ISU Hilton Chair will discuss 'the importance of being entrepreneurial' at Sept. 12 lecture

AMES, Iowa -- Michael Morris, Witting Chair and director of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises at Syracuse University, will speak on "The Importance of Being Entrepreneurial in Today's Changing University Climate" at 4 p.m. next Tuesday, Sept. 12, in Iowa State University's Gilman Auditorium (1352 Gilman Hall). The event is free and open to the public. A public reception will follow.

The 2006-07 Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair for Iowa State University's College of Human Sciences, Morris is an expert on entrepreneurship. He has published four books, more than 100 articles, and been a principal in three entrepreneurial start-ups. In addition to prior work concerning entrepreneurial development, corporate strategies, and entrepreneurial intensity and innovation, Morris' recent research explores small venture strategy, corporate entrepreneurship, the marketing and entrepreneurship interface, and entrepreneurship under adverse conditions.

While Morris views the nature of entrepreneurship as a universal concept, he believes that his work as Hilton Chair will help "guide the teaching, research, and service efforts within the college, and be reflected in the ways students approach life and work." He is assisting in development of a campus-wide entrepreneurship initiative at Iowa State.

"While the creation of new businesses might be one relevant outcome, the focus of this (entrepreneurship) initiative is to identify a concept of entrepreneurship that resonates among faculty and students who are focusing on education, food science, human development, apparel and hospitality studies," said Morris.

The goal for the 2006-07 Dean Hilton LeBaron Chair, according to coordinators Linda Niehm and Sara Marcketti, is to assist faculty and students in understanding entrepreneurship beyond the sole idea of starting a business. Entrepreneurship also includes the refinement of processes such as innovativeness, risk taking, problem solving, leadership, vision and creativity, they noted.

"We are trying to reach out with this entrepreneurship initiative to all areas of the human sciences," said Niehm. "We need time to make these connections and this initiative is going to help us do that."

Morris previously served as the Noborikawa Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Hawaii and the Cintas Chair in Entrepreneurship at Miami University. During his tenure at Miami, the program was selected as the National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program. He also has served as Gordon Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where he created the Supporting Emerging Enterprises Program.

Morris is a former Fulbright Scholar (South Africa, 1993). He is editor emeritus of the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship. He has received recognition for his teaching and research, and was twice honored by Pi Sigma Epsilon as national Faculty Advisor of the Year.

Established in 1995, the Hilton Chair was endowed by a gift of more than $1.3 million from the estate of Helen LeBaron Hilton, who served as dean of the College of Home Economics from 1952 to 1975. That college is now part of the College of Human Sciences.

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