Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Winter 2002Kellogg School of Management
In DepthIn BriefFaculty NewsClass NotesClub NewsArchivesContactKellogg Homepage
Who will lead?
Doing well by doing good
The human touch of leadership
Theory & Practice: Jamison
Theory & Practice: Howard
Building homes and friendships
Address Update
Alumni Home
Submit News
Address Update Alumni Events Submit News
Internal Site
Northwestern University
Site Index Search Internal Site Northwestern University
Kellogg Search
Governance conference
© Nathan Mandell

Kellogg has long history as governance leader
Long before company names like “Enron” and “Adelphia” became epithets, Kellogg School of Management professors were studying the intricate workings of corporate boards and the delicate balance of power among boards, CEOs and shareholders.

Who will lead?
  Diversity in Action
  Reform demands
  Helping companies
  Governance leader

Dean Emeritus Donald P. Jacobs recalls that, more than a decade ago, Kellogg School administrators and professors decided Kellogg should stand at the forefront of corporate governance research. Led by Jacobs, the group organized the school’s first-ever conference to address corporate governance issues of the day.

“There was at the time a schism developing between boards of directors and institutional investors,” Jacobs says. “We decided that it would be very desirable to have a conference where we brought together board members from around the world and institutional investors who held large investments in corporate equity.”

The annual invitation-only corporate governance conference, which marked its 11th anniversary in May, pictured above, has perhaps never been more relevant than today.

This year’s event continued the tradition of healthy debate surrounding issues affecting corporate boards and their dynamics. The two-day conference included discussion of executive compensation in volatile markets, as well as the effects of Enron’s collapse on boards.

In an effort to bring the conference insights to those who could not attend, Kellogg sent out a transcript of the session to a number of corporate board members.

Conference highlights included the annual awards for “Corporate America’s Outstanding Directors,” given to eight leaders by the editors of the monthly publication Director’s Alert. This year’s recipients included United Airlines CEO John W. Creighton Jr., Northwestern University President Emeritus Arnold R. Weber, and retired Sunoco Inc. Chairman and CEO Robert H. Campbell. “We’re supporting the idea that there are good directors,” says Donald S. Perkins, former Jewel Foods chairman, who co-hosts the conference with Jacobs.

In the conference’s early days, says Jacobs, the subject of corporate governance “wasn’t thought much of.” That’s changed dramatically since then. “More and more it has become one of the central points of discussion,” he says.

Today, the Kellogg faculty continues its research into corporate governance. Several courses, including Executive Education offerings such as Strategies for Improving Directors’ Effectiveness, Governing the Family Business and the Women’s Director Development Program, provide insight into this crucial area. And Jacobs’ governance seminar continues to be popular, both within the full-time MBA and Executive Education curriculum. Given the recent corporate leadership lapses, seats in these and other Kellogg governance classes should remain in high demand.

— KR

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University