Posted on behalf of Candida Brush
Last month we lost a great scholar, friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Hisrich. Bob was the Bridgestone Chair of International Marketing and Associate Dean of Graduate and International Programs in the College of Business Administration at Kent State University.
He was one of the most productive scholars in our field, with more than 350 articles and 42 books to his credit. He also co-authored (with Mike Peters and Dean Shepherd) one of, or maybe the top selling textbook in entrepreneurship for which he just finished the 12th edition (we should all be so lucky!). In essence, he wrote a book and at least 7 articles every year of the 50 that he was a Professor. Not only was he prolific, but also his work had impact, with more than 30,453 citations to his credit. Seven of his articles have well into the thousands of citations.
Bob obtained his B.A. from De Pauw University, M.B.A. and Ph.D from the University of Cincinatti and held two honorary doctorates, one from the University of Miskolc (Hungary) and a second from Chuvash State University (Russia). He held faculty and leadership roles at Boston College, Case Western, Univ. of Tulsa and Thunderbird Graduate School. Besides his academic achievements, he also launched entrepreneurship centers in Ukraine, Russia and Hungary. He created an entrepreneurship training program for high school teachers, and has worked closely with the governments in transition economies. His other accomplishments are too numerous to mention- but they range from consulting to start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, to serving on editorial boards, and even importing Hungarian wines (something he shared at several entrepreneurship conferences).
But more than this, Bob was a friend and my mentor. It is because of Bob that I studied women's entrepreneurship in the first place. In my last semester of my MBA program at Boston college, I was looking for an independent study. I knocked on the doors of several faculty and finally Bob said, yes, I'll do an independent study with you as long as you do a study on women entrepreneurs. He had just returned from a visiting professorship at MIT and worked with Ed Roberts. At the time (1982) there was little research on women entrepreneurs. I agreed to do the study (which took more than a semester) where we surveyed more than 1200 women entrepreneurs in the US. We received a 45% response rate, and subsequently followed up. This was the first and largest longitudinal study of women entrepreneurs in the US. Together we wrote 13 articles and a book, (The Woman Entrepreneur: Starting, Financing and Managing a Successful New Business). Bob also encouraged me to enter a PhD program, which I did at Boston University, and he served on my dissertation committee. Over the following years, we continued to work together, and he advised me on several career issues.
I know I am not alone as he advised many PhD students and junior faculty, always willing to provide his thoughts and enthusiastic advice about how to move forward. Bob was of course known for his sense of humor. Perhaps one of my favorite memories was when Bob and I were in Washington DC doing a presentation at the US Census Department. The evening before, we had a dinner and I accidentally set my menu on fire. Of course, the next day for our presentation he celebrated my pyrotechnic capabilities, which I did not hear the end of for years.
Heaven is a much happier place now that Bob has arrived. For those of you wish to share a few words with his family, here is the link for his obituary.
University of Alabama