Harvard Economist To Speak at UConn on Business Implications of Climate Change Policies

October 4, 2022

As dean of the Business School, one of my goals is to convene important conversations.

That is why I wish to invite you to join the UConn community for a presentation on climate change policy presented by Professor Robert N. Stavins, the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

A provocative speaker, Stavins’ topic is: “What Can an Economist Possibly Have to Say about Climate Change Policy?’’ His presentation begins at 4 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Dodd Center for Human Rights. The program will also be livestreamed; you can find a link here the day of the event.

“Attendees will come to understand what an economic perspective on climate change and climate-change policy has to offer,’’ Stavins said. “Business students and corporate executives should be attuned to climate-change policies because those policies will present very significant costs for some firms, and huge financial opportunities for other firms.’’

Stavins is the director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program and the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a University Fellow of Resources for the Future, and a former Chair of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Economics Advisory Board.

He directed Project 88, a national, bipartisan effort to develop innovative approaches to environmental problems. He has been a consultant to government agencies, international organizations, corporations, and advocacy groups.

In March, he will lead a week-long program on climate change, energy and policymaking for the long-term, convening policymakers and corporate leaders from around the world to discover the science, economics, and policy of climate change, as well as related aspects of energy production and use.

The School of Business is one of the many entities on campus that help to fund, publicize, and participate in this program, which is part of the Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series. The series honors the legacy of a prominent American naturalist, photographer, and writer who helped bridge the gap between the conservation and ecological movements of the 20th century. An eclectic thinker, Teale won the Pulitzer for his nature writing. In fact, his book on the pesticide DDT helped inform Rachel Carlson’s “Silent Spring,’’ which was credited for advancing the global environmental movement when it was published in 1962.

We are proud to extend his vision.

UConn is a ‘Green Campus,’ and we work to soften our carbon footprint consistently. UConn is making investments regularly to do that, although many in our community say it is too slow. The Aspen Institute, a collection of scholars, nonpartisan thought leaders, and other experts eager to address some of the world’s most complex problems, has said we are near the top in our efforts. This is a healthy tension. And conversations like this one help inform those on both sides of the debate. But that only happens when people come, listen and engage.

So please join us.

By doing so you foster your personal knowledge and growth and you underscore the importance of these issues to you and to our community.

In the School of Business, we often say that the goal of education is to help each of us reach our potential. We are here to help our students and alumni intentionally work toward that personal goal and to contribute to making the world a better place.

Please join us. You will be glad you did.


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Startup’s New Technology Could Create Faster, Less Expensive, and Better Way to Identify Disease

September 30, 2022

UConn Today – Imagine waiting 36 hours for a lab report to determine if you have sepsis, a life-threatening infection that causes inflammation throughout the body.

The team of entrepreneurs at RiboDynamics, a UConn-affiliated startup, believe they can cut that wait time to two hours with their new medical technology, which detects pathogens in biological material based on the presence of specific RNA biomarkers.

Corporate Tax Rate Report

September 22, 2022

WalletHub – Is the U.S. leaving money on the table with the current corporate tax structure?

The U.S. faces a balancing act in setting its corporate tax rate high enough to support government activities and prevent abuse, but not too high to encourage firms to shift operations overseas or to discourage business growth.

UConn Will Name New Hockey Arena the Toscano Family Ice Forum

UConn Today – In recognition of a leadership gift that continues the transformational philanthropy of University Board of Trustees chairman Dan Toscano ’87 (BUS) and his family, the new state-of-the-art ice hockey arena being constructed at UConn Storrs will bear the name Toscano Family Ice Forum.

Undergrads’ Eyewear Startup Could Take Students from ‘Cool to School’ In Mere Seconds

September 20, 2022

UConn Today – As an eyeglass wearer, one of Brian Peng’s ’24 (CLAS) biggest complaints is the time it takes for his transition lenses to adjust from sunglass to clear mode when he walks into a building.

“Like 80% of the US population, my eyes are very sensitive to light, which causes strain and headaches. Sunglasses are essential to me,’’ Peng says. “But the traditional transition lenses just don’t adjust fast enough.’’

Our New Students: ‘They Take Your Breath Away!’

September 15, 2022

It does feel like a return to normal. After two years of COVID and virtual accommodations of various types, we are mainly face-to-face, and full of energy and innovation. My colleagues and I have been deeply engaged with new students in many of our programs.

The undergraduate students are arriving in record numbers with high accomplishments behind them and noble ambitions for their futures. They are accepting our challenge to be intentional about growing and learning in the next four years. I should say 4.1 years. That is the average time to earn an undergraduate degree at UConn. It is an extraordinary accomplishment that makes us a national leader in time to earn a degree. It does not happen by accident. We must provide them with the courses they need, when they need them, and we do. But that’s just a piece of the puzzle. We guide our undergraduate students, from the earliest days, to think about their education, their goals, their interests, and the ways they can develop leadership, knowledge, and industry experience. As a result, they become distinguished candidates in the job market.

Our graduate programs have become more diverse and complex. Last week, I was privileged to welcome students into multiple programs. The Online MBA (OMBA) and the MS in FinTech (Financial Technology) are new additions to our portfolio, aiming to be responsive to the needs of our students and to the needs of industry. Our corporate partners say they need every FinTech graduate we can produce, and the incoming students see those opportunities with crystal clarity. Our Online MBA provides flexible pathways to learning. During the COVID years we evolved our virtual learning delivery capability and can now deliver world-class learning opportunities to the students who want and need this flexibility.

Our well-established programs continue to attract talent, and it was wonderful to be with them again for in-person orientations and welcome. To remind you, we have multiple targeted graduate programs that continue to attract and serve high aspiration students: MS BAPM (Business Analytics and Project Management), MSA (Accounting), MS HRM (Human Resource Management) and MS FRM (Financial Risk Management).

On another morning I had the privilege of welcoming 10 new Ph.D. students. Each of our five academic departments added two students this year. And they take your breath away! They are intelligent, accomplished, and focused future faculty members. I told them they are ‘junior partners in the firm.’ And they are. They will open new avenues of thought. They will partner with our faculty to help advance ongoing learning and growth. We are very fortunate to have the ability to attract young people with their energy, enthusiasm, and promise.

There is a narrative out there about the irrelevance of education; a claim that nothing is changing and investment in one’s human capital is misspent. I find it confusing. When I look at what we are teaching and researching today, and compare it to 20 years ago: Wow!

Just look at the names of some of the degrees we offer today: Business Analytics, Financial Technology. My colleagues in the Marketing and Information Systems department are busy scraping websites to glean important insights into human behavior. The technology and the understanding of human behavior for this work did not exist 20 years ago, and today our students are expanding and defining it every day.

Some of the young people are talking about prior events as being at the end of the last century, and they are right. Twenty-some years into the new century, the future is rich and exciting, and UConn is contributing to our understanding of this world and preparing our students to thrive in it.


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Surprise Outcomes When Little Consumer Secrets Kept From Loved Ones

August 30, 2022

UConn Today – Do you keep secrets from your loved ones, family, or friends? It turns out that many people do. Whether ordering something online and hiding the package when it arrives, hiring a cleaning service and not telling your roommate, or eating a pizza instead of dieting, we often have secret purchases that we just prefer not to divulge.