A group of four faculty members will begin classes next week in the fifth 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 one of three U.S. business schools that offer “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 2012 bridge-to-business program runs for eight weeks (June 4 to Aug. 3) and specializes in finance. 

The participants hold doctorates from Kansas State University; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; and The University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. They are faculty members at Georgia Southern University, Penn State Great Valley, University of New Haven, and University of San Francisco.

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 26 of 33 graduates of the four 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. The reasons for the faculty shortage, he says, include the 6 percent decrease in business doctorates earned in the United States since 2009. Solving the doctoral shortage problem, he adds, is particularly difficult at a time of budget cuts and general economic uncertainty.

According to AACSB, 1,272 doctorates were earned in the 2008-09 period, compared with 1,196 in 2010-11. 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.

To apply to Pamplin’s post-doctoral bridge program, contact Frank Smith.