Failed to defend diss at AACSB institution, what should I do next?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by FailedToDefendDiss, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    Hello all,

    I'm a tenure track professor at a small liberal arts school in the northeast. I left an AACSB program ABD to take the job and a combination of bad luck for me (a couple of major surgeries) and for others (my diss chair had a loss in his family) meant my progress slowed to a crawl. I ultimately never defended a proposal, let alone my dissertation (though I do have nearly 190 pages of, well, mostly crap. The lit review is pretty good, but my methods involved moderated mediation and, well, let's just say it never came together.

    But enough about that, my issue is that I'm torn as to what to do next. My school would have accepted an online DBA program as an acceptable terminal degree, which leads me to believe that there are other schools out there that will, too. Reading some of the comments on here, though, has me feeling like that's not the prevailing opinion.

    I've been looking at the Wilmington DBA program and the St. Leo DBA program as a way to finish my terminal degree. I've read about them on here, so what I'm basically asking is "does anyone have any anecdotes about people from these programs finding tenure track positions?" St. Leo claims a placement at Penn State Harrisburg, but I didn't see anyone's credentials on that school's website.

    Any recommendations or suggestions? Should I just go take my MBA and go make money in industry (my job certainly wasn't too highly paying, only 55k-ish)? Am I tilting at windmills? Any advice would be welcome.
  2. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    First option is to always revisit with the school you started with and see if they offer any options. Second, I would be looking at Grenoble (also AACSB and beyond) or any of the other low/no coursework dissertation centered programs. You would just need a proposal to start and you would be worlds ahead in any program like that. Of course, there is the issue of cost and while there are some low cost options, everything costs money.

    With someone already in academia, the programs like Wilmington aren't going to open doors for you but will potentially solidify what you already offer and check a box that makes it easier for them to hire you. I am a little confused about your post though; you say you are currently tenure track and then speak about it in the past tense and talk about other schools hiring.
  3. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I will look at the program you suggested.

    I currently am tenure track, but given that I failed to defend, I won't be at the end of this semester. I'll be able to continue at my current school as an on-contract professor for at least a terminal year and perhaps beyond that, but I would like to get myself back to a school like I am at now.

    I looked through the faculty at my undergraduate alma mater and they have a faculty member who completed her Phd at Northcentral University, which I believe is a for-profit school. That made me feel a bit better about being able to find something somewhere.
  4. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    Sorry to be a bother, but could you point me towards how I can locate other programs like Grenoble? Thanks in advance.
  5. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    No bother, we are here to discuss programs and most of us enjoy doing it so there are no concerns. I am not in the position you are, I am career military starting to plan my retirement, so I have been exploring doctorate programs all over the world. Grenoble is cream of the crop due to their accreditation and are around $24K per year with some trips to France (twice, beginning and end) and the program can be completed with a few residencies in NY or CA. There may be a more exhaustive list somewhere but "most" doctorates are completed by research in Europe, South Africa, and similar places throughout the world with the assumption that you completed the required research courses in your masters to allow you to be successful at the doctorate level and just have to do the level of research required to obtain the degree. You have the option of either a DBA or a PHD, depending on the school and the program they are offering but either one will be dissertation only.

    Another program to look at is Leicester. Search for "UK DBA" "South Africa DBA" or anything like that, 99% of the programs you will find will be dissertation only by default. There is also EBS Phd/DBA program.

    There are quite a few low cost DBAs in America but there is no amount of money that would force me to take the coursework over again when there are cheaper options that are fully accredited with dissertation only, in your position of already being in academia. Some of those programs are Baker College, Indiana Weseylan University ($595/credit hour), and University of the Incarnate Word ($250/credit hour).
  6. SamSam

    SamSam New Member

    NCU has become nonprofit since it was acquired by the National University System in January 2019. They also have a "Dissertation Completion Pathway" which gives you the option to complete your dissertation there.
  7. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    The Leicester program looks very promising, thank you. That's an affordable cost and an AACSB accredited program, to boot. Thank you very much! I'll be requesting information from them and searching for some other programs using the searches you suggested.
  8. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    I didn't realize that, thank you for the info. This forum has been very helpful and has given me a lot of info I otherwise wouldn't have known. I appreciate that a lot and this is making me feel like I will be able to complete this thing after all, some way, some how.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  10. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

  11. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I teach at an AACSB-accredited uni's b-school with more than 20,000 and less than 30,000 students. So fairly large. We recently interviewed a candidate with a distance DBA from Jacksonville U for a tenure track asst prof position in acct that I assume would be offering in the range of $150 - $160K a year to start.
  12. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    That is good to hear, but as a current professor at an AACSB school, how badly have I screwed myself over by not finishing up in an AACSB program (presumably)?

    The answer seems to be somewhere between "a lot" and "a moderate amount if you want to teach at a smaller school" but I'd be interested to hear your feedback.
  13. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Depends on what you want to be. Tenure track prof at AACSB university? Well of course you need to finish up a doctorate somewhere for that, almost certainly at an AACSB uni. Tenure track prof at liberal arts college? You might be able to make your current education work, but as you know it depends on the college. My father-in-law made full tenured prof (MBA-only, ABD, dropped out to take job teaching, just like you) at a liberal arts college. Some of it depends on how high demand your field is (accounting or finance are pretty hot, general management not as much). If you eventually finish up a DBA or PhD, I can't imagine why dropping out of a program previously would hurt you, if that was what you were asking.

