“Our vision is to become a hub of entrepreneurship within CUNY,” declares Scott Newbert, PhD, about the Zicklin School’s brand-new Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which was launched on July 1. Dr. Newbert, who is the chair of the new department, sat down with Zicklin News to tell us more.
Back in the fall of 2020, the Zicklin School’s major in entrepreneurship was relaunched with a new emphasis. “Historically the major had focused on helping students start and run small businesses,” Newbert explains. “We wanted to shift the focus to the innovative, creative aspects of entrepreneurship — to developing an entrepreneurial mindset, which can serve them in whatever organizations they work for.” Newbert and his colleagues also made efforts to attract more students from Baruch’s non-business schools (the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs and the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences) to entrepreneurial opportunities at the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, where Newbert is the academic director.
As interest in the center’s activities spread among Zicklin and non-Zicklin students, Newbert and Zicklin’s then-dean, Fenwick Huss, began discussing the idea of an entire department dedicated to entrepreneurship. Linda Essig, PhD, who has a background in arts entrepreneurship and had recently joined Baruch as its provost, became a key supporter.
“It was a collaborative effort,” Newbert says, “among departmental faculty, Baruch College faculty, the CUNY Board of Trustees, and others. We had to pass through a number of hurdles, but eighteen months later, here we are.”
Newbert is widely published on entrepreneurship in leading academic journals and serves as field editor for the Journal of Business Venturing, the top-ranked journal in entrepreneurship, as well as a contributor to Entrepreneur magazine. He is also a member of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 Advisory Council.
As chair of the new department, Newbert has hired two new faculty for the fall: Hanna Liu, with expertise in entrepreneurial finance, and Valeria Cavotta, whose research examines entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities. Another new faculty member, whose specialty is in social entrepreneurship, will start in spring 2024.