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Center for Positive Marketing Enhances Business Schools

The new research center will benefit Fordham students who want to enter the business world.

Since the college's founding, Fordham's business school has predominantly been associated with the fields of accounting and finance. That may all be changing, as several factors have coalesced to push the marketing department into its rightful place under the spotlight. With the Gabelli School of Business lauded as one of the top four marketing programs in the country last year by BusinessWeek, the launch of the new Center for Positive Marketing stands to further distinguish Fordham's offerings in this fundamental business discipline.

Led by Dr. Dawn Lerman and her colleagues, Dr. Luke Kachersky and Dr. Marcia Flicker, the Center for Positive Marketing was founded under the guiding principal that marketing research is best approached not from the traditional standpoint of the marketers themselves, but rather from the perspective of the consumers that it seeks to serve. This demand-side focus will enable marketers to provide better and more mutually beneficial solutions for consumers' needs.

Dr. Lerman believes Fordham provides the ideal atmosphere to host such a center.

"Marketing is one of the main ties that binds the themes of globalization of, and social responsibility in, business," she said. "Fordham's Jesuit mission and the caliber of its business schools make the University uniquely positioned to house this type of research center and to explore these themes."

The University has committed to the launch of the center with an initial investment of seed capital. The administration anticipates that the program will be self-funded within the next couple of years, however. This will be at least partially accomplished through fundraising, which has already begun with a generous award of $7,000 from Proctor & Gamble's Higher Education Grant Program.

According to the press release, a big focus for the center will be on the establishment of an index that charts consumer well-being. It is intended to track the happiness and utility that Americans derive from their consumption, and will initially be published on an annual basis, although this may be expanded to a quarterly release in years to come. This index will be the first of its kind, and the team is hoping to publish its first results in the fall. In addition, other future goals include an annual conference, a wide variety of seminars and panels to discuss current developments in marketing and the inauguration of an executive-in-residence.

Clearly the Center for Positive Marketing will be a significant boon to consumers and marketers alike, but its benefits extend to the Fordham student body as well. Students will have the opportunity to work as research fellows, performing the research and analyzing data alongside Fordham faculty.

Students will also find the executive-in-residence program to be an excellent resource in their development as future businesspeople. This executive, whom the center is currently recruiting, will be charged with bringing prominent speakers to Fordham for a new lecture series entitled The Marketing Leader. A speaker from American Express has already committed, with several more soon to follow. The executive-in-residence will also be responsible for attracting corporate recruiters to the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses, and connecting students in both the undergraduate and graduate schools with marketing-related internships.

The launch of the Center for Positive Marketing is a good sign that the University is moving in the right direction. Research often distinguishes a mediocre school from an exceptional one, and investments in truly unique programs such as this will continue to fuel Fordham's rising prominence on the national scene.

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