Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice

by Kathleen Z. Lepak

Mar 1, 2002

(TMA Global)

Since its inception in 1999, TMA’s Academic Advisory Council has provided members with valuable links to research and educational resources focused on corporate renewal. Our understanding of the market has increased because of the insight provided through this quality research, which tracks the “dark side” of economic cycles.

The Academic Advisory Council is comprised of 24 professors from graduate business schools at major universities in North America and abroad. Among the top-tier institutions represented are Boston College, UCLA, The University of Chicago, Georgetown University, Harvard University, New York University (NYU), The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northeastern University, and The Ohio State University.

International members include professors from such prestigious instructional facilities as the London School of Business, Concordia University in Montreal, and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

Dr. Edward I. Altman, who gained national prominence more than 30 years ago for his introduction of the Z-Score for predicting potential bankruptcies, chairs the Academic Advisory Council and brought together its current members. Currently the Max L. Heine Professor of Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Altman s ince 1990 has directed research efforts in fixed income and credit markets at the NYU Salomon Center and is currently vice director of the Center.

Advanced Education Workshop

One of the most important undertakings of the Academic Advisory Council is programming responsibility for the Advanced Education Workshop. The workshop provides quality educational opportunities for our members, coupling cutting-edge information on corporate renewal with continuing education credits for our professionals.

Last year, when TMA partnered with NYU to hold the workshop at the Salomon Center, marked the first time that the Advanced Education Workshop was held at a university. The NYU program attracted record attendance for such an event, and we expect a similar turnout for this year’s sessions. Because TMA members responded so positively to the university setting and focus, the 2002 Advanced Education Workshop will be held at Boston College on June 20 and 21.

Dr. Edith Hotchkiss of Boston College’s Carroll School of Management is developing content for this conference, and educators already are preparing high-quality presentations. TMA’s Northeast Chapter has embraced the project and will be instrumental in helping to make the conference successful. Currently, we are working to confirm Chicago as the site for our 2003 Advanced Education Workshop.

Ongoing Interaction

In addition to their participation in one of our major conferences, members of the Academic Advisory Council have submitted articles, papers, and research reports for publication in The Journal of Corporate Renewal . Eventually, we hope to provide a bibliography of these submissions on the TMA Web site ( www.turnaround.org ) for general membership access.

TMA has attempted to maintain geographic diversity in its choices of council members to help provide nearby academic contacts for local chapters. Council members are available to speak at local chapter events and to discuss new research.

Several local chapters, including New York and Northeast, have staged academic programs in conjunction with Academic Advisory Council members. All chapters can work with the professors located near them to help bring nationally acclaimed programs to their memberships.

Fruitful Partnerships

TMA is one of the few international business associations that actively partners with the academic community to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This union has been as fruitful for TMA as it has been for the professors, who appreciate opportunities to discuss trends with professionals who live in the world the academic community defines through research. The result is increased credibility and quality in both written and oral presentations and in the relationships both groups are building.

It is my mandate as TMA’s vice president of university relations to build upon this foundation—to increase geographic representation, to make local programming more accessible, and to invite the academic members to increase interaction with our general membership. I look forward to the challenge.

Kathleen Z. Lepak
Vice President and Business Development Manager
Wells Fargo Business Credit, Inc.
kathleen.z.lepak@wellsfargo.com

 


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