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BGS 2011 News Archive

Faculty Honor Roll

BBA students recognized 11 of their favorite instructors by naming them to the Spring 2011 Faculty Honor Roll. To make the honor roll, professors must garner exceptionally high marks on student-completed surveys. The Honor Roll members were celebrated at a ceremony Oct. 3, hosted by the Undergraduate Business Council and the Undergraduate Programs Office.

Professor Robert Prentice   Chris Meakin   Fran Pedersen

Professor Robert Prentice

Prentice Gives Talk

On October 7, Professor Robert Prentice gave the inaugural talk in the new Business Law & Ethics speaker series at the Georgia Tech College of Management in Atlanta.  Professor Prentice spoke about the new field of behavioral ethics research to an audience of faculty and students. 


Veronica Stidvent

Business-Friendly Regulation

In a time when businesses are more eager than ever to stimulate job creation and compete once again on a global scale, there is an increasing sentiment to give employers more freedom to grow on their own terms. Veronica Stidvent, former assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Labor during the George W. Bush administration, says the call to review federal regulations is business as usual for a new president.

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Stidvent Wins Award

Veronica Stidvent, a lecturer in McCombs new Department of Business, Government and Society and program director of the Hispanic Leadership Initiative, was chosen one of four 2011 Outstanding Young Texas Exes award winners.

Insider Trading in the Headlines

The SEC and Department of Justice have made punishing insider trading a particular area of enforcement emphasis.  The headlines are filled with cases involving prominent business figures such as Mark Cuban and Raj Rajaratnam. Professor Robert Prentice recently published an article entitled “Permanently Reviving the Temporary Insider” in the Journal of Corporation Law. Prentice argues for a broad interpretation of insider trading so as to allow corporations to better protect their proprietary information. If arguments recently made by defendants are recognized in the courts, companies in financial trouble will be hesitant to approach commercial banks, underwriters, or consultants for help because all these entities could take the nonpublic information about the companies’ financial difficulties and use it to short the companies’ stocks, driving their prices down while pocketing substantial profits.

Shale Gas?

Professor David Spence,the UT McCombs expert on energy policy, provides his insights on the future of shale gas in a recent energy brief. Professor Sheridan Titman follows up on his findings with a few questions. more...

Approaching a Rising Generation of Leaders

Veronica "Ronnye" Stidvent has joined us from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Before returning to the university, where she earned her undergraduate degree, Stidvent served in the White House as special assistant to the president for policy and as assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. more...

Professor Robert Prentice

Contract Law and Economics

Robert Prentice contributed a chapter to a brand new book entitled “Contract Law and Economics.”  The book will be a resource on contract law and economics for judges, policy makers, law teachers, and law scholars.  The book is edited by Gerrit De Geest of Washington University, St. Louis.  Professor Prentice’s chapter addressed the most basic issue in contract law—why does the law enforce some promises but not others?


Behavioral Economics

At the junction of economics and experimental psychology, behavioral economics studies how real people make economic decisions. Outside mathematical models, two faculty researchers at the McCombs School of Business say the human mind is fertile soil for the weeds of greed. We have high ethical intentions, but an array of unconscious biases tilts us towards irrational self-interest. “The more there is at stake, the more pressure there is on your mind to fool you,” says Professor Robert Prentice. “The human ability to rationalize is astonishing. We can do anything and still keep our positive images of ourselves.” more...

Shifting Risk

There’s no place like a home. For most of a decade, that belief fueled a boom in home mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. It looked like a win-win-win-win proposition for borrowers, mortgage brokers, bankers, and investors alike. It offered the ultimate proof that private greed produces public good. Until it didn't. David Spence, associate professor of law, politics, and regulation at McCombs, explains how the market’s invisible hand got caught in the machinery. more...

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Top Academics Sound Off

McCombs School of Business Dean Tom Gilligan hosted a lively discussion on the current economic crisis threatening America’s financial stability as well as the global economy. Just as Congress moved to pass a $700 billion taxpayer-funded rescue bill, finance faculty Laura Starks, Stephen Magee, Sheridan Titman, Jay Hartzell, Michael Brandl and Keith Brown joined Gilligan to examine the wider implications of the credit crisis and the government bailout plan before taking questions from the audience of more than 400 from The University of Texas at Austin. more... 

Fracking protestors

Spence: Regulation of Shale Gas

Natural gas burns more cleanly than either coal or oil, is available domestically, and is seen by many as a "bridge fuel" between our traditional dependence on coal and oil and a cleaner energy future. So it's no surprise that one of the biggest energy stories of the past 15 years has been the new accessibility of vast quantities of natural gas trapped in shale formations across the United States (and elsewhere). more...

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Treasure Hunting the U.S. Patent System

The patent system, by disclosing the details of new inventions and improvements, reveals to the public what would otherwise be kept secret and brings to light things that could stand improving and their proposed solutions. But granting patents “comes at a cost to society,” says Professor John Allison, who has devoted much of his career to the empirical study of patents. more...

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Insider Trading

The SEC is targeting insider trading more aggressively than ever (and is in the middle of prosecuting the biggest insider trading case in history, that of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam and 20 other individuals), yet some economists have recently offered new arguments in favor of the practice. Professors Robert Prentice and Dain Donelson weigh in.

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Professor Cross cited

The New York Times recently called upon Professor Frank Cross’ expertise regarding the recent shift to a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court. Read more. Cross was also mentioned in an article in The New Republic that explored the meaning of “ living constitutionalism.” more...


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National Energy Policy Reform

The energy bill unveiled in the Senate earlier this month has begun to attract big attention from energy reform and industry interests, especially in the light of the recent Gulf Coast deep-water oil spill. Professor David Spence theorizes that there are good reasons to suspect that Congress will have a particularly difficult time passing the kind of transformative legislation that advocates of fundamental energy reform favor. more...

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Professor Dean Bredeson Honored for Teaching Excellence

For the third year in a row, Dean Bredeson was among those honored by the Undergraduate Business Council and the Undergraduate Program Office for his outstanding achievements in the classroom. more...