At the Center of Tuck

A reinvigorated vision for centers at Tuck is bringing exciting opportunities for students.

All of the centers and initiatives had been born in the previous 25 years to serve as co-curricular hubs of research, teaching, and practical application. The business world changed immensely during those years, as have the needs of Tuck students. It was time to re-think the role of centers and clarify their identities.

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n the summer of 2017, Dean Matthew J. Slaughter began answering a question that naturally flowed from the refreshed mission, vision, and strategy for the Tuck School of Business. Now that Tuck was aligned under a strategy to create an MBA program that is distinctly personal, connected, and transformative, how should a crucial pillar of that program— the centers and initiatives—be organized and run? All of the centers and initiatives had been born in the previous 25 years to serve as co-curricular hubs of research, teaching, and practical application. The business world changed immensely during those years, as have the needs of Tuck students, so Slaughter knew it was time to re-think the role of centers and clarify their identities.

In collaboration with the faculty and executive directors of the centers, everyone quickly coalesced around answering this question with MBA students at the center. Tuck MBA students learn and develop in three related settings: through classroom learning, co-curricular learning, and career exploration. “There’s always been points of contact among those three dimensions,” Slaughter explains, “but I think it’s fair to say that in recent years, the number and complexity of those points of contact have grown. When you look outward at other schools, you see that their centers often pull away from the core purpose of educating students. We at Tuck are clear that centers thrive best when they focus on a vital connection node of education—on the co-curricular application of classroom ideas to career explorations.”

Slaughter, who always strives for precision in his language, worked with the center directors to come up with description of this refined purpose. “The phrase I love to use is that centers at Tuck forge pathways of learning and application for MBA students in industry areas relevant to students, faculty, alumni, and companies alike,” he says.

This reinvigorated vision for centers has spurred some noteworthy changes at Tuck. Entrepreneurship, which had long been part of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship, now lives at the Center for Entrepreneurship. The Center for Private Equity has added the venture capital industry to its name and the Health Care Initiative has become the Center for Health Care. The Lindenauer Center for Corporate Governance has become the Lindenauer Forum for Corporate Governance Research, headed by its founder, B. Espen Eckbo, the Tuck Centennial Chair of Finance.

These broad changes are important, but what counts even more are the many programs and opportunities for learning and career development happening on the ground at Tuck and beyond, thanks to the smart and creative work of the center faculty and staff. Read on for some examples of centers providing pathways of learning and application that are the definition of personal, connected, and transformative.

 

Center for
Entrepreneurship

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arly in 2018, associate professor Steve Kahl D’91 and adjunct professor Daniella Reichstetter T’07 had a rare opportunity: to build a new center at Tuck devoted to entrepreneurship. It was an opportunity driven by the students themselves, who have been showing increased interest in entrepreneurship and working for early-stage companies after Tuck. Kahl, as the faculty director, and Reichstetter, as the executive director, had the ingenious idea of organizing the center’s activities around the segments of its broad audience.

For the founders, those who actually want to start a business, the center has created the Tuck Startup Incubator. In weekly sessions held on the second floor of Feldberg Library, teams of entrepreneurs work with each other, alongside Kahl and Reichstetter, to transform their business ideas into actual businesses. Along the way, they receive expert guidance from guest speakers who offer advice on topics such as corporate law, intellectual property, and go-to-market strategies.

The startup incubator offers structure and expert guidance to startup founders in the Tuck and Dartmouth communities. | Rob Strong Photography

Another segment of the center’s audience is “builders,” students who want to help an early-stage company grow. This fall, the center launched the Early-Stage Project Exchange with these students in mind. The Exchange helps connect nascent Dartmouth-affiliated companies with Tuck students interested in contributing their skills and gaining startup experience. In addition, the center is working closely with the Career Development Office and Entrepreneurship Club to put together a builder-resource package, which includes resources on

how to get into early-stage companies, and a mentorship program where second years help first years find jobs at early-stage companies. Students’ early-stage internships can be financially supported through the generous support of the Maynard Internship Program as well.

