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Largest gift in Berkeley Haas history will transform undergraduate business program from two to four years

Berkeley, Calif.— The Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, today announced that its top-ranked two-year undergraduate business program will expand to become a four-year program, supported by the largest single gift in the school’s history.

In recognition of the $30 million gift from Haas alumnus Warren “Ned” Spieker, BS 66, and his wife, Carol, BA 66, (political science), UC Berkeley will name the Haas School’s four-year undergraduate business program the Spieker Undergraduate Business Program. The first four-year cohort of students will enroll in August of 2024.

Haas alum Ned Spieker
Ned Spieker, BS 66, and his wife, Carol, gave a record $30 million to Haas to transform the undergraduate program. Photo: Karl Nielsen

“A four-year undergraduate business experience will provide remarkable new opportunities for students,” said Ned Spieker, a Haas School Board member who is founder and former Chairman and CEO of Spieker Properties, one of the largest owner-operators of commercial property in the U.S. “My hope is that this gift will help build a program that’s second-to-none in the world, cementing Haas as the top undergraduate business school for generations to come.”

“This is a historic, game-changing investment in undergraduate business education,” said Berkeley Haas Dean Ann E. Harrison. ”We are so thrilled that Ned and Carol have made a commitment to Haas toward building the next generation of business leaders.”

Historically, students have applied to the Berkeley Haas Undergraduate Program as sophomores and enrolled as juniors. Now, prospective Berkeley students will have the option to apply directly to Haas and enter as freshmen, giving them an additional two years for deeper learning, including career development, study abroad opportunities, entrepreneurship programs, capstone projects, mentorship engagements, and internships. While the majority of undergraduates will enter as freshmen in the future, continuing UC Berkeley and transfer students may continue to apply for acceptance to the program as sophomores.

Delivering impact

The Spiekers’ gift will be used to deliver impact in five areas critical to supporting the program, including:

  • Endowing a new scholars program
    The new Spieker Scholars Program will attract the best and brightest undergraduate students. These students have challenged themselves academically throughout their high school experience and demonstrated exceptional leadership skills through athletic and co-curricular pursuits, their commitment to creating a positive social impact in their communities, and their curiosity for learning outside of the traditional academic setting. Spieker Scholars, three to four chosen per class, will receive significant financial support and enrichment opportunities. In addition to the Spieker Scholars Program, this gift will fund an expansion of the scholarships available for students who may have financial barriers to attending UC Berkeley.
  • Building outreach and support
    Outreach efforts will be expanded to ensure that high-performing students from all backgrounds consider Haas. A first-year academic advisor will work with admitted students, providing the knowledge and resources required to navigate the university system. Students will also have access to preparatory courses that will build their foundational knowledge around business concepts and strengthen their quantitative skills.
  • Creating a life-changing student experience
    Haas will increase staffing for academic and admissions advising, mental health services and support, marketing and admissions, alumni outreach, and student orientation. These additional touchpoints will ensure that undergraduate students are maximizing their time within the ecosystem of Berkeley Haas and developing deep relationships with the alumni community.
  • Providing new co-curricular opportunities
    Funds will be used to support student activities such as experiential learning workshops, international research, travel opportunities, social gatherings, student conferences and competitions, and additional leadership opportunities.
  • Enhancing classroom technology and infrastructure
    To provide students a state-of-the-art learning experience, classrooms in Cheit Hall, where many undergraduate students take classes, will be upgraded with the latest audio, visual, and media equipment.

A crucial role in campus planning

Ned Spieker, who is also founder and chairman of Continuing Life communities, which operates large-scale communities for seniors in California, met his wife, Carol, at UC Berkeley. Their four children are Cal grads. Carol Spieker, an Emeritus Trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation, has served on the governing board of Filoli, a National Historic Trust property, and as chairman of the board of Sacred Heart Schools.

For years, Ned Spieker has played a crucial role in Haas campus planning, convincing the administration of the importance of maximizing its campus footprint. Spieker served as a catalyst and champion for the construction of Haas’ newest building, Chou Hall. Recently, Spieker shifted his efforts to the undergraduate program.

The undergraduate program has added three multidisciplinary programs and one minor outside of the core program over the past several years. The new programs include:

Early support

The expanded four-year undergraduate program has also received a number of gifts from other generous supporters, which helped bring the total raised so far to more than $45 million (including the Spieker gift). Early supporters include Janelle Grimes, BA 86, (political science), and Michael Grimes, BS 87, (electrical engineering and computer science). Michael Grimes, the M.E.T. program’s founding donor, played an instrumental role by working with Berkeley Haas as a founder of the four-year undergraduate program. Additional program supporters include Steve Etter, BS 83, MBA 89; Maria and Gene Frantz, BS 88; Joanne and Jon Goldstein, BS 82; Melissa and Clif Marriott, BS 99; Adria and Brian Sheth; Roshni and Jagdeep Singh, MBA 90; and Melody and Jerry Weintraub, BS 80, MBA 88.

The Berkeley Haas Undergraduate Program was founded in 1898, the same year the business school (then called the College of Commerce) was established. As the second-oldest business school in the United States, Berkeley Haas provides research, thought leadership, and talent development to lead the way to a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Read an FAQ about the new program here.

 

Three alumni business leaders named as undergraduate & MBA commencement speakers

QuantumScape CEO and Co-founder Jagdeep Singh, EWMBA 90, will speak at the combined Berkeley Haas Full-Time and Evening & Weekend MBA commencement ceremony, and corporate leader, entrepreneur, and author Aaron McDaniel, BS 05, will address undergraduates at commencement.

Both ceremonies will be held at the Greek Theatre, with the undergrads tossing caps on Monday, May 16, and the FTMBA and Evening & Weekend MBA students graduating together on Saturday, May 21. 

A makeup commencement for the full-time MBA classes of 2020 and 2021—who had to forego in-person ceremonies during the pandemic—will be held Friday, April 29, at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. Laura Clayton McDonnell, MBA/JD 85 and a senior vice president of sales for the East, Canada, and Latin America regions at ServiceNow, will address the graduates.

Additionally, the PhD hooding ceremony will be held May 6, and Executive MBA commencement will be held June 4. Laura Adint, EMBA 14, an operations and strategy executive, is the commencement speaker.

