career opportunities for the participants.

“The students also had the unique opportunity to network with hundreds of MBA professionals from around the country and peers who also compete in the competition,” said Taryn Thomas, assistant director of diversity initiatives and an academic advisor at Kelley. “So much of business is about networking and making connections. This was an opportunity to do exactly that.”

The case was based on a successful marketing campaign launched by sports apparel maker Under Armour in 2014, “I Will What I Want,” which targeted women. From the perspective of a team working on the project prior to its launch, students were asked to develop strategies with two goals in mind — to make the company the market leader and to reach $10 billion in sales by 2020.

“The case was presented in a way which required us to put ourselves back in this time, which meant that anything that Under Armour has developed since then or data released after 2014 would not be fair game,” Brown said. “We also had to do quite a bit of our own research and find data independently, which was time consuming and also meant we had to be very careful and very diligent. A general challenge customary of any case was finding a way to balance classes and other extracurricular activities with this case.”

The students said that they drew upon lessons learned in Kelley classes, including those in business communications and business presentations, and produced a powerful PowerPoint presentation and other research to back up their positions.

“My Kelley classes have prepared me well to work with a team,” Haynes said. “Many of my classes involve small case competitions in a sense, so I was definitely prepared to tackle this case.”

“Kelley has taught us how to think critically about a business problem, break it down to its component parts and address each issue separately,” Davidson said. “Kelley taught us to not only look at characteristics of a target market, but also deeper in terms of the morals and values of my customer.

“My main takeaway was the collaborative effort and leadership of the team,” he added. “Kelley stresses the importance of not only cooperation but collaboration; this experience was the most collaborative I’ve been with a team, and I see the effects of it. Moving forward I will share my experience in all the teams I am with for the rest of my time here and post-graduation.”

The students acknowledged that handling pressure is a key component of the competition and that continuing to come in first may add to the challenge for next year’s team.

“Kelley placing first for two consecutive years is a great accomplishment. The results speak volumes about the Kelley curriculum and the efforts put forth by the professors to provide as relevant experience as possible,” Davidson said. “My team used the pressure as a motivator, but we never let it get the best of us. We never spoke about it once, but I am sure individually we thought about it. Life is about challenging yourself and chasing your dreams towards happiness. If you keep that in mind, all else will fall into place.”

IU Kelley School’s entrepreneurship program and its director earn global awards

Donald F. Kuratko, right, accepts the Entrepreneurship Program Directors’ Legacy Award from Brad Burke, executive director of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.

Donald F. Kuratko, right, accepts the Entrepreneurship Program Directors’ Legacy Award from Brad Burke, executive director of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.

For more than a half century, entrepreneurship education at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business has built a legacy of helping alumni spark business creation and innovation.

Recently, the Kelley School received international recognition at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. At the consortium’s annual conference, the school was honored for its contributions to research as was Donald F. Kuratko, the Jack M. Gill Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship.

More than 450 professors and entrepreneurship program directors from 260 member universities in 16 countries attended the ceremony, held in the Eastman Theatre in downtown Rochester, N.Y. It was part of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers’ annual conference Sept. 30-Oct. 1, co-hosted by the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

IU and the Kelley School received the 2016 Award for Exceptional Contributions in Entrepreneurship Research. This award recognizes a business school at which the faculty are dedicated to advancing and supporting the creation and creators of new entrepreneurship knowledge.

Award criteria are based upon the faculty’s research agenda, published research, journal management, research grants, impact factors of the publications and the profile of each faculty member. The judges are a jury of peer entrepreneurship professors from around the globe.

Accepting on behalf of the Kelley School of Business was Kuratko, who also serves as the executive and academic director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Kelley School.

“IU’s Kelley School of Business stands as a world leader in entrepreneurship. Having been recognized as one of the most powerful nodes of entrepreneurship by the journal Scientometrics, our faculty list reads like a virtual ‘who’s who’ of entrepreneurial thought leadership,” Kuratko said.

“The research generated here is not only extensive but also transformative, as it will guide future researchers in the years to come,” he said.

Established in 1997, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers brings together university-based entrepreneurship centers from around the world to collaborate, communicate, and jointly advance excellence in entrepreneurship through the unique role and position of the centers in the academic and business communities.

Kuratko, who has served on the organization’s executive committee for many years, also received a special honor, the Entrepreneurship Program Directors’ Legacy Award. He received a standing ovation as he accepted the award, which was presented in recognition of his pioneering efforts and impact on the entire field of entrepreneurship.

