Rohrer College of Business names new entrepreneurship chair


The Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University has named Dr. Steven Phelan as the William G. Rohrer Chair in Entrepreneurship effective Sept. 1.

The Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University has named Dr. Steven Phelan as the William G. Rohrer Chair in Entrepreneurship effective Sept. 1.

In that role, Phelan will be responsible for growing the entrepreneurship program in the Rohrer College of Business, leading the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and chairing the Entrepreneurs Forum of Southern New Jersey.

Phelan received his Ph.D. in economics from La Trobe University, Australia; his M.B.A. in marketing from Monash University, Australia; and his B.S. in psychology from the University of Melbourne.

He has worked for La Trobe University, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where most recently he was an associate professor of strategic management and director of the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He was a visiting professor at University of the Basque Country, Spain; Universitas 21, Singapore; Bocconi University, Italy; Queensland University of Technology, Australia; and the University of Ballarat, Australia, among other institutions.

Additionally, prior to joining academia, Phelan held executive positions in the telecommunications and airline industries and was a principal partner in Bridges Management Group, a consultant firm located in Australia that specialized in strategic investment decisions. Founding editor of the Strategic Management Review, Phelan is extensively published in such areas as entrepreneurship, marketing and strategy by such publications as the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Phelan's research interests include competitive dynamics, organizational architecture, acquisition and alliance performance and entrepreneurial competence, employing simulation modeling, experimental game theory and event studies.

Phelan will be based at Rowan’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offices at the South Jersey Technology Park in Mantua Township.

“I was attracted to Rowan by the sophistication of the entrepreneurship program,” said Phelan. “Its offerings in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship put many large research universities to shame.” Phelan said he hoped to leverage Rowan’s existing strengths to create further national visibility. “More importantly, however, I would like to help Rowan students reach their personal goals in business and life,” he said. “As a first-generation college graduate myself, I realize the benefits that a quality college education can bring.”

“Dr. Phelan brings great depth and experience to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which will be integral to the Rohrer College of Business’ progress in building a nationally recognized entrepreneurship program.  His leadership will be critical for maximizing our educational and outreach impact on the region. We are pleased to have someone with Steve Phelan's experience and insights as the next William G. Rohrer Chair in Entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Niranjan Pati, dean of the Rohrer College of Business.

The William G. Rohrer Chair in Entrepreneurship is funded by a $10-million contribution made in 2005 to the University by the Rohrer Charitable Foundation in honor of the late long-time South Jersey businessman, community leader, government official and philanthropist William G. Rohrer. That gift was the largest the University had received since South Jersey businessman and philanthropist Henry Rowan donated $100 million to the school in 1992.