Jagdeep Singh, EWMBA 90, to speak at FTMBA/EWMBA commencement

Jagdeep Singh headshot
QuantumScape CEO Jagdeep Singh

Singh is co-founder and CEO of QuantumScape, an energy storage company that supports the global transition toward a lower carbon future.  

Prior to founding QuantumScape, Singh was co-founder and CEO of Infinera Corp, a telecommunications equipment company and developer of the first large-scale, photonic integrated circuit. He led the company from startup through an IPO.  

Previously, he was founder and CEO of Lightera Networks, acquired by CIENA Corp. Before that, he founded and led several communications companies, including OnFiber and AirSoft. 

Singh is also founder and CEO of Deep Valley Labs, a venture laboratory and incubator focused on a hypothesis-driven approach to founding, validating, and spinning out high-impact technology companies. 

He holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University, and an MBA from Berkeley Haas.

Aaron McDaniel, BS 05, named 2022 undergraduate commencement speaker

Aaron McDaniel headshot
Aaron McDaniel, founding partner at Grow Scale.

McDaniel, BS 05, is a former AT&T sales executive, serial entrepreneur, and has been an entrepreneurship lecturer at Berkeley Haas for the past five years.

He began his career at AT&T and rose to regional vice president of sales at age 27, among the youngest at the company to do so. In this role, he managed a team of more than 60 people and oversaw all sales operations, IT support, and data and mobility solutions for small- and medium-sized companies. He graduated from AT&T’s flagship Leadership Development Program and was a member of AT&T’s Diamond Club for the top 1% of sales leaders worldwide. 

McDaniel went on to found and sell three companies, including Pong360, an e-commerce company that sells college and tailgating products; Tycoon Real Estate, a real estate crowdfunding platform; and Velocity Capital Group, a real estate private equity firm. 

He is currently  a founding partner at Grow Scale, a commercial real estate private equity firm, and co-founder of 10X Innovation Lab, a Silicon Valley-based consulting agency that offers entrepreneurship programs and services to government and corporate leaders.

Tapping his expertise as a sales executive and entrepreneur, McDaniel has authored three self-help books, including The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World, The Young Professional’s Guide to Managing, and Global Class, forthcoming this fall. It explores how the world’s fastest-growing companies expand globally.

Laura Clayton McDonnell, MBA/JD 85,  will speak to MBA classes of 2020 & 2021

Laura Clayton McDonnell photo
Laura Clayton McDonnell, senior vp at ServiceNow.

McDonnell is senior vice president of sales for the East, Canada, and Latin America regions at ServiceNow, and serves on the board of directors of Zuora.

With extensive sales management, global experience, and legal expertise, McDonnell has held executive positions at leading companies in the high-technology industry as vice president of Microsoft’s New York region; senior vice president of North American sales at at Aspect Software; vice president of strategic services at IBM; and vice president of business development at Rational Software. She’s also held various senior sales and legal roles at Sun Microsystems, Cisco, and Apple and practiced private, corporate, and securities law.

McDonnell received a BS with distinction from San Jose State University, and an MBA/JD from Berkeley Haas. She was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and the State of California.

She received the 2008 YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award and serves on the board of directors and membership committee of the Women’s Forum of New York and is a member of Women’s United of the United Way of New York City. She’s also an advisory committee member of the 92Y Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact.

Haas emergency closure update

Haas courtyard after water main break
Flooding in the Haas Courtyard after the water main break Monday. Photo: Kellie McElhaney

The Berkeley Haas campus remains closed following a break in a water main Monday that caused flooding on the stairs below Cronk Gate.

In a message to the Haas community Tuesday, Dean Ann Harrison and COO Courtney Chandler wrote:

  • Both water and electricity remain turned off on the Haas campus as crews work to inspect both equipment and our buildings for damage.

  • Yesterday’s flooding reached the high voltage room. Fortunately, the crew was able to turn off power before the water reached the main electrical equipment.

  • Cleanup of the courtyard is underway, but it remains closed.

Your safety is our top priority. We do not know yet how long our buildings will need to remain closed. You should plan on classes remaining remote for right now. We ask that staff and faculty continue to work remotely as well. We will email you tomorrow to provide an update for the remainder of the week.

We are so grateful to the emergency crews who immediately came to our assistance and have been working throughout the day.  And we are so grateful to all of you for your cooperation and your patience.

Full enrollment restored at Berkeley Haas 

In light of new legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Berkeley Haas will no longer reduce its enrollment by 70 students across its three MBA programs and the MFE program.

Per the UC Berkeley statement, sent late yesterday:

With the legislation passed and signed by the governor, the university will return to its original admissions/enrollment targets. In late March, as originally planned, we will extend admissions offers to more than 15,000 incoming freshmen and then to more than 4,500 transfers in mid-April.

The mitigation plans we previously announced and described are no longer needed and will not be implemented. All offers of admission will be for in-person only, as originally planned.

We will still have spring start admits — that occurs every year — but it will not be the significantly higher number the mitigation planning called for.

The approximately 400 graduate school enrollment slots will also be reinstated, in full.

Viva la mujer: A Women’s History Month message from Chief DEI Officer Élida Bautista

This month, as we celebrate Women’s History Month and prepare to mark International Women’s Day on March 8, we are called on to imagine a world where women across all intersectional identities have equal access to opportunities, income, safety, political representation, and choices.

Viva la Mujer image by Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes
“Viva La Mujer” graphic image credit: Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes

Throughout our history, despite seemingly insurmountable barriers, women across the globe have strived and sacrificed to be seen for our capabilities, and fairly valued for our contributions. Women of all intersectional identities have organized and been a part of many movements to gain equal rights, and to advocate for reforms that impact everyone, including safe working conditions and labor practices, improved accessibility for people with disabilities, obtaining and protecting voting access, and other civil rights. However, women—here in the U.S. and around the world—continue to face epidemics of sexual and gender-based violence and harassment.

Yesterday, President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration Act, a landmark piece of legislation spurred by the #MeToo movement, ending the use of hidden language in contracts that prevented employees from suing in the case of sexual assault or harassment. It is a victory, with so many more battles ahead.

