McCombs to offer four new courses this spring

Jenan Taha

Starting next spring, students in the McCombs School of Business earning a Masters of Business Administration will be able to enroll in four new courses ranging from finance to economics and management.

Finance lecturer Josh Alexander, an experienced executive and entrepreneur, will be instructing a course on new venture finance, which will be focused on teaching entrepreneurs important skills to help them accomplish their goals quantitatively and communicate with investors.

“This course is unique as the content is specifically practical application taught from the perspective of someone who has been on both sides of the table,” Alexander said in an email.

Laura Starks, a finance professor who has won many awards for her work and research in finance, will be teaching a course called Environmental, Social and Governance Investing. It is a highly ranked course in spite of its relative newness.

The course gives students a foundation for understanding corporation’s policies on investing and what effects these policies have on firm performance and investors.

“The consideration of ESG factors in investment decisions is different from what has been taught in other investment courses,” Starks said in an email. “The course also covers impact investing, which is approaching investments from the dual goal of making an impact, either environmentally or socially, while also earning a financial return.”

A similar course will also be offered to business undergraduates in the spring.

Additionally, marketing professor Julie Irwin, who has taught at McCombs for 17 years, will teach a behavioral economics course.

Management professor Steve Courter, who has long-term experience as a CEO and serves on several corporate boards, has begun teaching a new course on managing corporate restructuring, turn-around and bankruptcy this fall. He hopes to offer the course again during fall 2017 as well as to executive MBAs this spring.   

“As future business leaders, all MBAs will encounter a turnaround or restructuring situation,” Courter said. “It is critical that students understand what can happen.”

The course focuses on the strategies and laws senior managers use when certain internal or external factors require firms to change their approach.

“Given today’s fast-paced business environment, coupled with the impact of globalization, more and more firms find themselves in a position to quickly alter the intended course,” Courter said. “It is important for students to understand how those laws work and the powerful tools that are used when a firm enters voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy.”