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Lynn Bowes-Sperry, Jed DeVaro, Scott Fung, and Sinan Goktan Discuss the Impact of Endowed Professorships in the College of Business and Economics
Clockwise from top left: Scott Fung, Lynn Bowes-Sperry, Sinan Goktan and Jed DeVaro
Endowed professorships are a powerful tool for recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members, who then inspire students through their teaching while bringing recognition to the university through their research and publishing in top journals. Professorships are made possible by the generosity of donors who provide significant financial support to endow the positions in perpetuity, providing a stream of additional income to support the work of the outstanding faculty members. These positions provide prestige to their departments and to the entire university through the recognition of hard work, talent, and significant academic achievements.
Through the generosity of three forward-looking donors, the College of Business and Economics has established four professorships, which proudly recognize the ongoing achievement of four high-performing faculty members. In 2008, with support from Dr. Stanley Wang, a businessman and trustee of the California State University system, CBE created its first professorship and appointed Jed DeVaro as the inaugural holder of The Wang Family Endowed Professorship. Alumnus and philanthropist Dr. Jack Acosta (BS '75 Business Administration, MBA '78) and his wife Susan later pledged their generous support for three new endowed professorships, as well as an endowed scholarship, funded over several years. Beginning in 2011, CBE has proudly named three Acosta professors, Scott Fung, Sinan Goktan (named in 2014), and Lynn Bowes Sperry, our newest Acosta professor, appointed in fall 2020. Each of these professors serve CBE with distinction, continuing to earn honors for their service and research and challenging and educating students with the knowledge and passion they bring to teaching.
Endowed Professorships Create Opportunities
The gold standard for recognizing top faculty members, endowed professorships provide resources that allow them to pursue, present, and publish significant research. Endowment payouts can support pay for student assistants or travel stipends for seminars and conferences. Faculty can also use the funds to spend additional time developing curricula or do other work on behalf of their department or college.
Support Leads to Remarkable Achievements
CBE’s endowed professorships have made their mark in some exciting ways, as they describe below.
Lynn Bowes-Sperry, Jack and Susan Acosta Professor and Associate Professor, Department of Management
My goal as an Acosta Professor is to personify the College’s vision of making positive impacts on our students and communities. With regard to students, I am a faculty mentor for the College’s Women in Leadership Program, a member of the Advisory Board for the Center on Community Engagement, and worked to integrate a social justice component into our Business Ethics course. My research on harassment and bystander intervention in the workplace has positively impacted the global community through acknowledgement by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Canadian Parliament, Australian Human Rights Commission, and various media outlets. Finally, the Acosta Professorship is providing me time to conduct research with practical implications for businesses such as improving employee’s willingness and ability to “do the right thing” and take effective action when faced with ethical dilemmas at work.
Jed DeVaro, Wang Family Professor and Professor, Departments of Management and Economics
The Wang Family Professorship has been instrumental in advancing my professional goals and enhancing my international reputation. It has enabled me to present my research at prestigious international conferences, enhancing the reputation of CSUEB, the CBE, and its programs in my two departments, as well as attracting first-rate visiting scholars from Canada, Germany, Japan, and Australia. The course releases have freed up my time to focus on tackling challenging research questions that have had high impact, as well as a textbook on compensation that was published by one of the top academic publishers in the world.
Scott Fung, Jack and Susan Acosta Professor and Professor, Department of Accounting and Finance
The Jack and Susan Acosta Professorship provides invaluable support to my scholarship, research, and instructional activities at CSUEB. It supports my main goal to work with our undergraduate and MBA students through creative and experiential learning activities and engagement with industry communities, e.g., research projects, student competitions, finance lab and trading simulations, among others. Consequently, our students gained important skills, new knowledge, and learning-practicing experience related to the financial markets and industries. These activities also help our students to see what is possible for their careers and further realize their potential. We are very grateful to Jack and Susan for their tremendous support.
Sinan Goktan, Jack and Susan Acosta Professor and Professor, Department of Accounting and Finance
Jack and Susan Acosta endowed professorship has provided me with critical resources to support my teaching and research agenda in the field of entrepreneurial finance throughout the years. My research focuses on the impact of private equity with the motivation to understand how venture capital and private equity influence corporate social responsibility and governance records of the companies they fund which later turn out to be one of the most influential corporations around the world. Part of my research is motivated by the recent criticisms on some of the business practices of venture backed companies such as Uber and Facebook. Research requires time and financial resources. Investing in high impact research results in publishing papers in high quality journals which enhances the reputation of our college. I am grateful for the invaluable support received from the Acosta family.
The College of Business and Economics is grateful to Jack and Susan Acosta, who established endowments for three Acosta Professorships, and Dr. Stanley Wang, who established the Wang Family Professorship.
Jack Acosta is an influential civic and business leader. He is a trustee of the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation and serves on the College of Business and Economics Advisory Board. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by California State University in 2010. Dr. Acosta was instrumental in the growth and development of several prominent national and international companies, serving as EVP & CFO of Sybase, Portal Software, and Ungermann-Bass; and President & COO, Tanon Manufacturing, among others.
Stanley Wang has been involved in the founding and management of numerous organizations, including Pantronix Corporation and Monte Jade Science and Technology Association. His philanthropic involvement includes financing the building of schools and scholarship programs in rural areas of China; the creation of a Buddhist temple in San José, California; the formation of a scholarship fund for financially challenged students entering a university; and numerous contributions to homeless and charity programs. He also established the Wang Family Excellence Award, which annually recognizes outstanding faculty and administrators in the CSU system. Dr. Wang holds a bachelor’s degree in business/management from National Taiwan University, an MBA from Temple University, and an honorary doctorate from the California State University.
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