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Darla Moore School of Business

William R. Folks Jr.

William Randolph Folks Jr., Honorary Global Advisory Board Chair

William R. Folks Jr. is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Business in the Sonoco International Business Department and Honorary Chair of the Global Advisory Board of the Folks Center for International Business at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business.


Folks is a native of Lancaster, South Carolina. He was educated in the public schools of Lancaster and at the Hill School, received his A.B. cum laude in General Studies (Mathematics) from Harvard in 1966 and his D.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1970.

Folks joined the University of South Carolina faculty as assistant professor in 1969, was promoted to associate rank in 1972, and to full professor in 1976. His primary area of teaching and research was international finance, and he authored over 40 research papers that were published in journals such as Management Science, Financial Management, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of International Business Studies, Foreign Language Annals and the Columbia Journal of World Business.

He co-authored the text International Dimensions of Managerial Finance with Raj Aggarwal. He is the co-author of a major study on the impact of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 8 on corporate exchange risk management practices of U.S. multinationals, commissioned by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. 

Folks has served as a visiting professor at Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration (Finland) and Xiamen University (China). He has taught in numerous executive education and executive MBA programs in the United States, Brazil, Finland and Abu Dhabi, and served for 19 years as a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.

From 1976 to 1985, Folks served as the first department chair of International Business at the University of South Carolina. He and his colleagues were responsible for the development and growth of the nationally prominent academic programs in International Business. While chair, the Masters of International Business Studies (MIBS) program became recognized as the world's leading graduate program in International Business, and the International Business Department received high global ranking.

He served as faculty director of the following programs:  Undergraduate International Business Major, the Master in International Business graduate degree program, the International Business and Chinese Enterprise initiative of the University with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Faculty Development Program in International Business. In his final years at the university, Folks helped develop a number of cohort programs at the undergraduate level and dual degree programs for the Masters of International Business program.

In 1990, Folks was appointed Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at USC, a national resource center supported by funding from the U. S. Department of Education. He served as the first president of the Association for International Business Education and Research (AIBER), the association of CIBER schools. He has twice served on the American Council of Education Task Force on the Reauthorization of Title VI and served on the AACSB Task Force on the National Security Education Program. 

From 1994 to 1997, he served on the Council of Advisors to the National Security Education Program. He has served as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Consortium for Undergraduate International Business Education (CUIBE). He has been a consultant on international program development for a number of business schools. 

In 2008, the Fellows of the Academy of International Business named Folks the International Business Educator of the Year.

In 2009, he received the International John Otis Lifetime Achievement Award from NASBITE, a distinguished international association of global business professionals.

Folks retired from the University of South Carolina in May 2014.

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