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North Carolina State professor selected to fill George F. Farris Chair in Entrepreneurship at Rutgers Business School

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Ted Baker, an entrepreneur turned teacher and scholar, has been selected to fill the new George F. Farris Chair in Entrepreneurship at Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick.

The Rutgers University Board of Governors approved the creation of the endowed chair and the appointment of Professor Baker as the first holder of the chair during a meeting today in New Brunswick.

Baker is the founding executive director of The Entrepreneurship Collaborative at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management in Raleigh. The collaborative, known as TEC, is a center of research, education as well as a service provider to the entrepreneurship community. Baker has taught on the faculty at North Carolina State University’s Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as the Textile Technology Management Program at NSCU’s College of Textiles.  

Rutgers Business School Dean Glenn Shafer said Baker’s experience and research will add to the work of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, which he described as one of the top entrepreneurship centers in the country.

"Ted Baker brings to Rutgers an extraordinary combination of scholarly achievement in the field of entrepreneurship and achievement in the hi-tech start-up community,” Shafer said.

In January, Rutgers Business School announced the creation of the George Farris Chair in Entrepreneurship. Farris, who taught at Rutgers Business School for 31 years, also was the founding director of the Technology Management Research Center.

The $3 million endowed faculty position is funded by a $1.5 million gift from the Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation, which is named after George Farris’s aunt and uncle. The foundation’s gift was matched by pledge from an anonymous donor.

Read more about George Farris and the creation of the chair in his honor

The anonymous donor’s portion is part of a larger $27 million pledge made in 2011 as part of an “18 Chair Challenge” during the Our Rutgers, Our Future Campaign.  

When the new chair was announced, Rutgers Business School administrators said the individual selected to fill it would also establish and lead an Institute for the Study of Entrepreneurship Ecosystems.

"With Ted’s leadership and our partners at Rutgers and in other institutions in Newark, New Brunswick and across the state," Shafer said, "Rutgers Business School is poised to be a leader in developing a newly vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem in Northern New Jersey."

Baker has worked as a banker, overseen a small seed investment fund and has been involved in two successful startups, according to the Poole College of Management website.

His research focuses on identifying the skills and behaviors that allow entrepreneurs to overcome the variety of resource constraints that are typical to startup businesses. The work has taken him across the U.S., to Europe and South Africa, where he is a senior fellow at the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Baker, who was traveling to New Jersey from North Carolina, was not available for comment.

Rutgers Business School Professor Jerome Williams, who chaired the search committee to fill the endowed chair, said the “many dimensions” to the position made for a challenging task.

"In addition to looking for a top scholar and researcher, we also wanted this individual to head the newly formed Institute for the Study of Entrepreneurship Ecosystems, which would encompass all types of entrepreneurs, from urban to high tech," Williams said.

"Professor Baker emerged as our ideal candidate," he said, "because his background and experience touched on all aspects of entrepreneurship, both from his research and scholarly accomplishments and from his practitioner experience."