After taking a year away from the list, Poets&Quants will publish our Top 50 Undergraduate Business School Professors next Wednesday (December 2). This will be our third version of the recognition and will move back to an annual publication. The last version of the list was published in November of 2018.
This year’s list was incredibly competitive, especially compared to previous years. The first year we created this recognition, only 40 professors were included. That year we received 190 nominations. Two years ago, we received 400 nominations, doubling the previous year’s total. This year’s nominations doubled again, jumping to 844 nominations. In all, we evaluated 107 professors.
Our editorial staff evaluated professors in two categories — research and teaching. Each nominated professor was given a one-to-10 score for research and teaching. Then research was given a 30% weight and teaching a 70% weight and the two scores were averaged to give the professors a final score. The highest score received was 9.05.
For research, we considered the volume of Google Scholar citations a nominated professor had. We also looked at how much major media attention the professors’ research has received and research and writing awards. For teaching, we considered all nominations, teaching awards, and internet reviews like Rate My Professors.
A RECORD 23 WOMEN INCLUDED ON THIS YEAR’S LIST, NYU STERN HAS FIVE PROFS LAND ON THE LIST
This year’s list features professors from 33 of the world’s best undergraduate business programs. Of the 33, three have campuses based outside of the U.S. It also includes a record 23 women. Obviously, multiple schools received more than one professor on the list. New York University’s Stern School of Business had the highest representation of professors, landing five professors on this year’s list. Babson College also had four faculty members represented.
Other schools to have more than one professor on this year’s list include Elon University’s Love School of Business (two), Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (two), Lehigh University (two), University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management (two), University of Illinois Gies College of Business (three), University of Michigan Ross School of Business (three), University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management (two), and the University of Pittsburgh College of Business (two).
PROFESSORS INCLUDED RANGE IN AGE FROM 29 TO 70
The list also includes diversity in disciplines, backgrounds, and ages. The age range of professors to make the list is 41 years, spreading from 29 to 70. Some seem pre-destined to become professors while others found their ways to academia after industry careers. Babson College’s Wiljeana Jackson Glover has academia in her blood. Her mother, Dr. Betty Graper was a mathematics professor at Albany State University in Georgia where Glover earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Glover’s research focuses on health entrepreneurship and equity.
“I’m currently researching how healthcare ventures measure effectiveness and equity of their products and services,” Glover says. “The study is very new, but it has been fascinating to hear that some ventures view their ability to design for or consider equity, in terms of product/service accessibility and use for all ethnicities and varying socioeconomic levels, as an untapped facet of opportunity identification.”
Boston College’s Curtis Chan realized he wanted to become a business school professor after joining a student-run breakdance club during undergrad at Harvard.
“I started college as a pre-med, and I joined the dance crew for fun. But over time I came to deeply immerse myself in the street dance community in Boston, learning about not only the dance moves but also the cultural values, understandings, and practices of the community,” Chan says. “Through this, I realized that I was more interested in social science than in natural science — especially in how people do what they do and make meaning out of what they do, in the social contexts they are in.”
Chan would eventually earn his master’s in sociology and Ph.D. in organizational behavior and end up at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management where he teaches Organizational Behavior.
A FEW PROFESSORS END UP TEACHING WHERE THEY WENT TO UNDERGRAD
No doubt professors included this year impressed us in many different and unique ways. Abbey Stemler, who is an associate professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is a first-generation college student and because of that, “being a professor was never in the realm of possibility.” But Indiana University business law professor Jamie Prenkert became her mentor when she was just 21 and gave Stemler her first shot at teaching. “He and the Department of Business Law and Ethics at Kelley gave me a shot teaching, and it’s been a remarkable journey ever since,” Stemler says. “I’m truly grateful for the unexpected opportunities the Kelley School has given me.”
Like Stemler, Fordham University’s Elizabeth Cosenza is also a business law professor and also teaching at her undergraduate alma mater. With a whopping 98 nominations, Cosenza was one of the most-nominated professors on this year’s list. Cosenza graduated as a valedictorian from Fordham and went on to Harvard Law School and worked for a major New York City law firm before finding her path back to Fordham and the Gabelli School.
“I taught a night section of business law while still practicing law at a major NYC law firm,” Cosenza says. “I realized that I could have a greater impact on the future of American business by teaching and mentoring the next generation of business leaders.”