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April 8, 2005
Contact: Toni Dixon, School of Business, (785) 864-4449, tldixon@ku.edu.

KU MBA team heads to final in national business school ethics competition


LAWRENCE -- A team of four University of Kansas School of Business graduate students outperformed peers from top business schools around the world and is progressing to the final round of competition on April 16 in the first Thunderbird Social Responsibility and Ethics Challenge in Glendale, Ariz. Out of 55 teams, the KU team placed second in the Thunderbird Challenge, advancing to the final round. On April 16, KU's team will compete against teams from the University of California at Berkeley, the London Business School, the University of California at Los Angeles and HEC Montreal, Canada. Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management in Glendale hosts the competition.

"It's probably one of the biggest things that's ever happened to the program," said Dee Steinle, director of master's programs.

The Thunderbird Challenge is a competition to create the best solutions to corporate social issues involving customers, employees, suppliers, communities and stockholders. The question asked in the first round was "How might Tyco International leverage its leadership position in health care to develop a socially responsible program that creates shareholder value?"

The KU graduate team submitted its two-page solution for the posed problem on March 20 and placed second, behind UC-Berkeley. KU's solution was better than other top-ranked business schools including the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.

"KU has excellent MBA students who have proved that they can compete with other top business school students," said Charles Krider, MBA academic director and KU professor of business.

The final round will consist of another corporate social issue case, but instead of writing a paper, the teams will give presentations for their solutions. Prizes range from $1,000 to $5,000. Sponsors for the competition include: Lincoln Center for Ethics in International Management in Arizona, Tyco International Ltd., ON Semiconductor, SalesForce.com and CSR Group.

The KU team members are working on master's degrees in business administration. Their hometowns and alma maters are:

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY
From Leavenworth
Michael T. Switzer is the son of Thomas and Julie Switzer. He has a bachelor's degree from Park University in Parkville, Mo., and is a graduate of Leavenworth Senior High School.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Lecompton
Barbara Elaine Ballard has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
From Independence
Dale Earl Bunn has a bachelor's degree from Emporia State University and is a graduate of Canton-Galva High School in Canton.

NEBRASKA
From Omaha
Todd Robert Chipman is married to Kimberly Chipman. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

TEXAS
From Midland
Amy Catherine Boomer has a bachelor's degree from University of Arizona

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