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Opportunity: When demand exceeds supply

Pamplin College launches innovative program to address business-Ph.D. faculty shortage

Responding to critical doctoral faculty shortages and rising enrollments in management education, Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business has launched an innovative program to prepare individuals with non-business doctorates for faculty positions in business.

    Cover of Sustaining Scholarship in Business Schools publication

The college is one of five schools offering post-doctoral bridge-to-business programs endorsed by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the accrediting organization for business schools worldwide. The programs, which are scheduled to begin in summer 2008, vary in detail among the schools.

    Richard E. Sorensen

Pamplin Dean Richard E. Sorensen, who chaired AACSB’s working group on the doctoral faculty shortage, said the college is offering an eight-week, residential program with two tracks, finance and marketing, aimed at those with doctorates in related disciplines — economics, psychology, sociology, or statistics.

“Ph.D.s in economics, for example,” Sorensen said, “already have basic research and teaching skills and need only additional training focusing them in finance.”

Both the finance and marketing tracks contain a research emphasis. Students who complete the program will be able to develop a program of research and leverage their prior academic training to promote opportunities for interdisciplinary research with faculty who have received doctorates in business fields.

    Detail image citing fewer Ph.D.s

Additionally, both tracks receive instruction on business practice, business education, and trends in business faculty. Finance and marketing-specific courses are conducted for seven of the eight weeks.

The finance track covers corporate finance, investments, and international finance. The marketing track focuses on understanding markets, marketing research, and components of the marketing mix.

To address the teaching aspect of the program, both finance and marketing students will be exposed to a range of teaching styles, augmented by instruction from faculty in Virginia Tech's Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Topics will include teaching styles and techniques, course design and management, and student evaluation.

Citing examples of current Pamplin faculty with non-business doctorates, Sorensen said Finance Professor Rodney Thompson received a doctorate in economics, while marketing professors David Brinberg and Kim Weaver hold doctorates in social psychology.

    Jim Yardley's MBA class

Pamplin’s program, limited to 25 participants in each track, includes specially designed courses as well as other graduate courses and doctoral seminars.

A former chair of AACSB’s board, Sorensen has worked closely with deans across the United States and throughout the world to establish accredited business programs. Pamplin’s post-doctoral bridge-to-business program, he said, “will have the rigor and quality of our traditional doctoral programs that emphasize scholarship, research, and teaching excellence.”

The other schools offering the bridge-to-business programs are the University of Florida, the University of Toledo, Tulane University, and Grenoble Ecole de Management (France).

For more information on this topic, e-mail Sookhan Ho, or call (540) 231-5071.

Program Overview

The eight-week, intensive, residential immersion program with 320 contact hours provides:

  • exposure to key topics and content in finance or marketing;
  • development of effective pedagogy for business teaching;
  • experience developing and implementing research projects; and
  • extensive interaction with knowledgeable and productive faculty.

Department and Faculty Involvement

    Vijay Singal

Vijay Singal, the Ferguson Professor of Finance and head of the Finance Department, is one of the faculty teaching in the Finance Track.

Singal has conducted research in three major areas:

  • irregularities related to market efficiency;
  • international finance; and
  • resolving finance-related issues using data from one industry.
    Kent Nakamoto

Kent Nakamoto, the Pamplin Professor of Marketing and the head of the marketing department, is teaching in the marketing track for the program.

Nakamoto works actively with graduate students as a mentor and collaborator on research projects. He has taught courses in the undergraduate, master's of business administration, and executive programs.

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