The difference between Minneapolis and Philadelphia is a little more than a million people — as well as more than nine inches of snow and about 19 degrees Fahrenheit in December. But for Paul Nar the differences go much deeper. For him, the biggest difference is between teaching undergrad classes as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and teaching a MBA-level course this fall at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Nary is still completing his Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at Carlson, but in the meantime he has begun teaching the strategy module in Wharton’s core MBA course Managing the Emerging Enterprise. The assistant professor of management is one of 277 new faculty faces at the top U.S. business schools this year, and one of 13 at the Wharton School — and it’s a difference he’s enjoying very much.
“It’s been great so far,” Nary tells Poets&Quants. “I think Philadelphia is incredibly underrated — it’s been a great city to live in. There are so many things to do and great restaurants. It’s great to be in a big city again, and great to work with this caliber of student and colleague.”
168 PROFS TEACHING FULL-TIME FOR THE FIRST TIME
There is always a lot of turnover at the leading U.S. business schools, but this year saw the most in at least the last three years. In 2016, Poets&Quants counted 143 new profs — from full professors to guest lecturers — at the top 20 schools. Last year, that number ballooned to 198 at 24 schools. And in 2018, looking at the top 27 schools — including P&Q’s top 25 — there are 277. Among them are 168 whose full-time teaching jobs this fall are the first in their career. That’s 65%, up from 57% of last year’s total. (See pages 2-4 for a complete list of new professors at the leading schools.)
Last year Wharton had the most new hires, at 27. This year that distinction goes to Harvard Business School, which welcomed 33 new faculty, followed by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (23) and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (20). In all, 12 of 27 schools welcomes 10 new faculty or more.
(On the flip side, a few top schools had little to no turnover: Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business hired just one new professor, while UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business hired three and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School took on four.) Management profs were the best-represented among all those who relocated: there were 55. That was followed by finance (46), accounting (36), operations (34), marketing (30), strategy (22), tech (13), and entrepreneurship (11).
‘A VERY BIG CATCH’: BOOTH’S LANDING OF HARVARD’S SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN
Beyond the mere numbers of hires, one of the biggest “catches” of the year was accomplished by Chicago Booth. The school managed to entice into its ranks Sendhil Mullainathan, the renowned behavioral economist from Harvard University, who is expected to help develop a new discipline at the intersection of human and machine intelligence. A former MacArthur Fellow, Mullainathan helped co-found the non-profit organization ideas42, which applies behavioral science to positively change lives; and co-founded Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.
Booth Dean Madhav V. Rajan says “hiring Sendhil was a massive stroke of luck. A lot of people did a lot of work to recruit Sendhal here. He is a superstar. It is a very big catch, getting someone with his stature at the prime of his career and doing things that are at the heart and soul of what we want to do at the school.” In fact, says Rajan, the Sendhil hire has already helped overall faculty recruiting. “A lot of people knew that he was thinking of coming here and that created some buzz as well. It will bring to Chicago people who are interested in doing things that combine behavioral science and economics which is increasingly a big field where we are uniquely positioned.”
Strategy professor Paul Nary is among the 65% of new hires nationally who has never taught full-time before. A veteran of Midwest B-schools, before Minnesota Carlson he earned his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago and a Master of Supply Chain Management from Michigan’s Ross School of Business. After six years of study and teaching at Wharton, his chance came to work at Wharton, and it was a no-brainer to join P&Q’s top-ranked school. In his class Managing the Emerging Enterprise, he says, students have two objectives: to understand the basics of strategy and the commonalities between good strategies, and to apply elaborate strategy work in the context of fast-growing ventures and industries facing technological change.
“It’s so exciting because there are all these really interesting, talented MBA students from all these different backgrounds, so engaging them on any question is really fun because you get all these different perspectives,” says Nary, who teaches three sections of almost 70 students each. “We have former military officers and consultants and people who have done incredible nonprofit work, so it’s so interesting to have this level of talent and this diversity of experience in the classroom.”
‘I HAVE FOUND EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR’
Luis Rayo is no newcomer to full-time teaching. In fact he’s the opposite: a veteran of some of the top schools in the world. After earning his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford in 2002, Rayo has served as professor of management at the London School of Economics, associate professor of economics at Chicago Booth, chair of the Economics Department at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City, and visiting professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Most recently he was a professor of finance at the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business, where he won the Professional MBA Teaching Award, the Brady Teaching Award, and the Executive MBA Teaching Award. This fall he joined Northwestern Kellogg as a strategy professor; he currently teaches a class called Strategy and Organization that deals with how to organize a firm internally for optimal performance.
“This class has been very popular with our MBAs,” Rayo tells P&Q. “This is for good reason, as firms live or die not only on the strengths or weaknesses of their products, but also on their ability to organize effectively.”
Rayo says he’s been lucky in his employers. But Kellogg, he adds, is his “dream job.”
“I have been lucky to have taught at other terrific business schools,” he says. “In each of these I have learned a great deal from colleagues and students, and each has offered a unique and rich experience. I have always found that the toughest thing about moving is leaving a great community behind.
“Being at Kellogg is my dream job. Super-smart students, incredible colleagues, and a welcoming and intensely collaborative culture. Kellogg is a very special family – one that is true to my intellectual ambitions and that will bring out my best work.
“It is clear that I have found exactly what I was looking for: an environment that on the one hand fuels the creation of vast knowledge, and on the other hand brings together a population of talented students that are ready to put this knowledge to immediate use.”
(See the next pages for a complete list of the 277 new professors at the top U.S. business schools.)