In close collaboration with the Center for Business, Government and Society, the Center for Entrepreneurship co-leads a variety of efforts around early-stage impact investing, including overseeing and advising the Tuck Social Venture Fund, in which students get live investment experience, as well as the Early-Stage Impact Investing Learning Program.

The center also partners closely with various other entrepreneurial hubs around campus including the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth, Thayer School of Engineering, and Dartmouth Applied Learning and Innovation (DALI) Lab, among others, to ensure pan-Dartmouth collaboration, including dedicated incubator support, campus-wide workshops, a speaker series, and early-stage project exchanges.

Tuck is a natural fit for all these entrepreneurially- minded students, Reichstetter says, “because we have arguably the most collegial business school in the country. Tuck students do a lot of their learning, decision making, and leadership development in small groups. This aspect of their education lends itself very nicely to growing an early-stage company or deciding to invest in one—in both cases, you’ll often be challenged to make big decisions in small groups.”

 

Revers
Center for Energy

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pril Salas, the executive director of the Revers Center for Energy, takes a logically broad approach to the center’s role in the business world. The center, which launched in 2016 thanks to a gift from Daniel Revers T’89, was named “Center for Energy” because the name is short and easy to say, but energy itself permeates every facet of the economy and knows no geographic borders.

Evidence of that approach is in the center’s recent partnership with the Center for Digital Strategies on a speaker series that covers how innovation and disruption are providing countless opportunities for energy extraction, delivery, trading and the built environment. The first speaker was Frank Curran, a co-founder of the Renewable Energy Blockchain Network, a company that uses the distributed ledger of blockchain technology to verify the source and transmission of renewables.

Revers MBA fellows are becoming more involved with Dartmouth's campus energy studies. | Laura DeCapua Photography

The center is also reaching outward from Hanover to corners of the globe grappling with cutting-edge energy issues. An example is the center’s partnership with the Energy Action Network, UC Berkeley, and a conglomerate of other universities to develop a clean-energy incubator in Morocco. “What we envision is to establish a resource for entrepreneurs in Africa to come and test their technologies, think about innovative business models, and analyze market fundamentals,” says Salas. Tuck students will engage with the incubator by applying their MBA skills to the startups working there, creating an intersection of real-world learning about energy, and positive social impact.

What we envision is to establish a resource for entrepreneurs in Africa to come and test their technologies, think about innovative business models, and analyze market fundamentals.”

April Salas, executive director, Revers Center for Energy

Much closer to home, the center is working with Tuck Executive Education to create a program for the New England Fuels Institute, focused on leadership, strategy, and innovation for an industry in transition. In addition, the center’s MBA fellows are regularly supporting Dartmouth’s campus energy studies, through independent studies on topics such as sustainably- sourced biomass and fleet electrification.

At Tuck, the center is offering a workshop series on the fundamentals of the energy industry, covering topics like power and gas, drilling, nuclear, energy storage, and electric mobility. “We aim to align them with where students are in the curriculum, and where they are with companies coming here to recruit,” Salas says.

 

Center for
Business,
Government
& Society

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his summer, the Center for Business, Government & Society welcomed its new executive director, John McKinley, to Tuck. It’s hard to imagine a person more qualified for the position. He started his career working in government, first at the Department of Justice on rule-of-law development programs in Africa and the Middle East, and then as a senior policy analyst on Mayor Bloomberg’s team in New York. During that time, he realized that no single government can tackle the challenges of sustainable development alone: it requires mobilizing resources and people across many sectors. He next went to the non-profit sector, working for Acumen, a venture philanthropy fund investing “patient capital” in early- stage companies serving low-income consumers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He built on these experiences and most recently worked at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, as a founding member of the firm’s sustainable investing business. There he tested the idea that impact investing can be attractive to mainstream investors who are increasingly seeking opportunities to align their portfolios with positive social and environmental outcomes. When he started at BlackRock, he was the first external “impact hire” on a team of two. Now there are over 20 team members developing a range of sustainable investment solutions representing over $500B in assets. “It’s a sign of the times,” McKinley says. “Mainstream asset managers are increasingly building teams and capabilities across asset classes to take a more holistic and focused view of social and environmental considerations.”

