Small Colleges with an Impressive Business Faculty
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Attending a small university or liberal arts college can be beneficial in many ways. For one, students have the benefit of more personalized attention. Small schools typically have lower faculty to student ratios, so professors are usually able to devote more time to individual students. Not only can this enable more one-on-one contact with professors during office hours and in other academic settings, but this also opens up more opportunities to collaborate with professors on research projects, scientific experiments, scholarly writing, or presentations.
Along similar lines, class size at a liberal arts college will also be smaller than at larger schools, allowing students to interact more with classmates and teachers. Classes with less than 50 students—typically 20 or less—foster a learning environment in which students have significantly more opportunities to participate, ask questions, and get to know the professor and other students.
Finally, professors tend to teach classes at smaller schools compared to graduate students or teaching assistants (TA) who typically teach at larger schools allowing students to benefit more directly from the experience, expertise, and training of their professors. Their work is also much more likely to be evaluated by their professor at a small school, as opposed to a TA, as is the case at many large research universities.
This list includes 15 accomplished business faculty members at small colleges chosen for notable academic and professional accomplishments. Four schools in particular stood out for their accomplished faculty members in this discipline: Creighton University, Babson College, Loyola Marymount University, and Fordham University.
These 15 business professors work at small colleges and have demonstrated expertise in their fields gained through years of study and research, field experience, and service. Their contributions include original research, a significant body of published works, teaching excellence, industry leadership and other academic and professional achievements recognized through honors and awards.
Creighton University – Heider College of Business
Creighton University is a private, Jesuit Catholic school located in Omaha, Nebraska. The school’s mission is to promote justice while supporting the intellectual, social, spiritual, physical, and recreational growth of its students. Professors are known for taking an active approach to learning while integrating critical and creative thinking and ethical perspectives.
The Heider College of Business honors Charlie and Mary Heider, whose financial gift enabled the relocation of the college to the Harper Center, as well as the creation of the Heider Securities Investment and Analysis Center and the student residence, Heider Hall. The couple also sponsors several endowed chairs as well as “The Flame” statue, created by Littleton Alston, a professor of fine arts at the university, to represent the Jesuit value of making a difference in the world by “setting it on fire.”
Dr. Todd C. Darnold is an associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Management, the director of leadership programs, and the Charles “Mike” Harper endowed chair in business leadership at Creighton University.
Dr. Darnold’s research interests are in the areas of personnel (recruiting, selection, team composition, retention) and leader integrity. He has been recognized with numerous awards for excellence in teaching and service, including the Cahill Award for Outstanding Service to the College of Business (2014, 2013), “Favorite Professor” of the Spring Athletic Banquet (2010-2014), and the College of Business Graduate Faculty Person of the Year (2012). Dr. Darnold embraces a philosophy of “minimalist leadership,” inspired by the idea of simple living that he gained through his appreciation for the works of the poet Henry David Thoreau.
Dr. Darnold has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in management and organization from the University of Iowa.
As the Robert B. Daugherty endowed chair in business ethics and society, Dr. Beverly J. Kracher teaches graduate courses in business ethics, business, and society. She has been awarded the College of Business’ Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award. She is also the executive director and a founder of the Business Ethics Alliance, which provides community programs and ethics education through its Elevate Ethics Academy and EthicSpace conference.
Dr. Kracher has published widely throughout her career and is a sought-after speaker. She has been honored as the Omaha Businesswoman of the Year and as one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders for Trust Across America. Beverly Kracher has achieved the Scottish Rite 14th Degree, the pinnacle of Ancient Craft Masonry, for which one is honored by a special ceremony.
Dr. Kracher has a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she also completed her master’s and bachelor’s degrees.
Dr. Stacey Menzel Baker is a professor in the marketing and management department with interests in consumer attachment, vulnerability, and resilience, within the areas of community development, disaster recovery, and disability. She teaches courses in consumer behavior; marketing, policy and social change; and strategic marketing management to doctoral, MBA, and undergraduate students.
Currently, Dr. Menzel Baker is working on research projects on dignity in the marketplace, objectification of bodies in life and death, and displacement. She is the recipient of the Billy Award for Outstanding Faculty Research Contributions from the Heider College of Business at Creighton, the Charles C. Slater Memorial Award from the Journal of Macromarketing, and the Thomas C. Kinnear Award from the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.
