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Paul Olk, PhD
Daniels 679
Professor of Management
Department of Management, Executive PhD, MBA@Denver
Paul Olk

Biography at a Glance

Paul Olk is a professor of management. 

From 2010 to 2020, Paul worked in the dean’s office, most recently as the senior associate dean and chief academic officer (2015–2020). While in this position, he had oversight for all faculty-related issues, the academic departments and schools, multiple graduate degree programs, the research and teaching environment, and the College’s accreditation. Paul played a central role in many of the College’s recent accomplishments, including achieving successful AACSB Continuous Improvement Review accreditations, launching several graduate programs, hiring over 50 faculty members, and increasing the number of peer-reviewed research publications by 20% and the percentage of faculty rated as excellent teachers also by 20%.

Paul stepped out of the role in March of 2020 to take sabbatical and to focus on his research and teaching. He is currently engaged in a multi-year, National Science Foundation-funded research project that investigates open-source collaboration in the pharmaceutical industry. In particular, it examines how pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits and public-private partnerships are collaborating to create an ecosystem focused on the treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. This builds from Paul’s prior research, which has been published in numerous books and leading journals, including Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Academy of Management Learning and Education, R&D Management, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Paul’s teaching experience spans most management topics and audiences, but primarily focuses on strategic management.

Paul has served the profession in high-level leadership roles, including as the president of the Western Academy of Management (2016–2017), chair of the Academy of Management’s Technology and Innovation Management Division (2011–2012), and co-founder and co-organizer of the Sustainability, Ethics and Entrepreneurship (SEE) conferences (2012–2015), and has held committee member positions for other professional associations. He has consulted to both large and small companies, as well as to nonprofit and government agencies. 

Paul received his PhD and MA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS with honors from the University of Wisconsin. Previously he was on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine and has been a visiting professor at National University of Singapore and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a guest professor at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China. Prior to joining academia, Paul worked in small businesses and organizations.

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Please visit DU’s COVID-19 website and subscribe to @uofdenver Twitter for updates regarding COVID-19.