There are nearly 200 new faculty this fall at the top 25 MBA programs in the United States. Basima Tewfik is like — and unlike — the vast majority of them.
Tewfik joins the faculty at MIT’s Sloan School of Management this fall as an assistant professor of work and organization studies. She is one of five new professors at the Sloan School, and like four of them — and more than two-thirds of the 198 teachers that started new jobs this fall — she is fresh from earning her doctorate degree and facing MBA students as a full-fledged faculty member for the first time.
“I’m very excited,” says Tewfik, who worked as a management consultant at Booz & Company before becoming a doctoral candidate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, from which she earned her Ph.D. in management this year. At Wharton, Tewfik taught undergraduates and some MBAs, but will be teaching a course of her own design — Power & Negotiation — for the first time at Sloan.
“What makes Sloan pretty distinct and something that excites me is unlike many business schools, for Sloan all of the graduate programs can be combined within a single classroom,” Tewfik tells Poets&Quants. “What that means is, my classroom is going to be filled with traditional MBAs but also people who are doing a dual degree in the engineering school, or Sloan fellows, which are our international cadre of MBAs, or even exec MBAs who decide that they want to take a class in the evenings — I’m teaching afternoons and evenings.
“I’m excited about the different perspectives that will be represented in the classroom.”
NEW HIRES INCREASINGLY ARE FRESH FROM RECEIVING PH.D.S
There will be lots of different perspectives, and lots of new faculty faces, this fall — though somewhat less overall turnover than in recent years. In 2016, Poets&Quants counted 143 new profs — from full professors to guest lecturers — at the top 20 schools. In 2017, that number ballooned to 198 at 24 schools. And in 2018, looking at the top 27 schools — including P&Q’s top 25 — there were 277. Among them were 168 whose full-time teaching jobs were the first in their career. That’s 65%, up from 57% of the previous year’s total.
Now, in 2019, there are 198 total new professors at the top 25 schools, including 135 for whom the new job is also their first job teaching MBAs. That’s 68% of the total, or more than two-thirds. If you examine the numbers from only the top 25 in 2018, 156, or 61%, were in their first MBA teaching jobs; in other words, the number of new new hires has gone up for two years in a row, from 57% to 61% to 68%.
Let’s go school by school. In 2017, Wharton had the most new hires, at 27. In 2018, that distinction went 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 welcomed 10 new faculty or more. In 2019, however, only one school — Stanford Graduate School of Business, with 24 — hired more than 20 new professors, with NYU’s Stern School of Business and USC’s Marshall School of Business following at 16 apiece, and Chicago Booth notching 13. In all, just eight schools in the top 25 hired 10 or more new faculty.
A few top schools had little to no turnover in 2018, and a different picture in 2019: Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, for example, hired just one new professor last year, while welcoming nine this year. But in most cases hiring was similar year to year: UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business hired three in 2018 and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School took on four; in 2019, those schools hired one and three, respectively. Dartmouth Tuck hired five last year and five this year; UCLA Anderson hired five last year and four this year.
In 2018, 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). In 2019 management was again the top discipline, with 30 profs in the field, followed by marketing (24), finance (22), accounting (19), technology (12), operations (8), entrepreneurship (7), and strategy (6).
There were a few interesting, and a few well-known, names. The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business hired Stanford’s Lindy Greer, named to this year’s 40 Under 40, to run its Sanger Leadership Center. Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business was thrilled to snag finance prof Bruce Carlin from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. But perhaps the biggest celebrity hire came at Stanford, where H.R. McMaster, former assistant for national security affairs to President Donald Trump, will be teaching a strategy course called Building Strategic Competence: Observations from Battlegrounds Overseas and in Washington, D.C. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.
TAKING OVER FOR A 40-UNDER-40 PROF
While her status as a newly minted Ph.D. mirrors that of most of her counterparts at the top 25 schools, Tewfik is also quite unlike any of the others. Before joining Wharton she was a management consultant for Booz & Company in Chicago; in her second year on the job, the firm was acquired by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Tewfik had considered getting her Ph.D. before, particularly as an undergrad at Harvard, and the shakeup at Booz pushed her fully in that direction.
“My experience at Booz really made me reconsider going into a Ph.D. because I was really fascinated about how the firm was being managed, more so than the client interactions.,” she says. “I liked the client interactions, but just understanding the ins and outs of the firm management was really interesting, particularly from the people side. One of the most significant moments was the class below me. There was a significant staff cut within months of them joining the firm. And it was really interesting to see a bunch of 22-year-olds coming from all these top institutions suddenly finding themselves without a job and sort of experiencing the sort of first significant ‘failure’ even though it wasn’t really their fault.”
It’s no wonder, then, that Tewfik’s research focus has been the psychological experience of top talent in the workplace, as well as conflict management. With her experience at the intersection of academia and business, she brings a wholly unique perspective to graduate management education. Her course, Power & Negotiation, is a reflection of that perspective. Tewfik will teach two sections of the elective course, each with about 70 students, across 12 weeks; the course was previously taught by 40 Under 40 Poets&Quants professor Jackson Lu.
“It’s a highly experiential course,” Tewfik says. “The students have an opportunity to actively negotiate. Things that we cover are distributive bargaining, which is sort of a fixed-pie type of negotiation where if I get something, he must get less. Then we talked to them about integrative negotiations, which sort of helps dispel the aggressive, antagonistic notion that we have about negotiations, that sometimes it actually can be a win-win for students. And then it gets more complex from there.
“We talk about, for example, the wall of persuasion and emotion, and then also team dynamics and negotiating on behalf of someone as an agent, and then we conclude with topics of culture: negotiating across cultural bounds given that the business world is getting increasingly global. It’s not just lecture-based. We essentially have negotiation exercises so that they can practice what they preach. It’s a fun course.
“Teaching is something I enjoy. I really see synergies between research and teaching. I think teaching can give you the energy to do research and vice versa. Research gives you the energy to go back into the classroom or share what you’ve learned from your project.”
See the next pages for all the names of the 197 new profs on top-25 B-school campuses.