Dr. Menzel Baker has consulted—at times in partnership with her students—for organizations such as the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, Love’s Jazz, and the University of Wyoming Art Museum. She gave a TEDx talk in Cheyenne, Wyoming, entitled “The Stuff of Resilience.”
Dr. Menzel Baker has a doctorate in business administration from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, which is also where she got her MBA and bachelor’s degree.
Dr. Ravi Nath is a professor of business analytics and information technology, the Jack and Joan McGraw endowed chair in information technology management, the chair of the Department of Business Intelligence and Analytics, and the director of the Joe Ricketts Center in Electronic Commerce and Database Marketing.
Dr. Nath is currently researching internet addiction among college students and internet diffusion factors. His other research interests include predictive analytics and analytics capability models. A prolific writer, Dr. Nath has published more than 100 research papers in academic journals domestically and internationally. He is a two-time Fulbright scholar; the first award took him to the University of Zimbabwe and the second to the Polytechnic of Namibia. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Memphis, where he was the director of the doctoral program in management information systems and associate dean for academic programs.
Dr. Nath earned his doctorate at Texas Tech University.
Dr. Debbie L. Wells is an associate professor and the senior associate dean for faculty and academics at Creighton. She also holds an academic appointment in Creighton’s marketing and management department and teaches courses in management (human resources, principles), leadership (and organizational behavior, through modern media), and organizations (theory, behavior).
Dr. Wells’s research focuses on employee motivation, human resources selection, managing the academic enterprise, and gender issues at work. She frequently publishes on topics related to human resources and ethics in publications such as the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, the Journal of Business Ethics, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. She was honored with the Nebraska Women in Higher Education Leadership Sarah Boatman award for excellence in academic leadership and the Mary Lucretia & Sara Emily Creighton Award for women leaders.
Dr. Wells holds a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology from Iowa State University.
Loyola Marymount University – College of Business Administration
Loyola Marymount University was founded in Los Angeles, California when Loyola University and Marymount College merged in 1973 based upon the values of the Jesuit educational philosophy. The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs for students “committed to lives of meaning and purpose.”
LMU’s mission includes three basic tenets: the encouragement of learning, the education of the whole person, and the service of faith and promotion of justice. The university has been recognized for its service to veterans, production of Fulbright scholars, and promotion of Latinx student success. It also has a legacy of environmentalism as the site of the first campus-wide collegiate recycling program in the state in 1993 and one of the first California campuses to recycle 100 percent of its biological waste. Loyola was also ranked number one of the national “best beach colleges” by College Consensus in 2018.
Dr. Ellen Ensher is a professor of management at her alma mater, LMU; she teaches organization development and change, and her area of professional expertise is in mentoring, gender, diversity, and careers.
As a highly-sought after speaker and workshop leader, Dr. Ensher has extensive experience consulting for the United States Navy, Kraft Foods, and the City of Los Angeles and has created two courses available on LinkedIn Learning. She was honored with the President’s 2017 Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Award and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to teach in Finland the same year. She has also taught in Italy, Ireland, and South Africa.
Dr. Ensher has a bachelor of arts in psychology from Loyola Marymount University, a master’s of public administration from the University of Southern California, and a doctorate in organizational psychology from Claremont Graduate University.
Dr. Angélica S. Gutiérrez is an assistant professor of management at LMU. She grew up in a Spanish-speaking home and was motivated by her early educational English as a Second Language (ESL) experiences and the lack of availability of the business faculty to pursue a doctoral degree.
Dr. Gutiérrez’s areas of expertise include negotiations, workplace recruitment, selection, retention policies, diversity and inclusion, imposter syndrome, and women and ethnic minority representation in leadership. Her teaching philosophy is to help business students believe that they can serve as leaders and make a positive impact in this world. Dr. Gutiérrez was named one of the world’s best 40 business professors under 40 by Poets & Quants in 2015; is the recipient of the Hispanic Lifestyle Latina of Influence award; and was recognized as one of Latina Magazine’s Next Generation Latinas.
She holds degrees in political science and sociology and management from UCLA and a master of public policy from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Dr. Yongsun Paik is the director of the Center for Asian Business and the Center for International Business Education at LMU. He also is a professor of international business management with research interests in East Asian business management, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, international human resources management, and business ethics.
Dr. Paik has industry experience as a country economist for the Export-Import Bank of Korea. He is Fulbright Senior Specialist program awardee and is the recipient of many other awards and grants, including the Korea Foundation Fellowship, the Carnegie Bosch Institute Research Grant, and the Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management, and the U.S. Association for Small Business Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Paik has a doctorate in international business from the University of Washington, Seattle; a master of arts in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin; and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yonsei University in Korea.
