Like many of her colleagues, Lalin Anik is looking forward to getting back in front of a classroom this fall after more than a year of intermittent in-person instruction.
But like nearly 200 others teaching in the leading U.S. business schools this year, when Anik opens her first class of the 2021-2022 school year, it will be on a new campus, in a new MBA program.
Many are altogether new to the classroom. Anik is not. She earned her doctorate in marketing from Harvard Business School in 2011 and after four years as a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University, she embarked on a hugely successful six years teaching at Virginia’s Darden School of Business. This fall she’s teaching at Columbia Business School in New York City, on a new faculty and a new campus with new students — and “October can’t come soon enough!” she tells Poets&Quants.
“I am very excited to meet my students at Columbia, get to know them and start a new journey, shoulder-to-shoulder, heart-to-heart to tackle big, interesting, and important business problems together,” Anik says. “When I imagine being with them, delving into the unknown and uncertainty with curiosity and resilience, I get goosebumps.”
190 NEW PROFS AT 26 B-SCHOOLS; NEARLY 2/3 HAVE NEVER TAUGHT BEFORE
Lalin Anik is one of 190 new and visiting professors at the top 26 business schools in the United States this fall, a list that includes dozens of noteworthy scholars and several academic celebrities. Columbia, where Anik will teach the Marketing core to first-year MBA students beginning next month, welcomed four other new hires; Harvard Business School, her alma mater, led all schools with 30 new faculty.
How does 2021 compare to recent years? Last fall, when most classes were virtual, 181 professors, instructors, lecturers, and other new faces joined the 25 highest-ranked U.S. B-schools. But that means the last two years have actually been a minor slump in faculty hiring at B-schools: In 2016, Poets&Quants counted 143 new profs — from full professors to guest lecturers — at the top 20 schools. In 2017, that number grew to 198 at 24 schools. The next year, in 2018, looking at the top 27 schools — including P&Q’s top 25 — there were an incredible 277. Among them were 168 whose full-time teaching jobs were the first in their career, or 65%, up from 57% of the previous year’s total. And in 2019, there were 198 total new professors at the top 25 schools, including 135 for whom the new job was also their first job teaching MBAs. That’s 68% of the total — more than two-thirds.
Last year, of the 181 new hires, 62% were new to the classroom, whether newly minted Ph.D.s or hailing from the corporate/startup world. Sixty-nine total professors had previous MBA teaching experience. Compare that to 2021: 120 of the new hires, or 63%, are in their first teaching position; 70 are familiar with the rigors of the classroom.
After HBS, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is next on the list of most new 2021 hires with 21, followed by USC Marshall School of Business with 16, and Stanford Graduate School of Business with 15. Only one school, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, reported no new hires this year. The discipline most represented was management, with 32 faculty in the field, followed by finance (29), marketing (19), accounting (18), operations (18), strategy (15), entrepreneurship (11), and economics (nine). Among the stars: one of Forbes‘ “Most Influential CMOs in the World,” David Edelman, teaching a marketing course at Harvard; and George Osborne, Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer, teaching “High-Stakes Decision Making” at Stanford.
See all the names and details on pages 2-4; see pages 3-4 for some of the most interesting names at the front of MBA classrooms this year.
‘GO AND DO OTHER THINGS IN THE WORLD’
Lalin Anik may not have the name recognition of a George Osborne or a David Edelman. But she is the only former Poets&Quants Professor of the Year to change schools this fall. And compared to most of her peers and colleagues switching employers, for Anik, the change is nothing compared to what she’s already experienced.
Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Anik left home at 17 with the support of parents who recognized that she would never be able to achieve her full potential in her home country. “They really pushed me to move,” she told P&Q in 2019. “They said, ‘Turkey is not going to do well in the next 15 to 20 years. Go and do other things in the world.’”
In 2002, Anik came to the U.S. as a teenager study at Brandeis University. Two years later, she was a research lab assistant for a marketing professor at London Business School. After graduating from Brandeis magna cum laude with a degree in psychology, Anik landed in the doctorate program at Harvard Business School, where she brought her social science skills to the field of marketing. After earning her Ph.D. from HBS in 2011, with a dissertation on experiments in social networks, she moved to Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business as a postdoctoral fellow, working closely with Dan Ariely at The Center for Advanced Hindsight until 2015 when she was hired by Virginia Darden.
A WELCOME RETURN TO IN-PERSON TEACHING
Anik’s time at Darden ended with the coronavirus pandemic still raging. Though the virus has by no means been subdued, she’s eager to get back into the classroom.
In that way, particularly, she echoes her many peers who are teaching this fall — whether in new surroundings or familiar.
“There are two states of being that make me feel particularly alive and in flow: being in water (after having been a swimmer for almost two decades) and being in the classroom,” Anik tells P&Q. “So, teaching online initially felt daunting, as if I didn’t know where I would find my oxygen.
“With the online classes, you take away most of the physical cues and the eye-contact. So, my students and I learned a new language that translated some of those experiences to Zoom. We learned to share our voices even on mute, to slow down and listen in a way we can sense each other through the camera. Research shows that scarcity enhances creativity. We found ways to color our classroom when our brushes were taken away, so to say.
“Now, I am thrilled to go back in the classroom at Columbia (of course, as long as it is safe to do so), to feel in the flow and alive again! I look forward to feeling the room pulsate, rise, fall, hold its breath and rise again. As the ideas, questions, wonderings and analyses transform into learning, the experience is contagious. I have missed that and can’t wait to jump back in with Columbia students!”
A NEW HOME
At Columbia, Anik will teach the Marketing Core to first-year MBAs this fall. “I think what is interesting about this course is that students from very different backgrounds will ask and try to find answers to intriguing questions about how to create value and good in the world,” she says. “Many students have preconceived ideas about what marketing is and I really enjoy when we can challenge those assumptions and prior beliefs. Through the art and science of marketing, we will design practical solutions and end up at unexpected places!
She will miss Darden, where she taught for six years. “I will fondly remember the times I shared with my students and friends – among which I can count playing sports and competing with my students, sponsoring student initiatives such as the Darden Stories and the Resilience Initiative, both of which, during my time, grew from a concept to an inviting and inclusive space for the community to be, and to empower each other. I have to also mention my colleague Luca Cian, who has been a lovely friend and confidant on this journey. …
“More generally, here is what I am looking forward to at Columbia: Finding a new home through deep, meaningful connections and collaborations with my colleagues and students — for example, starting interesting research projects, learning about my colleagues and students and working with them on DEI and resilience-building initiatives. I believe one must work hard and play hard, so I am also looking forward to playing sports, enjoying arts and literature, and storytelling in my new community.”
See the next pages for complete list of the new faculty at the top 25 U.S. business schools, as well as their disciplines and their previous school taught at/Ph.D. earned from.