Interviews | Apr 21, 2020 | Jessica Edgar
Talking with… Victor Borun
Each “Talking with…” feature helps you learn about a different Gabelli School faculty member, administrator, or staff member. This week, we’re speaking with Victor Borun, associate professor of finance and business economics at the Gabelli School of Business.
What is your favorite part about teaching at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business?
I have been teaching at the Gabelli School of Business for forty years. Over this period of time, the School grew substantially in terms of size of the faculty, number of programs, students and administration. During the eighties and nineties, the graduate division was expanding rapidly while the undergraduate division had solid enrollments. I did teach finance at both levels. The graduate students, at that time, were strictly focused on their careers following the movie “Wall Street” and a credo “greed is good.” The undergraduate students have always been respectful, responsible and a delight to deal with. After many years as an administrator, I returned to teaching. Currently, I teach finance at the undergraduate level and find students to be of the highest quality. My favorite part about teaching at GSB is focus on students and the spirit of cooperation between faculty, students, administration and staff. It really feels like a great team.
What are your thoughts on the next 100 years of business at the Gabelli School?
The Gabelli School of Business is currently on the leading edge of knowledge in all respective fields as well as it is attuned to the changing world around us. Issues such as social justice, sustainability, globalization and social innovation were not present in the business curricula many years ago. The future of GSB will depend on combining technical expertise with the changing social fabric of our society. As the recent emergency events of moving classes to online learning show, technology has to be an integral and important part of the School. Innovations in delivery technology will help GSB to continue to be a leader in business education.
How do you see the finance and business economics field changing in the future?
The financial markets have been evolving rapidly. Financial institutions come and go. Most of the reputable investment and commercial banks either disappeared or merged. Trading fees went from fixed to negotiated (1975) giving rise to discount houses (Schwab). New exchange platforms are rising. Financial product innovation is unstoppable. Fintech, bitcoin, high-frequency trading are just a few examples. This process will continue into the future. Given the changes in our society, I believe that financial markets will become more humanistic and will pay more attention to the impact of finance on people’s lives. We have such a diverse student body, and I think (although you have to ask others) it’s my ability to connect with so many different types of individuals.
What is one of the most important lessons you have ever taught your students, and why?
Every time I teach finance, I bring to students’ attention that finance is not only about spreadsheets but about human interaction. I do it by dissecting transactions showing participants on both sides of the transaction. Whether it is management of items on the balance sheet, income statement, raising capital etc. almost all of the transactions are “deals.”
This approach makes finance closer to real life and is appreciated by students.
Favorite holiday? Christmas
Last book you read? “The Volunteer” by Jack Fairweather
Favorite cuisine? Mediterranean
Summer or Winter? Summer