World-spanning achievements in research, publications and academics have earned Sarfraz Mian of SUNY Oswego’s Management and Marketing Department the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor.

A typical submission for a distinguished rank in the SUNY system –- the top level of honor for talented faculty –- will feature a nomination letter from one colleague with plenty of supporting letters. In an unusual step, Mian’s nomination letter was signed by 32 faculty members of Oswego’s School of Business, underscoring the esteem in which his colleagues, as well as researchers and teachers around the world, hold Mian and his work.

“Dr. Mian has earned a worldwide reputation in the area of business incubation and entrepreneurship,” his nominators wrote. “Dr. Mian has published four scholarly books, multiple chapters in scholarly books, and over fifty peer reviewed journal articles. He also has presented his research work at numerous international conferences. He has research collaborations with scholars all over the world.”

Mian, who has a fifth book in the works, is exceptional in terms of influence as well as output. “Research published in the Journal of Business Research and Journal of Technology Transfer has identified Professor Mian’s work as the most cited and most influential among international scholars in the area of business incubation,” his nominators wrote. They also noted Mian has more than 4,000 citations for his work, according to Google Scholar.

Joining the SUNY Oswego family in 1992, Mian has chaired the Management and Marketing Department since 2010, where he supervises more than 25 faculty members and department staff. He previously earned the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2012.

Mian’s expertise has led to invitations to serve guest-editor and/or co-guest editor for special issues of journals seven times, including for peer-reviewed journals Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Technology Transfer, Technovation, Small Business Economics and the  International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management. He also served as associate editor for the Journal of Small Business Management.

Mian has been invited to serve as keynote speaker at conferences in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as for the British Academy of Management. He also has been invited by various schools to help them set up their entrepreneurship programs, and held elected offices for the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences and the Academy of Management. Mian also was appointment by the Global Entrepreneur Monitor as the project chair for an internationally funded annual assessment of that nation’s entrepreneurial activity.

International leadership

“Dr. Mian’s international reputation results in many graduate students from other universities seeking his assistance as a mentor for their thesis. His guidance has enabled young researchers to become accomplished scholars,” noted Richard Skolnik, a former longtime dean of Oswego’s School of Business. 

“Dr. Mian is an inspiration with respect to leadership, work ethic and impact,” wrote Barry Friedman, a professor of marketing and management in Oswego. “He richly deserved and earned worldwide scholarly recognition in the business incubator and accelerator field.”

Friedman also noted that Mian spearheaded the addition of a new and very popular minor in entrepreneurship –- with more than 100 students in it already –- and teaches courses on the subject at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

“His impact extends beyond our students into the international community, as he conducted executive entrepreneurial workshops in Pakistan and Germany,” Friedman added.

Fellow marketing and management faculty member David McLain noted Mian’s key leadership role in bringing world-class scholars to an entrepreneurship symposium on Oswego’s campus. “That leadership has put Oswego on the map for entrepreneurship research, helped foster a minor program of study in entrepreneurship, and encouraged academic quality at Oswego,” McLain wrote.

Developing entrepreneurs

Ashraf Attia, another marketing and management faculty member, noted Mian’s key role in leading both the entrepreneurship minor development and additional interest in the field at Oswego. “In addition, Dr. Mian has been leading and is actively involved in continuously improving the capstone management courses in the graduate and undergraduate programs and has designed and pioneered several new entrepreneurship courses,” Attia wrote.

One of the world’s foremost experts in entrepreneurship in Henry Etzkowitz, founding president of the International Triple Helix Association and a former senior researcher for Stanford University, praised Mian as “an outstanding scholar with the highest worldwide impact in his chosen field of business incubation and acceleration” and “most deserving and outstandingly qualified for recognition due to the significance and global impact of his entrepreneurship university related scholarly work, specifically in the area of business incubation and acceleration.” 

Mian also received supporting letters from colleagues from around the U.S. and from such international institutions as the University of São Paulo in Brazil, Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan, Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the University of Ottawa, the University of Cagliari in Italy, the Institute of Business Administration Karachi in Pakistan, Linköping University in Sweden and the National University of Mexico.

He earned his Ph.D. in management and organizations from the George Washington University School of Business, where he also earned a master of business administration. In addition, Mian holds a master of science in industrial engineering and management science and a bachelor’s/master’s science degrees in chemical engineering/energy engineering from University of the Punjab in Pakistan.