Dr. David W. Stewart is the president’s professor of marketing and business law. He is also the vice president of publications of the American Marketing Association and the founding chair of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board.
He has industry expertise in research, training, and development, as well as advertising/marketing, and education/learning. Other areas of expertise and interest include marketing strategy and communication, marketing and public policy, and new product development.
Dr. Stewart is the former editor of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. He also has more than 250 academic articles and 12 books to his credit. He was honored with the American Marketing Association’s Award for Lifetime Contributions to Marketing and Society in 2015 and has been recognized for his teaching, publications, and service on numerous occasions throughout his career.
Dr. Stewart holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University and a master’s and a doctorate from Baylor University—all in psychology.
Rated the number one school for entrepreneurship by the U.S. News & World Report for more than 20 years, Babson College is celebrating its one-hundredth anniversary this year. With locations in Boston, San Francisco, Miami, Dubai, and Wellesley, Massachusetts, the school offers business degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The school’s mission is to create entrepreneurial leaders with the skills to conduct productive, innovative, and sustainable business practices that make a positive impact in the world. Babson is home to the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab created by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), a venture accelerator that expands the possibilities for women entrepreneurs through a five-month experiential learning program. WIN was designated one of the “50 on Fire” from BostInno and was honored for its diversity by the Rosoff Awards.
Babson’s first female president, Kerry Healey, helped found the first mixed-gender college in Saudi Arabia, the Prince Mohammad Bin Salman College for Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC) and relaunched the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship. She also played an essential role in the college’s success in meeting 100 percent of incoming undergraduate students’ demonstrated need for financial aid.
Dr. Matthew Allen is an associate professor of entrepreneurship, the faculty director for the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship, and the academic director for the global successful transgenerational entrepreneurship practices project. He currently teaches the generational entrepreneurship amplifier course as well as the global entrepreneurship experience in Chile.
Dr. Allen previously worked with his father as an accountant for their family business and occupied positions in corporate finance with clients like Hewlett Packard and IBM. His areas of expertise include the management of human capital in entrepreneurial contexts with an emphasis on the family enterprise. He has experience in executive education programs around the globe with a particular interest in Latin America as he has worked with students from Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile, as well as Germany and Korea. He is a three-time recipient of the Outstanding Reviewer Award, from Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and the Family Business Review.
Dr. Allen holds a doctorate from Cornell University, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Utah.
Dr. Jennifer Bailey is an assistant professor of technology and operations management and the faculty advisor for the technology, entrepreneurship, and design (TED) concentration. She teaches operations management and operations for entrepreneurs; she also teaches a collaborative course, integrated product design, which is an interdisciplinary business, engineering, and design.
Dr. Bailey brings ten years of industry experience to her academic career as she previously worked as a process engineer for Alumina Partners of Jamaica, a logistics project manager with Ricoh USA, a supply chain consultant, a project manager for clients such as General Motors, and a demand manager for JM Huber.
Her research interests include start-up and scale-up operations, risk management, learning from failure, and innovation. She has been awarded the Dean’s Award for Innovation & Excellence in Teaching from Babson College, the Unsung Hero of the Year Teaching Award from the Babson Student College Activities Board, and the Best Paper Award from the Product Development and Management Association Conference, and the Best Teaching Case Award from the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Bailey received her doctorate in operations management and master of management with concentrations in operations management and information technology management, both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Lakshmi Balachandra is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Babson, where she teaches entrepreneurship and opportunity and foundations of management and entrepreneurs.
Dr. Balachandra’s research focuses on trust, gender, and other business characteristics that influence early-stage funding. She has been widely published and has spoken extensively throughout her career. In 2014, she co-authored an analysis of venture capital investments of women entrepreneurs, the Diana Report, which was the first of its kind since 1999. She has also been featured in the Financial Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, the AP, and Reuters.
As an entrepreneur, Dr. Balachandra was the owner/operator of a specialty toy store after college and worked in venture capital, mergers, and acquisitions investment banking for firms in Boston and San Diego, including the largest women-owned venture capital firm in the U.S. Dr. Balachandra designed and taught courses on improvisation and leadership at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for ten years and frequently guest lectures at Harvard Business School. She is the founder of the Women’s Venture Capital Network and is an International Diana Institute Research Fellow at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College.