Idalene "Idie" Kesner

Idalene “Idie” Kesner

“These awards stand as a tribute to our outstanding faculty in the Kelley School’s Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. It is also a testament to the global leadership efforts of Professor Kuratko in the entrepreneurship realm,” said Idalene Kesner, dean of the IU Kelley School of Business and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management.

“The work of these extraordinary researchers helps to advance knowledge for students, scholars, and practicing entrepreneurs worldwide. And, because outstanding research goes hand in hand with outstanding teaching, it’s clear why the Kelley School has top-ranked entrepreneurship programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels,” she said.

The Kelley School established the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in 1998, thanks to a financial gift from Richard “Dick” and Ruth Johnson given in recognition of their family’s lifelong commitment to the school and their entrepreneurial achievements.

Today, the center is the focal point for all entrepreneurial activity on the IU Bloomington campus. Kelley first offered an entrepreneurship program in 1989. Entrepreneurship courses at IU date to 1959.

While academics are important, students say service projects like annual Habitat build are crucial part of their IU experience

Post courtesy of IU newsroom intern Amanda Marino:

Ever since she saw pictures of her friend participating in a Habitat for Humanity build, Indiana University junior Shradda Madhav has been interested in joining the program.

She got her chance last week, joining the seventh annual build by the IU Kelley School of Business, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County and Whirlpool Corp.

“I cannot believe volunteers made this,” the IU Kelley School student said as she looked at the new house for the first time. “This is beautiful.”

Madhav was one of about 350 undergraduate and graduate students who took part in the 10-day build near the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center on 17th Street.

Shradda Madhav

Shradda Madhav

Jeff and Carly Wyatt and their two grandchildren accepted their new house keys on the football field at Memorial Stadium, before IU’s game against Michigan State. The house was moved to McDoel Gardens, just southwest of campus and within walking distance of downtown Bloomington.

Surrounded by hammers, nails and paint, Madhav admits she’s “terrible at building anything.” But with a little heart, and help from the group, Madhav was able to do her part in making a local family’s dreams come true.

“I could see the difference I was making,” she said.

Although new to Habitat for Humanity, Madhav is not new to giving back. She has worked with nonprofit organizations in the United States and India. Whether it is helping with a literacy program or the Middle Way House, Madhav finds a way to be involved, despite a busy college schedule.

While academics are important and there are plenty of opportunities to excel at Kelley, she said being a part of service projects like Habitat expands her overall IU experience.

“What is the point of getting a job if you cannot make an impact?” she said.

Madhav isn’t the only one who sees the benefits of a life filled with service.

Senior Caroline Wallace has been working on Habitat for Humanity builds for the past four years. In fact, they’ve become an annual tradition for the Kelley senior.

Caroline Wallace

Caroline Wallace

This year, she feared she would miss the build after a foot injury. Although her injury kept her from her favorite part of the build – roof work – she was still able to contribute through painting.

“I really like that aspect of service, getting your hands dirty and feeling sore the next day,” she said.

Wallace said there is a certain community atmosphere inspired by that kind of physical work, especially on a Habitat build.

“When you’re literally sweating next to someone and learning how to use a hammer, it’s hard not to become friends,” she said.

In high school, Wallace said she was “the service girl,” going on multiple service trips to Kentucky and organizing some trips herself.

“I’ve done stuff like this for nine, 10 years,” she said. “This is what I do.”

It feels good to see so many students and IU community members involved in an event like a Habitat build, she said. There is so much to be found at a construction site, she said, that allows students to do more than just work on their degrees, letting their values, attitudes and gratitude shine through.

Wallace said values like empathy and humility are undervalued in society. On a build site, though, they are highly valuable qualities. Everybody comes out with a positive attitude ready to learn and work, no matter what their level of experience is.

“There is a correct way to swing a hammer, and I learned that on this build,” she said. “I still get really excited about it.”

Wallace said whether a person wants to work with Habitat for Humanity or any other nonprofit organization, there is always a way to share time and talents.

“There is time in your life to give back,” she said. “You just have to find it.”

The video below provides you with a full recap of this year’s build.


Chicago Cubs owner shares process for building a winner in speech at Kelley

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts spoke to students, faculty and members of the public on Friday at the IU Kelley School of Business.

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts spoke to students, faculty and members of the public on Friday at the IU Kelley School of Business.

A lecture hall at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business became more like the bleachers at Wrigley Field, minus the ivy, during a presentation to students and faculty by Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.

