By: ALISE JARMUSZ – Asst. News Editor
RISE, the world’s largest student investment conference, sponsored annually by the University of Dayton and drawing the participation of over 150 universities, will not be held this year.
Each year, the Redefining Investment Strategy Education conference brought world-renowned professionals from corporate America, Wall Street, government and financial media to the UD arena.
RISE’14, last year’s conference, had a speaker lineup that included notable names such as Federal Reserve Bank President Sandra Pianalto, Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito, and Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” according to RISE’s website.
Paul Bobrowski, Dean of the School of Business Administration, said RISE will not be continued this year in order to give faculty time to plan events for the future.
“We are looking to enhance the value that goes to our students. We would like to have [RISE] be sustainable by having it be attached to the faculty…We want them to take ownership of what it is that we are going to go forward with,” said Bobrowski.
Bobrowski would like the faculty to “come up with alternative options”, which will include keeping parts of the current RISE in addition to making modifications.
He said the main idea of this “pause” is to allow faculty to “have a conversation as well as bring about options and alternatives that we would like to pursue.”
Bobrowski said he felt RISE was primarily focused on non-UD students.
“When you consider the value for [UD] students versus the value for [visiting] students, the value proposition was definitely steeped in the direction of the [visiting] students because our students were actually working the event,” he said.
Bobrowski would like to see UD students fully engaged, and hopes changes made to RISE will give students, especially in economics and finance, an opportunity to have a greater learning experience.
Eric Flanigan, student manager of RISE and senior finance major, said he was told about the decision to cancel RISE 15 by UD administration mid-way through the summer.
He said administration was extremely open about the decision and answered all student questions. Dr. Douglas, director of the Davis Center, which managed RISE each year, reached out to students as soon as possible, said Flanigan.
After working with RISE for three years, Flanigan said he was sad to hear the news but remained optimistic for the future.
“It’s disappointing as a senior to hear that it’s gone, but that doesn’t mean something positive won’t come from it…I’m very interested in what they will do going forward. Hopefully they will do something even better,” said Flanigan.
He agreed with Bobrowski’s observation that RISE panelists and speakers had more of an impact on visiting students than on UD students.
“Working it, I never got to listen to any of the speakers. I was usually running around behind the scenes, and not really sitting down and taking notes…The direct focus and the direct impact was on the students visiting,” he said.
Flanigan said he still received a huge indirect impact from working on the RISE team through the Davis Center.
“Personally, I built a lot of alumni connections because the alumni were very active in coming back for RISE. All the alumni I talked to gave me a lot of great career advice. I met them during RISE and maintained that relationship with them during RISE,” he explained.
He said RISE gave him the invaluable opportunity to network with many professionals within the field of finance and economics.
Flanigan said he knows UD administration will be working on an even better alternative for the future.
“It may not happen my senior year, but there’s definitely a good chance of it happening for future students,” he said.
Although RISE 15 will not occur, Bobrowski said there will be other activities throughout the year focused on enhancing the learning experience of UD students.
“There’s obviously going to be some temporary loss…we can go and look back, but this is an opportunity to have people engaged in how we go forward. That’s how we are looking at this: as an opportunity,” he said.