Retaining World-Class Faculty

The William and Karen Sonneborn Current Use Term Professorship Fund

“What do you need most?” That’s the question William Sonneborn (B’92) and his wife Karen (second and third from left) asked Dean David A. Thomas (second from right) of Georgetown McDonough when they first met. After learning about the increasingly competitive business education landscape, the Sonneborns wanted to help Georgetown compete.

Dean Thomas didn’t hesitate. “We need to retain our talented faculty,” he explained. From that conversation, the William and Karen Sonneborn Current Use Term Professorships were born, funded by a $500,000 gift from the couple.

Term professorships entail an appointment for a fixed period. They carry with them additional teaching and research resources that help faculty members to write new research articles or books, improve the contents of their teaching, and enhance their status as thought leaders. Ultimately, term professorships serve to deepen a faculty member's contributions to Georgetown McDonough and the university as a whole.

One professor, Victor Jose (left), is an expert in decision/risk analysis and forecasting, with a focus on the development of prescriptive models and tools that could help managers make good decisions in uncertain environments. His most recent report is “Quantile Evaluation, Sensitivity to Bracketing, and Sharing Business Payoffs.

The other professor, Jason D. Schloetzer (right), researches management control systems, with an emphasis on controls related to corporate governance and the value chain. He particularly is focused on issues regarding hedge fund activism, CEO succession, and board structure. Dr. Schloetzer’s article “Implementing Corporate Lean Programs: The Effect of Management Control Practices” appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Operations Management.

“We were fortunate to have had both of these professors over for dinner at our Georgetown home,” shares Sonneborn. “The work they are doing is fascinating, and we want them to stay on as key Georgetown McDonough faculty, where they can inspire the next generation of business leaders and continue their important research.”