Stanford Law School probably thinks so.
The school just announced a major $10 million gift to establish the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance. Arthur Rock is a well-known venture capitalist (think Apple Computer, Fairchild, and Intel) and his wife Toni Rembe is a former partner at Pillsbury Winthrop and a director at AT&T and Aegon.
The Mercury News reports that the Rock Center will be co-directed by Stanford Law professors Robert Daines and Joseph Grundfest. Professor Grundfest told the paper that:
… corporate governance is a little like engineering, in that you need a good understanding of theory, but also need to be practical. “You need to understand how incentives work in organizations, how options are priced, combined with the complexities of the latest financial techniques,” he said in a phone interview. “But you need to make it work in the real world…That’s the gap we really want to bridge.”
He said the program is also going to be multidisciplinary, drawing on the efforts of lawyers, and faculty from business, law, political science, economics and communications.
The part about making it work in the real world really caught my eye. Progress in corporate governance needs input from people who have spent time in the boardroom, not just the classroom.
Arthur Rock and Toni Rembe deserve kudos for putting serious money towards corporate governance, rather than sinking $10 million into another house with a swell view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I see they have already supported a hall at UCSF Mission Bay, housing the Center for Brain Development.