Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


From 1954 to 2003, a rapid expansion of colleges and universities offering doctoral degrees in Business Administration has occurred. This considerable growth, coupled with increasing business school faculty member retirements, have led to a national shortage of academically-qualified faculty members. This study was conducted to determine if retirement-eligible Air Force commanders would be a good fit for and interested in a proposed doctoral program in Business Administration. This proposed Doctor of Business Administration concept program was designed to enable these commanders to accept a faculty position in a school of business while completing their doctoral degree. This is accomplished through a combination of on-line classes and collaborative research conducted by the student under the mentoring of a professor at the university where the retired commander is employed. The commander works and collects the salary of an Assistant Professor while completing the proposed Doctor of Business Administration degree.

A total of 36 retirement-eligible Air Force commanders completed a survey assessing their fit and interest in this concept program. The sample consisted of 31 Lieutenant Colonels and 5 Colonels who are or have been commanders in the United States Air Force. Of the 36 respondents, 5 were female and 31 were male.

Six research questions were used to assess fit and interest in a proposed concept Doctor of Business Administration program. Fit was assessed by the ability to overcome two entry barriers (Monetary Cost of Program and Time Required to Complete Degree) and three completion barriers (Ability to Work With a Mentor, Availability of Program, and Ability to Support Self/Family) identified as reasons for the lack of obtaining a doctoral degree.

The findings of this study revealed that retirement-eligible Air Force commanders felt they were a good fit for and were interested in the proposed concept program. With these findings, it was recommended that this program should be implemented as a way to increase doctoral-prepared faculty members at business schools across the country.

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