Friday, February 13, 2015

Is the CEO-Employee Pay Gap Lower than we Thought?

So says new research from Rice professors.

Faculty Focus
At the Jones School, MBA candidates are taught by preeminent scholars who are fascinated by the ideas that help leaders become more thoughtful, strategic and effective. These professors are at the forefront of their fields and have an “open-door policy” for students, giving Jones MBA candidates direct access to some of the best minds in business research.

Faculty Focus is our new blog feature that highlights some of the latest research from these faculty members.


Karen Nelson
Harmon Whittington Professor of
Accounting professors Karen Nelson and Brian Rountree recently co-wrote a paper with UH accounting professor Steven Crawford that’s causing some interest as it challenges previously reported information about the pay gap between CEOs and the average worker.

Says Nelson, “We document that the gap between CEO and employee pay is likely much smaller for most firms than the perception ingrained in the financial and popular media. By providing a more complete understanding of pay ratios across firms, our findings inform the ongoing policy debate on pay disparity.”


Brian Rountree
Associate Professor of Accounting

The paper uses compensation data available for the banking sector to provide some of the first large-sample, company-specific evidence on CEO-employee pay ratios and their relation to subsequent firm performance, risk and shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation packages. More about their findings can be accessed via Rice News and the Jones School site.
In addition to being renowned researchers, both Nelson and Rountree have won multiple teaching awards at the Jones School.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NAWMBA - Rice Chapter Cordially Invites You...

...To the 15th annual Women in Leadership Conference!

The Women in Leadership Conference is an annual conference organized by a committee of MBA women leaders from the Rice University chapter of National Association of Women MBA. This leadership conference was created with the objective of:

  • providing present and future women business leaders with a unique forum to exchange ideas
  • providing women an opportunity to gain thought leadership on professional development and issues important to women in today’s workforce
  • offering a significant opportunity for corporations and industry leaders to directly contribute to the development of women leaders in the community
The 15th Annual Women in Leadership conference will be held on Friday, February 6, 2015 at Rice University. We invite you to attend this year’s conference to learn and network with these women who are innovators, influencers and inspirations in the workplace

For more information and to register for the Women in Leadership Conference, please click here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reaching Out MBA LGBTQA Fellowship

The Jones School is proud to announce that we are one of the premier programs to offer the Reaching Out MBA LGBTQA Fellowship in 2015! The ROMBA Fellowship will be awarded to one LGBTQA student or active ally in the Rice MBA Class of 2017, who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing the presence of LGBTQA leaders in business. The recipient of this award will receive a minimum of $10,000 per academic year in scholarship, and will work to enhance the already diverse and inclusive working environment at the Jones School during their time in the Full Time MBA program.

Rob Mark
Rice MBA Class of 2015
2014 ROMBA Conference
Organizing Committee
Rob Mark, Rice MBA second year student and member of the Organizing Committee for the 2014 ROMBA Conference, reflects on his time at the Jones School and his involvement with ROMBA.

Q: What attracted you to the Rice MBA Program?
A: Upon deciding to leave active duty military service I knew I wanted to work in energy and having grown up in Houston, TX I knew that Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business was the ideal school to enable that goal. I was drawn to the small classes, non-competitive student culture, and impressive employment statistics of the Rice MBA program.

Q: How would you describe the Jones School culture?

A:The Jones School staff, students and faculty are all incredibly supportive and talented. Upon starting at the Jones School I was inspired by the quality of my peers, and since most all of your work in the first year is done in your small group of 4-6 team members, I was amazed at how much my peers enhanced the learning environment. I would never have survived the first year without the strong peer support, and that element is a cornerstone of the Jones School model.

Q: Has your involvement with ROMBA impacted your MBA experience?

