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Endowed business chair, three professorships named

July 11, 2006

KALAMAZOO--A veteran finance professor at Western Michigan University has been named to an endowed chair, while three other professors, also in the WMU Department of Finance and Commercial Law, have been appointed to endowed professorships.

The WMU Haworth College of Business has announced the establishment of the National City Corp. Endowed Chair in Finance and Commercial Law. Dr. Ajay Samant, professor of finance and commercial law and chair of his department, will fill the new post.

"The intent of this award is to recognize exceptional contribution to the discipline of finance," says Dr. Adrian "Ed" Edwards, retiring college dean. "The award carries a stipend, as well as funding of research and expenses related to research."

Samant has published numerous research articles and has presented several papers at banking and finance conferences. He serves as a resource to local and national bank organizations, has been quoted several times in leading newspapers on matters pertaining to financial markets and has been interviewed on national television. Samant joined the WMU faculty in 1992 and was appointed FCL chair in 2003. The endowed chair is the result of a $1.5 million multi-year gift from National City to WMU announced in 1991.

In addition to the endowed chair, the college has announced three FCL professorships.

The William Magel Professorship in Real Estate has been established in honor of the late William Magel, former chief executive officer of the National Association of Realtors. Dr. Timothy Scheu, associate professor of finance and commercial law, will fill that post. Scheu has taught courses in real estate at WMU for more than 20 years and is a community resource for information on real estate. His research has appeared in the Journal of Real Estate Research and the Journal of Urban Economics.

The college also has created the State Farm Professorship in Financial Services, which is intended to provide incentives to an outstanding faculty member to lead the financial services area. Dr. Judith Swisher, associate professor of finance and commercial law, was named to that position. Swisher teaches courses in personal financial planning and retirement planning and employee benefits. She also advises students interested in majoring in personal financial planning. Her research interests include the effects of institutional trading on financial markets, equity offerings and self-tender offers. She has presented research papers at several conferences and has published articles in several research journals, including The Financial Review, the Journal of Real Estate Research and the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting. She is also vice president of the CFA--Chartered Financial Analysts--West Michigan Society.

The third endowed professorship created by the college is the Robert J. Bobb Professorship in Finance and Commercial Law, which was made possible by WMU alumnus Robert Bobb, a Chicago industrialist. It is intended to honor an outstanding faculty member in the Department of Finance and Commercial Law and has been awarded to Dr. Devrim Yaman, associate professor of finance. Yaman has published research papers in numerous journals. Her research interests include capital structure, corporate payout policy and agency theory. Yaman has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in corporate finance. She also serves as secretary of the CFA West Michigan Society.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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