David Pyke, Ph.D., has been dean of the School of Business Administration (SBA) at the University of San Diego since 2008.
Formerly, he was professor of Operations Management, and associate dean at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.
He obtained his BA from Haverford College, MBA from Drexel University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. (See complete Vita.)
Thank you for visiting my blog. In my position at the SBA, I have been able to pursue several important initiatives. I get excited about what’s happening at the school, about the people and programs that make it such an excellent place to teach and learn. That’s why I write this blog, and particularly why I highlight three main areas of the SBA.
First, I enjoy having opportunities to inspire faculty, staff and students to reach their potential.
I like talking with faculty about how they design their courses, how they implement new teaching techniques, and how they continually improve the way they prepare our students for the world. In addition, I am energized by hearing about their research, and seeing them engaging challenging questions and tackling difficult problems. I enjoy seeing how our staff and administrators work to serve our faculty and students better, creating a close community. And, I like talking to the students to learn about their interests, career and vocation directions, and passions about making a difference in the world.
Second, I recognize the power of having “dual emphases” in many areas of the business school curriculum and programs. These emphases are both/and, rather than either/or, including theoretical and practical, academic rigor and social responsibility, and teaching and research.
There are many areas that require a blend, or balance, in life and in business education. Too much practical education can miss out on the latest theories. It is often these theories that endure, while practice changes. Additionally, too much theory without a practical approach can leave students ill-prepared for the real world. We need the theoretical and the practical in business education.
Academic rigor in business education can be associated with a bottom-line focus (only), cold-hearted, or not oriented toward humans in the company or the community. Social responsibility can be associated with a “soft” approach to business, or with enterprises that champion a cause with little attention to financial accountability and sound management. If we want to make an enduring difference in organizations, from investment banks to companies that serve the poor, we need to do it with a tough-minded business sense, coupled with a concern for people and communities.
Teaching is student-centered, and, often, the best teaching is research-driven. Research requires review by peers in the field, which forces faculty to be very careful and disciplined in their thinking and writing. That discipline should carry into the classroom, so that students are trained to be precise in their thinking and writing. Likewise, faculty interaction with students and companies can reveal new research problems from the complex, real world. We need both teaching and research for excellence in business education.
Third, I am passionate about preparing students for the complexity of the jobs they will enter upon graduation.
Graduates from the SBA will enter a world of global integration and interconnected systems. Effective business leaders in this professional environment will be creative thinkers and strategists, trained in interdisciplinary, integrated thinking and implementation. A business education that provides many opportunities and practice in creative, integrative problem-solving is the best way to prepare these business people. The SBA is designing curriculum, courses, and student experiences to produce the best business leaders with skills to think and lead creatively and to chart a course through the complexity of global systems.