by Rick_Franza
 Thinking Out Loud
November 29, 2011 12:04 PM | 1780 views | 4 4 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Welcome to my blog!  Thanks to the Marietta Daily Journal and its editorial staff for the opportunity to share with you my insights in a number of different areas.  For my first installment, I’d like to let you know about me so that you have some context for my future postings.  I will also provide you some broad topics I will be addressing in this blog.  I hope you will check the blog often and feel free to provide comments!  Please bear with the length of this posting….future ones will likely be much shorter!


I am an administrator and faculty member in the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University (KSU).  I joined the faculty of KSU in August 2002 as an Assistant Professor of Management and I have taught courses in our undergraduate, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Executive MBA, and Executive Education programs in the areas of Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Project Management, and Innovation and Technology Management.  In February 2006, I was appointed to my current position as Chair of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship on an interim basis and in January 2007, the interim designation was removed.  In this role, I lead a department consisting of approximately 40 full-time faculty members and an additional 20 part-time faculty members.  In July 2011, I was also appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Information Systems (approximately 20 full-time faculty members) and I will remain in that role until we hire a permanent Chair for that department.

Prior to KSU, I was on the faculty for four years at Bentley College (now Bentley University) in Waltham, Massachusetts which has been recognized in recent years as having one of the top undergraduate business programs in the country.  I was hired at Bentley after retiring from a career in the United States Air Force (USAF) in which my last assignment was on the faculty at Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), the USAF’s graduate school located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base just outside of Dayton, Ohio.  My primary role in the USAF prior to moving into education was as a Research and Development (R&D) project manager.  During my career, I managed programs that were part of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or “Star Wars” program.

I was very fortunate to have much of education funded and supported by the USAF.  I had an Air Force ROTC scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, where I earned a B.S. in Applied Mathematics.  The USAF then delayed my active duty by two years so that I could earn my M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  Finally, I was able to earn my Ph.D. in Operations Management from Georgia Tech with USAF support while on active duty.

Back to KSU………In addition to my formal administrative and faculty duties, I am very involved with Athletics.  I served on the Football Exploratory Committee headed by Vince Dooly and on the Athletic Director search that resulted in the hiring of Vaughn Williams.  I currently serve on the KSU Athletic Association.

Finally, from a personal perspective, my wife, Lorie, and I and our two daughters, Audie (13) and A.J. (11) live in West Cobb and are members of Due West UMC.  I also serve on the Board of Pinetree Country Club as its treasurer.


Now that you know about me, let me tell you about this blog.  Since much of my education is in the area of business, this blog will emphasize issues important to Cobb County businesses, large and small.  While I might tackle some regional, national, and international business issues, I will do so through a lens that examines the effect of these issues on the local business community.  A second topic I will address is higher education, particularly looking at issues impacting KSU, SPSU, and our local students who are or will be attending college.  I will also keep you updated on what is happening at KSU, as this is an important year as we search for a new Provost and other key personnel.  Finally, I will give you some insight into what is going on in KSU Athletics’ existing teams and as we progress toward the potential addition of football.  I look forward to hearing from you with any suggestions you might have for particular topics!

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Attikus Too
November 14, 2011
So what's the bottom line? How good of a job are we doing at KSU in preparing our students for jobs and citizenship? Your opinion along with some data would be interesting to see.
erin wolf
November 11, 2011
Thanks for taking the initiative on this Rick. I'll be following your wisdom!
KSU Colleague
November 11, 2011
I am looking forward to this Rick. Keep up the good work.
KSU Grad
November 11, 2011
As one of your former grad students, I am looking forward to it.
Richard Franza Ph.D. chairs the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at Kennesaw State University and is a retired U.S. Air Force Major.

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