March 20 was just like any other Friday in the Executive MBA program. The day was packed with classes and lively debate with students in the cohort and their professors. But students in Professor John Merrick's EMBA class had a slightly different agenda. They had a substitute teacher that day-former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.
Working as his "staff" five groups of students briefed O'Neill on the roles of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury Department, the FDIC and SEC, the Congress, and the European Union in the financial crisis to prepare O'Neill for a general discussion on the issues and next steps toward a recovery.
O'Neill was appointed the 72nd Secretary of the Treasury Department in 2001 by President George W. Bush. He started his career in government service under President Nixon and continued working under Presidents Ford and Reagan. Secretary O'Neill came to the Treasury Department with several years of experience as the Chairman and CEO of aluminum giant Alcoa; a corporation of more than 140,000 employees worldwide.