March 24 is All Women’s Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how far into the new year women must work to be paid what men were paid the previous year. On average, women are paid 82 cents for every dollar men are paid. Disaggregating the data shows a deeper disparity.

Asian American women are paid 85 cents for every dollar white men earn, making March 9 their Equal Pay Day. For Black women, Equal Pay Day doesn’t come until August; for Native American women, it’s September. For Latinas, the date comes near the end of October, with their average pay being 57 cents for every dollar paid to white men. The disparities do not stop there.

Women with disabilities make 72 cents for every dollar paid to men with disabilities; but as a whole, people with disabilities make only 68 cents for each dollar earned by able bodied people. Mothers earn 75 cents for every dollar fathers make.  There is not precise national data on equal pay for lesbian, bisexual, queer, or trans women, indicating our need to advocate to include all of our sisters in the data.

Important research insights uncovered by our faculty point to real-world solutions to pay inequity. In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Professor Laura Kray and post-doc scholar Margaret Lee highlighted their findings that women are given smaller teams to manage on average than men, which contributes to the pay gap; Kray is working with Dean Harrison to dig into why the pay gap between men and women MBA graduates increases over time. Assistant Professor Solène Delecourt is studying inequities in business performance; three of her recent studies have pinpointed the factors that cause women-owned businesses to underperform men’s around the world, and how that can be fixed. Former Dean Laura Tyson was the co-author of a key UN report on women’s economic empowerment. Kellie McElhaney, founding director of the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL) and EGAL Assistant Director Genevieve Smith co-authored a teaching case focused on the importance of pay transparency in closing the gap.

We know the progress toward equity took a giant step backwards during the pandemic. By the end of January, men in the U.S. had regained all of the jobs they had lost since February 2020. But 1.1 million women who left the labor force during the same time had yet to return, pointing to long-standing structural inequities (with caregiving responsibilities topping the list) that make it harder for women to return to work. Recognizing that women in heterosexual dual-career couples, with or without children, still do most of the household/care work, EGAL developed 7 evidence-based ‘plays’ to support dual career couples. 

Burnout brought on by the pandemic has pushed many women to reevaluate and identify new approaches to career and personal life. That re-evaluation is the focus of this weekend’s “Re:set, Re:imagine, and Re:build,” the 26th annual Women in Leadership Conference at Haas. Conference organizers intentionally have integrated intersectional identities throughout the program. The conference will be held tomorrow, March 5, in Chou Hall’s Spieker Forum. You may register here.

We have incredible representation of women in senior leadership roles at Berkeley Haas, including our Dean, our chief operating officer, our chief financial officer and several assistant deans and program directors. Yet we have more work to do to achieve balanced gender representation among our faculty and students. Our senior leaders are working to continue to foster a climate of belonging, and strategizing on outreach, recruitment, and yield to increase representation of women among our faculty and students.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and its theme #BreaktheBias, I treasure all of the accomplishments of women around the world and I am grateful to have benefitted from the progress achieved by those who came before me. I also realize that “la lucha sigue” (the struggle continues), as we say in my community. Women with multiple marginalized identities often have even longer, bumpier roads to travel.

We each have the responsibility to continue unlearning the gender bias we have absorbed throughout our lives and we must hold ourselves accountable at an individual level. We have the power to use our leadership to create structural changes at all levels. Collectively, working together, let’s #BreaktheBias.

Sí se Puede,

Élida

Resources for further learning:

Promoting an Equitable Learning Environment

Stop AAPI Hate

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

National Domestic Workers Alliance 

Male allyship at work

81cents Pay Equity Advisors

Equal Pay Day 2022

“Viva La Mujer” image credit: Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes

Two Haas programs ranked in top five by TFE Times

The Berkeley Haas MFE Program ranked #1 again among financial engineering programs in The Financial Engineer (TFE) Times for the seventh year in a row. In a separate ranking TFE Times also ranked the Berkeley Haas Full-time MBA Program #5 among MBA programs in the U.S.

TFE Times’ MFE ranking methodology is primarily based on data provided by participating schools and its ranking weighs admissions components (55%), career outcomes (40%), the number of courses available, and research expenditures (2.5%). 

The full-time MBA program has ranked #5 for the last two years of TFE’s Best MBA Program Rankings. The methodology for the MBA ranking is similar to that of the MFE ranking and applies 60% to admissions components and 40% to career outcomes.

Financial Times ranks Haas full-time MBA No. 9 in US

The Haas School of Business again ranked #9  among U.S. peers in the 2022 Financial Times Global Full-time MBA Ranking, and #14 globally (tied with NYU Stern). 

Haas alumni achieved the 4th highest salaries in the world, reporting a weighted average annual salary of  $207,853 three years after graduation. 

The ranking is based on a survey of full-time MBA alumni three years after their MBA (Class of 2018) and on data provided by participating schools. Data on alumni, especially current alumni salaries, accounts for more than 55% of the ranking. 

The Financial Times introduced a new metric in this year’s ranking: overall satisfaction based on a variety of inputs from the alumni surveyed. Haas scored 9.51 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing the highest satisfaction.

In 2020, Haas ranked #8 among US peers and #12 globally. Haas did not participate in the 2021 ranking due to the pandemic.

Dr. Élida Bautista: ‘Why Black History Month continues to be necessary to our collective learning’

A message to the Haas community from Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Élida Bautista on the significance of Black History Month.

Lexi Watson, 10, of Flint, Mich., smiles as she shouts out with joy with Amethyst, an elite dance company, while marching in one of two Juneteenth parades in June 2021 in downtown Flint. (Jake May | MLive.com) Jake May
Elida Bautista
Élida Bautista, Chief DEI Officer at Haas

Every February, the U.S. marks Black History Month to celebrate the unique contributions and achievements of African Americans and the Black community in the creation and building of the United States.

In 1926, the historian and scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson sought to encourage the teaching of Black history in public schools and became the driving force behind the first Negro History Week. It would be celebrated during the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the Black statesman, intellectual and formerly enslaved man who became a leader in the fight to end slavery. The timing was an intentional signal by Woodson to underscore both Black excellence and the role of allies. Following a grassroots movement that stretched across decades and college campuses, President Ford in 1976 provided federal recognition that Black History is American History. 

