The only business school in the state offering a doctorate, the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration shows no signs of slowing a longstanding commitment to growth.
Soon to add an MBA concentration in health care and a master’s degree in finance as it celebrates 90 years of programming, the college continues to expand despite a lack of comparable growth in state funding, says college Dean Mark Higgins.
The presence of a doctoral program enhances the college’s and university’s reputation, enabling professional advancement of faculty as they collaborate with students and pursue research in their specialized fields, said Shaw Chen, an associate dean who oversees the doctoral program.
“If we weren’t a Ph.D. institution, most of the transmission of knowledge probably would be just one way, from faculty to student,” said Chen. “We go to the classroom to teach, but we also work with the Ph.D. student on research so we can push the boundary of knowledge into a different dimension.”
According to Higgins, “There’s a need for institutions to produce doctoral-qualified faculty for the next generation. I think a public institution owes the public that.”
The doctoral program, which began in 1991, has graduated 80 since 1995 – and 28 of those graduates have served in leadership positions at colleges and universities in the Northeast, Chen said – including Matthew Roy, of Portsmouth, an assistant provost at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Roy got his doctorate in management in 1995 and credits the URI faculty, particularly associate professor Sanjiv Dugal, with helping him publish a body of work that led to a successful academic career.
“I felt when I left that program I could compete with anybody nationally,” Roy told Providence Business News. “I left with four conference presentations and two refereed journal articles published – and that was solely because of the commitment of the faculty at URI. That impacted my whole trajectory as professor and allowed me to move into administration [at UMass Dartmouth].”