Social Entrepreneurship Professorships at Tulane

Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs employ “entrepreneurial skills,” such as finding opportunities, inventing new approaches, securing and focusing resources and managing risk, in the service of creating a social value and systemic change. As the intensity and complexity of social and environmental problems have grown in recent years, social entrepreneurship, defined as innovative, social value creating activity that can occur within or across the nonprofit, government or business sectors, has become increasingly prominent. While virtually all enterprises, commercial and social, generate social value, fundamental to this definition is that the primary focus of social entrepreneurship is to achieve social impact.

Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane
Building upon our strengths in civic engagement and service learning, Tulane University has developed an interdisciplinary, University wide program in Social Entrepreneurship to focus on solution-oriented thinking, integrating theory and practice, and stimulating research across fields to better understand and create new models for social change.   We believe our significant contribution to the field is to channel the strength and resources of a research University to develop an academically rigorous understanding of the field by developing research and teaching in the field. Further, we believe faculty from all the disciplines of the school can contribute to the advancement of this University wide endeavor, and we value an academically diverse approach to the study of Social Entrepreneurship.

The continuing and growing student interest in social innovation is best served by aligning our strengths with student needs, and we have developed an undergraduate minor in social entrepreneurship and innovation. Over time we are exploring the expansion into a coordinate major, as well as providing graduate level opportunities.

In 2011, with generous donor support, we established the inaugural endowed Social Entrepreneurship Professorships with five (5) distinguished faculty members appointed for renewable terms. This initial cadre helped provide the critical mass of faculty support needed to create a university-wide, interdisciplinary program in Social Entrepreneurship. In 2012 we added to the ongoing positions two more endowed positions. Thanks to the significant achievements of these faculty members, as well as other faculty and staff who are involved, and with resources from generous donors, we now have a total of ten (10) endowed SE Professorships.

Description of Professorships

Social Entrepreneurship Professors constitute a dynamic, interdisciplinary faculty team motivated to support and develop the program across the entire university. The Professorships are granted to faculty whose area of research, work, interest, and extracurricular activities can be linked to social entrepreneurship, no matter in which school or discipline they work.

Those faculty are expected to share their learning with students and colleagues in any number of ways: as examples, current and past SE professors have established social entrepreneurship related courses and seminars, taught within the SISE minor or supported other initiatives of the Taylor Center. See additional notes below on various forms of involvement. These professors are the core faculty to advance Social Entrepreneurship initiatives on campus and are part of various committees supporting Taylor and the Social Entrepreneurship Program.


To be eligible for appointment as a Social Entrepreneurship Professor, a faculty member must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Hold an appointment as a full-time member of the faculty (i.e., tenure track, clinical track, or professor of practice track) at Tulane University.
  2. Have a strong record of scholarship and accomplishment and the desire to engage his/her work through a social entrepreneurship lens.
  3. Be dedicated to the highest standards of professional excellence.
  4. Have the willingness to work across disciplines to help promote social entrepreneurship across the university.

Selected SE Professor will be granted an initial three-year term, renewable for an additional two-year term upon mutual agreement.


As a Social Entrepreneurship Professor, we ask you to support Taylor Center in two or three of the following ways:

  • Teaching or co-teaching courses that utilize a social entrepreneurship framework: e.g., offering SISE electives within your area of specialization, SISE TIDES courses, core courses, etc.
  • Presenting as a guest speaker in core SISE classes or TIDES classes
  • Offering workshops on social entrepreneurship in your field of research, and developing a research agenda or practicum to further enhance social entrepreneurship theory and/or practice of social entrepreneurship education.
  • Facilitating/participating in student programming: e.g., design thinking, Changemaker Institute social venture accelerator, IGNITE pre-orientation program, Taylor Award Review Committees, and NewDay Speaker Review Committee

Professors are asked to meet regularly with the other Social Entrepreneurship Professors to continue the development of the Social Entrepreneurship undergraduate program. Each finalist will be asked to provide a written proposal detailing his/her proposed involvement based on the aforementioned Taylor Center needs and the applicant’s unique strengths, areas of interest, and expertise he/she can bring to the Center.


Nominations (including self-nominations) will be treated in confidence, shared with the selection committee alone. We will solicit résumés and other information from candidates and will arrange for interviews as necessary. Current SE Professors, the Director of Taylor Center, and staff/faculty from the SISE program will participate in the process. Appointment to the Social Entrepreneurship Professorship will be made by the President in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs.

Privileges of the Title

Within the constraints of available resources, Social Entrepreneurship Professors each receive annually between $7,500 and $10,000 for course developments, course buy-outs, research or practice opportunities, and various social entrepreneurship activities.

Social Entrepreneurship Professors have the opportunity to promote their social entrepreneurship endeavors through cross-departmental, cross-School, and/or university-wide activities and coordinate with other Social Entrepreneurship Professors and SISE faculty and staff to develop Tulane’s Social Entrepreneurship program.

Appointment as a Social Entrepreneurship Professor does not change the nature of the formal appointment or tenure of a faculty member.