Yes We Have No Entrepreneurship Professors

Apparently universities have all sorts of unfilled entrepreneurship chairs. Why might that be? After all, there are oodles of business faculty, and entrepreneurship is about as sexy as its gets in the academy these days.

Well, blame credentialism and undersupply. While there might be all sorts of people who “get” entrepreneurship, there are apparently only six U.S. schools that pump out accredited entrepreneurship Ph.D. sorts. That might not be a problem, I suppose, were it not that schools also want their entrepreneurship professors to be grown in vats somewhere:

“There wouldn’t be a problem if business schools had reasonable criteria for chairholders,” says William B. Gartner, professor of entrepreneurship at Clemson University. Schools want a successful entrepreneur who has been published in top journals, is well-connected in the entrepreneurship community, and is a great teacher and fund-raiser — quite a lot to ask of one person.

On a related note, I recently heard a colleague tell me about an attempt to hire a lapsed academic from industry into a high-profile technology & entrepreneurship institute at a prominent U.S. campus. Not only was he asked for a dozen references, four of his references were asked for references as well. All of this for a job that paid $120,000, tops.