Berkeley-Haas Top 12 for 2016

With the new year just around the corner, we’re celebrating the highlights of 2016—from the launch of an exciting new undergraduate program, to the alumni-backed Pokémon Go craze, to undergrad Ryan Murphy’s astounding triple Olympic gold medal wins.

Top of the Class: All Haas programs made the Top 10 in all the major rankings. The Evening & Weekend MBA Program was ranked #1 among part-time programs for the fourth straight year by U.S. News, which also ranked the Undergraduate Program #2; the Master of Financial Engineering ranked #1 in two major rankings.

Topping Off: The final I-beam was raised atop our new North Academic Building in June. The six-story building is 100% funded with private donations from alumni and friends of the school, and features state-of-the-art classrooms, spaces for students to meet and work in small groups, a new café, and a top-floor event space with sweeping views of the Bay. It’s expected to open in early 2017.

Alumni Go! One of the year’s top crazes originated with John Hanke, MBA 96, CEO of Niantic Labs. Hanke was the driving force behind Pokémon Go, the hottest game to hit smartphones—ever. It was one of those moments, The New York Times declared, “when a new technology—in this case, augmented reality or A.R., which fuses digital technology with the physical world—breaks through from a niche toy for early adopters to something much bigger.” (Berkeley-Haas also published a case study that delved into Hanke’s decision to sping Niantic Labs off from Google.)

Double Degree: In August, Berkeley-Haas launched a pioneering new degree program, the Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (M.E.T.) Program. The highly competitive program, which allows undergraduates to earn concurrent degrees at Berkeley-Haas and Berkeley Engineering, received thousands of applications for 30 slots. About 50 students are expected to be accepted for the fall.

Ryan Murphy after winning the gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke. Credit: USA Today/UC Berkeley

Olympic Gold x 3: Inspiring backstroker Ryan Murphy, BS 17, returned from the Rio Olympics with three gold medals. Murphy, BS 17, won both the 200m and 100m backstroke. He also swam to victory in the 400m relay medley with Olympic legend Michael Phelps, Cal alum Nathan Adrian, and Cody Miller.

Clockwise, from top left: Williamson, the ladder faculty, Morse, Jaffee, Levine, Malmendier

Fabulous Faculty: This year we mourned the passing of a much-beloved professor, real estate and finance expert Dwight Jaffee. We celebrated a Global Economy Prize for Nobel Laureate Prof. Emeritus Oliver Williamson; the American Accounting Association’s Seminal Contribution to Accounting award for Prof. Richard Sloan; and the 2016 Moskowitz Prize for Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse. Profs. David Teece & Ross Levine achieved an extraordinary 100K citations on Google Scholar, and Prof Ulrike Malmendier was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Berkeley-Haas also welcomed three new professors: Asst. Prof. Drew Jacoby-Senghor, Asst. Prof. Hoai-Luu Nguyen and Asst. Prof. Abhishek Nagaraj.

Bigger Give: The Big Give online fundraiser raised twice the amount for Haas as last year, tallying almost $1.3 million from more than 600 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends. Berkeley-Haas undergraduates exceeded their participation goal by 250 percent. Many thanks to all our generous donors!

Top Leaders: We welcomed a dozen industry leaders to share insights with the Haas community in the Dean’s Speaker Series, including (clockwise from top left) Deborah Hopkins, Chief Innovation Officer, Citigroup (with Dean Rich Lyons); Christie Smith, Managing Principal, Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion; Bob Shanks, EVP and CFO, Ford Motor Company; and Rosalind Brewer, President and CEO, Sam’s Club. The series also included an expert panel on Brexit.

Honoring Obama:  President Barack Obama was honored at the World Open Innovation conference for “Outstanding Global Leadership in Open Innovation” (Obama is expected to visit the Berkeley campus early next year.)

Business Leaders of the Year: For their efforts to improve local schools, Susan, MBA 87, and Steve Chamberlin, were named Berkeley-Haas’ 2016 Business Leaders of the Year—the highest honor the school bestows.

Thought leadership: Our faculty research was covered by top media worldwide in 2016, including studies by Prof. Cameron Anderson, who found an unexpected payoff to being buff; Prof. Jennifer Chatman, who studied the downside of groupthink by analyzing Himalayan trekking accidents; and Prof. Laura Kray, who found that while women women tend to be more ethical than men when acting on their own behalf, they are more likely to lie to help others.

Dauntless Students: Our students continue to inspire us. Alvaro Silberstein, MBA 17, who was left partially paralyzed by a drunk driver at age 19, is wrapping up the year on a quest to make Patagonia’s Paine del Torre National Park more accessible. He’s trekking the park’s most iconic route in a specialized wheelchair, with a support team that includes a Berkeley MBA classmate.

We look forward to great things to come in 2017!