By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

Several faculty members from across campus discussed their business and entrepreneurship activities yesterday afternoon as part of the Kauffman Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lunch series, held by School of Information studies (iSchool) faculty member and Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bruce Kingma.

Kingma introduced the event as an informal networking opportunity for campus entrepreneurs, and asked entrepreneurial faculty to provide ideas on how the University can assist faculty who want to engage in business activities. Each faculty member spoke for several minutes, outlining their ventures, and offering input on how to balance life as an entrepreneur and academic.

Two iSchool faculty members, Jill Hurst-Wahl and Jeffrey Rubin, added to the discussion.

Hurst-Wahl is an Assistant Professor of Practice and maintains a consulting practice along with her teaching role. She offered her views on the balance between academic and entrepreneurship roles, and said that she values the ability to bring her professional experiences into the classroom.

“I can give my students different viewpoints because of my consulting background and experience,” she explained.

Associate Professor of Practice Jeffrey Rubin is the CEO of Sidearm Sports, a collegiate athletics web content management company. Rubin started the company in 1996 while he was also an adjunct instructor at the iSchool. Rubin explained his unique situation as one of the few faculty entrepreneurs also making use of employees. His challenges, he said, “mostly revolve around technology and hiring and managing H1 [foreign] employees.”

Other Syracuse University faculty participating included Robert Doyle, Associate Professor of Chemistry from the College of Arts and Sciences; Ted Hagelin, Professor from the College of Law; Cas Holman, Assistant Professor from the College of Visual and Performing Arts; and John Torrens, Assistant Professor from the Whitman School of Management.

Hagelin ended the hour by emphasizing, “at Syracuse University, entrepreneurship is our niche, and we should be cultivating it. We need to create a reward structure that recognizes the value of patents, corporate involvement and creating businesses.”

The next meeting in the Kaufmann Entrepreneurship and Innovation lunch series is scheduled for October 25, and will focus on social entrepreneurship.