UF DBA graduates who became UF Warrington faculty

DBA program produces clinical faculty at Warrington

The Doctor of Business Administration program at Warrington has created a pipeline that brings graduates from the business world straight into the classroom to teach Warrington students.

Their real-world experience translates seamlessly to the classroom, and students are able to learn from actual business problems they could face in the future. Warrington faculty Joel Davis (Revenue Management Solutions), Jim Hoover (Accenture), and Steve Tufts (Keller Williams) all transitioned from their successful jobs to prepare students for the future of business. The DBA program played an integral role in making it happen.

“I was 61 when I started the DBA program,” Tufts said. “I had 40 years of experience before going in the program. The main thing it did was get me into a scholarly frame of mind and a researchers frame of mind.”

The DBA program also taught the faculty the tools and vocabulary to talk about business research. It helped them gain a mindset that would help them create impactful research and help solve problems they faced in their professions.

It also helped them become immediately respected in the classroom by students.

“My experience in business helps me understand some of the challenges that students will face and incorporate discussions of those challenges into what I teach,” Hoover said. “For example, when I teach analytics, I talk about data science teams and how they approach problems. I also incorporate real world problems like cleaning up dirty data before modeling and making sure that analytics model results tie back to the business problem that your project sponsor requested the team to solve.”

Instead of teaching only from a textbook, these clinical faculty are able to draw from their own experience and tell engaging stories about what these concepts look like in the real world.

“What I’ve been told in my faculty evaluations is that the students love the stories,” Tufts said. “They love when I say ‘here’s what book says and here’s how I’ve seen it in the real world.’ I can actually see the students tune back in when I start telling those stories. You can almost see a physical response when you can bring real world examples into theoretical topics.”