As the new academic year gets under way, we at NYU Stern are fully engaged in driving the dialogue between business and society. Our vigorous faculty, our ambitious student body, and the many high-profile business and government leaders who participate in our events make for a rich intellectual life. The past six months were no exception.

Alan Greenspan (BS '48, MA '50, PhD '77, Hon. '05), Paul Volcker (Hon. '83), and Henry Kaufman (BA '48, PhD '58) stopped by in May to fête our own Dr. Bob Kavesh (BS '49), whose long and distinguished service is being honored with an endowed chair, the Robert Kavesh Professorship in Economics.

A few hundred alumni, faculty, and administrators spent an evening uptown at the Plaza Hotel to present The Honorable John W. Snow, chairman of Cerberus Capital Management and former US Treasury Secretary, with the Charles Waldo Haskins Award, bestowed on an outstanding individual whose career has been characterized by the highest level of achievement in business and public service, and to celebrate the success of the Campaign for NYU Stern. Back at our Washington Square campus, CEO Jeffrey Bezos described himself as a "change junkie," and Colgate-Palmolive Chairman Reuben Mark and Marty Lipton, founding partner of Wachtell Lipton, talked about pressures in the boardroom during uncertain times.

Uncertainty in various markets was a theme of many of our distinguished speakers and panelists, and it appears throughout this issue. Richard Bernstein (MBA '87), chief investment strategist for Merrill Lynch, answered some pointed questions on volatility in the equity market. John Hofmeister, former CEO of Shell Oil, discussed the vicissitudes of the energy market. At the Alumni Business Conference in May, themed "A Look to the Future," some 300 graduates heard an impressive roster of faculty and business leaders discuss the emergence of social networks, but also the uncertainty in global credit markets.

Similarly, our cover story takes on the theme of dealing with uncertainty. Two finance professors, Ingo Walter, newly appointed vice dean of faculty, and Aswath Damodaran, our valuation guru, give a lot of thought to re-evaluating risk and its management — and though they come at it from different directions, both believe that a broader understanding of risk management is needed, and thus also its function within an organization.

We are proud of our faculty, of a student body that is focused on achievement on the global stage, and of our accomplished graduates. Our leadership position has attracted impressive new faculty this academic year, and we welcome them to our community.

One of the functions of a university is to give its scholars room to push the limits of knowledge, and our faculty is most prolific in this regard. In this issue, we mark the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with some important research into the interplay of hierarchy and communications during the disaster's aftermath, led by management professors Frances Milliken and Joe Magee. They used those well-documented events to parse the nuances of how the hierarchical power of the various players who responded to the disaster may have affected their communications and hence the response.

In our many activities, we are fortunate to have an involved body of alumni, and we are, as ever, grateful for your continued interest, participation, and support.

Thomas F. Cooley