Bettis Scholars

The Bettis Distinguished Scholar Award Program makes it possible for top-notch finance researchers to spend one week in residence at Arizona State University to contribute to intellectual discourse in the W. P. Carey School of Business Department of Finance.

Every year, one or two Bettis Scholars are invited to give a seminar presentation to department faculty and students and a lecture to doctoral students on topics of their choosing. The scholarship includes a $5,000 honorarium.

The Bettis Distinguished Scholar Award Program's 2016 Bettis Scholar is Laura Starks, Associate Dean for Research and Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Regents’ Chair in Finance at the University of Texas at Austin.

Associate Dean Starks teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on environmental, social and governance investing, global financial strategies, and other finance topics. She was Chairman of the Department of Finance for 9 years. She was also an editor of the Review of Financial Studies from 2008-2014 and has won a number of research and teaching awards in her career. Her current research focuses on mutual funds, corporate governance institutional investors and environmental, social and governance investing.

She has served on the Board of Directors of the four national academic finance organizations: the American Finance Association, the Financial Management Association (FMA), the Society of Financial Studies (SFS) and the Western Finance Association (WFA). She is past president of the FMA and is currently Vice-President of the SFS, and President-Elect of the WFA. She is a past Chairman of the Graduate Assembly for the University of Texas at Austin, the elected faculty council that governs the University’s graduate programs, and served on the Executive Committee of the University Faculty Council.

Currently, Associate Dean Starks is an independent director for CREF Retirement Accounts and TIAA-CREF Mutual Funds, serves on the Investment Advisory Committee for the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, and the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council. She has also served on the 2013 Strategy Council and the 2014 Expert Panel for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world).

Previous Bettis Scholars include Alumni Professor, Andrew Karolyi; Professors Brad Barber, UC Davis; Ravi Bansal, Duke University; Peter DeMarzo, Stanford University; Philip E. Strahan, Boston College; Richard C. Green, Carnegie Mellon University; Maureen O’Hara, Cornell University; Randall Morck, University of Alberta; Wayne Ferson, University of Southern California; and Kose John and David Yermack, New York University.

Carr Bettis, who created the program, has founded and sold several financial technology companies to multinational acquirers. Each of these companies has employed numerous ASU finance graduates. Carr also maintains an active research agenda and has published in several finance journals including the Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and Financial Management.

The program is in line with his belief in the importance of giving back to the community, which he has done by taking an active role in various charitable and philanthropic efforts.

“We’re fond of ASU,” Carr explains, “and our business ventures have been born out of technologies steeped in financial economics work. A visiting scholars program has real merit because it brings top-tier faculty from other universities here. They get exposure to the Tempe campus and what’s happening in the Finance Department. At the same time, faculty and students get a chance to learn from academic researchers who are leading the way in financial economics knowledge creation.”

To learn more about the Bettis Distinguished Scholar Award Program, see page 4 of the 2007-2008 issue of Finance Forum.

For further information about other seminars sponsored by the Department of Finance that are open to the public, refer to the Seminar Series.