|After the Dissertation
In the 15 years since UTSA offered its
first doctoral program, the number of
students, faculty and doctoral programs have soared. The university now serves
424 doctoral students through 20 programs.
In January, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved a proposal
to add a marketing concentration to the
existing doctorate in business administration. Yet another doctoral program, this one
in psychology, also is being reviewed.
Although doctoral programs are relatively new for the university, graduates are putting their Ph.D.’s to use in classrooms, laboratories and the business world.
Here are the stories of three of them.
From Insurance Salesman
When Jim Hackard decided to return to school for his Ph.D., he did not quite realize what he was undertaking. He had completed his M.B.A. while working, and he didn’t anticipate the
full-time commitment that is required when pursuing a Ph.D.
After a 30-year career as a life insurance actuary,
most of which was spent at the
San Antonio–based insurance, banking and
investment company USAA, he retired
and began his doctoral studies with the goal
of becoming a professor. And it turned out
that although he had underestimated the
amount of work his degree would demand,
he had been right about how much he would
enjoy being a professor.
A member of the first cohort of the
doctoral program in finance, Hackard was among the first to graduate. In August 2006, just three months after graduating, he
became a professor at Southern Illinois
University–Edwardsville (SIUE), where he teaches a course on corporate finance and another on financial markets and institutions.
Hackard’s research interests include market microstructures, corporate finance and investments. He became interested in
finance during his last 10 years at USAA, while doing financial
forecasting and cash-flow testing.
He feels fortunate to have been part of UTSA’s doctoral finance program. “For a brand-new program, it’s been extremely successful
in placing its students,” he says. “We’ve all ended up at good schools, and that speaks well of how much the faculty supported us in our job searches.”
Hackard is developing a life insurance course for next spring, and he says he’s still using what he learned in the business. “One of the things that led me to be a teacher was how much I enjoyed mentoring young actuaries
when I was in that field. Now I really enjoy being in the classroom and helping students learn, and I continue to learn.”
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