James Cicon, PhD, JD, an expert in energy industry business systems, has been appointed to the faculty of the NJIT School of Management as assistant professor. He will join the talents of more than 20 new faculty members who will add momentum to NJIT’s strategic plan for making a major impact on the quality of life in the 21st century. This interdisciplinary initiative is focused on three vital areas: convergent life science and engineering, “digital everyware” — ubiquitous computing — and sustainable systems.The women and men joining NJIT to serve a growing student body bring expertise that spans diverse supporting clusters. These include advanced manufacturing, architecture design and construction, big data, biochemistry, business systems, material science and engineering, and sensing and control.
“NJIT’s academic status and interdisciplinary strategy have attracted people at various stages of their careers, and who offer NJIT both distinctive abilities and new resources,” says Provost Ian Gatley. “Enthusiasm for NJIT’s interdisciplinary commitment was apparent during the search process. Everyone interviewed spoke about how the problems they work on are inherently interdisciplinary, how they like to work on teams, how they look forward to collaborating with colleagues across disciplines.”
Donald Sebastian, NJIT’s senior vice president for research and development, emphasizes that connecting with real-world issues is at the heart of expectations for a technological research university. “Academic disciplines are the core of the university and the framework for learning. However, their alignment with industries of the future is not as obvious as with those sectors that have prevailed over the last century. Our strategic research thrusts are designed to make those 21st-century connections explicit.” Convergent life science and engineering, digital everyware and sustainable systems — themes that transcend departments or colleges — shaped NJIT’s hiring plan, he adds.
Cicon uses advanced computer methodologies to analyze the writing of investors, management, analysts, and others. Once quantified, the results are used as explanatory variables in existing models of corporate/market behavior. In the process of receiving his doctorate in finance from the University of Missouri, he developed his dissertation around a new measure of financial disclosure he calls “camouflage." He uses this measure to show how some IPO founders use corporate governance mechanisms, such as bylaws and charters to artificially increase perceived firm value to increase their own wealth at the shareholders’ expense. His research has attracted the attention of many senior economists.
His research and teaching interests encompass entrepreneurship, technology in business, digital media and cloud computing in business, and financial markets.
He has been teaching for the last seven years at the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business in such areas as portfolio management and corporate finance. Prior to his career in academe, he worked for more than a decade at Hewlett Packard and Fluke Networks as an electrical and computer engineer and a senior staff engineer.
Cicon earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at Brigham Young University, and completed a dual degree program in business and law at the University of Missouri, in which he earned both MBA and JD with an emphasis on corporate finance and investments, as well as his PhD in finance.