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Updated: July 17, 2014 at 5:01 p.m.

The ousted dean of GW’s business school was one of the architects behind D.C.’s latest plan to kickstart the local economy.

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Doug Guthrie, former dean of the GW School of Business, helped craft Gray’s economic plan. Hatchet File Photo

Doug Guthrie, who was fired from the deanship last August after the school overspent its budget by $13 million, spent the last eight months as part of a working group that crafted a three-year economic plan in the final year of Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration.

Guthrie left the University on June 30 to “pursue other professional opportunities,” University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said. He is now a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

Gray announced Wednesday the new strategy, which aims to spur development and start-up innovation. He brought Guthrie on as an adviser in December, just four months after he was fired for allegedly mismanaging the business school’s budget.

After losing in the April Democratic primary to Muriel Bowser, Gray’s economic strategy will go into effect in the final months of a lame duck administration.

If successful, the plan would create 10,000 jobs over the next three years while expanding the city’s tax base.

Vincent Gray, mayor

Mayor Vincent Gray announced a three-year economic development plan Wednesday. Hatchet File Photo.

The advisory group that crafted the strategy also included economic advisers in the deputy mayor’s office and consultants from the Kellogg consulting firm. They conducted 133 interviews with civic and business communities across the city, according to the release.

“The future of the creative economy in Washington, DC, is tied to visionary entrepreneurs and artists who have built it thus far, and government leaders like Mayor Gray who recognized that the District’s promise lies in its ability to draw creative individuals and innovative companies and nonprofits to its borders,” Guthrie said in the release. He did not immediately return a request for comment.

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The University’s highest governing body unanimously approved an endowed scholarship in the GW School of Business funded by an anonymous donor Friday.

The donor requested that the amount remain unspecified, but Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Mike Morsberger said the donation was greater than $1 million.

The gift marks the University’s 21st donation this academic year that totaled at least $1 million, putting GW on par with the number of large gifts it received last year. Morsberger said he expected several more gifts of that size by the end of the fiscal year in June.

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Masters of business graduates celebrated their degrees at a ceremony Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Master’s of business graduates celebrate at a ceremony Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

More than 500 students graduated from the School of Business with master’s degrees Thursday at a ceremony that encouraged them to look forward, but not forget the lessons learned at GW.

Seniors snapped selfies from the audience as they heard from Hossein Fateh, the chief executive officer and co-founder of DuPont Fabros Technology. Fateh, a double alumnus, shared the story of how he founded the first real estate investment trust for data centers that now touts clients like Microsoft and Facebook.

Here are five takeaways from Fateh’s speech, and the rest of the ceremony:

1. Fateh: “Take calculated risk”

Hossein Fateh, CEO of DuPont Fabros Technology, told business graduates they are in the perfect time and place for success at the specialized masters ceremony. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Hossein Fateh, CEO of DuPont Fabros Technology, told business students they are graduating at the perfect time and in the best place for success. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Fateh learned about the business world by working as the go-to assistant for a bankruptcy acquisition company after graduating from GW. He said he took a risk when he launched DuPont Fabros Technology with long-time friend Lammot DuPont, but it paid off because he had hands-on experience working in mergers and take-overs.

By anticipating risk, and finding creative ways to present ideas, graduates will succeed at a time when technology, energy and capital have aligned for modern business, Fateh said.

2. When you go in, go all in

To be successful, graduates cannot hesitate, Fateh said. He told a story of how he waited 50 hours in a conference room to join forces with another company and buy a bankrupt firm. Although DuPont Fabros only bought the firm’s real estate, they sold it a year later for nearly double what they had purchased it for.

“When you’ve calculated the risk, when you know in your bones that it’s right, go all in,” Fateh said.

3. Looking forward to globalization

Student speaker Maria Florencia Bocca, who plans to earn a master’s degree in finance this summer, came to GW after working at a brokerage firm and boutique investment bank in Argentina. Bocca, who grew up fascinated by international markets and finance, said students must think globally, as international business becomes more predominant.

“As a new generation of financial experts, we have the obligation to be a positive part of the change facing the industry. It will be our responsibility to demonstrate the value of financial institutions to the economic well-being of society,” she said.

4. Carrying on traditions

Interm Dean Christopher Kayes charged business school graduates to carry on the traditions of George Washington as they move forward in their professional lives Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Interm Dean Christopher Kayes charged business school graduates with carrying on the traditions of George Washington as they move forward in their professional lives Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Interim Dean Christopher Kayes reminded graduates of the University’s namesake. He said once they become alumni, they must carry George Washington’s ideals – such as integrity and leadership – into their professional lives.

“The name George Washington is now inseparable from you. It will remain a part of your day-to-day life for years to come,” he said.

5. Seize the right opportunities

Both Fateh and Kayes encouraged graduates to consider all opportunities, but also recognize when they are presented with luck and good timing.

