Here’s a little plug for some alumni. Trent* and Janelle Brown came to the our business convocation this past spring to talk about the success of their small business One Sweet Slice.
This is a bakery in Salt Lake City, specializing in cupcakes and wedding cakes (voted best in the city for each). And they won the show Cupcake Wars on the Food Network (see their blog). Here are some links to videos with some recipes:
* Trent took my Principles of Macro class in Fall 2004. My vivid memory of him is that he and Nate Janes convinced me to show one of the original JibJab videos, about the positions of presidential candidates Bush and Kerry, in class.
Sam is an SUU alumnus who is now in the MBA program at Wharton. He came to do a convocation for business school students in the spring.
Here’s a couple vignettes (that I’m posting here for the edification of future students). Sam got a job out of SUU for a mutual fund company, and was put on the overnight trading desk.
The scale of his trades was that he traded up to $10B a night, and on a good night made $1M for the firm (that’s an annualized rate of 3.7%).*
One time he made an oversight, and executed a trade on $25,000,000 of securities that the firm no longer owned. He did the right thing, and went to his boss and confessed. The boss was supportive: they bought the securities to make the trade good, and then zeroed out the mistaken position. Sam was lucky: the firm ended up netting $700.
I’m happy for Sam (a veteran of my FIN 4250, Advanced Managerial Finance class, from spring 2006).
* No knock on Sam, but this experience is common. Many people around the world are asked to trade such sums, and they are largely interchangeable.
The possibility became general knowledge on campus about 2 weeks ago. Then I heard that the base salary was double what it was here (Utah has the most even distribution of income of any state). So it seemed like a done deal.
Personally, I like Mike Benson. Although I’d still like to know the real reason he dropped my MBA class after one week.
Professionally, we all knew he would not be here for the long haul. He is definitely an up and out after a few years sort of guy: build your resume, and move on. In fact, I’m a little surprised that he lasted 6.5 years.
As a faculty member, I do have to admit that he raised quite a lot of money. He was easily an upgrade in that category, although I think a lot of people were sold a bill of goods that he would be able to raise a lot more.
I’m also not convinced that he didn’t just raise the easy money. He just got a big donation from the Sorensens, but they already have connections to SUU. Presumably he helped a lot in getting some money from the Eccles foundations for the Shakespeare Festival … but Eccles’ money gets showered over the state regularly. It’s not clear how much we netted from our connection to Senate Majority Leader and SUU alum Harry Reid. It’s also not clear whether Benson was able to raise more from the family of former EPA Administrator and alum Mike Leavitt than we would have gotten otherwise.
Now, he did secure a big donation for the College of Science from an alum. That helped grease the kids for a much needed second science building. For better or worse, that still didn’t bring them up to the space they need for their enrollments.
And for my home, the business school, it’s hard to see that we are in any better position post-Benson as pre-Benson.
Part of that is that Benson succeeded in getting us designated by the state as its liberal arts university. Not great for the business school, but this fits our campus environment and our reputation across the state. I wish that came with a bunch of money to upgrade our liberal arts faculty, who are notably weak in some areas.
Athletic programs benefitted greatly under Benson, and he was very honest that he wanted them upgraded. Most academics bristle at this, but I see it as a good thing: high school students just don’t come to a place like SUU because of the sparkling classroom performance of professors like me.
On the whole, I’d put him in the 70th percentile for university presidents I’ve been exposed to (you can view Benson's CV here). He raised more than enough money, he didn’t have any major scandals, he kept out of academics, and he got us some more visibility.
But I don’t think he did much of anything, and we may have even lost ground on a dimension that I brought up at the start of his tenure:
[One of my problems] is that we are the uppity school in the state system; the one that is growing fastest, the one piling up shiny new top-level accreditations, the one beating the pants off a politically connected but academically weaker nearby 4-year college. This choice smells strongly of the Regents not wanting to be bothered with us.
Six years later, we’re growing, but not the fastest. Our shiny new accreditations haven’t led to any groundswell in attendance (other than what we could pick up when everyone went back to school in 2009). And we’re still getting are butts kicked by, what is now Dixie State University, even though the state seems content to give them a name that matches the status we can back up with academics, without giving them the financial support to upgrade the academics that are supposed to go along with that name.
That was SUU’s biggest threat, it continues to be SUU’s biggest threat, and none of that changed under Benson’s tenure.
The USGS now shows 5 earthquakes (that people can probably feel) and 14 smaller ones. This includes one that popped up while I was writing this post.
These are all clustered in a very small area on the northwest side of Enoch. Basically right under the house of vX friends KQ and RQ.*
The worry is that a swarm of quakes like this can be foreshocks before a much larger quake. Let’s hope it’s just reducing stress instead of building it up.
* FWIW: the latitude and longitude figures for these quakes are just bizarre. Most of them are around latitude 37.80 N 113.13 W, with a give or take that’s almost always less than a tenth of a degree. That’s about 7 miles. Some of them are showing up separated by a few thousandths of a degree from each other. That’s a few hundred feet. But, they are all coming at different depths. Kind of fun to watch …
UPDATE: the second quake is now listed. Magnitude 3.5, a bit further to the north-northwest.
UPDATE 2: now they’re reporting a third one, a 2.9, perhaps 40 miles due west.
UPDATE 3: Mickey Mouse was here! The map shows the southwest corner of Utah, eastern Nevada, and a bit of Arizona. The two red dots on the right were within the last hour. The red dot to the left is the one in Update 2 that I did not feel. Colleague Wayne Roberts said he felt the yellow one on the right yesterday.
Here’s an example of the problem. In the linked file, the header on page 87 is at the top of a portrait page, and on page 88 it is at the top of a landscape page. But if you print those two pages out and bundle them with the pages all in portrait, the header is in two different spots.
The workaround is bizarre, but it works. Here goes:
Open your header for editing (ALT N H E).
Insert a text box (ALT N X).
Cut the header that isn’t where you want it, and paste it inside the text box.
Rotate the text inside the text box (ALT J X G).
Now here’s the weird part. Drag the text box outside of the header to wherever you want it on your page. That text box is still part of your header, but it doesn’t appear in your header.
As long as the landscape pages are in their own section, with “link to previous” turned off, this methods works like a charm.
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