First African-American BBA graduate recalls tougher times

By Selah Maya Zighelboim

Image for post
Image for post

Peggy Drake Holland, BBA ’63, says she stepped onto the UT campus in 1958 with no preconceived notions. “I was an idealist,” she says. But when students in the hallway jostled her books to the floor the first week of class, She knew she had a long road ahead. She had graduated from the segregated Phillis Wheatley High School in San Antonio at only 16 — as valedictorian. The option to desegregate began her junior year, but most of her class had chosen to stay at their school so they could graduate together. …


When an established tech company invests in a startup, innovation suffers.

Based on the research of Francisco Polidoro Jr.

Image for post
Image for post

When a large corporation puts money into a small startup, huge innovations can result — like the rapid-fire development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The first two vaccines to win U.S. regulatory approval both came from biotech startups that had received equity investments from pharmaceutical giants:

· In January 2015, Merck took a $50 million stake in Moderna.

· In April 2020, Pfizer invested $113 million in BioNTech.

Experts regard such arrangements as a mutual win, says Francisco Polidoro Jr., associate management professor at Texas McCombs. The established company gets a stake in…


A communication expert’s advice for connecting with new people in our virtual times.

Image for post
Image for post

There’s an overused phrase that it’s not what you know — but rather whom you know — that helps us achieve success. In a time when many of us are working from home and in-person networking events are a distant memory, there are still opportunities for getting to know new people.

It’s no surprise we need strong networks to advance our careers. But, there are other reasons for networking: We can also benefit creatively from getting to know strangers, explains John Daly, TCB Professor of Management at the McCombs School of Business and Liddell Centennial Professor of Communication. …


By retooling the way vaccines are paid for, health organizations could incentivize pharmaceutical companies to get more doses to poorer countries.

Based on the research of Diwakar Gupta

Image for post
Image for post

During the past year, the pharmaceutical industry has created, tested, and won regulatory approvals for multiple vaccines to prevent COVID-19. Now, another mammoth task lies ahead: vaccinating the world.

Not just the industrialized world, but countries that can’t afford the U.S. cost of $20 per dose.

New research by Diwakar Gupta, professor of information, risk, and operations management at Texas McCombs, might give that mission a shot in the arm. …


McCombs again hit the top 20 among U.S. MBA programs with faculty research taking No. 12 worldwide.

Image for post
Image for post

Texas McCombs achieved several noteworthy ratings in the 2021 release of the Financial Times global MBA ranking.

Rising three spots from last year, the Texas McCombs Full-Time MBA program equaled its highest domestic performance with a rank of No. 19 among U.S. programs. Out of 100 ranked programs worldwide, McCombs held steady at No. 40.

The top three schools in the annual ranking were, respectively, Insead (France), London Business School, and the University of Chicago.

McCombs’ faculty research, a major ranking component, rose to No. …


As the globe continues to tackle a historic health threat, Texas McCombs researchers are studying business, drug approvals, and more.

Image for post
Image for post

With the coronavirus outbreak’s exponential spread claiming millions of lives globally — and hundreds of thousands in the United States — scientists have turned their attention to this historic health threat.

At Texas McCombs, researchers from many disciplines have also focused their efforts on addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Below, we’ve collected a list of their published and forthcoming research highlighted both here on Big Ideas and in research journals:

Facing COVID-19, Some Businesses Should Reopen Before Others

During a pandemic, research shows not all locations ought to be treated the same. Avinash Collis, assistant professor of information, risk…


McCombs alumni establish endowments for the school

John C. Goff sits in an office wearing a suit
John C. Goff sits in an office wearing a suit
John C. Goff, BBA ’77, shared with Mark Roberts, the new executive director of the McCombs Real Estate Center, his vision of making the real estate program the best in the country.

New executive director of McCombs Real Estate Center supported by John C. Goff gift

A commercial real estate expert steeped in architecture, finance, and research is the new head of the Real Estate Center at the McCombs School of Business. Mark Roberts, CFA, AIA, is the “perfect fit for the role,” says John C. Goff, BBA ’77, who endowed the John C. Goff Endowed Chair in Real Estate that supports Roberts.

As the center’s executive director, Roberts brings extensive industry experience to McCombs as a registered architect, a fellow at the Real Estate Research Institute, and a regular contributor to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries.

“My first interaction with UT was…


Letter from the dean of the McCombs School of Business

In a year as unprecedented as this one, we at the McCombs School of Business remain dedicated to our mission of transforming lives, and we, too, are being transformed in exciting ways.

Our last issue of McCombs Magazine was published in fall 2019 from a campus environment far different from this one. Change has come at a dizzying pace.

Earlier this year, President Gregory L. Fenves announced his departure from UT Austin. On June 1, Dean Jay Hartzell became interim president and was later named to the position. I stepped in as interim dean after having served in the Accounting…


James Scott applies statistical expertise in the fight against the coronavirus

James Scott stands outdoors in a suit.
James Scott stands outdoors in a suit.
IROM Professor James Scott

Rising coronavirus deaths in Texas. That’s what IROM Professor James Scott of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin began expecting back in May. Scott had co-developed a statistical model to forecast COVID-19 mortality in all 50 U.S. states and dozens of metro areas, examining social distancing behaviors using anonymized geolocation data from tens of millions of cellphones. And he could see the danger increasing after Texas began relaxing its restrictions on businesses and public gatherings. “It’s like Bob Dylan said: You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,”…


The former dean and McCombs alum is UT Austin’s new president

Jay Hartzell stands in front of the McCombs School of Business
Jay Hartzell stands in front of the McCombs School of Business
UT Austin president Jay Hartzell

Jay Hartzell, who spent nearly half of his life at the McCombs School of Business, was named the university’s 30th president in September during a time of unprecedented challenges. Hartzell is only the second McCombs dean to become UT Austin president.

“In a year that has brought us a pandemic and a host of other issues, I believe we have something to be excited about — that Jay Hartzell, a lifelong Longhorn and a world-class academic scholar, will be leading the Forty Acres,” said Kevin Eltife, BBA ’81, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents.

Kansas-born and Oklahoma-raised, Hartzell…

Texas McCombs

News, business research, and ideas from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more at www.mccombs.utexas.edu

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store