Campus Sustainability Spotlight

February Spotlight: Seidman College of Business

The Seidman College of Business of Grand Valley State University is the dynamic growing business school located in the heart of the greater Grand Rapids business community. Seidman's Faculty and Staff are dedicated to helping our students and our West Michigan business partners grow and prosper both in and out of the classroom.  Follow the Seidman College of Business on any of our social media outlets - Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

L. William Seidman Center will be the new LEED- (Leading in Environment and Energy Design) certified home of the Seidman College of Business (pictured on the left).  This will be Grand Valley's 16th LEED-certified building (a full list of LEED-certified buildings can be found here).  Students, faculty, and staff will be able to enjoy the new building for the fall 2013 semester.  A hard hat tour video is an amazing way to experience this new building!   

Sustainability Events

Sir Ken Robinson will deliver a presentation to the general public on "Leading A Culture of Innovation" at the Fieldhouse Arena on the Allendale Campus at 9:00 a.m. on March 27, 2013, as part of the Frederik Meijer Lecture Series.

John Russell, CEO of Consumer's Energy, was a speaker during the Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Series. A recording of his lecture can be found below:



Seidman College of Business Projects

Management (MGT) 672 - Creativity & Social Entrepreneurship
The Fall 2012 Creativity & Social Entrepreneurship class transformed course content into real-time applications through team and individual presentations.  Students worked in teams to identify a problem within the triple bottom line construct (social, economic, and environmental dimensions), analyze the problems, then develop a solution strategy:
  1. Fulton Street Market Improvement - simultaneously improving market profitability and resident health through solving urban community access and impact obstacles
  2. Improving Goodwill’s profitability - improving efficiency and sales by utilizing young adults’ virtual competency to increase their use of second hand resources
  3. Improving Holland-Zeeland student success through improving preschooler development - profitably solving pre-school parents’ knowledge access and support obstacles through interactive virtual technology
  4. Improving quality of life for urban seniors - funding a ‘green’ urban assisted living center through creating a multi-use business application

Each student was also challenged with the reality of very uncertain economic environment, including the potential for becoming unemployed as of December 31, 2012.  In anticipation of this potential, students were asked to build social entrepreneurship strategies that would sustain them for the future.

  1. Collective Impact Metrics
  2. Common Sense Financial Services
  3. Custom Cake/Specialty Baking Service
  4. Empower Asset Development Through Collaborative Real Estate Ownership
  5. Hub for Accessing Reclaimed Building Materials
  6. Improved System for Re-building Global Forestation
  7. Non-Profit Consulting
  8. Retraining Re-entering Citizens Through Small Business Development
  9. Sick Child Care
  10. Small Manufacturer’s Coop
  11. Urban Redevelopment

Sustainable Projects by Professor Staw Swift
Professor Star Swift, Business Law Faculty, has been a key figure in sustainability at the Seidman College of Business.  Here are the projects that have been conducted by Dr. Swift.

  1. GVSU Saves Thousands using ooVoo Video Chat (video) – A team of students at GVSU are training the GVSU Athletic Department on how to use ooVoo (vide telepresence) for interviewing first round candidates, conducting meetings, talking to students, etc.  Team ooVoo is also tracking the savings that result from using ooVoo rather than travel (plane, car, etc.).  So far, in just a few months, we have tracked over $11,000 in savings. 
  2. Arbitration Website (link) – Conducted by Team Web GVSU, this site has run as a public service for educational purposes.  We aim to provide equal and open access to anyone seeking information in order to ensure equal justice in the arbitration realm.  Google has given the arbitration web site a $40,000 per month grant for free adds.
  3. Midwife App – In December 2012, Mary Sommers wrote a book called “A Midwife’s Guide”.  Team Web GVSU s making a mobile app that is free and will be available to midwives and midwives-in-training.  The book has already proved beneficial in Malawi, Africa.  Olvi conceived of the app idea after hearing about the need for wide dissemination of the book in order to increase survival rates during birth in third world countries.
  4. The Basics of E-Discovery (video) – The video about the Basics of E-Discovery was a group project led by business student Travis Cornwell, with advisory support provided by GVSU Alum Daniel Estrada.  Supervising faculty on the project was Dr. Star Swift.  Research and funding advice and support was provided by Bob Smart.
  5. How Not to Interview with ooVoo (video) – Graduate student Kristin Travers led the ooVoo program during her final year at GVSU.  During that time, she completed the original website for ooVoo at GVSU and she assisted administration and faculty with interviewing applicants via ooVoo.  In this video, she played the job applicant so that others could learn from mistakes she had seen numerous times during video interviews she had witnessed.
  6. What Businesses Should Know about Industrial Security Firms (article) – During the summer of 2007, GVSU seniors Travis Cornwell and Joseph Woods wrote a paper with Dr. Swift about Industrial Security Firms.  In addition to the paper, the team made a video for a presentation at a Global Conference in Canada about data theft and security.
  7. Using ooVoo to Teach in the Middle East – GVSU student, Najib Absher, worked in Lebanon during the summer of 2011 and met with Dr. Swift to draft a personnel handbook for a large Lebanese construction company.  The pair worked throughout the summer and met via ooVoo in the morning when Najib was home from work and Dr. Swift was just starting her day.  The result was a completed handbook for the company and a new look at employment law from the vantage point of both Lebanese and U.S. law.