As I reflect on the legacy of this month, I think of the significant impact and imprint made by those who influenced my personal and academic journey, whether as mentors or as researchers, and whose theories continue to inform my work.

We also see the impact in the research coming from our Haas faculty. A new study co-authored by Associate Professor Amir Kermani identifies the deeply structural reasons why Blacks and Latinos profit less from homeownership than whites; two studies by Assistant Professor Drew Jacoby-Senghor and PhD student Derek Brown found that people inadvertently signal prejudice in the language they choose, and that members of the majority misperceive even “win-win” diversity policies as harming them. A study co-authored by Assistant Professor Conrad Miller showed that racial profiling in traffic stops not only causes harm, but makes police less effective. 

As I reflect on the legacy of this month, I think of the significant impact and imprint made by those who influenced my personal and academic journey

We all gain from those who boldly name their experiences of exclusion and marginalization. We owe much to those who propose pathways toward liberation and empowerment, recognizing our collective responsibility and mutual benefit as we progress toward equality. 

Right now, we are seeing why Black History Month continues to be necessary to our collective learning and understanding. From the challenges to voting rights to the calls to restrict schools from teaching about our nation’s racial past, we are constantly reminded of the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” Contributions by leaders, inventors, and cultural icons across a variety of industries continue to be overlooked, omitted from our typical education and public discourse and, at times, vilified. On the first day of this Black History Month, at least 13 historically Black colleges and universities reported bomb threats.

From the challenges to voting rights to the calls to restrict schools from teaching about our nation’s racial past, we are constantly reminded of the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

As you make time to reflect on this heritage month, you will find that the Black community has not only shaped U.S. history and culture, but also global movements. Regardless of your personal identity, my hope for you is that you will find the points of connection in your own journey.

Throughout the month, we encourage you to engage in your own self-directed learning or take advantage of the offerings by Haas students and staff, the Cal Black Alumni Association, and campus to honor the month. The Black Staff Faculty Organization, in partnership with the Haas DEI team, will be co-sponsoring virtual tours of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum throughout the month, with a special lecture planned February 14 from museum curator Dr. Khalid el-Hakim on “The 5th Element of Hip Hop: Using Artifacts to Teach Black History.” Click here to register. 

For the Black community, this month creates an opportunity to feel seen and celebrated, and to come together in joy to restore health and wellness, the theme of Black History Month this year. In her message to campus, Dania Matos, UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, underscored the value of the Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center as a space for community building. One of the center’s offerings is The Well, “where Black folx come to heal,” along with other programming to serve you throughout the year. Here’s to Black History Month, and to Black Futures!

Master of Financial Engineering Program ranked #2 by Quantnet

The Berkeley Haas Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) Program returned to the #2 ranking in this year’s Quantnet survey of US financial engineering programs. It ranked #5 for the two prior years.

Higher employment scores and starting salaries for the March 2021 graduates were key factors in this ranking.

Quantnet bases 55% of its ranking on employment outcomes, including employment rate at graduation (10%), employment rate three months after graduation (15%), average starting salary and sign-on bonus (20%), and an employer survey score (10%). Student selectivity accounts for 25% of the ranking, and a peer assessment score for 20% of the ranking.

Find a full report at Quantnet.com. In comparison, the Berkeley Haas MFE continues to rank #1 in TFE (The Financial Engineer) Times.

Junaid Lughmani: Starting my MBA as a country I love collapses

Man with Afghan flag
Photo by: Robert Michael/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Junaid Lughmani, MBA 23, found himself torn between two worlds last week, trying to stay focused on MBA orientation as he grappled with heart-wrenching sadness over the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Lughmani, a first-generation American of Pashtun origin, worked as an interpreter in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2011. He served as a liaison between the U.S. and Afghan governments, conducting interrogations and gathering intelligence on the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Three years later, he returned with the U.S. Army Infantry Rifle Platoon, leading multiple combat missions. 

He sought an MBA with a plan to return to Afghanistan and invest in entrepreneurs. Now, he is desperate to help.

In this edition of Haas Voices, Lughmani shares his grief, anger, and frustration as he watches what is happening.

Junaid Lughmani
Junaid Lughmani

More than a week after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, my mind continues to dwell in a state of shock. The hard-fought years spent alongside our Afghan partners to build a better future for the country catastrophically unraveled in a matter of days.

That sense of helplessness I felt as I watched is something I will never forget.

But I don’t waste time discussing the tragedy in terms of the failure of politicians. My heart is with the Afghan people. With my people. Words cannot convey how sorry I am for the Afghans who will once again have to endure the brutality and humiliation of the Taliban. I’m sorry for Afghanistan’s little ones, especially its daughters, whose promise of a bright future has been snatched from them. I am sorry for the 20 million Afghan women whose lives will become shuttered and oppressed, their voices now silenced. I am sorry for the brave teachers who risked death by creating opportunities for the nation’s youth, their dreams of living in a more prosperous society now indefinitely postponed. I am sorry for the courageous Afghan soldiers and police officers who fought to defend their country, but are now in hiding as the Taliban seeks vengeance.

To those who criticized the Afghan security forces within the past week from the safety of your living rooms, please reserve judgement. You have no idea (or maybe, sadly, you do) what Afghan service members endured over the past 20 years, in a climate of vast corruption and inconsistent policy. None of us know how we would fare under those circumstances.

Monday morning, the first day of MBA orientation, I woke up confused and angry over our government’s abandonment of Afghanistan. My mind raced: What was the point of entering the country in the first place? For what purpose did we liberate Afghans from the tyranny of the Taliban, just to have the terror group unleashed upon the citizens 20 years later? Were there any thoughts of the military families who endured deployment after deployment?  If not for them, then what about for the Afghan and American lives (and limbs) lost in war?

Monday morning, the first day of MBA orientation, I woke up confused and angry over our government’s abandonment of Afghanistan.

I sent a plea for help to the Haas veterans’ WhatsApp group chat. As a club, we needed to take a stand and express solidarity with the Afghan people. The responses multiplied within minutes, and by noon the Haas Veterans Club released a statement expressing firm support of the Afghan population. I shared the statement with a friend in Kabul and, upon reading it, she was overcome with emotion.

