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    OCTOBER 7, 2004
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Professorship in entrepreneurial finance new at Fox

The Ronald Perelman chair is one of few such positions in the nation

Photo by Rob Rich

Howard Gittis (left), who is funding The Fox School’s new entrepreneurial finance professorship, stands with Ronald Perelman, for whom the position is named.

The Fox School of Business and Management on Monday announced the creation of the Ronald O. Perelman Professorship in Entrepreneurial Finance.

The professorship is named in honor of the creative leadership of entrepreneur Ronald O. Perelman, chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. Funding for the endowed chair, at $1.5 million, comes from a $5 million pledge to Temple by Howard Gittis, chairman of the Board of Trustees and vice chairman and chief administrative officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings.

“Howard Gittis is a leader whose commitment to Temple University is like a second full-time job,” President David Adamany said. “Every day, Howard is working to build a strong future for Temple, and his leadership extends to every aspect of the University’s life. His gift to create a professorship in entrepreneurship to honor Ron Perelman is the latest of Howard’s many remarkable acts of leadership on behalf of Temple.”

“The last two decades have seen a significant spur in growth in entrepreneurship and venture capital in the U.S. and worldwide,” added M. Moshe Porat, dean of The Fox School. “To help the U.S. maintain its leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation, I am proud that The Fox School is now one of the few business schools in the nation to have a chair in entrepreneurial finance.”

Entrepreneurial finance, an interdisciplinary field, combines financial management with entrepreneurial management, exploring the driving forces behind the formation of new ventures and managing the risks, sustainability and funding of these ventures. This field is critically important because more than two-thirds of all jobs in the United States are formed by small businesses.

A national search will be conducted for the teacher-scholar who will hold the Perelman chair. The successful candidate will lead his or her colleagues by example, working with faculty to enhance research and teaching in entrepreneurial finance and helping to develop interdisciplinary curricula. Also, the professor who holds this chair will serve as a mentor and role model for students and for young faculty at The Fox School.

Establishing a chair in entrepreneurial finance complements and reaffirms The Fox School’s strong emphasis in entrepreneurship, including its Global Entrepreneurship Technology program, in which students have the opportunity to develop marketing strategies and financial and business plans for real-life companies worldwide. This year, Entrepreneur magazine ranked Fox’s entrepreneurship program among the top 50 programs in the United States. To enhance its leadership in entrepreneurship, the school recently hired a new executive director for its Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, Chris Pavlides, former CEO of the Philadelphia Senior Executive Group.

“I am truly honored that Howard Gittis has endowed this chair in entrepreneurial finance in my name,” Perelman said, “and I’m thrilled that The Fox School had the foresight to dedicate teaching and research resources to entrepreneurial finance, which has been the driver of my own business success.”

Gittis said, “I’m delighted to have initiated this honor to my great friend and colleague Ronald Perelman, an accomplished entrepreneur. The Ronald O. Perelman Chair will enable The Fox School at Temple University to recruit an outstanding teacher and scholar in entrepreneurial finance and allow Fox to continue its pioneering work in this exciting new multidisciplinary field.”

Porat praised Gittis “for his visionary leadership in recognizing both the importance of the study of entrepreneurship and its methods of funding” and thanked him “for his willingness to support and enhance The Fox School’s mission.”

Perelman is known worldwide as a successful entrepreneur. He built MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., a diversified holding company with interests in Revlon, Panavision and many other well-known companies, into one of the top holding companies in the world.

- By Lisa Meritz