The influential MBA-focused news publication Poets & Quants has named University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Gregory B. Fairchild its MBA Professor of the Year.
Citing his skill in the classroom, deep relationships with students and efforts to bring the Darden curriculum to a wider audience, the publication said Fairchild “exemplified the teaching ethos at Darden, known as the business school with the world’s best teaching faculty.”
Fairchild is a 1992 Darden alumnus who returned to the school to teach in 2000, shortly after earning his Ph.D. In addition to drawing acclaim in the traditional academic setting, Fairchild has been awarded a $850,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his work teaching business classes to prisoners in correctional facilities in rural Virginia. The program, which second-year Darden students apply to help teach, has made a lasting impact on scores of individuals, both students and inmates.
In the six years since the program’s launch, graduates of the program will total more than 450 by year’s end. Some 136 Darden MBAs have taught over that time frame. No less impressive, the school has written 68 case studies for use in the three programs and also created a nonprofit organization to administer the program with his wife, Tierney, who is also a Darden alumna.
“There’s a stereotype that’s out there about business school and businesses,” Fairchild said, “that it’s about money. That it has little to do with worrying about other than self. Well, at Darden we don’t believe that. We teach ethics. We teach all those things. This is one example of where it is real, it is clear. Students find themselves going two nights a week to teach people who I’m not sure are going to benefit them directly in their financial pockets. But they do so because they feel like it’s benefiting them in terms of their hearts, and in terms of our society.”
In addition to his teach responsibilities, Fairchild has spearheaded Darden’s growth in the Washington, D.C., area as associate dean for D.C.-area initiatives and serves as academic director of public policy and entrepreneurship.