A: It is often said that the real value in an MBA is the network you develop, and I believe that is absolutely true. Beyond the incredible group of peers at Rice who I am lucky to call friends, ROMBA allowed me to develop relationships with a robust community of incredible peers at schools from across the country. After attending ROMBA as a first year, I was so enthralled with its mission and the people I met that I joined a team of students from Tuck and Wharton to compete to be selected as the leadership team that would comprise the Organizing Committee for the 2014 ROMBA Conference in San Francisco. We were selected and successfully organized the best ROMBA conference to date. My experience with ROMBA has enriched my MBA and my career potential without a doubt.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Movin' On Up!

Rice MBA ranked No. 25 in US

Rice MBA program moves up 9 in
Bloomberg Businessweek's national ranking
HOUSTON – (Nov. 11, 2014) – The Master of Business Administration program at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business is ranked No. 25 (up from No. 34 in 2012) in Bloomberg Businessweek's new ranking of the best full-time MBA programs in the nation.

The rankings include 85 U.S. schools and 27 international schools. To determine which business schools offer the strongest education and best prepare MBAs for their careers, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked 112 full-time MBA programs on three measures: a survey of student satisfaction (45 percent of the ranking); a survey of employers who hire those graduates (45 percent); and the expertise of each school’s faculty, measured by faculty research in esteemed journals (10 percent).

The biggest contributor to the Jones School's rise in the overall rankings was the positive assessment by employers who hire the school's graduates, with employers and recruiters ranking the program No. 31 this year (up from No. 43 in 2012). Intellectual capital also rose to No. 12 (up from No. 21 in 2012).

The Rice MBA Full-Time Program provides students with a comprehensive MBA learning experience that combines specialized course work and real-world experience to improve and amplify their strategy, leadership and creative credentials. The program features innovative classes, expert faculty and a diverse group of candidates who often become colleagues for a lifetime.

The Jones Graduate School of Business is consistently recognized by several rankings publications for its programs, including the Rice MBA, Rice MBA for Executives and Rice MBA for Professionals. For more information on Rice MBA programs, visit

To view the complete Bloomberg Businessweek rankings and methodology information, visit

Thursday, November 13, 2014

JGSB faculty research finds that "disgust may lead to unethical behavior..."

...but there's a way to wipe the slate clean.

Faculty Focus
At the Jones School, MBA candidates are taught by preeminent scholars who are fascinated by the ideas that help leaders become more thoughtful, strategic and effective. These professors are at the forefront of their fields and have an “open-door policy” for students, giving Jones MBA candidates direct access to some of the best minds in business research.

Faculty Focus is our new blog feature that highlights some of the latest research from these faculty members.

Vikas Mittal
J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing
Vikas Mittal, J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing and head of the Jones School’s Energy Initiative, has been studying the interplay between emotions and decision-making for much of his career. It’s an important consideration for business leaders and managers, who make decisions, small and large, that affect their company’s strategic direction and bottom line, while also leading decision-making employees and teams.

Mittal’s latest research explores how disgust influences ethical behavior. And though the results aren’t pretty, cleaning up the mess is possible.

It doesn’t take much to disgust people. Just watching a gross scene from a movie or thinking about products like diapers can elicit the emotion. And when people feel disgusted, they respond by doing things to take care of themselves, like moving away from the disgusting situation, for example. But can this disgust-triggered self-protection go too far?

It turns out that it can.

Mittal and team conducted various experiments that elicited disgust in participants and then explored their willingness to engage in unethical behaviors, like lying. Disgusted people were far more prone than their neutral counterparts to lie and cheat for personal gain. But the researchers didn’t stop there. They also showed that cleansing behaviors, even cleansing thoughts, could return the disgusted participants to emotional and behavioral neutrality, wiping away the negative impact of disgust.

The findings are important for current and aspiring leaders. Thoughtful leaders can use the information to become more mindful of their emotional states and their impact on ethical and unethical decisions and behaviors. They can also understand the power of environments on themselves and their employees.

More details of Mittal’s research can be found on the Jones School website. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Admissions Deadlines: What do they mean?