Ricketts was the keynote speaker at Friday’s ninth annual IU Entrepreneurial Connection Day, presented by the school’s Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and attended by more than 250 people.

He is also the founder of Incapital LLC. Johnson Center Executive Director Donald F. Kuratko described the Chicago-based investment banking firm as innovative due its creative and individualistic approach to the bond market.

“The Chicago Cubs are a well-established organization, but almost like a 140-year start-up, because of the things that he’s had to do and innovate with that franchise,” said Kuratko, also the Kelley School’s Jack M. Gill Chair of Entrepreneurship.

“Mr. Ricketts has a great perspective on the entrepreneurial nature of businesses, even those as old as the Cubs organization,” said Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean of the IU Kelley School of Business and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management.

The Cubs owner was happy to talk about investment banking and underwriting securities, but he knew everyone wanted to hear more about what we dream about: going from trading baseball cards as fans to trading players and transforming one of baseball’s more storied franchises.

“I have this unique job where someone will come up to me and before telling me their name, they tell me their age,” Ricketts said. “It pretty much goes like (this): ‘Mr. Ricketts, I’m 71 years old, please win the World Series in my lifetime.’”

A lifelong fan of the Cubs, Ricketts led his family’s acquisition of the team from the Tribune Co. in 2009. He and his siblings Laura and Todd serve as the team’s board of directors.

Inherited challenges to building a winner

Ricketts explained how the team he has assembled is working to turn the Cubs into a perennial contender for a World Series title, which is the No. 1 goal. He also highlighted the team’s work to preserve and improve Wrigley Field for future generations and give back to the city and neighborhood.

“When we bought the team, we knew we had a tough history,” he said. “In 2011, we had a very old team, a very expensive team, and we didn’t have that many prospects that were coming through the system.”

The challenge was to develop a team that will be successful on a consistent basis. While the Cubs are on track to win 100 games this season, Ricketts said it’s more important to make the playoffs each year.

“What you want to do is get to the playoffs as much as possible, because your odds of winning the playoffs will not be predicted by how well your team played during the season,” he said. “Wild-card teams, until a couple of years ago, had a higher percentage or chance of winning the World Series than the division winners.”

He compared the Seattle Mariners, who won 116 games in the 2001 regular season but failed to make the Series, to the rival St. Louis Cardinals, who won only 86 games but won the title as a wild-card team.

Owners can no longer spend to win

The days of buying a winner through free agency are over, Ricketts said.

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts speaks to a packed auditorium of students, faculty and members of the public on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the Kelley School of Business.

Tom Ricketts was the keynote speaker at the eighth annual IU Entrepreneurial Connection Day.

“Those correlations between how much you spend and how many games you win have been declining over time,” he said. “It’s very weak, much weaker than you would think.”

He explained basic baseball economics: Players earn the league minimum during their first three years, become eligible for arbitration during years four through six and then qualify for free agency.

Successful teams figure out the calculus of a relatively new statistical metric – Wins Above Replacement – which tracks how many games a team wins because a certain player is in the lineup versus another player.

Position players who get off to a good start in their careers tend to get signed to long-term contracts by their teams.

“Free-agent contracts have gotten larger,” he said. “They’ve gotten longer, which is also a problem, but the thing is the players have come out (of the contracts) older. So the days of George Steinbrenner waiting for a player to become a free agent when he was age 27 or 28 and hiring him are gone. The Yankees can’t buy championships anymore because the players that are available on the free-agent market are not at their peak.”

Building the core of this year’s contender

Ricketts said his “darkest days” as an owner were in August 2010, when the Cubs had the third highest payroll, third worst record and third worst minor league system. The team decided the best approach was to invest in young talent, including top minor league prospects such as Kyle Schwarber, who played for IU from 2012 to 2014.

Ricketts walked the audience through a series of key Cubs trades in 2012 and 2013, including those for first baseman Anthony Rizzo and pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.

In July 2012, the Cubs traded fan favorite Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers for another pitcher, Kyle Hendricks, and for Christian Villanueva. Hendricks was young, with six years of league control, and since then has become a two-time All-Star.

“This one was a tough one for a lot of Cub fans, because Demp is just a great guy and now is actually with the organization (in the front office), and I see him all the time,” Ricketts said. “The other night, he was in Theo’s (Epstein) box and Kyle Hendricks was pitching. (I was saying) ‘Wow, Kyle’s having a great night,’ and Demp’s like, ‘Nobody ever thanks me for that.'”

