RICHARDSON, Texas (Aug. 4, 2004) – A stock exchange, two prominent companies and a prestigious professional organization have affiliated with the Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance (IECG) at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc., and Financial Executives International (FEI) are joining the institute as institutional advisors, while JCPenney and The Staubach Company have signed on as the organization’s newest corporate sponsors.
IECG Executive Director Dr. Constantine Konstans explained that institutional advisors alert the institute, which is part of the UTD School of Management, to impending changes and events that may have a broad affect on the area of corporate governance while corporate sponsors help the institute by reviewing and evaluating proposed programs and identifying and recruiting speakers and panelists for IECG seminars.
The Texas General Counsel Forum currently serves as an IECG institutional advisor, and Haggar Corp., Lennox International, Inc., and Texas Instruments serve as corporate sponsors. Four other companies — Deloitte, Bank One Corporation, Marsh, Inc., and Haynes and Boone, LLP — serve the institute as strategic partners by donating financial support and giving advice on their specific areas of expertise.
“Input from our partners, sponsors and advisors is an invaluable asset to the institute. Not only are we able to incorporate into our programs the developments in the field they alert us to, but the unique perspective they offer is extremely important in helping us prepare our programs,” Konstans said. “In addition, they provide speakers and access to other groups that can assist IECG in achieving its mission.”
Michael Emen, senior vice president for NASDAQ’s Listing Qualifications Department,
said that “NASDAQ recognizes the important role institutions such as IECG play in enhancing corporate governance and educating directors. We look forward to working with IECG and its corporate sponsors, strategic partners and institutional advisors to further this effort.”
Spokesmen for IECG’s other new advisors and sponsors offered similar comments.
“Today’s environment demands a renewed effort to consistently act in the best interests of shareholders, and we look forward to IECG’s contributions to the current body of knowledge in corporate governance,“ said President and CEO Colleen Sayther of Financial Executive International, a 14,000-member professional organization for senior officers of larger companies.
Ka Cotter, vice chairperson of The Staubach Company, said, "Whether big or small, public or private, we all aspire to establish sound corporate governance as a foundation for healthy growth and accountability. The IECG program at UTD has already provided excellent resources and leadership for our board. We look forward to continuing this learning process."
IECG conducts research and presents programs that are focused on enhancing the abilities of corporate directors, senior officers and institutional investors to protect and promote stakeholders’ interests in an effective and ethical manner. IECG’s director of research is Dr. Suresh Radhakrishnan, a UTD professor of accounting and information management.
The institute’s inaugural program last January, “Compliance and Beyond: Restoring Public Trust by Building an Effective Organization,” focused on the implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for senior officers and directors of publicly traded companies. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which creates new far-reaching challenges for people involved in corporate governance, was passed by Congress in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom debacles, in part to bolster public confidence in the nation’s capital markets. It imposes new duties — as well as significant penalties for non-compliance — on public companies and their executives, directors, auditors, attorneys and securities analysts.
Konstans, who is also a UTD professor of accounting and information management, said the institute’s seminars are designed to help participants find solutions to specific issues related to the new rules for the corporate governance system.
UTD School of Management Dean Hasan Pirkul welcomed the participation of IECG’s newest advisors and sponsors. “Today’s corporate directors and senior officers are under closer scrutiny than ever by regulators, investors and the general public, all demanding a higher level of competence in matters of corporate operations, finance and administration,” Pirkul said. “At the same time, these constituents are also demanding heightened standards of ethical behavior. The perspective that NASDAQ, JCPenney, The Staubach Company and FEI can lend will make a significant contribution to the work IECG is doing to address these issues.”
As one of only 33 education programs for corporate directors in the nation accredited by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), IECG’s seminars are designated as official ISS “Preferred Boardroom Education Programs.” Programs with such designation offer director participants special continuing education credits.
The next IECG seminar, “Compliance and Beyond: Responsibilities of Independent Directors,” is scheduled for Oct. 28 at The UTD School of Management. For more information on the seminar, please contact Konstans at 972-883-6345 or [email protected] or visit the IECG web site at http://som.utdallas.edu/iecg.
About The UTD School of Management
The School of Management is the largest of UTD’s seven schools, with an enrollment that has increased 92 per cent over the last seven years to more than 4,300 students. The school’s new, 204,000-square-foot building — featuring classrooms with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, wireless connectivity, video-conferencing facilities, a computer lab, faculty offices, meeting rooms and an executive education center — opened last summer.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 13,700 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's web site at www.utdallas.edu