RIT names international education chairs for Saunders College of Business

Chairs will expand global focus for students and faculty at international campuses




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Professor Robert Barbato, Associate Professor Michael Palanski and Associate Professor Zhi Tang

Rochester Institute of Technology has named three faculty members from Saunders College of Business as the Paul and Francena Miller Chairs in International Education for the 2017-2018 academic year. Professor Robert Barbato, Associate Professor Michael Palanski and Associate Professor Zhi Tang teach in the Saunders College Department of Management, International Business and Entrepreneurship.

According to Saunders College Dean Jacqueline Mozrall, the Miller chairs will monitor and assess the exchange program with RIT Croatia, expand the program to other international campuses, increase the number of courses taught collaboratively between campuses, and enhance the scholarly outputs that result from collaborations among faculty at the different campuses.

“All three faculty members have demonstrated efforts in support of international education,” said Mozrall. “They will now work collectively to help Saunders College become a recognized leader in international education by creating opportunities for our students and faculty.”

  • Barbato’s primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of business ethics, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior. He has taught or lectured in Kosovo, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Korea, China, Croatia, Ethiopia and England.
  • Palanski’s primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of leadership development, business ethics and forgiveness in the workplace. He has taught or presented research in Croatia, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, China and Ireland.
  • Tang’s primary teaching and research areas include international business, international entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility. He has taught or lectured in United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, and a few major universities in China. He currently is teaching an online course to Croatian students.

In 2013, the former Paul A. Miller Chair in Continuing Education, established in 1981 and named for RIT President Emeritus Paul Miller, was changed to the Paul and Francena Miller Chair with a focus in international education. Miller also dedicated the chair to his wife, Francena, a retired RIT professor who passed away in 2010.

Professors are selected each year to hold the post on a rotating and competitive basis. Professor Zack Butler of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences and Professor Clark Hochgraf of the College of Applied Science and Technology served as the inaugural chairs for 2013-2014. They were succeeded by Alex Lobos, assistant professor of industrial design in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and Hiroko Yamashita, chair of RIT’s Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, for the 2014-2015 academic year. Matthew Marshall, associate dean of Kate Gleason College of Engineering, and Anthony Vodacek, professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, served the 2015-2016 academic year.

The Paul and Francena Miller Chair in International Education is supported through RIT’s Office of International Education and Global Programs.

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Professor Robert Barbato, Associate Professor Michael Palanski and Associate Professor Zhi Tang