Howard H. Stevenson this week became a tenured professor of Business Administration at the Business School, leaving his post as vice president and financial officer of the Preco corporation, a Springfield-based company.
Stevenson will focus mainly on the "peculiar" problems of entrepreneurship, and will assess the teaching of entrepreneurial skills at the Business School. "Identifying what skills are necessary, such as risk-taking, is the first step," he said
Stevenson had previously sought tenure at the B-School in 1971 when he was serving as an assistant professor, and then took a one-year leave of absence to work in a private investment banking firm, Gordon Donaldson, senior associate dean for faculty development, said yesterday.
Stevenson taught again at Harvard from late 1971 until 1978; when he went to work for Preco, a manufacturer of specialty and commodity papers.
Stevenson applied for tenure again in 1980, expressing a desire to return to the ranks of academia, Donaldson said.
"Stevenson's combination of academic training and educational and professional experience highly recommended him for this position," he added.
Stevenson said he returned to teaching to fill a "growing societal need for supporting growth and risk-taking during this time of declining productivity and increasing unemployment and uncertainty."
The professorship "represents a commitment to an area where there is a vital need for increased understanding of the peculiar problems of small business," he added.
Stevenson's professional experience as an entrepreneur in the area of real estate investment and development also made Stevenson particularly qualified for this post, Donaldson said. "This is one area where extensive professional experience in small business is particularly helpful," he added.
The B-School has had a history of concern for the unique difficulties which small businesses face, Donaldson said, adding that Stevenson's appointment is "a fresh commitment at this time to entrepreneurship."