“You’re privileged to be here. Don’t waste it. Thank you and good luck, but don’t forget to grab luck as it goes by,” Fateh said as he ended his speech.

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Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

The chief executive officer of an auditing, consulting and financial advisory company will keynote the GW School of Business’ graduation ceremony next month.

Barry Salzberg, the CEO of Deloitte Global, is the first business school speaker in four years to not have earned a degree from GW. He will speak about “leadership, career development and the value of education” on May 16, interim dean Christopher Kayes said in a statement Monday.

Salzberg said Deloitte, a partner of the school’s corporate governance project, employs many GW business school alumni.

“We look forward to further strengthening our ties to GWSB with each graduating class,” he said in the statement.

As global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Salzberg leads a network of 47 firms in more than 150 countries. He joined the Deloitte organization in 1977, and has served as global CEO for the past three years.

Gil Yancy, executive director of the business school’s F. David Fowler Career Center, said Salzberg was “uniquely positioned to speak to our students about the challenges of a global environment and their responsibilities to society.”

A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Salzberg received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Brooklyn College, his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and his master of laws from the New York University School of Law. He spoke at the graduation ceremony for Georgetown University’s business school two years ago.

He is chairman of the board of College Summit, a nonprofit that works to help low-income high school students attend college. Salzberg is also chairman of United Way Worldwide’s board of trustees and chair emeritus of the YMCA of Greater New York.

Past speakers at the business school’s graduation ceremony include senior vice president at RBC Wealth Management Steve Ross, founder and chief executive officer of Rand Construction Corporation Linda Rabbitt and Goldman Sachs managing director Lou Rosenfeld.

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Duques Hall, School of Business

The School of Business was ranked No. 59 among top undergraduate programs in the U.S. on Friday. Hatchet File Photo

The GW School of Business jumped a dozen spots in Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of top undergraduate programs Friday, its first gain in three years.

The school rose to No. 59 this year after three years of slipping in rankings, which are based on factors such as student and employee feedback as well as the average starting salary.

About 81 percent of GW’s business school graduates earned job offers, with an average salary of about $52,000. With a program cost of $47,290, it’s also the most expensive out of the 132 schools.

Businessweek also considers data such as students’ average SAT scores, the student-to-faculty ratio and the percentage of students with business-related internships.

The school’s spokesman did not return a request for comment by publication time.

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business nabbed the No. 1 spot for the fifth straight year. Six of the universities that GW considers its peers landed in the top 25 spots, including Washington University of St. Louis and New York, Georgetown, Emory, Southern Methodist and Boston universities.

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duques_file

Duques Hall. Hatchet file photo.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jacqueline Thomsen

An adviser in the GW School of Business mistakenly emailed a spreadsheet of graduating master’s students’ grade point averages and GWID numbers to three dozen students last week.

About 36 students received the email, which included information about all master of business administration students intending to graduate this spring.

Dustin Carnevale, a spokesperson for the business school, said students who received the email were quickly asked to delete it and that students were given the option to change relevant GW information.

A PIN or password is also required to access GW systems – not just a GWID number – creating “limited risk,” interim dean Christopher Kayes wrote in a letter to students.

“We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. The university is committed to protecting the security and privacy of your personal information,” he wrote.

Tapan Bhargava, an MBA student and senator in the Student Association, said students were still unhappy despite the apology from Kayes.

“Many want personal apologies and want descriptions of safeguards they are putting into place,” he said.

President of the MBA Association Greg Vallarino declined to comment, but said the group would release a statement this week.

About 1,000 students are in the school’s MBA program.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Robert Daniel Smith.

New York Times columnist David Brooks told business students Tuesday they should resist pressure to place personal ambitions above all else.

Brooks, who also appears as a commentator on the PBS NewsHour, urged students in Lisner Auditorium to embrace humility at the University’s first endowed lecture on business civility.

“We are raised in a way that emphasizes success and outer achievement,” he said, but added that the drive to succeed should not lead businesspeople to sacrifice their integrity.

He said students should build character by finding historical figures to serve as their role models and placing photographs of their idols on their desks to inspire them each day.

Brooks said American culture shifted in the 1970s from “self-effacement to self-distinction,” or from an emphasis on stifling personal ambition to perfecting one’s inner self. This shift led to the rise of “uber moms” who obsess over preparing their children for traditional colleges, he said.

Richard Blackburn, an alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees, established the annual lecture with an endowment gift to the School of Business. The lecture serves as the capstone event for the school’s first-year development program, which all freshmen are required to complete.

Blackburn, who spoke at the lecture, said civility and integrity were the building blocks of trust.

“Trust is permission to share ideas with others. It allows us to collaborate and accomplish more,” Blackburn said.

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christopher kayes

Interim business school dean Christopher Kayes led the school through its accreditation process this fall, which culminated with a campus visit this week. Photo courtesy of GW Media Relations.

The accrediting body of the School of Business has met with students, faculty and staff this week, the final leg of the school’s five-year review.