Business Ethics Center
The mission of the Business Ethics Center (BEC) at Grand Valley State University's Seidman College of Business is to examine the role and influence of business in public life, to promote inquiry into ethical business practices and education, and to be a leading resource for business persons, students, faculty members, and administrators who seek to understand the relationship between business, the common good, and a life well lived.

Professional Sustainability Related Conferences
Midwest Decisions Sciences Institute Conference
The conference theme of the 2012 Midwest Decision Sciences Institute Conference, hosted at Grand Valley State University, was Sustainability, Innovation, and Global Supply Chain Management.  THE MWDSI Conference provided multiple learning opportunities for students and professionals.  Several Seidman College of Business faculty were involved in the conference as track chairs, presenters and discussants.

Society of Operations Management 16th Annual International Conference
Jointly hosted by Grand Valley State University, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and Indiana Institute of Management Lucknow, the 2012 Annual International Conference of the SOM seeks to disseminate knowledge and share new ideas in managing manufacturing and service operations for businesses as well as for governments, non-governmental organizations and other non-profit organizations.

Faculty Sustainability Publications
Seidman College of Business faculty members have written and published sustainability focused and related books.

Sustainability Demystified!, written by Norman Christopher, has been developed as a practitioners guide for business and organizational leaders, managers, and owners about sustainability best practices - what works and why.  Using West Michigan as a benchmark, Sustainability Demystified! can help any size and location business or organization, to reap the benefits that come from adopting sustainability best practices.  This book provides a learning opportunity to transform your organization and take it to a higher level of performance and leadership.

Norman Christopher, MBA, is currently the Director for the Grand Valley State University Sustainable Community Development Initiative.  He has over 30 years of global management experience, including responsibilities as President, Cheif Executive Office (CEO), and Chief Operating Officer (COO).


Dr. Ashok Kumar, Professor of Management and E. Seidman Endowed Chair for the Seidman College of Business has served as the Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair position, as well as been a distinguished invited guest lecturer on sustainability in many different venues in numerous international locations.  He has also held various leadership positions in at conferences and a distinguished professor.  In addition, Dr. Kumar has been the editor of two journals, with two recent publications – Sustainability Reporting Parameters and Practices in Construction and Real Estate Industry – A Comparative Study of US and India, with Preeti Kulshrestha and Corporate Sustainability: A Strategic Imperative.

Lean Sigma Methods and Tools for Service Organizations: The Story of a Cruise Line Transformation, co-authored by Jaideep Motwani, demonstrate how key components of both Six Sigma and Lean, such as identifying and removing defects, elimination of waste, metrics, speed of delivery and seamless integration of these concepts and practices throughout the operation serve to deliver the kind of value that customers recognize and which allows the organization to be successful.  Lean Sigma Methods and Tools for Service Organizations proposes to integrate the best practices of each of these philosophies and apply them to an organization whose overriding mission is to deliver superior service to its customers.

Dr. Jaideep Motwani is the current Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business Chair and Professor of Management.  His management expertise focuses on quality management, supply chain management, global competitiveness, service management, and technology management.

Sustainability Business Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

For class descriptions refer to the Online Catalog under Course Listings and Descriptions.

Undergraduate Sustainability Focused Courses
BUS 201 - Legal Environment of Business 
BUS 531 - Legal Environment of Business
ECO 349 - Emerging Markets Issues

