The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that 2005 U.S. e-commerce sales rose to $86.3 billion — 25 percent over 2004 sales. Yet e-commerce represents only around 2 percent of U.S. retail sales. Why are some successful companies, even some large ones (think IKEA or Bath and Body Works), not embracing fully the proven sales driver that is the Web? A new research study of cost-to-serve dynamics for Internet retailing answers this question. The simple fact is, Internet sales are just not a good fit for every product, according to the researchers.

You wouldn't expect to see a scrawny, spectacled, beak-nosed Chippendale dancer any more than you'd expect Hooters to hire an obese waitress. But, surely, looks don't matter for the highly educated and trained sales professionals that pharmaceutical companies send to doctors' offices. Or do they? As it turns out, research co-authored by a W. P. Carey School marketing professor shows that looks do make a difference even when the salesperson is selling something as serious as medication to someone as scientifically-minded as a physician.

Arizona is at a crossroads, looking back at 25 years of spectacular growth and forward to a future that, while promising, is also uncertain. As one of 10 identified "megapolitan" areas in the U.S., Arizona faces the choice of creating high-quality jobs or ignoring that need. Since ignoring it isn't an option, leaders in business, education and government throughout the state are joining forces to create a region where the biotech and nanotech industries can thrive. These and other relevant topics were discussed today at the annual forecast lunch hosted by the Economic Club of Phoenix: "Arizona in the Global Economy: Ready or Not?"

The Arizona Constitution mandates that "the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible" at the state's universities, and that the state appropriate money for the "development and improvement" of its universities. In 1998, the Arizona Board of Regents adopted an operational interpretation of "as nearly free as possible" that maintains resident undergraduate tuition at Arizona universities in the bottom one-third among the 50 states' senior public institutions. A recent report published by the W. P. Carey School of Business reviews the constitutional requirements and examines how the operational interpretation has influenced financial resource levels at Arizona universities. "First, the operational one-third rule is essentially arbitrary," says report co-author Dennis Hoffman. "Second, the list of 50 senior public institutions is not a list of peer or aspirant peer schools. Third, the 'development and improvement' mandate takes on more significance under the current operational interpretation of the 'as nearly free' clause."

Arizona's health information technology (HIT) industry and health-care delivery system are on the brink of radical transformation as Arizona Health-e Connection prepares to publish its proposal offering a "road map" for development and implementation of a statewide, unified HIT network. "What the road map does is clearly position us front and center to take a leadership position — to become sort of a model for other states," said panel moderator Ajay Vinze, director of the W. P. Carey School's Center for the Advancement of Business through Information Technology (CABIT).