On Friday, July 30, Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business will graduate its third group of participants in an annual program developed to help alleviate the critical national shortage of business-school faculty.

The college is among four U.S. business schools that launched in 2008 the first post-doctoral bridge-to-business programs approved by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the accrediting organization for business schools worldwide. The programs are designed to prepare individuals with doctorates in non-business, but related, disciplines for new careers as business faculty members.

 The seven participants this summer in Pamplin’s eight-week, residential program hold doctorates in such fields as economics, electrical engineering, communications, curriculum and instruction, and Hispanic languages and literature. Almost all are faculty members at various institutions. Four were enrolled in the finance track, another two were in the management track, and one was in the marketing track.

The graduates are

  • Young Dimkpah, of Chester, Va.;
  • Pao-Hsiang Hsi, of Taipei, Taiwan;
  • Jae-Kwang Hwang, of Midlothian, Va.;
  • Danylle Kunkel, of Lynchburg, Va.;
  • Alex Ogwu, of Chesapeake, Va.;
  • Wanderley Reis da Silva, of Los Angeles, Calif.; and
  • Adrienne Slaughter, of Woodbridge, Va.

“The Bridge to Business is exactly what I needed to make the transition from adjunct to full-time faculty,” said Kunkel, who has been hired to join Radford University’s business faculty, as a result of completing the program. Praising the “rigor of the program,” she said it helped position her for success “by allowing me to develop a research stream that will carry me forward.”

Summing up how he has benefited from the program, Dimkpah, an economics professor at Virginia State University, noted “the quality of instruction” he received and said his “future education will be a continuation of this process of self-discovery” that the program began.

The participants will receive a certificate of completion, indicating that they are “academically qualified” in their respective disciplines for a period of five years from the date of graduation, said Pamplin Dean Richard E. Sorensen. This means that they have gained sufficient additional knowledge and skills, through course work and research, to meet the initial qualifications for finance or marketing faculty, he said, but they will need to undertake appropriate scholarly activities to maintain their qualifications beyond the initial five-year period.

Sorensen, Virginia Tech Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee, and faculty members who taught in the program will participate in the certificate ceremony, to be held in the board room of the Holtzman Alumni Center.

“Four of the participants have already been reassigned to new positions to teach and conduct research at their home universities, using the skills obtained in this program,” said Frank M. Smith, the program’s director. “AACSB is providing job search assistance to other participants who are currently seeking employment in a business school.” Smith added that, to date, more than 20 inquiries have been made concerning next year’s program. One student, he said, has already been offered admission.

Sorensen, who chaired AACSB’s working group on the doctoral faculty shortage, said there are about 1,000 job openings for Ph.D.-holding faculty at more than 400 AACSB-member schools in the United States. “The shortage of academically qualified faculty is projected to increase to 2,400 openings by 2012.”

The reasons for the faculty shortage, he said, include the 5 percent decrease in business doctorates earned worldwide. According to AACSB, 5,872 doctorates were earned in the 1995-99 period, compared with 5,611 in the 2000-05 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.

In 2007, AACSB approved post-doctoral bridge programs at business schools at Tulane University, the University of Florida, University of Toledo, Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, and Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.

To apply to Pamplin's post-doctoral bridge program, e-mail Frank Smith, or call (540) 231-4972.



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