Undergraduate Sustainability Related Courses
ACC 212 - Principles of Financial Accounting
ACC 213 - Principles of Managerial Accounting
ACC 308 - Governmental and Non-for-Profit Accounting 
ACC 310 - Intermediate Accounting I 
ACC 311 - Intermediate Accounting II 
ACC 317 - Individual Income Taxation 
ACC 318 - Entity Taxation 
ACC 321 - Cost Strategy and Decision Making 
ACC 322 - Cost Systems and Control Techniques
ACC 330 - International Accounting 
ACC 340 - Accounting Systems
ACC 341 - Project Management 
ACC 413 - Internal Auditing 
ACC 416 - Information Systems Auditing
ACC 511 - Financial and Managerial Accounting Concepts
BUS 101 - Introduction to Business 
ECO 100 - Current Economic Issues 
ECO 200 - Business Economics -
ECO 210 - Introductory Macroeconomics 
ECO 211 - Introductory Microeconomics  
ECO 312 - Applied Microeconomics 
ECO 313 - Business Cycles and Growth 
ECO 330 - Sports Economics 
ECO 341 - Economics of Business Strategy 
ECO 345 - Environmental and Resource Economics 
ECO 350 - Gender and Economics 
ECO 355 - Business, Antitrust and Regulation 
ECO 360 - Employment, Wages, and Productivity 
ECO 365 - Comparative Economic Systems 
ECO 369 - International Economic Issues
ECO 435 - Urban Economics 
ECO 436 - Real Estate Economics 
ECO 440 - Public Finance 
ECO 542 - Economic Reasoning
ENT 150 - Entrepreneurial Quest 
ENT 151 - New Venture Feasibility 
ENT 250 - Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting 
ENT 251 - Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing 
FIN 320 - Managerial Finance 
FIN 321 - Investments 
FIN 331 - Risk and Insurance 
FIN 427 - Derivative Assets and Markets 
FIN 428 - Security Analysis and Portfolio Management 
FIN 429 - International Financial Management 
FIN 522 - Finance Principles for Managers
MGT 268 - Introduction to Management Information Systems 
MGT 331 - Concepts of Management 
MGT 333 - Human Resource Management
MGT 334 - Labor and Employment Law 
MGT 336 - Compensation and Benefits Management 
MGT 339 - Business and Society 
MGT 340 - Business, Social Change, and Ethics
MGT 345 - Team Building 
MGT 355 - The Diversified Workforce 
MGT 364 - Service Operations Management 
MGT 371 - Systems Analyses and Design 
MGT 430 - Organizational Development 
MGT 432- Grievance Administration, Arbitration, and Collective Bargaining
MGT 433 - International Human Resource Management 
MGT 438 - Business Ethics 
MGT 466 - International Management and Multinational Corporations
MGT 467 - Advanced Topics in Operations Management 
MGT 471 - Enterprise Systems Configuration 
MGT 495 - Administration Policy 
MGT 510 - Principles of Management Information Systems
MKT 350 - Marketing Management 
MKT 351 - Consumer Behavior
MKT 354 - Distribution Institutions and Logistics 
MKT 358 - Advertising and Marketing Communications
MKT 359 - Multinational Marketing 
MKT 370 - New Product Development 
MKT 457 - Logistics and Transportation 

Graduate Sustainability (Focused and Related) Courses
ACC 611 - Contemporary Managerial Accounting 
ACC 612 - The Accountant's Legal Environment
ACC 613 - Financial Statement Analysis 
ACC 614 - Auditing 
ACC 617 - International Accounting 
ACC 612 - Advanced Cost Management 
ACC 627 - Estate, Gift, and Trust I 
ACC 631 - Employee Benefit Plans and Deferred Compensation 
ACC 633 - International Tax Practice
BUS 634 - Sustainability, Principles & Practices
BUS 644 - International Business 
BUS 671 - Global Competitiveness
BUS 677 - Business Ethical Problems & Perspectives
BUS 681 - Strategy 
BUS 698 - Washington Program
BUS 680 - Micro ENT and Sustainability
ECO 641 - Business Economics and Strategy 
ECO 642 - Corporate Strategy for Business Cycles 
ECO 645 - International Economic Issues
ECO 646 - Employment, Wages, and Productivity
ECO 680 - Special Topics (Environmental Economics for Managers)
FIN 621 - Financial Policy for Managers 
FIN 624 - Investments
MBA 634 - Sustainability, Principles & Practices (for FIMBA)
MGT 633 - Management of Human Resources 
MGT 635 - Planned Change and Organizational Development
MGT 637 - Problems in Labor-Management Relations 
MGT 638 - International Human Resources Management 
MGT 664 - Total Quality Management
MGT 672 - Creativity and Entrepreneurship 
MGT 673 - Small Business Management
MGT 677 - Professional Ethics Problems and Perspectives
MKT 651 - Marketing Management 
MKT 654 - Marketing Strategy in the New Economy
MKT 655 - Promotional Strategy
MKT 658 - International Marketing 
MKT 660 - Marketing Research and Analysis
*Currently working on a new emphasis at the graduate level called Sustainability Enterprise.

Page last modified June 29, 2016