Business Research Forums

All forums take place in Maxcy Hall, room 124.

Wednesday, February 21
12:15-1:30 p.m.
“University Tenure and Course Evaluations”
Dr. Patrick Gourley, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics & Business Analytics

Being awarded tenure is a hard earned achievement for professors in the American university system. With tenure comes the promise of nearly unparalleled job security and the stability to embark on high-risk, high-reward research projects. On the other hand, critics of the tenure system claim that it enables professors to mail-it-in for the rest of their careers, especially with regard to teaching. Surprisingly, no one has examined if this is true. Using a large dataset that encompasses all course evaluations from the University of Colorado Boulder over a decade, we are able to observe 280 professors who were granted tenure. Using both a difference-in-difference and regression discontinuity design, it is clear that professors’ evaluations do not change once they are granted tenure.

Wednesday, March 28
12:15-1:30 p.m.
“Comparison of Cost Equity Models: New International Evidence”
Dr. Demissew Ejara, Associate Professor, Department of Finance

For individual companies of 46 countries, we empirically compare cost of equity estimates of three static risk-return models of interest to practitioners: (1) the traditional (local) CAPM; (2) the global CAPM (GCAPM), where the only risk factor is the global market index; and (3) an international CAPM (ICAPM) with two risk factors, the global market index and a wealth-weighted foreign currency index. Using improvements on prior research methods, we find that the model choice makes a substantial difference for many countries: (1) For firms in 33 countries, the average difference between the local CAPM and ICAPM cost of equity exceeds 70 basis points. (2) For firms in 39 countries, the average difference between the GCAPM and ICAPM cost of equity exceeds 40 basis points.

Wednesday, April 25th
12:15-1:30 p.m.
Predicting Retention Rates in Mid-Sized Private Universities
Dr. Brian Kench, Professor, Dean of College of Business and Department of Economics

This study identifies key factors associated with first-year retention at a mid-size masters level private university. We construct a logit model to test four main hypotheses regarding the likelihood of first-year students returning to the university their sophomore year. Using a data set of 8,010 full-time first-year students we confirm many standard results in the literature while making additional contributions regarding the impact on retention from student motivation and ability, faculty effects, financial aid, and peer effects. For signals of student motivation, we show that a timely housing application, closer proximity to home, and a higher number of schools on a student’s free application for federal student aid all raise retention. Signals of ability, such as high school GPA and standardized tests, have effects which depend upon whether controlling for first year GPA. Faculty effects from honors programs raise retention. Financial aid in the form of institutional grants raise retention, whereas federal aid reduces retention, ceteris paribus. Peer effects, such as roommates’ academic efforts, residing on an “honors” floor, and membership in some extracurricular groups raise retention. Novel contributions include measurements of student and roommate effort and the strong predictive power and complex impacts they have on retention. In addition, the quadratic impact of fall GPA on retention shows that a higher fall GPA raises the likelihood of retention but only up to a point (the fall GPA threshold is approximately 3.5 for our sample of first-year students). Such high academic achievers may be incentivized to stay by connecting them with co-curricular membership (e.g., honors programs) or with extracurricular ones. Analysis of dorm roommates and floor mates suggests where, and with whom, one is housed, may be a key to raising the rate of retention. The model predicts approximately 78% of student outcomes correctly and is robust to alternate functional forms of our regression.