November 2019: Approved Courses

  • ERM 5590: Cognitive Bias
  • NECR 5050: Healthcare Negotiation
  • NECR 5090: Fundamentals of Organizational Ombuds Practice
  • NOPM: Disasters and Community: Philanthropic and Nonprofit Engagement
  • SUMA: Solid Waste Management
  • SUSC: Statistics, Data Analysis, and Coding for Sustainability Science
  • SPRT 5150: The Business of Professional Sports Leagues & Franchises

Course Overview for ERM 5590
Cognitive Bias

Insofar as there is a “traditional” field of ERM, it tends to operate on the assumption that investors, managers, and all other types of decision-makers within an organization are rational creatures who make optimal decisions. In recent years, however, emerging research from behavioral economics, psychology, and judgment & decision-making (JDM) has challenged this view by demonstrating that the rational choice framework is not sufficient to explain much of human behavior. It has been shown that decisions are motivated by a complex array of non-rational factors, which can give rise to systematic errors known as cognitive biases. Accounting for these variables is crucial for describing and better predicting various aspects of decision-making relevant for risk management: organizations are defined by the coordinated decisions of multiple individuals, all of whom are susceptible to irrational behavior. These behaviors are particularly salient in the case of risk assessment and appetite, a central component of ERM.

This course offers a foundation in the developing field of behavioral economics, with a focus on application of what the field has learned about cognitive biases to both traditional and value-based enterprise risk management (ERM) approaches. Following this course, students will be versed in the terminology, concepts, and technical aspects of behavioral economics theory; they will understand how behavior emerges and manifests in individuals; they will be able to identify and account for various cognitive biases; and they will be able to apply this knowledge to the assessment, management, and communication of enterprise risk through exposure to various case studies.

In this course, we will examine how theories and models enriched with insights about cognitive biases and other factors complement the traditional ERM framework and shed light on observed behavioral patterns.  We will also examine how biases can be managed or mitigated. We will explore how incentive structures can ameliorate or exaggerate biases and how to effectively incorporate ERM into performance analysis and business objectives to offset pre-existing biases. Additionally, this course will identify approaches to risk messaging through various approaches for communicating risks internally and externally with the goal of improving communication and decision-making. With this enhanced analytical approach, we will begin to outline a “behavioral” ERM perspective, which takes into account less-than-rational beliefs, non-standard preferences, and various social or environmental impediments to rationality in order to ensure better risk management decisions.

This elective course is open to students who have already completed Value-Based ERM and who are familiar with the Value-Based ERM framework. Special permission from the faculty and the ERM academic director is required for students from outside of the ERM program.

Course Overview for NECR 5050
Healthcare Negotiation

The topic of health care continues to capture the attention of the nation in ongoing debates fueled by rising costs, overutilization and the implementation of much needed reforms (Affordable Care Act). As the healthcare industry continues to rapidly evolve, it provides immense opportunities for learning and applying concepts, theories and research related to negotiation and conflict resolution in procurement of medical devices and difficult conversations such as advanced directives to name a few. This course is applicable not only to students pursuing careers in health care, but is also designed for students who are interested in applying negotiation skills that they have learned in an environment that can be emotionally charged and conceptually complex.

Throughout this course students will be given the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned from previous classes as well as solidify key concepts including but not limited to negotiation preparation, quantitative/qualitative analysis, influence, social cognition, asymmetrical information, and conflict resolution in a healthcare context. This course is designed to challenge each student to harness their critical thinking skills, uncover nuances and recognize the complexities associated with multiparty negotiations in healthcare. This course aims to enable students to develop and implement strategic processes that help bring parties together and promote new perspectives that will bridge the gap between the classroom and real-life scenarios.

During the course, students will gain insight into the history of the US healthcare system as well as the changing dynamics associated with the Health Care Reform, and end of life discussions. This course will emphasize the role of negotiations from multiple perspectives and will utilize an expert panel videos of such subject matter experts as hospital administrators/executives, physicians and medical device manufacturers in order to provide historical case studies as well as review real-life negotiations. Students will actively engage in negotiation planning and role plays, read case studies and other materials about negotiation and the healthcare field, as well as, use industry software to help them prepare for negotiations.

Course Overview for NECR 5090
Fundamentals of Organizational Ombuds Practice

This practical course is designed to introduce students to, and help them develop, the essential attitudes, skills, and knowledge required to succeed “in the room” at the unique role of organizational ombuds. Both the theory and practice of the role will be pursued. Attention will be given to the basic activities needed to manage all aspects of a case from entry into the ombuds’ process through “closure.” The course will emphasize the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics for the organizational ombuds as espoused by the International Ombudsman Association. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be fundamentally prepared to apply for entry-level positions in already operating organizational ombuds offices and with appropriate support and guidance from experienced ombuds practitioners, succeed in the role.

