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In brief: Whitworth names new dean

Whitworth University has appointed Timothy Wilkinson dean of the School of Global Commerce & Management.

Wilkinson, interim dean of the College of Business at Montana State University Billings, will assume the new role July 1.

He has nearly 20 years of experience in business education and administration. He has served as director of the Center for Business Enterprise at MSU Billings since 2010, and has been a professor of marketing there since 2006. 

Wilkinson will oversee faculty and staff serving nearly 400 students in traditional undergraduate programs in accounting, economics, business management, international business and marketing; a nontraditional program in organizational management primarily serving working adults; and master’s programs in business administration and international management.

Staff report

Ford’s credit rating improves

DETROIT – Ford is closer to getting its blue oval out of hock.

Ford Motor Co. mortgaged its logo, along with factories and equipment, in 2006 in exchange for a $23.5 billion restructuring loan. On Tuesday, it got one of the two investment-grade ratings it needs to get those assets back.

Fitch Ratings raised the automaker’s credit from junk status to “BBB minus,” the lowest investment-grade rating. The agency said Ford has repaired its balance sheet and improved its vehicles in recent years, putting it “in a solid position” to withstand any slowdowns in the global auto industry. Now, Ford must wait for one of the other two ratings agencies – Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s – to make a move.

The blue oval dates to 1965. Ford began replacing black and white ovals with blue ones that year, according to Ford corporate historian Bob Kreipke. The script in the center of the logo goes back even further. Harold Wills, a friend of company founder Henry Ford and a draftsman who helped design the first Model T, created the Ford script in 1912 using his grandfather’s stencil set.

Ford says it hasn’t placed a value on the logo. But Interbrand, which tracks brand values, said the Ford brand is worth $7.5 billion, and it ranked Ford 50th out of its top 100 brands.

Associated Press

New home sales down in March

WASHINGTON – It was good news and bad news on the housing front Tuesday as the government reported that new home sales dropped 7.1 percent in March but revised the figures for February significantly upward.

Sales of new single-family homes last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000, according to data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The figure for March was the lowest since November, but was slightly above analyst expectations.

The government said sales in February were much stronger than the preliminary estimates. New homes that month sold at an annual rate of 353,000, up sharply from the initial 313,000 figure released in March.

The new figure, the strongest since April 2010, meant new home sales increased 7.3 percent in February from January instead of dropping 1.6 percent as originally estimated.

Los Angeles Times


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