Tuck is an incubator of leaders and big ideas—and the world needs more of both right now if we want to achieve a more sustainable future.”

John McKinley, executive director, Center for Business, Government & Society

The central theme in McKinley’s varied career has been the pursuit of delivering meaningful impact through innovative organizations, both large and small, be they governments, businesses, or non- profits. Tuck was a logical next step. “The motivation for coming to Tuck was the recognition that there’s a convergence happening across sectors as more social and environmental issues are considered material to businesses, governments, and communities. There’s more opportunity to align resources towards common goals,” McKinley says. “Tuck is an incubator of leaders and big ideas—and the world needs more of both right now if we want to achieve a more sustainable future.”

This summer, the Center for Business, Government & Society welcomed its new executive director, John McKinley, to Tuck. | Laura DeCapua Photography

In order to make the center’s focus on these issues clear, McKinley has been promoting three core themes that the center addresses: global challenges (such as climate change, trade wars, and rising economic inequality), civil society and the responsibility of businesses to the communities in which they operate, and the sustainable economy, which includes topics like sustainable finance, impact investing, and the lifecycle of resources. The center will serve students, he says, by engaging them on these topics through experiential learning opportunities, equipping them to better understand the issues, and empowering them to help drive long-term solutions.

Toward those ends, the center is piloting a few new programs this year. One is an Ecosystem Deep Dive on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, where 15 mostly first-year students traveled to New York to meet with leading ESG investors to better understand the challenges and opportunities of sustainable investing. Another is an early-stage impact investing workshop, which the center co-organized with Daniella Reichstetter T’07 of the Center for Entrepreneurship and clinical professor Curt Welling D’71, T’77. Nearly 70 students attended the six-hour workshop and learned about deal sourcing, diligence, impact measurement, and reporting. These programs build on the well-established Fellows programs and events such as the Killingstad Global Insights series, and the annual Halpern Lecture and Negotiating Ethics series.

Remembering a Pioneer


The Patricia A. Palmiotto Business & Society Fund celebrates Pat’s immeasurable impact on Tuck and the Upper Valley communities. Palmiotto passed away on February 4, 2018.

Patricia A. Palmiotto arrived at Tuck in 1994, ready to make a difference. While she served as the director of student affairs, Palmiotto had an idea to create an entity at Tuck devoted to studying and practicing how businesses can be a force for good in their communi-ties and the world at large. Working with students on a business plan and a concept, she created the Allwin Initiative for Corporate Citizenship, one of the first such resources at Tuck.

She may not have known it at the time, but Palmiotto ended up creating the model for centers at Tuck today, as student-oriented pathways for learning and applying business topics with an eye towards knowledge gather-ing, personal transformation, and career development.

“The Allwin Initiative always had a two-fold mission,” recalls Bob Hansen, the Norman W. Martin 1925 Professor of Business Administration, who was the second faculty director of the initiative (after Professor John Vogel). “For those students who were really interest-ed in business and society, it gave them depth. And it provided a breadth of knowledge to the greater student body, since Pat felt very strongly that it was a topic to which all the students should be exposed.” At the same time, Palmiotto built a mini career development office, keeping a database of companies and non-profit organi-zations where students interested in corporate citizen-ship might be able to find jobs.

Palmiotto became the executive director of the Allwin Initiative in 2001, and in 2012 she headed the newly-created Center for Business & Society, which has recently transformed into the Center for Business, Government and Society. Many of Tuck’s hallmark pro-grams at the nexus of business and society, including TuckGIVES and the Business & Society Conference, owe their vibrancy to Palmiotto’s vision and commitment.

