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Darla Moore School of Business

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Introducing the new Professional MBA program faculty director

Economics professor William Hauk will begin in May as the new PMBA faculty director when current faculty director and accounting clinical professor Robert Lipe retires. Hauk, who joined the Moore School 16 years ago, has a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in political economics from Stanford University. In conjunction with his faculty director role in the PMBA program, Hauk also teaches in the International MBA program.

Hauk discusses his priorities, what makes the Moore School’s Professional MBA program beneficial and his advice for students.

What are your priorities as Professional MBA faculty director?
My two big priorities are, first, working on reviewing the PMBA program to see if the electives, certificates and concentrations are relevant for the needs of our students and the current job market. I feel that we have a strong core curriculum, but the employment space where our students work is always changing. We want our instruction to remain relevant. My second priority is recruiting new students. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a factor, we won’t be as limited in reaching out to people to promote our program. My hope is that we will continue to draw strong candidates to the Moore School’s PMBA program.

What is your vision for the program’s future from the perspective of the faculty director?
The PMBA program’s strength has always been that it is able to combine the flexible delivery that our students want with the academic rigor that they need to succeed. I hope to build on that key strength but also to craft a program that can combine the more general business skills that we reinforce in our program core with some of the more specialized skills that our students need in their specific industries and roles.

What PMBA courses do you teach? What is your approach to those classes?
For the last couple of years, I have taught ECON 720: Managerial Economics, which is the core economics course for the program. Prior to that, I had taught an international trade elective for the PMBA students as well. The main thing that I’ve learned from this experience is that our students can watch lectures or do readings anywhere or anytime. When I get them into class, I want it to be an interactive experience where we work through problems, both together as a class or in small groups. That way, we can interact with each other, and the students can better understand what their strengths and weaknesses are and learn from each other.

For individuals in the PMBA program, many are balancing full-time jobs and families along with the program. Do you have any advice for them on balancing these important responsibilities while in the PMBA program?
If you have a lot of commitments outside of the program — and most of our students do — it’s important not to overextend yourself. It’s tempting to try to “double-up” on courses and get through the program quickly, but you’re not helping yourself if you take on more than you can handle. Also, while we want to be flexible for our part-time students, you should still try to come to the PMBA classrooms for that one-night-a-week session, so you can completely focus on the task at hand for those three hours.

What would you say is your favorite memory/experience at the Moore School since becoming a faculty member?
Maybe the time when the Gamecocks beat then-number-one Alabama at home when ESPN College Game Day was here in 2010?! More academically, I always enjoy going to the graduation ceremonies, especially when I know some of the graduates. It gives me a great feeling to see our students completing their degrees and going on to what I hope is a bright future!

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