The site visit by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the last step in a years-long accreditation process, which evaluates the school’s status and mission and gives weight to the institution. The visit had been pushed back from November to give the school more preparation time after the unexpected firing former dean Doug Guthrie in August.

As the school prepared over the last few months, Provost Steven Lerman said administrators looked mainly at classroom objectives to “determine the extent to which the students have learned things that we claim are their educational outcomes.”

He said accrediting groups, like the business school association, are increasingly focusing on how well colleges are teaching students, rather than what resources colleges offer.

The school has recently expanded its learning assessments by testing students on material months after they learned it.

“If you said ‘this was the outcome,’ you ought to be able to downstream ask, ‘Are there ways to measure whether you’ve learned that or not?’” he said.

Christopher Kayes, the school’s interim dean, declined a meeting this month to discuss the school’s preparation for accreditation.

The school’s leaders completed a self-study for the business association last fall, which included three years of preparation and reports done by the school. Kayes asked the accrediting body to delay the site visit three weeks after Guthrie was fired so he would have more time to prepare the school.

Faculty said then that they feared the school’s accreditation would be in jeopardy. But after Kayes had been at the helm of the school for a few months, most said their concerns had blown over.

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The GW School of Nursing jumped into the top five online programs in the country, but the business and education schools slumped in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings Tuesday.

The School of Nursing ranked fourth, a 12-spot jump from last year, reaching the highest ranking the school has seen since forming in 2010. The school got high marks for faculty training and technology, seeing its lowest rank in admissions selectivity.

GW's online graduate programs in nursing earned a top spot from U.S. News & World Report this week, while other programs saw drops. Hatchet file photo.

GW’s online graduate programs in nursing earned a top spot from U.S. News & World Report this week, while other programs saw drops. Hatchet file photo.

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Kim Acquaviva applauded the ranking, and said it could have been bolstered by the college’s strengthening reputation.

“Because GW does have a strong name in terms of the School of Nursing online program, I think that could have been helpful,” Acquaviva said. “But if our program had been ranked 50th, I would probably feel as good about our program as I do being ranked fourth.”

She said the nursing program could continue to improve by adding technology staff to support online faculty. The University as a whole hires tech support staff, not specific colleges, she said.

The rankings come after Paul Schiff Berman, vice provost for online learning and academic innovation, announced this fall he would form a strategic plan to centralize online learning at the University.

Building strong online programs has been key to GW’s revenue-boosting strategy, as its ability to increase tuition revenue is restricted by an on-campus cap on students.

Other schools struggled to improve their online programs though.

The GW School of Business online MBA program’s ranking dropped for the second year as well, falling nearly 20 spots to No. 64. That fall adds to a number of other drops in rankings the school has seen in the last few years, including its undergraduate and global MBA programs.

The school’s former dean, Doug Guthrie, was fired in August after overspending the school’s budget by about $13 million, some of which had been invested in online degree program. The school added four online graduate degree programs in 2012.

Provost Steven Lerman has said that he expected the online programs to eventually create more revenue, but that the initial investments in the program ran high.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development saw a nine-spot drop to No. 16 this year, with high scores for student engagement and faculty credentials.

Both the business and education program’s retention rates and graduation rates fell from the 2011-2012 academic year, as its ranking fell. Associate deans for the business school and Graduate School of Education and Human Development did not immediately return a request for comment.

GW also ranked No. 56 for its online bachelor’s programs, most of which are medical programs.

Schools may have moved up and down in the rankings due to changing methodology by U.S. News, which for the first time included peer-review data based on other schools’ evaluations, and more emphasis on one-year retention rates, graduation rates and required time to graduate.

“The methodologies behind this year’s rankings changed significantly to reflect additional data and statistical processes used to do the calculations,” U.S. News reporter Devon Haynie wrote in a blog post. “These changes are the primary factors behind why schools moved up and down in the rankings.”

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christopher kayes

Management professor Christopher Kayes was named the interim dean of the School of Business Wednesday morning. Photo courtesy of GW Media Relations.

The University named a 13-year management professor as the interim School of Business dean Wednesday, about three weeks after administrators fired Doug Guthrie.

Christopher Kayes, an associate professor, will oversee the school until a permanent dean is selected, according to a University release. 

A professor in the business school as well as the College of Professional Studies, Kayes has taught at GW since 2000.

Kayes will take over a business school that was stunned last month when its three-year leader, Guthrie, was abruptly fired. Administrators said that decision was made after Guthrie overspent by $13 million – a quarter of its budget.

He will also steer the school through its accreditation process, with the school’s report due within a month.

Phil Wirtz, the vice dean of programs and education, oversaw the school’s day-to-day operations for the past three weeks. He told faculty at a meeting Monday that he did not want to be the interim dean because he was not the best person to lead the school through accreditation.

Kayes holds a Ph. D. in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University and an MBA from Butler University. He studied political science and religious studies at Indiana University.

He did not immediately return a request for comment.

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