Posted by: Alison Damast on June 23, 2009
I wrote an article a few years back about an innovative program that sought to convert teachers from other academic disciplines into business professors. The program – known as the Post-Doctoral Bridge to Business Program – is run by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and is an attempt to address an ongoing and projected shortage of business PhDs. The premise behind the program was to convince a professor with a background in the social sciences, say a psychology professor, to take a job as marketing professor. Five business schools, in collaboration with the AACSB, developed programs to train these professor converts. The first cohort was admitted in 2008.
It appears that the Bridge program is starting to pay off. There are now 51 graduates ready to enter the business school ranks, according to an AACSB newsletter. The former liberal arts professors are now qualified to teach subjects like accounting and finance, supply chain management and marketing. Many are looking for jobs and the AACSB is posting their resumes on their Web site.
But will the 51 graduates from the Bridge program be able to make a dent in the projected business school faculty shortage? For now, it looks like they’re just a drop in the bucket. The shortage of business faculty is projected to increase to 2,400 openings by 2012, according to the most recent projections from the AACSB. One good sign: business PhD applications are on the rise this year, as I wrote about in this recent story. The rise of interest in business PhD programs, coupled with the AACSB’s efforts, seems to me like a step in the right direction. A spokeswoman from the AACSB told me recently that the group plans to do a study this summer on how the economy is impacting the faculty shortage, so it will be interesting to see the results when they’re published later this year.
Readers, do you think the business school faculty shortage is as dire as predicted?