“Her deep love for the students always came through,” Hansen says, “and she cared about Tuck im-mensely. This was her way of making the school better.”

In celebration of Palmiotto’s immeasurable impact on Tuck and the Upper Valley communities, her family has created the Patricia A. Palmiotto Business & Society Fund, which will help prepare business leaders for the evolving complexities of today’s global economy.

To learn more about the fund, please contact Hannah Payson, the program manager at the Center for Business, Government & Society, at Hannah.K.Payson@tuck.dartmouth.edu, or visit cbgs.tuck.dartmouth.edu.

 

Center for
Health Care

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or many years, the Health Care Initiative was the nexus of health care-related activities on campus. As more students arrived at Tuck with an intention to learn about the industry (9 percent of each of the Classes of 2018 and 2019 interned or took a job in health care-related fields), it became clear that “initiative” was the wrong word to describe the breadth and importance of the programming on offer. So this summer, the Health Care Initiative became the Center for Health Care. “We aim to serve the students interested in health care,” says executive director Suzie Rubin, “and also make sure that all Tuck students have the opportunity to learn about health care even if they don’t intend to work in the sector. With health care accounting for 18 percent of U.S. GDP, we view our mission as preparing business leaders to address the challenges of health care. With 24 percent of students taking at least one health care course last year, there is strong interest among students.”

The center provides a platform for students, faculty, alumni, and other industry leaders and experts to connect Tuck to the challenges and opportunities in health care. | Laura DeCapua Photography

The center’s mission to connect learning and practice is evidenced by its role coordinating the health care elective courses for the Tuck MBA curriculum. Connecting with alums and practitioners in the field is a key objective for the center and is exemplified by the elective mini-course, Investing and Deal Making in Health Care. The course is taught by two highly-experienced practitioners in the field: Michael Carusi T’93, a general partner at Lightstone Ventures, and
Michael McIvor D’86, T’93, vice chairman, Americas Mergers & Acquisitions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, together with Rubin and Michael Zubkoff, the faculty director of the center. The course provides a practitioner's point of view on the players in health care investing, how they interact, and ultimately, how they do business together. “The course offers both a health care lens on deal making and an investing lens on health care and has been a popular option for students interested in learning more about both,” Rubin explains.

We like to say that health is everyone’s business.”

Suzie Rubin, executive director, Center for Health Care

 

In addition to the elective courses, the center coordinates two joint-degree programs: the MD/ MBA offered in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine and directed by Zubkoff; and the MBA/MPH program offered through Tuck and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, which is directed by professor Paul Gardent T’76.

“We are continually evaluating how best to bring insight to students both inside and outside of the classroom and we welcome the engagement of alumni to further the mission of the center,” Zubkoff says. With elective offerings, visiting speakers, and related events, the Center provides a platform for students, faculty, alumni, and other industry leaders and experts to connect Tuck to the challenges and opportunities in health care. “We like to say that health is everyone’s business,” Rubin says.

 

Center for
Private Equity
And Venture
Capital

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he Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital (formerly the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship) continues its wide range of industry-specific programs for students, and now is under the direction of new executive director, Jim Feuille D’79. He’s joined by Gordon Phillips, the Laurence F. Whittemore Professor of Business Administration, who serves as the faculty director of the center.

Over the years, the center has built robust offerings for students interested in private equity and venture capital. Every spring, 12 fellows are selected through an application process. They work on research projects or go out and learn in the field with alumni; assist Phillips with the CPE Forum, an online journal that publishes articles by academics and practitioners; organize the annual Private Equity Conference; and produce the CPEVC newsletter.

