Business schools faced with shortage of qualified staff

by Editor 6/13/2008 4:02:00 PM

Business schools in the UK and US are facing a growing shortage of staff with DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) degrees. A growing number of people who are academically qualified are opting to go into business or to the City or even abroad rather than teach.

A huge number of those who remain will retire in the next decade or so. On top of that, the best business schools in the UK have started plucking all the best professors, leaving other schools in need for new talent.

Jonathan Slack, CEO of the Association of Business Schools, says:

“The number of PhDs being taken has steadily increased over recent years, but it’s still not enough to compensate for the demographics.”

To illustrate, the Cass Business School has about 100 people with doctorates and 1,500 students enrolled in MSc and MBA programs.

Cass professor Gulnur Muradoglu says that City companies recruit staff with PhDs much more than they did 20 or 30 years ago, adding that “at the same time, there are some very good MSc and MBA students who could do a PhD, but prefer not to because of competition from the City.”

Things work both ways. Mid-career professionals who wish to leave the world of business for an academic career have at their disposal fellowships offered by the Foundation for Management Education (FME) and can have their education funded by the FME and the business school of their choice.

Universities work together to defeat the talent crisis. The Association of Business Schools and the European Foundation for Management Development run the International Deans’ Programme, with the best academics from 22 universities across Europe, the US, the Middle East and Latin America taking part in it and sharing different ideas and possible solutions to the problem.

Huw Morris, dean and pro-vice chancellor at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, says that one of the positive examples comes from the Harvard Business School, where they have a number of senior practitioner professionals – usually MBAs with years of industry experience, frequently at the executive level – being well received by the students.

“We’ve been looking at how business schools have changed over time and what they will be like in the future,” says Morris. “With the International Dean’s Programme, we’re trying to spread this good practice across the world.”

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