Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Paul Prabhaker
Paul Prabhaker


College of Business chooses
Prabhaker as associate dean

July 2, 2007

by Joe King

Paul Prabhaker has never worked at the NIU College of Business, but he knows plenty about the school.

While associate dean at the Stuart Graduate School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology (2000 to 2006), he studied NIU as a competitor in the MBA arena. His conclusion was that NIU was a foe to be reckoned with.

As the new associate dean of the NIU College of Business, Prabhaker is delighted to find himself in a position to help take that program, and the rest of the college, to a new level of prominence.

“The graduate school is a ranked, accredited program with an outstanding faculty and a competitive price. I believe it will be a guaranteed success in the marketplace,” Prabhaker says.

The unique insight he brings to that endeavor was just one of many factors that made Prabhaker a good fit for the college, Dean Denise Schoenbachler says.

“He has also successfully guided two colleges (IIT and the School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina-Fayetteville) through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation process, and he has been an AACSB reviewer, so his experience in that area will be valuable as we go through the re-accreditation process next year,” Schoenbachler says.

“He also has experience in building international partnerships and establishing programs in entrepreneurship, both of which are among the strategic objectives we have set for ourselves as a college. In short, he couldn’t be a better fit for the needs of the college at this time, and I am delighted that he is joining us,” she added.

Prabhaker also is excited to be returning to the Chicago area after spending the last year as dean of the business school at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, where he led the college through its first AACSB accreditation, jumpstarted a fundraising program and set up an entrepreneurship center.

“I laid out a three-year plan, and it came to fruition in a year,” he says.

Despite that success, he and his wife missed the Chicago area and decided to return.

Looking at business schools in the region, Prabhaker sought out the school that he thought was poised for the greatest leap forward. NIU immediately rose to the top of his list.

“I looked at factors like the size of the endowment, the quality of the faculty and if the school had a recognizable brand name,” he says. “Other schools excelled in one or two of those dimensions, but NIU had the best total package of all the Chicago-area business schools. I am very excited and looking forward to this venture.”

Prabhaker holds a Ph.D. in business administration and master’s degree in econometrics from the University of Rochester. He also holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.

His position at NIU begins immediately.