Browsing Tag


Local business, Newsroom

Sorry Packers fans, Minnesota’s got Wisconsin beat

“Wisconsin may have better football teams than Minnesota, but the Badger State is eating our dust when it comes to the economy,” the  Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development wrote on their blog last week.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Paul Tosto posted some interesting statistics and charts of key economic data from the two states and concluded Minnesota did a much better job than Wisconsin of keeping people employed during the recession and putting them back to work in the recovery.

Read more: In the economic game, Minnesota is pulling away from Wisconsin.

Ethics, Faculty, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Commentary: Romney Can’t Buy Happiness

This post, a commentary by Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D., associate professor of ethics and business law, originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Christopher Michaelson

Maybe it’s the fact that if you removed the ‘R’, “Romney” would be an anagram for “money”. It seems as though he really believes that money can buy happiness.

Economists refer to the conception of human beings as rationally self-interested actors motivated primarily by economic gain as homo economicus, or economic man. Some actually believe that in the final analysis, all we really care about is economic self-interest, and so we may as well reward profit-maximizers with hopes that there will be enough leftovers to suppress social unrest. Other economists — and, increasingly, primatologists, ethicists, and psychologists, among others — see homo economicus as representing a crude caricature of human motivation, only marginally useful as a predictor of collective action. They are convinced that human beings are curious, creative, compassionate, and cooperative social creatures who care about money as a means to a multiplicity of worthwhile human ends. Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, Environment, FTMBA, Global Business, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Olympic Games and Business Opportunities

Beijing Olympic Bird's nest

By Maria Wang, Full-time UST MBA class of 2013

The entire planet will be celebrating for the 2012 London Olympic Games in a few days. The British government should take full advantage of the business opportunities emerged from hosting and present the world an unforgettable Olympic event. There are some concrete lessons London can learn from Beijing’s recent Olympic experience – any my own attending the 2008 games.

Four years ago, China successfully hosted the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.  As a Chinese citizen, I still vividly remember the excitement I had while watching one of the games in Bird Nest that summer. Today, there is no doubt that Chinese people are benefiting from the ripple effects caused by the Olympic Games. Continue Reading

Career Services, Local business, Newsroom

Construction jobs created by Anderson buildings despite economy

Editor’s note: With the opening of the New Anderson Student Center on UST’s St. Paul Campus next Tuesday we thought this post by Kate Metzger from The Bulletin provided an interesting insight in to the local construction economy.

Anderson Student Center construction

During recessionary times, one of the industries that feels the heaviest impact is construction. But thanks to the $60 million gift from Lee and Penny Anderson to the University of St. Thomas Opening Doors Campaign, a multi-year, multi-building project has helped bolster the local economy by getting many construction workers back to work.

The completion of the Anderson Student Center caps the three-building project that has helped alleviate the negative impacts of the recent recession. During a time when few construction cranes towered over St. Paul, St. Thomas had undergone one of the largest building projects in its history.

According to numbers provided by Opus Design Build, LLC, the builder of the projects, the $66 million Anderson Student Center generated 35,800 worker days–an average 1,800 worker days per month over the course of its 20-month construction. That’s the equivalent of 90 full-time jobs. Continue Reading

Ethics, Faculty, Newsroom

‘Tis Better to Give than to Give Back

By Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D.

‘Tis the season to give back. Last year in the United States, total charitable giving of more than 2% of GDP was redistributed from wealthy corporations and the well-to-do to comparatively needy organizations and the poor whose activities do not earn them enough in the free market. Much of that giving typically occurs around the December holidays – motivated by, for example, Salvation Army bell-ringers and United Way corporate campaigns taking advantage of the holiday spirit, and by the accidental timing of tragedy: the Bam earthquake in December 2003, the Indian Ocean tsunami a year later and the Haitian earthquake that struck in January 2010. This year, in many cases, the very bankers who were blamed for the global recession will head up the lists of most magnanimous companies and individuals.

Although giving back has decreased moderately since the recession, need has grown. More Americans are living below or treacherously close to the poverty line, and over one billion people worldwide earn less than $1.25 a day. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 20% of Americans account for more than 80% of total American wealth. Many of them recognize they have more than enough for themselves and a surplus to give back; paradoxically, relatively fewer support a tax structure that would rein in the widening wealth gap. A similar surface paradox subsists in foreign aid: While the United States ranks at the top of the list in the amount of official development assistance provided to poorer nations, it is near the bottom when that total is expressed as a percentage of gross national income. Continue Reading

Centers, Environment, Ethics, Faculty, FTMBA, Newsroom

Ethics and the Economy

By Christopher Puto, Dean of the Opus College of Business

Dean PutoAs I write this, the U. S. economy is either in an extended stagnation or one of the slowest recoveries since such activities have been tracked. An important consideration for all of us in business is “what happens to ethics when the economy goes ‘south’?” The answer may not be simple.

Dan Kahneman, a psychologist who recently won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, and his late research collaborator, Amos Tversky, demonstrated that individuals tend to take more risks when they perceive themselves to be facing a loss. This finding has been replicated by countless scholars using subject populations with differing education levels and analytical skills.

