University of Texas-Austin and Enron launch Energy Finance program

Apr 10, 1998 02:00 AM

Responding to the rapid changes taking place in the energy industry, including the development of a deregulated, competitive electricity market, the University of Texas-Austin and Enron have teamed up to launch the nation's first Energy Finance program and to create an Enron MBA Excellence Scholarship Fund.
UT will seek support from other leading energy firms to join in the development of the Energy Finance Program, creating an unprecedented partnership effort between education and industry.
Enron has funded a $ 3 mm grant, part of which will be used to create the new Energy Finance curriculum, which will enable MBA students to learn innovative ways in which commodities such as electricity and natural gas can be traded, much like equity stocks.
Enron has pioneered and continues to lead risk management practices in the energy field, offering its customers innovative financing alternatives for long-term contracts related to domestic and international energy projects. The grant also will fund scholarships for students exhibiting both academic excellence and leadership capabilities.
"For many years the University of Texas has provided Enron with a steady source of talented recruits, some of the nation's best and brightest young minds," said Kenneth L. Lay, chairman and CEO of Enron, who also chairs the Governor's Business Council. "By helping the university develop and launch this innovative curricula, we can provide students with cutting-edge skills that will prepare them for careers in the fast-changing energy industry. At the same time our new scholarship program will help 30 graduate students each year achieve their MBAs."
"It is critical that companies like Enron partner with Texas educational institutions to ensure that our programs remain competitive," said Dean Robert G. May of the Texas Graduate School of Business. "In this case, together with Enron we are creating an entirely new field of study, preparing our graduates to transition quickly from the academic world to theworld of business."
"Enron has really been a pioneer in the field of energy finance. They have virtually changed the shape of the energy industry," said George Gau, chairman of the Department of Finance at UT-Austin. "Our students are excited about working in the energy finance arena. And the university is proud to partner in research and to develop courses with input from Enron and other leading firms that will put us at the forefront of this exciting new discipline."
About 50 graduate students will be accepted into the Energy Finance program during its first year, which is set to begin this fall under the leadership of Dr. Gau.
Participating students will devote about one-third of their master's course work to the study of Energy Finance.

Funds from the $ 3 mm Enron grant will also support the University of Texas Center for Business Measurement and Assurance Services, the University of Texas at Austin Law School, and the UT Entrepreneurship program.

The mission of The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business is to be the number one institution for business education in the world. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs are consistently ranked among the top 20 business programs - public or private - in the nation.

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