Taking a long-term view

 The team also made investments at the ball park and training facilities and is looking to make improvements in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, including a new hotel and entertainment complex across the street from the park.

Responding to a question, Ricketts said he admires what a longtime Cubs rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, have accomplished. He hopes to emulate their success.

“The Cardinals are one of the best-run organizations – obviously one of the best-run organizations in baseball and in the country – and one of the most consistent,” Ricketts told a student who courageously identified himself as a Cards fan. “They have such a great fan base and such good ownership that they can make good, long-term decisions.

“That’s why the Cardinals are in the mix. They don’t panic when they lose Albert Pujols. They don’t have to freak out when a good player gets hurt. They just think long-term. They’re building from the bottom up,” he added. “They’re a great rivalry, and I’m glad that we’re finally holding up our half of the rivalry.”

After speaking, Ricketts stayed for a networking event with Kelley students. But chances for getting an internship with the Cubs are slim. The team has 30,000 applicants for eight internships.

In addition to being an honored guest speaker, Ricketts is a proud member of the IU Kelley family, as the parent of a current student.

“The Kelley School is considered one of the best in the country, and I can see why,” Ricketts said after the presentation. “I think my son Quinn is getting a great education. I’m very proud that he picked this place, and I’m very proud of what he’s doing here.”

Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies looking to expand its influence worldwide

Indiana University Press and the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies at IU Bloomington have announced a partnership that will allow the institute to expand its impact on global studies.

For more than half a century, the independent and non-profit Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies has contributed to our knowledge of the diverse lands, languages and cultures of Eurasia.

Through the partnership, IU Press will help the Sinor Research Institute more effectively reach the research and educational community through its extensive and growing list of publications. It will oversee rights sales and distribution for those publications.

Edward Lazzerini

Edward Lazzerini

“The goal of the partnership is to enhance the institute’s ability to reach international audiences as it embarks on restructuring its business plan and expanding its product line,” said Edward J. Lazzerini, director of the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies.

The collaboration comes at a time of increased scholarship about Inner Asia – the interior of the Eurasian landmass – which is a primary mission of the Sinor Research Institute.

“From its inception, the institute’s publications, with content such as manuals and textbooks for less commonly taught languages, historical descriptions and analyses of regional cultural production and translations of significant historical texts, have served the needs of a dedicated international audience of scholars and students,” Lazzerini said. “Today it remains one of the few global enterprises that will publish what the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies does, making our commitment more important than ever.”

The mission of the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies is to encourage and support scholarly research in all aspects of Inner Asian studies. It was established in 1967 as the Asian Studies Research Institute and renamed the Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies 12 years later. In 2007, it was renamed in tribute to its original director, Denis Sinor, who was its director from 1967 to 1981.

In 1962, Sinor came to IU from Cambridge University to establish and chair the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies (now the Department of Central Eurasian Studies and part of the School of Global and International Studies). Sinor, who passed away in 2011, also founded and led the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at IU and was editor of the Journal of Asian History and a prolific scholar. He succeeded in getting the nation of Hungary to fund a chair at IU in Hungarian studies during the Cold War.

Denis Sinor

Denis Sinor

At its very essence, Sinor created of the concept of Central Eurasia as an area of study, as attested by his scholarly activity over more than 60 years. Four people have succeeded Sinor as directors of the institute. Lazzerini has led it since 2007.

“Denis Sinor was a singular man of letters with an immense scholarly production who was deeply attuned to language, words, their etymologies and their reflections of culture; hence his love of books, libraries, and publishing,” said Lazzerini, a colleague and close friend. “He was also an extraordinary academic entrepreneur, bold, forthright, demanding, and unafraid of superiors, whom he doubted he had. Charming but not imposing, he was remarkably successful throughout his long life.”

One of the institute’s central tasks is to maintain and develop scholarly and technical resources necessary for research in Inner Asian studies. To this end, the organization has built an invaluable collection of reference works, monographs and microfilms of print and manuscript materials. It also reaches the research and educational community through its extensive and growing list of publications.

“Indiana University Press is excited to be a partner with the Sinor Research Institute in the distribution and marketing of their publications. The addition of their books and papers to the IU Press list of publications will provide our scholars and students a comprehensive catalog of material for research and development in international studies,” said Dave Hulsey, associate director of Indiana University Press.

Lazzerini said this collaboration comes at an extremely opportune time, not just because of critical changes occurring within the publishing industry, but also because of challenges to traditional ways that scholarly writing is presented and distributed.