When individuals in these circumstances elect risky options, these are not the “calculated risks” so often attributed to effective business leaders but rather are non-rational choices motivated more by emotions than reason. One choice extremely vulnerable to this is that of compromising one’s ethical values in order to avoid a perceived loss. Yes, good people can do bad things.

Continue Reading

Newsroom, real estate

Downs: Americans must be more Realistic for Economic Recovery

This post, from the Real Estate Matters Blog, is by Caryn Brooks, a student in the Master of Science in Real Estate program at the University of St. Thomas.


Real estate industry leaders gathered at UST on October 26, 2011 for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and to hear Tony Downs, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. The next time you are on campus, stop by the new interactive kiosk on the skyway level in Schulze Hall. This high-tech display showcases the unique stories of each Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame member. Learn how local industry leaders shaped our modern real estate landscape.

Tony Downs’ reputation precedes him. Having authored An Economic Theory of Democracy at age 27, 23 books and over 500 articles, and being an active economist at the Brookings Institution since 1977, he has seen the rise and fall of the US economy many times over. At the 2011 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the University of St. Thomas presented Downs with a Certificate of Professional Distinction. Downs presented the audience with an assortment of colorful jokes and a foreboding economic forecast.

Downs projects another 3-5 years of depressed economic conditions, due to the myriad of issues that he believes stem from Americans’ unwillingness to accept the reality of the economic situation, to make sacrifices, and to encourage realistic solutions from politicians. Continue Reading

Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Happy 20th anniversary to the World Wide Web

For business professionals, information technology has become so ubiquitous that we take it for granted.  It’s hard to imagine getting through the day without using e-mail, browsing websites, making online purchases, or connecting with friends and colleagues via social media.  Yet just 20 years ago, office technology was very, very different.

courtesy of World Wide Web Consortium

courtesy of World Wide Web Consortium

E-mail existed in 1991, but very few people outside of universities used it.  Before e-mail attachments, fax machines were the way to go when you needed to send a document to someone outside your office quickly.  If you needed to buy a plane ticket for a business trip, you looked under “Airlines” in a thick printed directory called the Yellow Pages–and picked up the phone to call the airline to book a flight.

I’m sure none of us realized on August 6, 1991 that a monumental event had just taken place–the first page on the World Wide Web had been created.  As you can see in this Time Magazine article, the first page consisted only of text and hyperlinks–no photos, no ads, no buttons to tweet or “like” the page.  You’ll also notice that the World Wide Web was abbreviated “W3” instead of the “WWW” we have become accustomed to today.

Within 5 years of the launch of the Web, the first popular browser (Netscape Navigator) had been loaded onto almost everyone’s home and work computer, and within 10 years the first internet bubble had risen to its heady heights and then crashed spectacularly.  There’s no doubt that the Web is here to stay…but it will be interesting to see where the next 20 years take us.  Happy birthday, W3!

FTMBA, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

China adds 15 companies to the Fortune Global 500

roundtableI’m in Asia this week, representing the UST MBA at The MBA Tour Roundtable workshops, events that enable MBA admissions representatives to meet with small groups of 6 to 10 prospective students.  Unlike a typical “trade show” style MBA fair, where students go from table to table to pick up brochures, the roundtable format enables students to have in-depth discussions with each participating school.  This benefits both the school and the student, as school representatives can fully explain program offerings, while students have the opportunity to ask questions and find out which schools might be a good fit for their interests.

At my first stop in Shanghai on Friday, I took a look at the Shanghai Daily newspaper left at my hotel room door in the morning.  The front page headline announced, “Chinese companies set Fortune 500 list record.”  China now accounts for 69 of the top 500 global companies by revenue, second only to the US with 133 and just ahead of Japan, which has 68.  The article notes that the US set a record with 197 companies in the top 500 in 2002, but that the number of American companies has dropped each year since then. Continue Reading

Faculty, Local business, Newsroom

Central Corridor: boon or bane for business?

As most Twin Cities residents know, construction for the long-discussed Central Corridor Light Rail project is now underway, with the line expected to be completed sometime in 2014.  While hopes are high that the billion-dollar project will bring great benefits to both Minneapolis and St. Paul, the construction phase is disrupting business as usual for many retailers along the route.Central-Corridor-Light-Rail-in-Twin-Cities-Region-Map_mediumthumb

Dr. Dave Brennan, Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence in the Opus College of Business, recently commented on the business impacts of the light rail line in an interview with the Pioneer Press.  He believes that the long-term benefits of the new transit corridor will be positive for local businesses, but that unfortunately some small businesses may not survive the disruption of business during the construction period. highlighted the actions that Central Corridor businesses are taking to combat the disruptions from construction.  Loyalty cards, discounts, and other perks are being used to lure new customers and keep existing ones visiting local businesses.  The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce has also instituted a marketing campaign to promote Central Corridor businesses called “Discover Central Corridor.”

In a related story, the Star Tribune reported that the light rail could physically damage the Capitol building in downtown St. Paul.  Apparently sections of the marble on the building, installed over a century ago, could loosen and fall due to vibrations from the light rail trains passing nearby.  The legislature has not yet decided whether or not to allocate funds to strengthen the structural integrity of the Capitol, or to defer repairs until after the Central Corridor light rail opens.