Like many Afghans, she feels abandoned and alone. In this grim moment of history, words matter, solidarity matters, and empathy matters. A simple statement from a student club at a Northern Californian school brought a breath of solace to someone trapped in hell on the other side of the world.

Once the statement was complete, I rushed to orientation. The only seat open was right smack in the middle of the first row of Andersen Auditorium. My mind was in a fog. My body was safe in the auditorium, but my head was with the chaos in Afghanistan. Under this terror regime, how many Afghans would lose the opportunity to start their own education journeys? How many would have to spend the next who-knows-how-many years of their lives fighting for their survival, instead of writing a thesis or forming study groups?

Junaid with boy wearing Yankees hat
Junaid Lughmani served in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.

Eric Askins, the MBA Admissions Director, began his orientation remarks by saying, “Our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan and Haiti.” Immediately, I broke. I could not control the tears streaming down my face. Spotlighted in the front row, I buried my chin in my chest, hoping no one would notice. Matthew McGoffin, my roommate and also a veteran, was sitting next to me. He could feel my leg shaking uncontrollably. He put his hand on mine, and thankfully, I was able to gather myself enough to keep my head down and out of sight.

The past week has been a nightmare. The Afghan diaspora and veterans are sad and angry. The veterans who deployed to Afghanistan are ashamed. No one is sleeping. We simply can’t. Every phone call is an opportunity to help someone in need, to save their life, or to save their family. We can’t afford to miss one call, one text, or one desperate cry for help. For the past 20 years, we were there with the Afghans. We fought with them, served with them, ate food with them, laughed with them. They opened their homes and their lives and their hearts to us. Now, in this dire time, we can do nothing to defend them.

For the past 20 years, we were there with the Afghans. We fought with them, served with them, ate food with them, laughed with them.

The guilt eats at our consciences. Politicians in both countries have first and foremost deeply betrayed the Afghan people. But the betrayal also extends to the veterans who proudly served in Afghanistan; those who sacrificed their blood and souls to this country.

Junaid in Afganistan
Junaid Lughmani, MBA 23, wants to return to Afghanistan to help entrepreneurs.

Soon, all foreign troops will leave Afghanistan. By the time pumpkin spice lattes hit the menu at Starbucks, news headlines will shift focus to the next world event. The public will forget about Afghanistan. The most maddingly frustrating part of this calamity is that we were so close to healing the country from the first Taliban reign. Afghan children attended school. Women played an active role in Afghan society. Billboards were adorned with images of pop stars and the country’s sports heroes. There was even a coding school for girls, “Afghan Girls Code,” and an entrepreneurial ecosystem developing. I had plans to return to Afghanistan after finishing my MBA program as an investor in the country’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

I fear now that all of this progress is stalled.

Instead, I hear the cries of my Afghan brethren through tinny cell phones and the cold distance of text messages. I rest here safe in monotone, while they burn in chaotic color. I just want to be in Afghanistan again, with my people. I know the horror that lies ahead for them, yet I also know firsthand the resilience of the Afghan people.

Insha’Allah (God willing), I will be with them again. Whatever it takes, I am determined to make that happen.

US News ranks all three Berkeley MBA Programs in top 10 

Student walking in front of Haas sign
Photo: Noah Berger

The Berkeley Haas Full-time MBA Program ranked #7 and the Evening & Weekend MBA Program ranked #2 among part-time programs again in the US News & World Report, released today. The Berkeley MBA for Executives ranked #8 among executive MBA Programs.

In the top 10 specialty rankings, Haas placed:

#8 in Business Analytics

#4 in Entrepreneurship

#8 in Executive MBA

#7 in Finance

#9 in International (tied with Saint Louis University–Chaifetz)

#4 in Nonprofit

#3 in Real Estate

The full-time MBA rankings are based on data provided by participating U.S. schools and on polls of business school deans and directors of accredited MBA programs, as well as surveys of corporate recruiters and company contacts. The score is calculated from placement success and starting salary (35%), student selectivity (25%), a peer poll (25%), and the average of the last three years of recruiter polls (15%).

Part-time MBA rankings are based on data from participating schools and on polls of business school deans and directors of accredited part-time programs. The score is calculated from  the peer polls (50%), student selectivity (27.5%), work experience (10%), and percent of MBA students who are enrolled part-time (12.5.).

The specialty and the executive MBA rankings are based entirely on polls of business school deans and directors of accredited MBA programs.

The EWMBA ranked #2 for the third year in a row. The Full-time MBA ranked #7 for 13 of the last 14 years. The Berkeley MBA for Executives ranked #7 for the last two years.

View the full report here. (log-in may be required).

Four new senior leaders join Berkeley Haas

Berkeley Haas has rounded out its leadership team, welcoming new hires in the areas of finance, alumni development, human resources, and sustainability.

The group of newly-appointed leaders includes:

Loretta Ezeife, Chief Financial Officer

Loretta Ezeife, chief financial officer
Loretta Ezeife, chief financial officer

Loretta Ezeife comes to Berkeley Haas with 20 years experience in financial planning and management in both the public and private sectors. Ezeife, who grew up in both Oakland and Nigeria, has worked for both private and public institutions, serving in management and financial leadership positions at Chevron, McKesson, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Kaiser Permanente.

In 2010, she transitioned to the public sphere, working for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley’s Parking & Transportation Department, Recreational Sports, and Student Affairs divisions, and University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR).

In her new role as CFO, Ezeife says she’s excited to collaborate with the Haas senior leadership team to develop sustainable financial strategies to emerge strong from the COVID-19 crisis.

Ezeife has a bachelor’s in accounting from California State University, Hayward, an MBA from Golden Gate University, and a doctorate in business administration from Walden University.

Howie Avery, Assistant Dean for Development & Alumni Relations

Howard Avery
Howard Avery, assistant dean for Development & Alumni Relations

Howie Avery arrives with more than 18 years of fundraising experience at several top-tier public universities. Most recently, he served as assistant vice president for advancement and campaign director at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. In his role, Avery was the senior leader for principal and major gifts, reunion giving, corporate and foundation relations. He also managed the school’s $400 million campaign.

