In the News

Follow the many forums in which the Graziadio School contributes in the business media to conversations shaping industry and education in our time.

2015 Trends Report Highlights Expert Commentary from Graziadio Faculty


Every year, the Graziadio School of Business and Management compiles a Trends Report that summarizes emerging trends and issues expected to take shape in the coming year. As distinguished academics as well as leaders in the business world, faculty at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School are qualified both academically and professionally to comment on timely and pressing issues such as job creation and career mobility, real estate trends, workplace and gender bias, data analytics, and private investment. They often have unique points-of-view on developing issues, public policies, and business trends.

The 2015 Trends Report uniquely highlights our faculty’s areas of expertise, research and thoughts about future business trends in the greater Los Angeles area and beyond. We hope you find this report invaluable and use it as a resource for background, expert commentary or perspective on emerging trends in 2015.

David Smith Named Interim Dean of Graziadio School of Business and Management

David Smith Named Interim Dean of Graziadio School of Business and Management

davidsmithDavid M. Smith, senior associate dean and associate professor of economics, has been named interim dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management, effective August 1, 2014.

“I am honored to serve the university in this capacity. We have a great team of faculty and staff to help advance the Graziadio School over the coming year, to pursue our strategic priorities, as well as fulfill the university mission,” Smith says.

David earned his B.A. from Wheaton College and both his M.S. and PhD degrees from Michigan State University. Prior to assuming this new role, David has served as associate dean for eight years at the business school, most recently as senior associate dean. In this role, he had primary oversight for the faculty at the Graziadio School, and he was instrumental in launching two new centers, the Center for Applied Research and the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. David also oversees the Graziadio School’s e-learning initiatives and online MBA program, which will see its inaugural class graduate in December 2014.

Prior to obtaining his PhD in economics, Smith worked for seven years as a manager in the insurance industry. Since completion of his academic credentials, Smith has consulted for various industries, specializing in information technology, financial services, medical, and nonprofit sectors. A labor economist with an applied focus, Smith’s economic expertise includes the areas of labor pay and productivity, the economics of gender, and analysis of specific labor markets. He has published in numerous academic and practitioner outlets. His research on credit unions has been used in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court as well as in state legislative hearings.

Smith closely follows current economic trends and is a frequent commentator on radio and in several newspapers and magazines, including most recently the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the New York Times, and the Investor’s Business Daily. His opinion in matters related to the Employee Free Choice Act and union negotiations within the entertainment and grocery industries have been widely reported. Smith has been a full-time faculty member at the Graziadio School of Business and Management of Pepperdine University since 1997.

Pepperdine’s Dr. Rapier: Misaligned Values at Center of Beverly Hills Hotel-Brunei Laws Boycott


Steve RapierAn expert guest on KPCC’s AirTalk public radio talk show, marketing professor Steve Rapier commented on the escalating controversy regarding the Sultan of Brunei’s ownership of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Boycotts, local government condemnation and entertainment community event cancellations continue over the Sultan’s imposition of Islamic laws that allow gays and adulterers to be stoned or dismembered, among other punishments. Protesters and the City of Beverly Hills insist the Sultan divest of his stakes in the hotel properties.

“I don’t believe it is a win-win situation for the Sultan if he holds onto the properties as well as resists changing his laws,” said Professor Rapier, who criticizes the hotels and Brunei for not understanding how to handle a crisis. “As long as the brand –be it the hotel or anyone associated with him [the Sultan]—has values counter to their core values [Los Angeles entertainment community and protesting groups] I see it as an impossible fix.”

LISTEN: Beverly Hills Hotel boycott fires up over Brunei laws, ownership (Click “Listen Now” button left of photo)


LABJ: Pepperdine CEO Grads Volunteer to Guide C-Suite MBA Students


labj-thumbnailThe Presidents and Key Executives MBA program has initiated a program engaging recent graduates as volunteer unpaid full-time advisors to current students, contributing an additional level of mentorship to the role class advisors provide. Alumna Noelle Nguyen arranged for the Los Angeles Business Journal to profile the program and interview Associate Dean Gary Mangiofico and Professor Bill Smith as well as fellow alumni advisor and Taylor Financial chief executive John Carnesale.

READ: Pepperdine Alums Aim to Help Business Classes Fly



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