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Sy Out, SYMS In: Setting the Record Straight on the Future of the Syms School of Business

Benjamin Blumenthal is SYMS Student Body President.

It’s no secret that much has transpired and been said in the last six months with regard to the future of the “Sy Syms School of Business,” newly minted as “Syms School of Business,” or SYMS.

With the departure of Dean Michael Ginzberg and reassignment of Dean Ira Jaskoll, a new administration consisting of three directors has been appointed to lead the school. The first new director is Professor Moses Pava, who has been with the University for almost 25 years, and is an eminent academic in the field of accounting ethics.

The new Associate Director is Professor Michael Strauss, who was appointed head of Student Advising and Administration. He will also maintain his former role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Clinical Professor of Management.

Finally, Professor Dr. Avi Giloni will serve as Associate Director for Academic Research and continue his role as Associate Professor of Operations Management and Statistics.

In a statement released this past summer, Director Pava expressed his commitment to “transparent, efficient, fair and friendly student and administrative interactions.”

The new Directors have wasted no time in augmenting the existing SYMS offerings and introducing fresh initiatives. An Executive MBA Program is expected to be launched next year with Professor Steven Nissenfeld serving as director. The SYMS School will be hosting a visit early next year by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), hoping to become an accredited business school.

Furthermore, the new SYMS administration has received approval for a new Honors and Leadership Program that it hopes to make available to next year’s students.

SYMS recently welcomed Dr. S. Abraham Ravid, an internationally acclaimed researcher specializing in capital structure, debt features, bankruptcy and mergers, and contracts. He currently serves as SYMS Professor of Finance.

In addition to the Masters in Accounting program that will continue to be offered, a new 150-credit CPA Ready Certificate Program will soon allow those students who spend three summers on campus to apply for full-time accounting positions during their senior year. Additional accounting electives to support this initiative are already being offered.

Charles Harary, a renowned community leader and lecturer will be offering a brand-new course in the spring titled “Success.” The course will examine recent work on positive psychology, spirituality, ethics, management and what it means to be successful from both professional and personal points of view. The course will integrate both Jewish and secular sources and is designed to specifically meet the needs of Yeshiva business students.

Much is taking place outside the classroom, as well. The administration and SYMS Student Council are in the midst of planning a Spring semester evening program highlighting business opportunities in Israel. This will be the first in a series of programs for students and alumni entitled “Leading with Meaning.”

“We are moving at 100 miles an hour,” said Director Michael Strauss.

The SYMS events that have taken place so far this year have all attracted great interest from students. In September, the annual SYMS Student Council Shabbaton hosted more than 300 students from both campuses, substantially outweighing the turnout in previous years. Additionally, the TAMID Israel Investment Club hosted a crowded discussion with Eliezer Shkedi, President and CEO of El Al Airlines. The events that have taken place since the Succot break have been notable as well, especially the annual Wall Street Connections Series Industry Forum, which took place at the prominent Midtown law firm Shulte, Roth & Zabel.

“Our goal is to deliver as much as we can to the students,” said Gabe Siegal, Secretary of the SYMSSC. “We are working very closely with our club heads in helping them bring the best of what they have to offer to campus, especially with our new Friday SYMSSC Site Visit Series,” referring to the new SYMSSC Clubs initiative of having a site visit to a different business office every Friday of the Fall semester.

“The spirit and pride amongst the students, faculty and administration has been reinvigorated and the excitement in the air is palpable,” said Corey Horowitz, a SYMS senior. “The SYMS student activities seem to be as appealing as ever with some of the most talented students leading our collection of business clubs.”

When asked about what Yeshiva University students can expect in the coming year, Dr. Pava answered that “it is our hope that this year, the 25th anniversary of the actualization of the Syms family’s dream, will be one of a new beginning and herald in a new era of prominence for our business school. The best is yet to come.”