A shift toward on-demand printing will eliminate large, upfront costs associated with new publications and storage in a warehouse, and should lead to more efficient distribution and higher revenues for the institute. As a result of the partnership, two new imprints – “The Papers on Central Eurasia” and “Ad Fontes: Texts on Central Eurasian Societies and Cultures” – have been published.

“For a small operation, working with the experience, capabilities, and strengths of a well-established publisher possessing international connections and contacts will raise significantly our own ability to reach a widely dispersed audience well beyond anything in decades past,” Lazzerini said.

IU’s China Gateway office connects students with employers in Shanghai and Beijing

The fair was attended by about 1,200 up-and-coming Chinese professionals, including about 120 IU students.

The fair was attended by about 1,200 up-and-coming Chinese professionals, including about 120 IU students.

Since opening two years ago, Indiana University’s global gateway office in Beijing has actively supported Hoosier academic activities and partnerships across China and has met the needs of a rapidly expanding number of IU alumni there.

Indiana University is one of six universities that created a career fair for Chinese students and graduates seeking job opportunities with top firms in China. The China Gateway office was instrumental in organizing the event in downtown Shanghai on Saturday.

A similar event will take place this Saturday in Beijing at the China World Hotel.

About 65 companies participated in the Shanghai career fair at the China Financial Information Center, along with about 1,200 up-and-coming Chinese professionals. They included about 120 students who have been studying at IU across different majors and degree programs.

“It was also great to see that IU alumni staffed the desks of three companies there — Decathlon, JPMorgan and GE,” said Steven Yin, office manager for the IU China Gateway.

Before Saturday’s fair began, IU participated in a half-day conference on the topic of international career development for Chinese returning from overseas. It was attended by most of the companies and all the host universities. Yin said it was a great opportunity for IU to present to these leading Chinese employers, who included many familiar multinational companies, what its presence in the country can offer.

Jing Han and Steven Yin

Jing Han and Steven Yin

“They provided us valuable feedback on hiring Chinese students with overseas degrees and how our students can better prepare for the job market in China,” said Yin, who previously served as the deputy director of the EducationUSA China program at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Participants included familiar brands such as Apple, AMD, Bloomberg, BP, Cargill, Citrix, eBay, GE, PayPal, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as a number of top Chinese companies, such as HILTI and WuXi AppTec.

Yin was joined by Jing Han, a career coach at IU’s Kelley School of Business who works closely with the international student population. Before the Shanghai career fair, 14 recent graduates and students also visited GE China’s huge industrial park campus in Shanghai.

“We were given a very detailed introduction to GE’s operation in China and what career development opportunities students shall expect working for GE,” Yin said, adding that 2013 Kelley alumnus Yaonan Pan played a pivotal role in setting up the visit.

One of the students met with the top human resources manager during the visit.

“Yaonan also set up meetings for us with human resources in GE’s finance department and with campus relations, to discuss GE China’s future recruitment at IU. He plays a tremendous role in connecting GE China and IU, which demonstrates again the importance of maintaining strong overseas alumni relationships,” Han said.

“We also want to give a big ‘thank you’ to the Indiana University Chinese Student and Scholar Association and the Kelley Chinese Business Association. We really appreciate their continued support in promoting and coordinating the events on campus and in China,” Han added.

Glory Geng, a Kelley School of Business student who attended both the Shanghai career fair and GE visit, said those activities exposed him to the vast job market and diverse job opportunities targeting overseas returnees in China. He was once lost about his post-graduation plan, but interactions with employers and alumni have helped him better understand the advantages of beginning a career in China and confirmed his plans to go back after getting his business degree.

About 65 companies participated in the Shanghai career fair, including several based in the United States.

About 65 companies participated in the Shanghai career fair, including several based in the United States.

Ryan Liu, vice president of career development and alumni at the IU Chinese Student and Scholar Association and also a Kelley School student, said the career fairs will strengthen relationships between current students and international alumni and hopes these events can become routine for IU.

Ally Batten, IU director of international gateway offices, which also include those in India and Germany, also offered appreciation for all the hard work being done on behalf of IU students.

“Steven and Jing deserve much credit for coordinating and generating interest in this event. Our global gateway offices are a resource for the entire IU community — students, faculty and alumni — and this initiative really shows the benefit of having a presence on the ground in China. Without the gateway office, events like this would not be possible,” he said.

To register for the this weekend’s career fair in Beijing, follow this link