Prior to joining Darden, Avery served in several leadership roles at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, including managing the College of Law’s successful seven-year Campaign for Tennessee, and securing the funds for a building project at the Haslam College of Business. Avery began his development career at the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas, Austin.

Michele de Nevers, Executive Director of Sustainability Programs

Michele de Nevers, who has had a long career in leadership positions for environment and climate change programs in developing countries, is taking on a newly established role as executive director of Sustainability Programs.

De Nevers’ work spans a wide range of environmental issues from biodiversity to industrial pollution to climate finance to carbon removal and storage.

Michelle de Nevers
Michele de Nevers, executive director of Sustainability Programs

De Nevers joins Haas from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (Barcelona Institute for International Studies) where she was a visiting professor and taught a highly-rated course on International Climate Change Policy to graduate students from all over Europe and the world.

Prior to teaching at IBEI, de Nevers was a senior associate at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington, DC, where she headed its climate change program and led a team working to establish the Tropical Forest Finance Facility, a multilateral wealth fund and pay-for-performance mechanism to finance reduced deforestation of tropical forests.  She continues to work with CGD as a non-resident fellow on climate issues.

Before joining CGD, de Nevers was a visiting fellow at the Global Economic Governance Programme at University College, Oxford, researching private investment for climate finance and economic development.

From 1981 to 2010 she worked for the World Bank, including as senior manager of the Environment Department and director at the World Bank Institute. She managed environment programs in the Latin America and Eastern Europe/Central Asia regions.  In the Environment Department, she managed preparation of the World Bank’s corporate Environment Strategy and led the global consultations on its Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change.

From 1976  to 1978, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, where she worked in public health and family planning.

De Nevers holds an MS in Management with a concentration in finance from MIT, a BA in Bacteriology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a certificate in executive education from the Harvard Business School.

Michelle Marquez, Assistant Dean of Human Resources

Michelle Marquez, Assistant Dean of Human Resources
Michelle Marquez, assistant dean of Human Resources.

Marquez brings 13 years of experience working in operations, administration, and human resources to her role as assistant dean of Human Resources for Berkeley Haas.

Marquez, a Central Valley native, comes to haas from City College of San Francisco (CCSF), where she was senior director of human resources. Prior to CCSF, she served in leadership positions within the California community college system, as vice president of administrative services for the San Mateo County Community College District, and vice president of administrative services at Cañada College.

Marquez says one of her goals is to dive deeper into the Berkeley Haas culture using the Defining Leadership Principles as a guide. Another goal is to explore and review HR practices and procedures through a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens.

Marquez holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and is working on a doctorate with Grand Canyon University in industrial and organizational psychology.

A message from Black MBA students: “a time of grief for us”

In response to the violence against Black and African-American people and the wave of protests and unrest across the country, we’re sharing some of the perspectives of our Black students, staff, faculty, and alumni.

Malaysia Hammond, 19, places flowers at a memorial mural for George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. AP Photo: John Minchillo

Dear Haas Community,

This has been a time of grief for us, your black classmates, as we were reminded in multiple ways about the dangers of being a black person in this country.

The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery reminded us that our lives are less valued in this country. When we are killed, it is often without consequence. Our deaths are only seen as tragedies if it is determined that we have lived blameless lives. Our claims of racism are only taken seriously when they’re recorded.

We watched as a liberal white woman attempted to weaponize the New York Police Department against Christian Cooper, a black man, by feigning assault after he asked her to leash her dog. This reminded us that the people who perpetuate racism—and the people who suffer from it—are not limited by educational achievement (both had degrees from prestigious institutions), by region, or by political affiliation.

Finally, we are seeing that COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting black communities: this is due to systemic disparities in healthcare access, historical discrimination resulting in adverse social determinants of health, and our outsized role in “essential” service industry jobs.

As black people, even being students in positions of privilege, we are deeply aware that we and our loved ones face a different set of risks than others. We also know that these incidents are not the only ones — they are just the ones that made headlines.

As black people, even being students in positions of privilege, we are deeply aware that we and our loved ones face a different set of risks than others.

We’re thankful for the acknowledgement, resources, and programming already provided by Dean Ann Harrison, our MBAA, the DEI Office, and the Program Office. We’re also thankful for the support that we’ve already received from our classmates and other members of our Haas community, through in-person messages, and on Slack.

If you are wondering how you can help, please consider the following:

  • Ask us how we’re doing. We may not want to talk much, but we will appreciate your concern for us. Please do not try to engage us in political or intellectual discussions at this
  • Read and listen to black perspectives on recent events — especially if you don’t like to talk about race in America. Understanding is an important step to empathy, and black perspectives on the meaning of this moment are easily accessible on the news and social media. For even more context on race in America, the Race Inclusion Initiative’s Resource Library has a ton of information.
  • Share with your friends and family what you learn. If you are angry, tell your non-black family and friends. Plan and organize how you’ll practice being an ally to the black people you know
  • Donate to an organization that contributes to racial equity. A few examples are below, but there are more.
  • The Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
  • Please see this article with suggestions on where to donate money to organizations that support the protesters’ cause. (This is not an official endorsement of these organizations).

Thank you,

Black Students at Haas

Year in review: Top Berkeley Haas stories of 2019

It was a big year at Berkeley Haas. We welcomed the school’s first new dean in more than a decade, continued our run in the top 10 in all rankings, and launched several new boundary-spanning programs. Our faculty broke new ground and were honored with numerous awards, and we also mourned the loss of several luminaries. The school was also recognized for its stellar sustainability efforts at our new building.

Going into the 2020, our culture—truly at the heart of Haas—will continue to take center stage. Here are a dozen of our highlights from 2019.

1. New year, new dean

Dean Ann Harrison
Dean Ann Harrison | Copyright Noah Berger 2018

On January 1, former Wharton economics professor Ann Harrison “came home” to Berkeley to serve as the 15th dean of Haas. Harrison was a double major in history and economics at UC Berkeley before going on to earn a PhD in economics from Princeton. She also served as a professor of UC Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics from 2001 to 2011, and was the former director of development policy at the World Bank.

