10 New Faculty Members Add to Management School’s Strengths

Oct. 15, 2008

Ten new faculty members add to the diversity and strength of the UT Dallas School of Management.  They are experts in business communications, corporate finance, healthcare management, information systems and more.  

David Mauer, Ph.D.

David MauerNamed an Ashbel Smith Professor of Finance, Dr. Mauer has an interest in corporate finance and teaches School of Management (SOM) MBA and doctoral students about options and futures markets and empirical corporate finance.

“I study the factors that drive corporate financing and investment decisions and how these decisions interact,” says Dr. Mauer, who earned his doctorate from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.

Dr. Mauer comes from Southern Methodist University, where he was the Phyllis Gough Huffington Professor of Finance for the past 10 years. While at SMU, he received several awards, including the campus-wide Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Award in 2004; outstanding teaching award in the Cox School of Business from 1999 through 2005; and the Cox Research Excellence Award in 2006.

“I enjoy teaching students the practical skills they need to succeed in the current business environment,” Dr. Mauer says. “I also enjoy mentoring students as they enter the job market and keeping in touch with them as they develop in their finance careers.”


Gonca P. Soysal, Ph.D.

Gonca SoysalWith corporate experience in customer relations and retail operations, Dr. Soysal is prepared to teach her students not only the academic principles of marketing but also the real-time application of those ideas.

“My work [at Proctor & Gamble and Ernst & Young] introduced me to interesting marketing problems and provided me with expertise in the retail and consumer packaged-goods sectors,” says Dr. Soysal, who earned her doctorate in marketing at Northwestern University. “My background in operations got me interested in working on projects that bring operations and marketing decision making together.”

An assistant professor in marketing, Dr. Soysal researches dynamics in consumer and company behavior as well as a range of retail behaviors – from pricing to product demand to returns. She teaches principals of marketing.


Feng Zhao, Ph.D.

Feng ZhaoJoining the Finance and Managerial Economics area as an assistant professor, Dr. Zhao is teaching a class in fixed-income securities and continuing his research on financial markets, especially credit and derivatives markets.

“This is a very complicated and quantitative area in finance,” says Dr. Zhao, who earned his doctorate in economics from Cornell University. “Its growth has been exponential, and so has its influence on the economy. As an academic, it’s interesting to look into something Warren Buffett wouldn’t want to touch.”

Previously at Rutgers University, Dr. Zhao says he looks forward to helping UT Dallas students understand the fascinating aspects of these complex areas of finance.


David Cordell, Ph.D.

David CordellDr. Cordell combined his interests in psychology and finance to study and teach in an area known as behavioral finance. He earned a Ph.D. in Finance from UT Austin and also holds Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Life Underwriter designations. He worked for several years as an independent financial planner and did research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas while in graduate school.

Coming to UT Dallas from Texas Tech University, where he received the Professor of the Year (Financial Planning) award. Dr. Cordell is director of finance programs at The School of Management. He says he is most touched when students take the time to write him a thank-you note at the end of the semester. “When they make the effort to write a note, it is much more meaningful,” he says. “It means I made a difference in the course of their education.”


Forney Fleming, M.D.

Forney FlemingAs the new director of the master of science degree program in healthcare management, Dr. Fleming brings to SOM not only decades of experience as a practicing physician but also years of understanding he developed by running hospital committees, training future doctors and managing his practice in orthopedic surgery. He earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and an MBA from the University of Houston.

The Healthcare Management Program is open to those with or without a background in medicine who are interested in pursuing management positions in healthcare settings, such as physician groups, hospitals and nursing homes.

Dr. Fleming is teaching two healthcare management classes and says one of the best parts about teaching is “the opportunity to learn from the students.”

Rajiv R. Shah, Ph.D.

Rajiv ShahAfter years of consulting with a variety of public and private firms, including Cerberus Capital Management L.P., Ericsson Inc., Goldman Sachs, Gerson Lehrman Group and Nomura Securities, Dr. Shah joins The School of Management as a clinical professor in the Organizations, Strategy and International Management area.

Dr. Shah received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rice University and earned an Executive MBA at Southern Methodist University. He is teaching and researching entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial strategy. Dr. Shah says that for the past 20 years, he has been working with start-ups, business development and corporate strategy for companies large and small. It is experience, he says, that will prove valuable in the classroom.


Francisco Szekely, Ph.D.

Francisco SzekelyDr. Szekely brings distinctive international experience to students in SOM’s Executive Education area, where he is teaching this year as a visiting clinical professor. In the past 10 years, he has held teaching positions in Berlin; Geneva; and Nice, France; and at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

With an education that ranges from a master’s degree in mechanical engineering to a doctorate in environmental sciences and economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Szekely has served in government positions in his native Mexico. His Mexican government positions include serving as deputy minister of environment and natural resources and heading up the Mexican delegation to the International Climate Change Negotiations that led to the Kyoto Protocol implementation.

Lee Ann Butler, J.D.

Lee Ann ButlerMs. Butler holds a juris doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law. With academic and practical experience in the area where law and economics intersect, Ms. Butler is positioned to expertly lead her students through the classes she is teaching on business and financial markets regulations.

“I was the attorney for the state of Louisiana’s Treasury Department in 2001 when we securitized 60 percent of Louisiana’s income flows from the multi-state tobacco settlement. We were one of the first entities to do so and offered—and sold—$1.1 billion in bonds,” says Ms. Butler, who also earned an undergraduate degree in business from Indiana University.

A senior lecturer in SOM’s Finance and Managerial Economics area, Ms. Butler was previously an adjunct lecturer at Louisiana State University.


Jeanne Sluder, Ph.D.

Jeanne SluderDr. Sluder is teaching business communications to School of Management students this year, after earning her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Business Management from Texas Woman’s University. This is a proud moment for her; she didn’t return to get her doctorate until her own child went off to college.

“Many years ago,” says Dr. Sluder, a senior lecturer in the Organizations, Strategy and International Management area, “while employed as the manager of international accounting for a major cosmetics company here in the Dallas area, I had the opportunity to partner with [SOM] scholars…for help with forecasting and budgeting models. At that time, I thought about how much I would like to be doing what they were doing, and here I am, one of them.”

Dr. Sluder taught last year at Texas Christian University. “What I like about interacting with the students here at UT Dallas is the diversity – their experiences, their cultures, their educational backgrounds, their ages—combined with their enthusiasm and eagerness to get out there and work in our ever-changing global society.”

Mark Thouin, Ph.D.

Mark ThouinWith a doctorate in business administration from Texas Tech University, Dr. Thouin is teaching a variety of information systems classes to graduate and undergraduate students.

He brings with him years of experience in the information industry, most recently as a senior information systems engineer at MITRE Corp. in Virginia, a nonprofit organization that addresses systems engineering and information technology needs for the federal government. “I am most proud of having had the opportunity to work in support of the U.S. government,” he says. “I felt the work I was doing in support of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was contributing to a safer and more secure society.”

Dr. Thouin, a senior lecturer, is researching the clinical and administrative value of information technology in healthcare settings at UT Dallas.

Media Contacts: Pat Schoch, UT Dallas, (972) 883-6298, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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May 25, 2018