A group of six faculty members will begin classes next week in the fourth annual post-doctoral summer program launched by the Pamplin College of Business to help alleviate the critical national shortage of business-school faculty.

The Pamplin College is among four U.S. business schools that have launched “bridge-to-business” programs to prepare individuals with Ph.D.s in non-business, but related, disciplines for new careers as business faculty members. The programs are approved by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the accrediting organization for business schools worldwide.

Pamplin’s bridge-to-business program runs for eight weeks (May 31 – July 29) and currently offers three tracks: finance — for those with doctorates in economics — marketing, and management, both of which are aimed at individuals with doctorates in psychology, sociology, statistics and other related disciplines.

Of the six participants, three are enrolled in the finance track, two are in management and one is in marketing. The participants hold doctorates from Atlanta Law School, Middle Tennessee State University, North Carolina State University, Rutgers University, Wayne State University and The Open University in the United Kingdom.  They are faculty members at Belmont University, University of Minnesota at Duluth, Virginia Military Institute, and Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.

Pamplin’s bridge program is aimed at individuals who demonstrate the potential to secure a tenure-track faculty position in their new field of choice, said Frank Smith, Pamplin’s management and professional development director. He noted that 23 of the 27 graduates of the three previous programs have secured new full-time or part-time business positions.

In the introductory seminar, Pamplin Dean Richard E. Sorensen will discuss the post-doctoral bridge concept; AACSB’s role in business education; the role of teaching, research, and service in a business school; and its organization and promotion and tenure processes.

Sorensen, who chaired AACSB’s working group on the doctoral faculty shortage, says there are about 1,000 job openings for Ph.D.-holding faculty at more than 500 AACSB-member schools in the United States. Solving the doctoral shortage problem, he adds, is particularly difficult at a time of budget cuts and general economic uncertainty.

“The shortage of academically qualified faculty is projected to increase to 2,400 openings by 2012.” The reasons for the faculty shortage, he says, include the 3 percent decrease in business doctorates earned worldwide.

According to AACSB, 5,872 doctorates were earned in the 1995-1999 period, compared with 5,687 in the 2005-2009 period. Other supply-related reasons are competing employment offers from government agencies and industry; the fact that about half the doctoral graduates from U.S. institutions are foreign students, many of whom subsequently return home; and the retirements of existing faculty members. Meanwhile, on the demand side, demand for faculty has risen, driven by significant increases in business-student enrollments.

Click here to apply to Pamplin’s post-doctoral bridge program. For more information, please contact Frank Smith at 540-231-4972.



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