2. Fresh insights and groundbreaking research

Illustration of a satellite orbiting the earth

From the first-ever analysis of how hedge funds use satellite images to beat Wall Street, to a finding that information acts on the brain’s dopamine receptors in the same way as snacks, drugs, and money, to new insights from social network experts on how the opioid use spreads in families, Haas faculty questioned the status quo with their creative and groundbreaking research. They also made an impact: Ginnie Mae adopted a proposal based on Haas professors’ research for better risk management of non-bank lenders, and U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren and Doug Jones launched an investigation into evidence uncovered by three faculty that that online lending algorithms have created widespread lending discrimination.

3. Shedding light on PG&E blackouts

Professors Catherine Wolfram and Severin Borenstein

Haas experts were in high demand to make sense of this fall’s unprecedented power shutoffs. Energy economists Severin Borenstein and Catherine Wolfram of the Energy Institute at Haas fielded a stream of questions from journalists after Pacific Gas & Electric determined it could not guarantee the safety of its lines and shut down power to hundreds of thousands of people, including the entire UC Berkeley campus.

4. Mourning the loss of faculty luminaries

Prof. Mark Rubinstein in his home library / Photo by Jim Block
Prof. Mark Rubinstein in his home library | Photo by Jim Block

Mark Rubinstein (above), a finance professor emeritus whose work had a profound impact on Wall Street by forever changing how financial assets are created and priced, died at 74. Raymond Miles, a former Berkeley Haas dean and professor emeritus whose leadership had a deep and lasting impact on the Haas campus and community, passed away at 86. Leo Helzel, MBA 68, LLM 70, an honored faculty member who guided the school’s first forays into entrepreneurship and was a dedicated and generous supporter of Haas for decades, died at 101. Rob Chandra, BS 88, a professional faculty member since 2013, taught courses on entrepreneurship and venture capital to both undergraduate and MBA students. He passed away in October at age 53.

5. STEM designation for MBA programs

Photo of students in Chou Hall at Haas

Berkeley Haas is among the first business schools to receive a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) designation for its MBA programs. The designation makes all international graduates eligible to apply for an additional 24-month visa extension during post-MBA employment. All current international students studying on F-1 visas will be eligible to apply for the extension while they are in their first year of work authorization after graduating from the MBA program. “We anticipate that this will lead to expanded opportunities for our international graduates who pursue jobs incorporating business analytics, modeling, forecasting, and other skills developed through our program,” said Peter Johnson, assistant dean of the FTMBA program and admissions.

6. Record rankings

Students at work during week zero
Photo by Jim Block

All Haas programs continued their run in the top 10 in all major rankings, with the full-time MBA program moving up to #6 in the U.S. in the U.S. News & World Report ranking—its highest ever. The FTMBA program was also ranked #6 in the U.S. by The Economist (#7 worldwide) and #8 in the U.S. by Bloomberg BusinessweekU.S. News ranked the Berkeley Haas Evening & Weekend MBA Program #2, the Undergraduate Program #3, and the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program #7.  The Master of Financial Engineering Program was ranked #1 by The Financial Engineer, and #2 by QuantNet.

7. Chou Hall’s green trifecta

Photo of the front of Chou Hall

Our newest building officially became the greenest academic space in the U.S., receiving a WELL Certification recognizing its “strong commitment to supporting human health, well-being, and comfort;” a TRUE Zero Waste Certification at the highest possible level for diverting at least 90% of its waste from landfills; and LEED Platinum Certification for its architectural design, construction, and energy efficiency.

8. Welcoming David Porter, our first Chief DEI officer

Berkley Haas Chief DEI Officer David Porter

“My first priority is making sure that the students, particularly students of color, have the best experience possible,” said Porter, who previously served as CEO of media nonprofit Walter Kaitz Foundation, director of graduate programs at the Howard University School of Business, and as an assistant professor and faculty director at UCLA’s Anderson School.

9. Unveiling a new sustainable and impact finance program (SAIF)

MBA students who managed the Haas Sustainably Investment Fund
MBA students who have managed the Sustainable Investment Fund at Haas. Photo: Jim Block

The Sustainable and Impact Finance program aims to better position students to work in sustainable and impact finance as public fund managers or private equity investors, or in the startup world. It’s focused on three sectors: sustainable investment, impact investment, and impact entrepreneurship. Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse developed the new program with Prof. Laura Tyson, faculty director for the Institute for Business and Social Impact (IBSI).

10. Building campus connections with cross-disciplinary programs

Haas joined forces with the College of Engineering to launch the concurrent MBA/MEng dual degree program. The new program, enrolling for fall 2020, allows students with undergraduate technical training to earn both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Engineering degree in just two years. The new undergrad Biology+Business dual major is designed to prepare students for careers in healthcare, biotech, and drug discovery research. It’s a joint venture between the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology and Haas.

11. A host of honors for faculty

Top row: Chesbrough, Mowery, Wallace. Middle: Dal Bó, Schroeder, Morse. Bottom: Konchitchki, Patatoukas, Finan.

Assoc. Prof. Yaniv Konchitchki and Assoc. Prof. Panos Patatoukas received the 2019 Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award from the American Accounting Association. Prof. Emeritus David Mowery received the 2019 Irwin Outstanding Educator Award from the Academy of Management’s Strategic Management Division. Adj. Prof. Henry Chesbrough received the Leadership in Technology Management Award from the Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET). Prof. Nancy Wallace was honored by campus with a prestigious faculty service award. Miguel Villas-Boas was awarded the 2019 INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Fellow Award, which is the organization’s highest award recognizing cumulative scholarship and long-term contributions to the marketing field. Prof. Ernesto Dal Bó and Prof. Frederico Finan received the 2019 Williamson Award at the 2019 Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics (SIOE) conference. Assoc. Prof. Juliana Schroeder was recognized as a “Best 40 Under 40” professor by Poets & Quants. Cheit Awards for Excellence in Teaching went to professors Adair Morse, Ross Levine, Yaniv Konchitchki, and Hoai-Luu Nguyen, along with lecturers Janet Brady, Eric Reiner, and Veselina Dinova.

