Business lacks female teachers


    The lack of female professors in the business school is noted, but not dwelled upon, school faculty and students said.Women represent 16.9 percent of the full-time faculty in the School of Business, according to statistics provided by the Office of Institutional Research.

    The college that is closest in numbers to the business school is the College of Science and Engineering, with females representing 25 percent of the faculty, according to the Fall 2004 Fact Book.

    Daniel Short, dean of the School of Business, said people have to consider other factors while looking at the statistics to put them in the proper perspective.

    Female students comprised 35.1 percent of the business school’s enrollment in 2004, according to Institutional Research.

    “It’s not just TCU,” Short said. “It is nationwide.”

    Short and William Dillon, senior associate dean at SMU’s Cox School of Business, said less women pursue doctoral degrees, which contributes to the lack of women professors in business schools around the country.

    At SMU, 25 percent of the full-time faculty are female, but the associate dean said the percentage has grown in the past seven years and will continue to grow.

    In 2004-2005, 32.3 percent of full-time faculty at Baylor University were women, according to Baylor’s Institutional Research and Testing.

    David Gray, University of Texas at Arlington’s associate dean of the College of Business Administration, said 30 percent to 35 percent of the faculty are women.

    Barbara Wood, assistant professor of professional practice in finance at TCU, said when she taught at Baylor, she was the only woman in the finance department.

    Short said students are less likely to go into a field if they never see faculty similar to them teaching that field. He said compared to marketing and management, finance tends to attract fewer female students.

    The lack of female professors is representative of the business world, Wood said. She spent 18 years in the business field, and said there were never more than two women in upper-management.

    “I think (female students) need to get used to it,” Wood said. “They need to be able to deal with men and talk their language.”

    Dan Verboski, a senior entrepreneurial management major, said all he wants is the most qualified professor.

    Short said the business school tries to employ quality professors.

    “We hire, by and large, Ph.D. quality,” Short said.

    The individual academic departments within the business school do their own hiring, but ultimately, Short said, he has to approve.

    He said nothing good will come out of hiring the same type of people with the same ideas.

    “All healthy organizations thrive on new ideas and creativity,” Short said.

    Dixie Dixon, a junior entrepreneurial management major, said she has two female professors in the business school this semester.

    “I find it easier to talk to them after class, but the guys don’t baby you as much,” Dixon said. “It’s good to have a wide variety (of professors) because they all bring different stuff to the table.”

    Verboski said professors’ teaching methods vary, male or female.

    “Everybody’s got a different style. I don’t recognize anything gender specific,” he said.

    Rebecca A. Luce, assistant professor of management, said both males and females equally seek her out after class.

    “I really feel both male and female students relate to me similarly in terms of how they respond,” Luce said.

    Megan Fortenberry, a freshman marketing major, was surprised by the number of female professors in the business school.

    “As long as they’re willing to help the students, that’s what really matters – male or female,” Fortenberry said.

    Short said he thinks a lot of role modeling occurs in the business school.

    Wood said she agrees.

    “When (female students) see a role model that has been there, done that, maybe they feel more connected,” Wood said.

    Although the number of women professors is low, the number has risen, Luce said.

    She said when she started at TCU five years ago, only five female professors with doctoral degrees existed. This year, she said, there are nine.

    Luce said when current professors went through college, the number of female students in business was much lower. When the students from this generation become professors, the number of women professors should be greater, she said.

    “It’s going to take a while for the faculty to reflect the population in business,” Luce said.

    Short said business educators will become increasingly diverse in the years to come.

    “I think over the next generation, we’ll see much better representation in terms of people from different backgrounds,” Short said. “Young people coming into business represent an extremely heterogeneous group.”