CLEMSON — An acclaimed researcher and professor in strategic and entrepreneurial leadership will hold a newly created endowed chair in Clemson University’s College of Business.

Zeki Simsek

Zeki Simsek

Zeki Simsek, formerly of the University of Connecticut, has been named the Gressette Chair of Business Strategy and Planning in Clemson’s management department. The Gressette chair was established by the family of Lawrence M. Gressette, long-time Clemson trustee and former chair and chief executive of SCANA Corp., who passed in 2013 at age 81.

“Thank you to the Gressette family for their generous support. This is a huge honor for the management department and me personally. When I first visited here and spoke to departmental colleagues, Dean (Bobby) McCormick, and Provost (Robert) Jones, I was impressed by the tremendous energy and welcoming culture in the greater university community at Clemson,” said Simsek, formerly of UConn, where he received his Ph.D. and was the Eversource Scholar of Technological Entrepreneurship. “This is a very exciting time to be part of the Clemson family, and I look forward to contributing to colleagues’ rigorous endeavors in scholarship, teaching and engagement.”

Simsek’s research focuses on strategic leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship — areas that closely align with the College of Business’ focus areas and the mission of the Gressette chair position. He will advance the college’s efforts in these areas, teach in the MBA program and help to design a new Ph.D. specialization. “Creating the envisioned Ph.D. specialization can help to propel the department to the next level of global eminence. College and departmental leadership should be commended for wanting to invest in this significant and timely initiative” said Simsek.

Simsek brings with him impressive research and teaching credentials, as well as award-winning service contributions on the editorial boards of numerous top-tier management journals. He currently serves as associate editor of the Academy of Management Journal (the flagship empirical journal in management), and on the editorial boards of Strategic Management Journal and Academy of Management Discoveries. The New England Journal of Entrepreneurship in 2016 recognized Simsek as one of the most influential authors globally in entrepreneurship research in the 21st century as a result of his research output in top-tier management journals from 2000 to 2015.

Simsek’s tenure at UConn transcended traditional academic roles. He held numerous university-level committee and faculty council positions, and served on the board of trustees’ academic affairs committee. In part as recognition of these efforts across the spectrum from the school and university to community levels, and in part for his scholarly achievements, Simsek received the Research Excellence and Distinguished Service awards at UConn.

“Zeki is among the credential-rich academicians we’ve added to the new College of Business this year,” said Dean Bobby McCormick. “His research in strategic leadership and entrepreneurship is recognized globally. We are very fortunate to have someone of his stature advancing our efforts in strategy, leadership and entrepreneurism in this newly created endowed chair.”