12. Going deeper on culture

We continued to embed our Defining Leadership Principles (DLPs)—Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself—throughout the school. In January, the Berkeley Haas Cultural Initiative launched with a  pioneering conference where executives from Facebook, Netflix, Zappos, Pixar Animation Studios, Deloitte, and other “culture aware” companies mingled with top academics from around the world. Separately, Haas supporters donated over $200,000 to distribute as grants for efforts aimed at keeping our DLPs strong. After reviewing 29 proposals from students, faculty, and staff, grant reviewers funded six projects and initiatives.

Berkeley Haas receives STEM designation for MBAs

Berkeley Haas is among the first business schools to receive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) designation for MBAs. The designation makes all international students who graduate eligible to apply for an additional 24-month visa extension during post-MBA employment.

Haas’ STEM OPT extension is retroactive to December 2018.

All current international full-time MBA students studying on F-1 visas will be eligible to apply for the extension while they are in their first year of work authorization after graduating from the MBA program, said Peter Johnson, assistant dean of the full-time MBA program and admissions. Approval of the extensions will depend on the individual training plans that employers and MBA graduates submit, Johnson said.

“We anticipate that this will lead to expanded opportunities for our international graduates who pursue jobs incorporating business analytics, modeling, forecasting, and other skills developed through our program,” he said.

The MBA programs received the STEM designation after a campus review of how the programs are categorized by the National Center for Education Statistics under a Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code.

The new code defines the Berkeley Haas MBA as “a general program that focuses on the application of statistical modeling, data warehousing, data mining, programming, forecasting and operations research techniques to the analysis of problems of business organization and performance.” After the review, the Haas MBA degree programs were changed from “Business Administration and Management, General,” to “Management Science,” which is considered a STEM program.

The BIO STEM OPT webpage outlines the extension rules and application process for F-1 students, including information about the responsibilities of employers in the process.

Learn more about the Berkeley Haas MBA programs:

Full-time MBA Program
Evening & Weekend MBA Program
Executive MBA Program

 

 

Full-time MBA program remains #8 in Poets & Quants ranking

The Berkeley Haas Full-Time MBA placed at #8 again in Poets & Quants’ 2019 ranking, published on Nov. 15.

 

The meta ranking is based on the results of five other rankings published in US News, Forbes, the Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Economist. U.S. News is given a weight of 35%, Forbes, 25%, while both The Financial Times and Bloomberg Businessweek are given a 15% weight, and The Economist, 10%.

View the full report and methodology.

FTMBA ranked #7 in the world by The Economist

The Economist magazine ranked the Berkeley Haas Full-time MBA program #7 in the world—up four points over last year—and #6 among US schools in its “Which MBA?” ranking published today.

Haas students and alumni once again ranked the school #1 for culture and classmates.

Haas’ four-point jump in the overall ranking was primarily due to a significantly improved ranking in career opportunities. Specifically, Haas rose in the diversity of industries recruiting the school’s graduates and in its student and alumni rating of Haas career development services.

Haas students and recent alumni also rated its alumni network as more effective than they have in past years. Its alumni network again ranked as the most international.

This ranking is based on data provided by participating schools and a survey of students and recent alumni (MBA classes 2018, 2019, and 2020), conducted in spring 2019. The Economist evaluates schools in four categories: career opportunities, personal development/educational experience, salaries, and potential to network.

In last year’s Economist ranking, the FTMBA program was #11 in the world and #10 among US peers, after previously ranking #7 in the world in 2016 and in 2017.

See full report.

Haas ranks #8 in Bloomberg Businessweek

The Berkeley Full-time MBA Program ranked #8 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual MBA ranking published Nov. 4.

Schools were evaluated in four aspects of the MBA experience that were weighted based on this year’s employer and alumni input: compensation (37.30%), networking (25.70%), learning (21.30%), and entrepreneurship (15.70%). Haas ranked #10 in compensation, #13 in networking, #18 in learning, and #4 in entrepreneurship.

The ranking is based on feedback from MBA employers, recent full-time MBA graduates, and alumni who graduated in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Participating schools also provided salary data of the 2018 graduating class, which factored into the compensation aspect.

Last year, Haas ranked #6 in this ranking. In comparison, it also ranks #6 in this year’s US News & World Report ranking.

Haas launches Biology+Business dual-major program

Photo of Chou Hall with cyclists passing
The new Biology+Business dual-major program aims to provide interdisciplinary solutions to 21st-century challenges.

The new Biology+Business dual-major has launched, a program designed to prepare students for careers in healthcare, in addition to biotech and drug discovery research.

The program, a joint venture between the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Haas, will enroll about 25 students a year, providing undergraduates with an integrated curriculum, mentoring, and internships to develop innovative leadership skills in bio business. It is the second program of its kind in the country.

Former Haas Dean Rich Lyons and Michael Botchan, dean of Biological Sciences, came up with the idea for the program. The first class of Biology+Business students will enroll in fall of 2020. The window for students to apply is Nov.1-29, 2019.

In the program, students will earn a bachelor of science degree in business administration and a bachelor of arts degree in molecular and cell biology in the emphasis of their choice: biochemistry & molecular biology; cell & developmental biology; genetics, genomics, & development; immunology & pathogenesis; or neurobiology.

Admission to the Biology+Business Program is open only to students who enter UC Berkeley as freshmen. Students must complete all prerequisite requirements for Haas, alongside the requirements for molecular cellular biology. Students apply to the Biology+Business Program during their sophomore year.

There are no curriculum changes to either degree program, although there is specialized coursework offered along the way, said Sarah Maslov, program manager of the Biology+Business Program. Internships are a key part of the program.

“The program’s real value-add is the professional development opportunities it offers,” Maslov said.

Gail Maderis, BS 78, and Ann Stock Zakaria, BA 79 (biochemistry), PhD 86 (comparative biochemistry), are among the founding program donors.

“This program will provide Cal students with the fundamental knowledge to change patients’ lives,” said Maderis, president and CEO of San Francisco-based Antiva Biosciences, a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company. “Having a baseline of understanding of business and science creates a much more well-rounded employee who can move fluidly between the disciplines.”

Zakaria said the program is crucial for preparing students to enter professional life. “While the academic labs are a very rich environment for innovation and the generation of ideas, it’s hard to bring those things to a marketable point—or even to a point where large pharma would be interested in them—without biotechnology and venture enterprise coming in,” she said.