Oxford University Faculty Named Douglas D. Anderson Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University named Teppo Felin as the first Douglas D. Anderson chaired professor of strategy and entrepreneurship. The Anderson chair is one of five endowed professorships established in 2019 by the Jon M. Huntsman Foundation. Felin’s appointment begins July 1.

A native of Finland, Felin is a world-renowned professor of strategy at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, where he currently serves as the academic director of the Oxford Diploma in Strategy and Innovation. He has also served as the academic area head for the strategy, organizational theory, international business and marketing faculty at Saïd Business School.

A gifted scholar and researcher, Felin at mid-career has published some 60 publications in high-quality or elite journals. His research has been published in management journals such as Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, MIT Sloan Management Review and Research Policy. He has also published in disciplinary journals such as Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Perception, Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Plos One and Erkenntnis. He is an exceptional teacher who has won a number of teaching awards. Felin engages students with original, thought-provoking material. Before entering academia, Felin worked in the venture capital industry in Munich, Germany, and Amman, Jordan.

Felin is described by colleagues as “brilliant,” “incredibly curious,” “delightful” and as “having a broad range of interests from philosophical questions about collective consciousness to more pragmatic questions about how individuals work together to solve organizational dilemmas.”

“We met after Dr. Felin discovered I was at Oxford and he asked to meet to discuss a paper I wrote in the journal Nature called ‘Physics, Complexity, and Causality,’” said George Ellis, distinguished mathematician and physicist. “We immediately found that we both had much to talk about concerning the nature of causation in physics, biology and social sciences, and a broad view of how things work across many fields, including how perception works and influences actions. This interest extends to philosophical views on such issues as the nature of science. An outcome of this interaction, among other things, is the paper, “The data-hypothesis relationship,” that Dr. Felin initiated. The article has now been accepted for publication in the journal Genome Biology.”

Felin plans to continue broad-based, interdisciplinary research at Utah State University. He will be the founding director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Study. The purpose of the institute will be to foster world-class interdisciplinary research and teaching. In particular, the institute will seek to link the field of business with other disciplines, including biology, psychology, computer science, engineering, as well as the humanities. The institute will not only engage in world-class research, but also seeks to enable students to see the power of interdisciplinary thinking in addressing business and societal problems. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Study plans to create deep links with Utah’s entrepreneurial, technology and business communities.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Huntsman School of Business and Utah State University as the Douglas D. Anderson chaired professor of strategy and entrepreneurship,” Felin said. “I have had the privilege of teaching the Huntsman Scholars over the years, as they’ve visited Oxford. I was extremely impressed with the students, their quality and global ambitions. I am excited to be teaching and interacting with USU students on a fulltime basis. I am not only impressed by the students, but also extremely impressed with Dean Anderson’s leadership and vision, and the Huntsman family’s deep and ongoing commitment to the business school and Utah State University. I am excited to establish the Institute for Interdisciplinary Study, and the opportunities this will enable for research, teaching and engagement with the broader Utah business community.”

Douglas Anderson, dean of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, is thrilled to have Felin join the Huntsman School of Business.

“I am humbled that Dr. Felin has agreed to become the inaugural Anderson Professor,” Anderson said. “It has been my privilege to know Teppo for more than a dozen years. Nearly every year since 2013 Teppo has graciously agreed to teach our Huntsman Scholars in his Oxford classroom. I am so excited that our students in Logan will now have that same opportunity.”

During one Huntsman Scholar trip to Oxford several years ago, Felin made a lasting impression on former student and USU graduate, Jackie Sullivan. After graduating, Sullivan applied and was accepted into a master’s program in economic development at Oxford University. She credits Felin with inspiring her to apply to Oxford.

“I first worked with Dr. Felin as a student at Utah State University and then at Oxford,” Sullivan said. “From my first interaction with Dr. Felin, which was during a guest lecture he provided to myself and my fellow classmates at USU, it was clear that he was an engaging, thoughtful lecturer… Having lived, worked and taught all over the world, Dr. Felin brings an incredibly unique perspective that leverages the best of international practices… I believe Dr. Felin [will] be a huge asset to students looking to further their horizons, dream big and learn best practices from someone with deep international credibility.”

Utah State University President Noelle E. Cockett welcomes Felin to the Aggie family.

“With his international reputation in the field of strategy and entrepreneurship and his excellence in teaching, he will be an extraordinary asset to our students and faculty colleagues alike,” Cockett said. “We are deeply appreciative of the Huntsman Foundation for endowing the chair that has made this possible.”

David Huntsman, president of the Huntsman Foundation, added that attracting a professor of the caliber of Teppo Felin was precisely what his father had in mind when setting aside the funds enabling the establishment of the Huntsman Fund for Faculty Excellence in 2019.

“As this fund grows, we expect to create additional chairs and attract other world-class scholars to the Huntsman School faculty,” Huntsman said.

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