Dr. Balachandra has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and economics from the University of Chicago, an MBA from MIT, and a doctorate in management from Boston College.
Fordham University – Gabelli School of Business
Fordham University, the Jesuit university of New York, was founded as St. John’s College in 1841 by Irish immigrant and future archbishop of New York, John Hughes. The school flourished as thousands of students and faculty members came to join this educational community built upon the ideals of the Jesuit Catholic tradition. The school embraces a three-fold mission that includes striving for excellence, caring for others, and fighting for justice.
Fordham has three New York campuses: the Lincoln Center in Manhattan, Rose Hill in the Bronx, and the Westchester Campus in West Harrison. The Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station is located in a country setting in northern Westchester County, just a few miles from the Connecticut border. The Fordham London Center just relocated to the Clerkenwell district in the Borough of Camden in 2018 and offers programs in liberal arts, business, and theatre.
With service at the center of Fordham’s Jesuit, Catholic educational approach, the school aims to support the spiritual growth of all students through service, reflection, and dialogue.
Dr. Benjamin M. Cole is the William J. Loschert endowed chair in entrepreneurship and associate professor and interim chair of strategy and statistics at Fordham, where he teaches blockchain and strategy courses.
Among his research interests is the disruptive nature of blockchain or existing industries. Dr. Cole organizes the Blockchain Disruptor Conference and is an external advisor for blockchain platforms, Sindric and ConsenSys. He has been honored multiple times with the Gabelli School of Business Dean’s Awards since joining the business faculty at Fordham, including the awards for Impact, Excellence in Research, and for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Cole was the director of the full-time and professional MBA programs from 2015-2018, during which time the Gabelli School of Business placed well in rankings by publications such as the U.S. News & World Report, Poets & Quants, the Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes, and the Economist.
Before his work in academia, Dr. Cole worked in Japan as an interpreter and corporate representative for a textbook company and Toyota Motor Corporation, respectively. He has a keen interest in cross-cultural barriers to successful management.
Dr. Cole earned his master’s in Japanese language and culture at Occidental College. He obtained his MBA and doctorate in strategy at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Julita Haber is a clinical assistant professor of communications and media management at Fordham, where she studies competency in the workplace (impressions of competency), competency pressures, the emotions of competency/incompetency, and the adverse effects of institutional pressure to be seen as competent at work.
An innovative educator, Dr. Haber developed her own pedagogical approach to learning—the fitness-integrated learning (FIL) approach—which engages her students in an “Act on Your Research” contest that utilizes digital storytelling, employing both virtual and augmented reality (AV/VR) to enhance student learning through technology. As such, Dr. Haber is the two-time recipient of the Dean’s Award for Visibility and Teaching Innovation.
Before her academic career, Dr. Haber spent 20 years as an industry professional first as a programmer, then in business and management consulting. A native of Poland, Dr. Haber came to the United States on her own at the age of 15, and has lived, worked, and studied in 50 countries within Europe and the Middle East since then.
Dr. Haber has a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in mathematics from New York University, a master’s in management from Boston University, and a doctorate in business administration from Trident University.
Dr. Paul McNelis is the Robert Bendheim professor of economic and financial policy at Fordham. An ordained Catholic priest, Dr. McNelis has been part of the Gabelli School of Business faculty since 2005.
He publishes scholarly writing on computational macroeconomics with a focus on problems relating to financial liberalization and adjustment in Latin American and Asian contexts and has taught courses on neural networks and finance in both the Portuguese and Spanish languages. He has worked with the central banks of numerous countries, including Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Japan.
Dr. McNelis holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy from Boston College, a master’s in theology from the Weston School of Theology, and a doctorate in economics from the Johns Hopkins University.
To qualify as a small college or university for our purposes, educational institutions must be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), have less than 20,000 total enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students; and be nationally ranked by a credible publication, such as the U.S. News & World Report, Poets & Quants, Forbes, or another reputable source.
Our list of professors is based on the following criteria:
- University Affiliation: Professors must be associated with and actively teaching at a business program at an accredited university in the U.S.
- Publication: They have published extensively in peer-reviewed journals
- Institutional & Peer Recognitions: They have been recognized by their peers, students, and employers as being among the top in their field. Recognitions include distinguished titles, teaching awards, or notable grants and research funding.
- Professional Commitment: They have contributed to their field outside of their teaching duties. Some have been selected to serve faculty deans or program directors, while others have become leaders of professional organizations or fulfilled consulting roles within government, nonprofit, or industry businesses and organizations.