    There are a lot of programs out there, but you probably want to focus on ones that are more research-oriented. There's some academic research on this that I think one of our own at DI, Anthony Pina, had a part in, it's here:

    Another possibility, is to try and turn your previous work into a legitimate dissertation through a British or Australian uni for a dissertation-only PhD or a series of articles which could be turned into a PhD by Publications or PhD by Published Work, also available through Brit and Aussie/NZ unis. There are a lot of options, it just depends on where you want to be in five years.
  14. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    Thank you for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it. You're right, I need to stop and think about where I want to be and what I want to accomplish.

    I also appreciate the research article, I downloaded it and gave it a quick read through and the line "It was further shown that faculty members possessing the D.B.A. are considered by AACSB, IACBE, and ACBSP to be academically-qualified/doctorally-qualified to serve as business faculty" was heartening to read. I never wanted to be at an R1 anyway, so this is good to hear.

    At first glance, it appears that I should look at programs like Leicester's and see if I can get a research proposal based on my current dissertation topic accepted. Failing that, a DBA from Wilmington / St. Leo / etc. or a Phd completion program from a school like Northcentral seem like choices 2a and 2b, respectively.

    Now I just need to relax a bit and clear my mind, then see about drafting a good proposal for a dissertation-only AACSB program.

    Thanks again for all your help and for attaching that article, you've made me breathe a little easier. I'm not the first person something like this has happened to and I'm sure I won't be the last.
  15. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Active Member

    Unless something has changed, Leicester does not have AACSB accreditation. It has membership in AACSB, which is not the same as accreditation. It's still a great school though.
  16. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    I didn't realize that. Hmm, this is difficult. It is crashing home, I suppose, that I had a golden opportunity to get an AACSB accredited Phd... and I let it slip through my fingers.
  17. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    We make choices, we realize the consequences, and we make new choices. You are where you are today and nothing is going to change what happened in the past. Do the soul searching you mention above for what you want/where you want to be in five years and you may be well ahead. I see a lot of positives about your story that a lot of people here would kill for: already in academia, ABD, some parts of a dissertation, etc.

    I can attend Grenoble for no out of pocket tuition costs, only travel costs, but I don't have a concrete enough research proposal (or anyone to guide me how to get there) so I am exploring other options in a more "traditional" program. While Grenoble may not make sense for you financially, even though they are AACSB and "mostly" dissertation only, there is probably a program that is the right fit for you and will allow you to check the boxes you need for success, whatever those may be.
  18. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    Thank you, I needed to hear that. Ultimately, I'm where I am because I hate to do research and I wanted to live my life, not worry about deadlines and dissertations and all of that. That's the honest truth about where I am and, like you said, I can't change it. I probably should have left the program I was in a long time ago, to be honest, but I didn't.

    I do have some advantages like you said, and I need to realize that... and I am willing to complete a Phd / DBA another way. Accredited or no, I plan to look to Leicester first, I think. It's affordable and potentially doable with the research proposal. After that, I'll follow my above plan.

    Thanks again. I need to have a one man pity party for just a short bit and morn the thing I could have had, then put my chin up and see what comes next in my life. Not every job out there that is tenure track will require AACSB accreditation and the ones that do have research requirements that I know I would have found onerous. I need to remind myself of that.
  19. foobar

    foobar Member

    You say that you teach at a small liberal arts school. Is it AACSB-accredited? Do you really need a doctoral degree for tenure?

    I get the sense that you are timing out of your current program. Did you actually discuss this with them? Given your surgeries and your adviser's issue(s), it would not be out of the question to extend your clock.

    Another possibility at your current school if they are willing - retaking comps to restart the clock. This would not be trivial and you might want to sit through a current seminar or two before retaking comps if they are willing.

    I don't know which discipline you are in but it would make sense to sit down with someone in your field to discuss your dissertation work so far to see if it was/is really viable.

    I'd also look at some of the new AACSB-accredited DBA programs and ask if you can get advanced placement in their program. You might be surprised at their willingness to accommodate someone that got as far as you did.
    JBjunior likes this.
  20. FailedToDefendDiss

    FailedToDefendDiss New Member

    I am timing out of the program and I have discussed it with them. My advisor is retiring as well, and because I've been roughly 1,500 miles away from the program for a number of years, my contact with the rest of the faculty, even including my committee, has been minimal.

    I'm also at the point where my coursework is starting to time out, too. I hadn't asked about restarting the clock by retaking my comps, so I can inquire about that. It does raise the issue of me having to sit through seminars and just figuring out a way to be there doing so would be tough, financially.

    I hadn't ever thought about your last point being an option, either. That is something I should inquire about, absolutely. I know Wisconsin Whitewater has a program and I think I remember Missouri St. Louis having one as well, so I will track down a few more and reach out to them.

    If you have any that you think may be receptive than others, I'd love to hear your suggestions. If you don't, I really appreciate you just making the suggestion as I never would have thought of it.

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