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Professor; Program Chair, MBA in Global Impact Management

Sandra Dow
McCone Building M211
(831) 647-4187

Professor Dow joined the MBA faculty in 2009 as professor of International Finance. Prior to joining Middlebury she was a tenured professor of finance at the University of Quebec in Montreal where her career spanned 20 years. Professor Dow has published extensively and presented her work at numerous scholarly and practitioner venues. Her teaching interests include corporate governance; corporate finance; and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk management. 

As chair of the business program at the Middlebury Institute from 2013 to 2017 , Professor Dow and her colleagues completely redesigned the MBA program along with developing and instituting the signature “raw case” pedagogy. In 2017 Professors Dow and Shi were recognized for their pedagogical innovation by the Academy of Management where their article promoting raw cases received the Best Paper Award. Professor Dow and Professor Shi have coached many MBA teams to podium finishes in international case competitions since 2013, including first and second place finishes in the Economist Case Competitions and first and third place finishes in the Corporate Knights Business for a Better World Case Competition. In 2016, Professor Dow was appointed to the Grover Hermann Chair in International Business and in 2017 she was awarded the Middlebury Institute Faculty Excellence Award.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

Business Competition Practicum

This is a 3-credit course offered twice a year in the fall and spring semesters for the advanced-entry MBA students, the second-year MBA students, and other GSIPM students with special permission from the course instructor. The course is designed to center the exciting and enriching academic experience on one or more business competitions, and to provide unique opportunities for students to integrate true-life knowledge application and contemporary career skills development.

While traditional classroom learning remains essential, it is inefficient, slow, and even constraining to knowledge acquisition in today’s open-source, hyper-networked, and complex world. We need to strengthen our ability to process data, information, and knowledge from numerous sources and to generate actionable insights in whatever context we may encounter. Such true-life knowledge application requires students to embark on a journey to discover, create and validate new and useful knowledge, a superior way to knowledge internalization as well as development of contemporary career skills, such as ideation, pattern recognition, and complex communication.

Well thought-out and organized business competitions attract students from leading business schools to participate and learn every year. Over the last few years, the Fisher MBA student teams have entered and won some of the top competitions in the world, including the MBA Investment Case Study Competition by The Economist, the Business for a Better World Case Competition by Corporate Knights, the Aspen Business & Society International MBA Case Competition, and the Hult Prize, the planet’s largest student competition to solve the world’s toughest problems. Having served as advisors to most of the MIIS teams, the instructors believe strongly that business competition may be an effective approach to intensive experiential learning and hold tremendous academic value. This practicum is set up so that more students can benefit from similar experiences.

Students enrolled in the course must commit themselves to actively participate in one or more business competitions that MIIS signs up for every fall or spring, and to attend the preparation and debriefing sessions that the instructors may organize. The primary goal for the course is academic learning and career skills development. Students are encouraged to motivate themselves and each other to win the competition and find joy and satisfaction in the process. It is a Pass/Fail course based on student effort as individual and a member of his or her competitive team.

Interested students must enroll and be placed on the waiting list first. In addition, they need to email a copy of their resume to the instructors at smdow@<a href="http://miis.edu">miis.edu

and yshi@miis.edu.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

Successful investing is dependent upon the ability to determine the factors that influence the market's valuation of a company… and then judge the accuracy of that valuation. The goal of this course is to demonstrate how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors can be used along with traditional financial metrics to assess risks and opportunities confronting firms. As such, this is a course in socially responsible investing taught from a finance perspective. The importance of “extra-financial” factors in evaluating the risks and opportunities confronting the firm is no longer a fringe area for finance professionals. In 2008 the Chartered Financial Analyst’s association introduced ESG into their curriculum. According to a Thomson Reuters survey released in May 2009, 84% of global buy-side investors said they evaluate ESG criteria to some degree when making investment decisions. Moreover, institutional investors are increasingly vocal in their demands that ESG risks be disclosed to the SEC. There are three themes to the course: Objectives of business (wealth maximization versus long term sustainability?), the pillars of socially responsible investing and the development of SRI funds.

Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

The course provides the student with the conceptual framework necessary to appreciate and understand the key financial markets and instruments that facilitate trade and investment activities in a dynamically evolving global financial environment. For this purpose, the course focuses on the global financial environment; the foreign exchange market; the foreign currency options market; the currency futures market; the currency forward market; the currency and interest rate swap markets; the international bond market; the international equity market; international portfolio diversification; and international parity relations.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Second Half of Term

View in Course Catalog

Areas of Interest

My primary academic interest addresses corporate governance issues. The field is exciting, providing great fodder for both scholarly pursuits and classroom teaching. Robust governance at the global, national and firm level is essential to promoting broad financial and extra-financial goals. I see a central role for business in addressing the world’s most pressing issues from climate change to economic inequality to population growth and displacement. I believe that we need the sharpest and best-trained minds to meet these challenges head-on so that today’s students will effectively contribute as tomorrow’s professionals.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Finance, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada, 1987
  • MA in Economics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada, 1977
  • BA in Economics, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB, Canada, 1975 

Professor Dow has been teaching at the Institute since 2009.


  • Dow, Sandra. “Managing Stakeholder Expectations”, in Reputation Risk Management in Banks, Petra Merl and Thomas Kaiser editors. RepRisk Books, 2014.
  • McGuire, Jean, Sandra Dow, and Bakr Ibrahim. “All in the family: Social performance and corporate governance in the family firm.” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 65, 11, 2012, pp. 1643–1650.
  • Aggarwal, Raj and Sandra Dow. "Dividends and strength of Japanese business group affiliation." Journal of Economics and Business, Vol. 64, 3, 2012, pp. 214–230.
  • Aggarwal, Raj and Sandra Dow. “Corporate governance and business strategies for climate change and environmental mitigation.” European Journal of Finance, Vol. 18, 3-4, 2012, pp. 311-331.
  • Dow, Sandra, Jean McGuire and Toru Yoshikawa. “Disaggregating the group effect: Vertical and horizontal keiretsu in changing economic times.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 28, 2, 2011, pp. 299-323.
  • Aggarwal, Raj and Sandra Dow. “Navigating the C2 economy.” The European Financial Review, April/May 2011, pp. 46-51.
  • Dow, Sandra and Jean McGuire. “Industrial networks in Japan: Blessing or curse?” The European Financial Review, February/March 2011, pp. 17-21.
  • Dow, Sandra and Jean McGuire. “Propping and tunneling: Empirical evidence from Japanese keiretsu.” Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol. 33, 10, 2009, pp. 1817-1828.
  • McGuire, Jean and Sandra Dow. “Japanese keiretsu: Past, present, future.” Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 26, 2, 2009, pp. 333-351.