Katie Radcliffe
Associate Director of Admissions
With the Round 1 application deadline two weeks behind us, you may be wondering what to make of all of these dates.  Here are my answers to some frequently asked questions about deadlines:

Q: Are the application deadlines the same for all three MBA programs (Full Time, MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives)?
A: Applications to the Full Time MBA program are evaluated in four decision rounds. This means that, based on when you submit your completed application package, your application will be evaluated in the corresponding round.

Applicants to the MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives programs are evaluated on a rolling basis.  This means that the evaluation process will begin immediately when your application package is complete, regardless of when you submitted.

Q: What do the decision dates mean?
A: As Full Time applications are evaluated in rounds, each round comes to an end on the corresponding decision date.  All applicants to the Full Time program will be made aware of their admissions decision on the same day--the decision date--by phone call or email.  For example, if you have submitted your complete application package on or before Monday, January 5th, 2015, you will receive your admissions decision on Friday, February 27th, 2015 (and typically not a day sooner).

Applicants to the MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives program will be made aware of their admissions decision roughly 4-6 weeks after they have submitted all of their application materials.  
Q: I will not be able to submit one or two parts of my application before the deadline.  Can I still be considered in the current decision round?
A: With rare exception, a Full Time MBA applicant will only be considered in the current round if their completed application, essays, resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, and optional video have been submitted on or before the corresponding deadline.  If you have an extenuating circumstance that will prevent you from submitting an application material by the deadline for the round in which you wish to be considered, please let us know.  We are more than happy to advise you on any unique situations regarding your application materials.  You can reach us at +1 (713) 348-4918 or

Applications to the MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives programs are evaluated on a rolling basis, so it is not necessary for applicants to adhere to the published deadlines.  The application deadlines are there to provide you with some parameters when thinking about this process.

Q: Can I submit other parts of my application package before actually submitting my online application?
A: Yes.  You may submit your application materials in any order you wish.  When we receive a piece of your application (e.g. letter of recommendation, GMAT score, optional video), we will start a folder for you, which will be held until the rest of your materials are submitted and your application package is complete.  Your application will then be evaluated in the current round (Full Time applicants), or will begin the evaluation process immediately (MBA for Professionals and MBA for Executives applicants).

Q: The application package requires several materials and feels a bit overwhelming.  Where should I start?
A: You may start wherever you feel most comfortable.  However, if you are looking for guidance, we recommend starting with GMAT or GRE preparation.  These entrance exams are given in a unique format and can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with them.  Start studying early (we recommend at least 100 hours of study) so that you can take the exam feeling prepared, and allow yourself enough time to retake it if you feel that your score does not accurately reflect your abilities.  Scores are valid for five years and we will only consider your highest score when evaluating your application.

Once you are satisfied with your GMAT or GRE score, decide who will write your letter(s) of recommendation and ask them.  Allowing as much time as possible for your recommender(s) to submit their letter will show that you respect their time, are serious about getting your MBA, and will generally put them in a better mood than if they were asked at the last minute. 

Q: I didn't apply in Round I have any chance of being admitted?
A: YES!  The Admissions Committee values fit with the Rice MBA Class of 2017 over any other criteria, including timing of submission.  Students are admitted and awarded merit-based scholarship in all four rounds.  We will never "run out of space" for qualified applicants who have proven that they will be an asset to their Rice MBA class.

Q: I am an international I need to apply earlier?
A: Applications from prospective international students are accepted in all four rounds and are evaluated according to the same timeline as domestic applicants.  While international applications are still accepted and evaluated in the later rounds, we recommend submitting your application in the earlier rounds if possible.  Securing student visas, funding, housing, and generally adjusting to the idea of moving to another country can take longer for international students.  Applying early will ease the transition process, but only if you feel that your application represents the best and most accurate picture of your abilities.

Q: When is the best time to apply?
A: Whenever you feel that your application package best reflects your abilities.  Take the time to put together a quality application and then submit it as soon as you can.  Having a timely admissions decision can only help you get a jump start on planning the next two years of your life.