School of Management Celebrates Milestone Anniversary: Pt. 2

Written by: Julie Jacobs,

Second in a Three-part Series*

It’s been three decades since NJIT established Martin Tuchman School of Management (MTSM). As the business landscape has changed over the years, so too has the school, becoming a nationally accredited institution offering students a technology-rich environment in which to learn, excel and succeed. We pick up our conversation about MTSM with longtime professors Hindy L. Schachter (HLS) and Theologos H. Bonitsis (THB).

MTSM 30th anniversary logo

Tell us about the original management faculty.

HLS: Most of the OSS [Organizational and Social Sciences] faculty were absorbed into the new school. A few members who were considered more social science than organizational science stayed on in the College of Science and Liberal Arts. For a school, the School of Industrial Management was quite small. It was actually the size of a department.

THB: What I recall was that there was a review of faculty, and those faculty that were felt would make a contribution to the new School of Management were invited. We received a letter, and we had to respond by letter saying we accepted the change in our academic standing, or academic unit I should say. The individuals who were not invited, they were mainly in the area of pure economics and there was a department created within the Third College, so they stayed there. That department is now long gone and economics has returned to the School of Management.

How have the students changed over the years?

HLS: The first year I came to teach in the Department of Organizational and Social Sciences, I had not a single woman in any of my classes and all of my classes were extremely white. Basically, those who came to NJIT then were male would-be engineers from the New Jersey area. Now my classes are people from all over. Classes are still predominantly male, but every class has female participation. And I have students from Africa, students from Asia, students from Europe. It’s enormously different and a much better educational experience.

MTSM Professor of Management Hindy L. Schachter

Was there ever a period of great change, a seismic shift if you will, and if so, why do you think it happened?

THB: I would say right now there’s a seismic shift, with the Ph.D. program in business data science. Big data is where everyone is focused, and now we have a doctoral program with doctoral students.

HLS: I agree with that. The Ph.D. program can be a game changer, not only in terms of attracting students, but also in attracting a different kind of faculty, a faculty who have even more sterling research records.

What are the challenges faced by MTSM today and how do they differ from years ago?

HLS: I think the challenge is still to attract the best students and the best faculty, and the question is how do you do that? We don’t have a long history as a School of Management. What is it that we can offer people?

THB: Well, I think that the administration here at NJIT decided, and appropriately so, that a doctoral program in business data science dovetails very nicely with a comprehensive technological university, as opposed to establishing a “standard” doctoral program. And this is an area that is ballooning now.

MTSM Associate Professor of Finance Theologos H. Bonitsis

Did getting the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation lend itself to an enhanced reputation for MTSM, so that more students wanted to come here?

THB: Based on my recollection, at the time that we were going for AACSB accreditation, very few schools within the area here had it. But when we got it, many schools got it almost simultaneously. You have to have it, because basically everyone has it. Now some students do inquire if you have AACSB accreditation. That’s been my experience.

How has research at MTSM advanced?

THB: It’s becoming more and more quantitative with the business data science program. It’s all about big data. Almost all the new faculty we hire, it’s my understanding, have dual strengths in business and a STEM field, like computer science, engineering or math. So it’s a highly quantitative computer-oriented program.

HLS: Research has been an important part of the enterprise since at least the late ’70s. The fact that we now have Ph.D. students should be attractive to good research faculty. I expect that the research trajectory will become better and better.

UP NEXT: Professors Schachter and Bonitsis talk about “Business With the Power of STEM,” their hopes for the school’s future and their most memorable MTSM moment.

To read Part 1, click here.

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.