Jim Feuille D'79 is the executive director of the newly named Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital.  | Laura DeCapua Photography

Feuille is an exciting addition to the center. After he graduated from Stanford with a JD/MBA, he worked for boutique investment banks that focused on the burgeoning Silicon Valley tech sector of the 1980s and 90s. A few of companies he worked with include Intuit, Symantec, BMC Software, and McAfee. “Most large investment banks showed up when they sniffed an IPO around the corner. I was finding the companies three to five years before, identifying and developing relationships with the best emerging companies and best management teams early, and my deals consistently performed strongly in the aftermarket,” Feuille says. Eventually, Feuille switched to the venture side of the ecosystem in 2002, when he joined San Francisco-based Crosslink Ventures. For 16 years, he served as a general partner of four traditional venture funds, and four crossover (hybrid public/private) funds. Feuille has led Crosslink’s investments in four companies which achieved multi-billion market cap exits—Omniture (acquired by Adobe 2009 for $1.8B), Ancestry.com (acquired by Permira 2012 for $1.6B), Pandora, and Coupa.

Feuille remains a general partner for six funds, and works with eight portfolio companies, but he’s not working on new deals for the firm. “I’ve moved to Hanover and I’m focusing on Tuck,” he says. “In addition to working with students interested in private equity and venture capital, one of the appealing aspects of this job is that it requires me to continue to actively network in this space. I have a ton of personal relationships I can continue to network with, and a ton of Dartmouth and Tuck alumni in the private equity and venture capital areas I now have an excuse to talk to, since they all have a reason to talk about what’s going on at Tuck in private equity and venture capital.” He’s looking forward to developing tighter relationships with other centers at Tuck, all of which overlap with private equity and venture capital in some way, as well as with Thayer and the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship. “There’s an opportunity to get much more integration with the rest of the school,” Feuille says, “which should create more curricular and co-curricular opportunities for Tuck students.”

 

Center for
Digital Strategies

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ounded in 2000 with generous gifts from Ed Glassmeyer T’68 and Roger McNamee T’82, the Center for Digital Strategies (CDS) is dedicated to teaching Tuck students and the broader community about the ever-changing roles of digital technologies in business strategy. Led by faculty director Alva Taylor, an associate professor of business administration, the CDS does this in two general ways: through speaker series and workshops, and more tailored programming for students with a deeper interest in technology.

An example of the former is the Britt Technology Impact Series, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Created by Glen Britt T’72, the former chairman, president, and CEO of Time Warner Cable, the series has brought more than 150 speakers to campus from 120 companies, bridging the gap between in-class learning and what’s happening in the real world. The theme of the first series was video, and since then it has tackled topics such as mobile, social media, cloud computing, big data, and the internet-of- things. This year, the focus is emerging technology.

Another example of programming for the broader community is the brand-new Technology 101 Learning Series, which began this fall. It’s focused on translating foundational technology concepts into easy-to-understand language to prepare students for a world dominated by digital businesses. The first four sessions cover the technology stack, cloud computing, software-as-a-service, and application programming interfaces (APIs).

In late 2018, the Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck organized a small group trek to Shanghai to get an intimate, insider’s understanding of the digital strategies, challenges, and opportunities of some of the leading technology-related firms in China.

Last year, the center launched a program targeted at first-years: the MBA Associates. It’s a way for students to get a deeper immersion in the role of technology in business, and to learn from each other through decentralized seminars on topics of their own choosing. The program had 24 associates in the first year, and this year there are 30—all from diverse industries, geographies, and specialties. Their self- organized lunch-and-learn sessions have covered cryptocurrency, the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, self-driving cars, and cyber-security, just to name a few. “The center helps create this network, and we also ask questions, drive the debate, and share our experience and knowledge,” says associate director Patrick Wheeler. “It turns into a deep relationship, and for a lot of the students we become involved in their recruiting and career development, and we even help them pick classes.”

The MBA Associates Program is adding to its repertoire this year, with an opportunity for some students to work with a CDS MBA Fellow on a research project for a global business. At the end of the project, the students will present to the company’s executives, and create a white paper that will be published on the CDS website. “We plan to build long-lasting relationships with these companies,” Wheeler says, “and share the learning with the Tuck community.”

*This article originally appeared in print in the winter 2019 issue of Tuck Today magazine.