Course Overview for NOPM
Disasters and Community: Philanthropic and Nonprofit Engagement

This course analyzes the ways in which philanthropists and nonprofit organizations plan for and respond to disasters. Disasters create immense need quickly.  People have responded generously to many natural and human-created disasters that have led to thousands of victims either domestically or globally.  The nonprofit sector has often played a leading role, functioning both on the front-lines with first responders and creating a second response that bridges the period of relief and rebuilding.  New technologies have often been deployed to improve fundraising as well as disaster relief.  Disasters create both a sense of community born of the common experience of suffering and exacerbate differences within communities as those of lowest means struggle the most to recover.  Disaster relief and recovery is ripe with questions about who to help and how to best help, presenting ethical dilemmas for the best intentioned of nonprofit leaders.  The course will focus on the United States but both readings and assignments include some international comparisons.

This course counts as an elective in the Nonprofit Management program. There are no prerequisites for this course other than course sequencing required by the Nonprofit Management curriculum. Students from programs outside of the Nonprofit Management program may take this course with the permission of the Nonprofit Management Academic Director. 

Course Overview for SUMA
Solid Waste Management

The students completing this course are expected to:

▪ Acquire a broad understanding of the solid waste issue, perceive it as a critical sustainability issue, and be able to implement
an effective reusing and recycling plan in the municipal, commercial, and industrial sectors.
▪ Become more sophisticated in thinking about solid waste management.
▪ Be exposed to real-life applications where each person can have a noticeable contribution in addressing the solid waste
issue by considering/adopting primarily the “5R” approach/policy: Reducing, Reusing, Recycling (reprocessing and
recovering), Rejecting solid waste and Reacting to solid waste (as needed).
▪ Be exposed to real-world case studies and the means and methods used to optimize the management of solid waste, and
more particularly of recyclable wastes.
▪ Get familiar with the environmental life cycle assessment of materials.
▪ Learn technologies used to process materials for reuse and recycling in major sectors.
▪ Be able to analyze the environmental impact of solid waste applications.
▪ Be exposed to specialized reuse and recycling programs in New York City and other cities in the US.

Course Overview for SUSC
Statistics, Data Analysis, and Coding for Sustainability Science

Students in the Master of Science in Sustainability Science will encounter a range of scientific problems throughout their Science-specific courses that require a strong foundational level of mathematical and statistical knowledge.  In addition, coursework will involve computer coding to read, analyze, and visualize data sets.  This course provides an overview of essential mathematical concepts, an introduction to new concepts in statistics and data analysis, and provides computer coding skills that will prepare students for coursework in the Master of Science in Sustainability Science program as well as to succeed in a career having a sustainability science component.  In addition to an overview of essential mathematical concepts, the skills gained in this course include statistics, and coding applied to data analysis in the Sustainability Sciences. Many of these skills are broadly applicable to science-related professions, and will be useful to those having careers involving interaction with scientists, managing projects utilizing scientific analysis, and developing science-based policy.  Students enrolled in this course will learn through lectures, class discussion, and hands-on exercises that address the following topics:

  1. Review of mathematical concepts in calculus, trigonometry, and linear algebra.
  2. Mathematical concepts related to working on a spherical coordinate system (such as that for the Earth).
  3. Probability and statistics, including use of probability density functions to calculate expectations, hypothesis testing, and the concept of experimental uncertainty.
  4. Concepts in data analysis, including linear least squares, time-series analysis, parameter uncertainties, and analysis of fit.
  5. Computer coding skills, including precision of variables, arrays and data structures, input/output, flow control, and subroutines, and coding tools to produce basic X-Y plots as well as images of data fields on a global map.

Instruction and coding assignments will utilize Matlab, but examples from other coding languages (e.g., Java, C, C++, Python) will be provided in the lectures and notes so that the student can understand the wide applicability of the programming concepts being taught.

An undergraduate background in any field of science or engineering is required, as is expected for students in the MS in Sustainability Science Program. This course is approved to satisfy the Area 1 – Integrative Courses in Sustainability curriculum area requirement for the M.S. in Sustainability Science program.

Course Overview for SPRT 5150
The Business of Professional Sports Leagues & Franchises

Professional sports leagues are multi-billion dollar businesses whose decisions can have a significant impact on culture, politics, the global sports and entertainment industry, and society-at-large. Consider, for example, the recent controversy in the NFL over protests during the national anthem and its impact on the national conversation about race, as well as on the political landscape. Yet while they have a meaningful impact that extends beyond the world of sports, little is understood about these entities and the relationships between leagues and teams.

This course seeks to demystify sports leagues and teams. We will do this first by laying a foundation for understanding how leagues and teams are structured, operated, and governed. As we dig deeper into this landscape, we will begin to unpack what drives leagues and teams, including where those drivers overlap or compete. We will explore how decisions are made at the league and team level about issues such as broadcasting, team sales and relocations, governance, and venue development.  To facilitate understanding of these issues, the course is designed around your participation in debates and discussions. You will develop the skills needed to apply your understanding of these complex relationships to real-world cases, demonstrating the leadership and know-how required to resolve issues while learning how leagues and teams interact.

This course is an elective available to Sports Management students who have already taken Foundations of American Sports. A basic understanding of the sports landscape is required. Students who are not in the M.S. in Sports Management program may register for this course with permission from the instructors if they have already taken the Foundations of American Sports prerequisite.