AIG Bonuses, Valley Business Educators Reaction

March 17, 2009 12:32:16 AM PDT
Local businesses-- large and small-- are watching the AIG bonus situation with interest ... and so are business educators. Fresno State students and professors are learning a lot about bailouts and bonuses. The students are learning the basics of starting up a business. They are learning whether they have an idea or product good enough to pursue. As future entrepreneurs, they're determined to do whatever it takes to make their business to succeed.                  |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

Entrepreneurial Studies professor Tim Stearns said, "One of the things that many of us are going to have to re-think, at least those of us who are part of business education, is what are we communicating to a lot of our students and people coming through? Are they simply stewards of the business or are they people who are only responding to the needs of the shareholders?"

Dr. Tim Stearns is the Executive Director for Fresno State's Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He says the AIG bonus fiasco is an example of executives responding only to the needs of shareholders and feeling little responsibility for the company.

Stearns said, "I think the public's response to it being ridiculous is an appropriate response. There is no justification for driving companies into the ground and turning around and receiving some type of bonus for it." Some business students say they hope the AIG bonus situation will be an example of how NOT to run a business, but others say it will give young businessmen and women a sense of entitlement."

Fresno State student Stacie Dain is developing a baby stroller she intends to market one day. She says she would never ask for a bailout if things went sour - much less reward employees for bringing her company down. She said, "'Oh, its okay, I'll get help from the government if my company goes down.' I don't see how this is making a good impression on the younger generation. "

At the Lisles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship students are taught the importance of finding solutions to problems. If you get rich in the process - great. But the professors believed the real entrepreneurs are people who solve problems and get great joy out of solving those problems.

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