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New OSU Ph.D. program attracts 19 from seven states

BY LAURIE WINSLOW Modified: February 12, 2012 at 12:59 am •  Published: February 12, 2012

It probably was 1987 when Tom Bennett Jr. last stayed up every evening reading until midnight.

But now that he's back in school at age 61, the chairman and co-CEO of First Oklahoma Bank is learning again what it means to learn.

Bennett is one of 19 participants from seven states pursuing a degree through a new three-year Ph.D. in Business for Executives program that was launched last month by Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business and offered at the OSU-Tulsa campus.

The participants, who represent 10 industries, meet monthly for three days — Thursday, Friday and Saturday — and in between connect with professors through conferencing technologies and online platforms.

The official name of the degree program is Ph.D. in Business Administration: Executive Research Option.

Ramesh Sharda, a program director along with Craig Wallace, said he hopes participants ultimately will walk away with the knowledge of a lot of current research in business, and the ability to conduct and contribute to that research in the future.

“We will make them smarter consumers of research, and we will also enable them to contribute to such research,” Sharda said.

The program started out of two needs, he said. One, as more baby boomer faculty members retire, there will be a shortage of qualified faculty in business schools. The program will permit some of the senior executives to consider a second career and contribute to educating the next generation of business professionals, Sharda said.

Secondly, the program creates a new genre of executive education.

Nearly 20 years have passed since Patti Jordan, vice president of Webco Industries Inc., was in school. She had always considered getting her Ph.D. but didn't want to have to quit her job.

“The first couple of weeks were very overwhelming,” Jordan said.

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If you go

Informational session

Informational session on OSU's Ph.D. in Business Administration: Executive Research Option

Date: March 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Location: Helmerich Research Center at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa campus, 700 N Greenwood Ave.

Description: Ramesh Sharda and Craig Wallace, program directors, and Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby will provide program details.

Information: Call 744-2951


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