New Salgo Professor

The Maine Business School has a new Salgo Professor: Dr. Pankaj Agrrawal.

Nicolas M. Salgo bequeathed a gift to the University of Maine in December 1967 to enhance the reputation and visibility of the then-College of Business Administration. The Professorship of Business Administration was born from that gift. The individuals selected for this professorship are expected to provide visibility and leadership for the College through extensive interactions with the business community, research, and other activities. Candidates for the Professorship must have an outstanding record in research, publications, teaching in one or more fields of business administration, and a demonstrated willingness to interact with the business community.

“I want to resurrect Salgo’s footprint,” Dr. Agrrawal says. “He was quite an amazing guy. Salgo formed the Watergate complex, was behind the Bangor Punta Corporation, and wrote a book about the work by Hungarian gold- and silversmiths.” Nicholas Salgo, born and raised in Hungary, became a U.S. citizen in 1953. He served as the American Ambassador to Hungary from 1983 to 1986. His obituary was published in The New York Times.

Dr. Agrrawal, Professor of Finance, joined the Maine Business School in 2005. Previously he worked as a portfolio manager and director of research at leading global asset management firms based in San Francisco, Boston, London, and Philadelphia. Over that time, he also designed and taught doctoral/graduate finance courses at Golden Gate University, Harvard, and Drexel University.

“Dr. Agrrawal is a transformative professor, in my opinion,” says MBS Executive Dean Faye Gilbert, Ph.D. “He connects with students at the graduate and undergraduate levels as he brings an in-depth understanding of finance and investments to their tables. His joy for teaching and research, his outreach to AFUM, UMaine, and others, and his leadership in the College all reinforce the committee’s recommendation that Dr. Agrrawal serve as the Salgo Professor.”

One of Dr. Agrrawal’s goals for his five-year term includes visiting Maine high schools and getting them interested in personal financial planning. “Financial literacy is key in a highly monetized and digitized economic system such as ours,” Dr. Agrrawal says. “High school sophomores have high-speed access to financial platforms that we could only dream of a decade back. Money transfer apps, stock trading apps, online shopping– it’s all at their fingertips. However, a lot of it revolves around consumption. I want to introduce them to the production side of the equation. Saving, growth, investing, and budgeting is also key.”

Dr. Agrrawal would also like to create an MBS research award that would lead to more collaboration with faculty. In addition, he’s interested in studying the phenomenon of greenwashing that is associated with sustainability. Greenwashing is a term used for marketing spin to persuade the public that an organization’s products, mission, or policies are environmentally conscious. “We have some prominent researchers in the area of climate studies at UMaine, and it would be illuminating to explore the topic,” Dr. Agrrawal says. “Many MBS students have an investigative mind and care for our environment.”

Previous holders of the professorship include Robert Jensen (1968-1979), Guvenc Alpander (1988-1996), John K. Ford (1997-2002), and Ivan Manev (2006-2021).