New Jindal School Hires Bring Expertise in Business, Research

An associate professor and five assistant professors, all either tenured or on the tenure-track, are among the 16 new faculty members who joined the Naveen Jindal School of Management (JSOM) at The University of Texas at Dallas this fall.

The new faculty members include Dr. Scott Janke, director for the Master of Science (MS) in Management Science program and senior lecturer in operations management; and Dr. David Widdifield, the new director for the MS in Supply Chain Management program and a clinical associate professor of operations management. Also officially joining the faculty this fall is Paul Nichols BA’95, MBA’98. Nichols, who was assistant director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is now its executive director. He also continues as director of the MS in Innovation and Entrepreneurship program and as a senior lecturer in organizations, strategy and international management.

Dr. Hasan Pirkul

JSOM gained new faculty in its accounting, executive education, finance and managerial economics, information systems, operations management, and organizations, strategy and international management areas. At the start of the academic year, the faculty included 220 full-time and 111 part-time members.

“The 50th anniversary of UT Dallas this year has made welcoming this group special,” said Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Caruth Chair and Jindal School dean. “We celebrate not only the University’s success — in healthy growth and in achieving top-tier status in only five decades — but also the Jindal School’s success in bringing in a faculty with top-tier teaching, research and business expertise.

“Of course, we also celebrate our students, who in the Jindal School are known for taking their education seriously and becoming top achievers while in school as well as after they graduate.”

The 2020 rankings from U.S. News & World Report showed the full-time MBA program moved up two places in the past year, from No. 40 (tied) to No. 38 (tied). Among U.S. public universities, the program fared even better, moving from No. 19 (tied) to No. 13 (tied).

The professional (part-time) MBA program went from No. 20 overall in 2019 to No. 17 (tied). Among U.S. public universities, its standing remained the same, No. 10 (tied).

In recent entrepreneurship rankings from The Princeton Review, in association with Entrepreneur magazine, the school’s innovation and entrepreneurship graduate program came in at No. 11, up from No. 19 in 2018. JSOM’s undergraduate innovation and entrepreneurship concentration debuted in the rankings at No. 23.

Changes this year to ensure that the Jindal School stays attuned to student and employer needs alike include: transforming the Global Leadership MBA program into a 100% online offering; adding an MS in Business Analytics Cohort program that focuses on accounting analytics and data science; and formalizing the rules and funding processes for students who undertake original scholarly research.

School initiatives that continue to grow include the Jindal Young Scholars Program, which this fall welcomed seven new Dallas Independent School District graduates to campus, and Jindal OutREACH, a community engagement program, which has recorded 18,000 hours of service in its first year.


New Tenure-Track Faculty

Dr. Rafael Copat

Dr. Rafael Copat, assistant professor of accounting

Previously: PhD candidate, Rice University

Research interests: corporate governance, proxy advisors, shareholder voting, conflicts of interest, executive compensation

Quote: “UTD has a big accounting department, providing me with a great opportunity for research collaboration. I am excited to be around people with such bright minds and prolific publication records. My main ambition is to make a meaningful contribution to corporate governance research and inform practitioners about issues that are vital to shaping economic efficiency. I hope to be recognized as a thoughtful and careful researcher, contributing to JSOM’s research productivity.”


Dr. Michael Hasler

Dr. Michael Hasler, associate professor of finance and managerial economics

Previously: assistant professor, University of Toronto

Research interests: how information acquisition, disagreement among investors and learning mechanisms impact investors’ trading strategies and asset prices

Quote: “What I look forward to most is being in a very efficiently run and growing business school. I aim to publish many papers in top-tier finance and economics journals to further bolster the ranking of the Jindal School of Management.”


Dr. Kirti Sinha

Dr. Kirti Sinha, assistant professor of accounting

Previously: PhD candidate, Northwestern University

Research interests: disclosure, public and private debt markets, mergers and acquisitions

Quote: “My research explores how information — financial or nonfinancial — affects real economic activities. With a specific focus on credit markets, I intend to use unique datasets to provide insights on how banks and other financial institutions utilize information in lending decisions and how these decisions impact real economic activities. This is important because of the widespread use of information disclosure regulation by policymakers. Through my research, I hope to inform policymakers about the costs and benefits of mandatory disclosure regulations.”


Dr. Ashwin Venkataraman

Dr. Ashwin Venkataraman, assistant professor of operations management

Previously: postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University

Research interests: machine learning applications in operations management and marketing, business analytics, choice modeling

Quote: “UTD has a very diverse student population, and I am looking forward to interacting with the students and getting to learn about their varied perspectives on different topics in my classes. I hope to create an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating atmosphere for the students and collaborate with my colleagues to produce high-quality and impactful research.”


Dr. Guihua Wang

Dr. Guihua Wang, assistant professor of operations management

Previously: PhD candidate, University of Michigan

Research interests: the intersection of empirical econometrics and machine learning with application to health care

Quote: “I feel very excited about teaching at UT Dallas as I learned from my colleagues and friends that UTD students are smart, hardworking and keen to learn. My goal at the school is to become a productive researcher and an inspiring teacher. I will continue my line of research in health care to address important and challenging problems faced by patients, providers, payers and the government. Besides research, I enjoy interacting and sharing my knowledge with students. My teaching goal is to help students develop a solid understanding of course concepts and theories and to improve their critical thinking and analytical skills.”


Dr. Hongchang Wang

Dr. Hongchang Wang, assistant professor of information systems

Previously: PhD candidate, Georgia Institute of Technology

Research interests: economics of information systems, financial technologies, online lending platforms, artificial intelligence

Quote: “Considering innovation is one of the top goals of UT Dallas, I wish to keep pursuing innovative research and converting it to inspired teaching. For my personal accomplishment, I hope to keep working on high-quality and important research projects, learning from senior colleagues, contributing to the academic community, and maintaining health physically and mentally. For the school and the University, I hope to provide high-quality teaching service, to become a supportive and collegial colleague, to provide suggestions and help to students, and to support relevant campus activities and projects.”


New Faculty Series

News Center is publishing profiles of tenured and tenure-track professors who have recently joined the University. The following school profiles have been published:

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].