Professor Honored as Minority Business Leader
Dr. David L. Ford
Dr. David L. Ford Jr.'s contributions as a mentor, educator and role model have led to his being named a Dallas Business Journal 2016 Minority Business Leader Awards honoree. More than 130 individual nominations were received, and 23 honorees were chosen for this year’s award.
“It’s nice when you hear that you’ve been a good mentor and that you may have helped someone’s life a bit,” Ford said. “I’ve been fortunate to get some positive feedback in my career.”
Ford, who is celebrating his 40th year at UT Dallas, teaches organizational behavior courses as a professor in the Organizations, Strategy and International Management Area in the Naveen Jindal School of Management. His areas of expertise include leadership development, executive coaching, workplace diversity, team building and organizational culture change and assessment.
Ford has spent a lifetime trying to right wrongs, including in the classroom. He is dedicated to increasing minority representation in business schools — from students in seats and faculty at lecterns, to leaders in administration positions. Those roles go hand in hand, Ford said.
“That’s why I’ve been a part of The PhD Project — it’s all about that. Part of their thought is if you can change the complexion in the front of the classroom, then you can change the complexion of some of the students. Another aspect is also helping those working at business schools who want to have leadership roles in administration. This starts with an event at a conference but also leads to, if they’d like, passing along their name if there’s an opportunity that fits.”
The PhD Project strives to increase diversity in management by increasing diversity among professors in management classrooms. There were 297 black, Hispanic and Native American business school professors across the nation in 1994 when Ford and other leaders formed the organization. Ford points out that the figure has more than quadrupled to about 1,300.
“It’s been very gratifying to be able to mentor up-and-coming doctorate students who turn into faculty and who then may get promoted to senior levels of faculty administration,” he said. “Nothing like this program existed when I received my PhD.”
Ford also has been a top recruiter of PhD students.
“He’s the reason I came to UT Dallas,” said Carliss Miller, a doctoral candidate in international management studies.
Ford helped develop the Executive Development Institute for the National Black MBA Association and was a part of the academic curriculum committee for the National Forum for Black Public Administrators’ Executive Leadership Institute.
He also maintains a steady schedule of conducting research into transformational leadership, organizational effectiveness and leadership effectiveness across races and cultures.
His list of published studies includes more than 100 titles. These scholarly papers have led to grants, speaking engagements and scholarly commitments.
Currently, he is active in the Institute of Certified Professional Managers; Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists; Academy of Management; National Black MBA Association; Society of International Business Fellows; Academy of International Business; and the Institute for Operations Research the Management Sciences.
This story was reported and written by freelance contributor Eric Butterman.
Educator Is Advocatein Alzheimer’s Fight
Even when you are known for a strong ability to observe, you can miss the data. Such was the case with Dr. David L. Ford Jr. when it came to his mother’s Alzheimer’s disease.
“She would misplace things, and be quick sometimes to be suspicious of people,” said Ford, a longtime professor in the Naveen Jindal School of Management. “It was an education for me to understand just how devastating this disease can be.”
And that is how Ford looks at many things — as an education and an opportunity to educate others. For example, he was surprised to learn that African-Americans were twice as likely as white Americans to get the disease.
“You also have to realize that African-Americans are less likely to be a part of Alzheimer’s studies,” he said. “I wanted to contribute to research by signing up for multiple studies as a healthy control.”
He also has lent his support to the Alzheimer’s Association − Greater Dallas Chapter, serving on its public policy committee, which lobbies legislators to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research.
“This is a disease we can’t ignore, and it’s time to put more behind stopping it,” Ford said.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].