Craig Saper, professor and chair of Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC), has been named the Bearman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship.
“Dr. Saper is a scholar of large achievement and great energy, whose talents and interests make him a superb choice for the Bearman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship,” said John Jeffries, dean of the college of arts, humanities, and social sciences (CAHSS).
The Bearman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship was established by The Herbert Bearman Foundation to acknowledge and honor the contributions of Dr. Arlene Bearman to the UMBC community. This chair recognizes and supports outstanding teaching skills, an interest in entrepreneurship, and a strong record of scholarship in entrepreneurial studies or a field related to entrepreneurship.
“Since arriving on campus, Dr. Saper has been a whirlwind of research and teaching activity deeply anchored in commitments to social entrepreneurship,” said Bev Bickel, associate professor and former chair of LLC.
This three-year endowed position will provide Saper with funding to integrate entrepreneurship concepts into classroom instruction, advising, and scholarship. Saper will also work with the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship and Kauffman grant activities, and with the Administrative and Managerial Sciences program.
“My research is deeply anchored in commitments to social entrepreneurship that I have been studying throughout my career,” said Saper. His recently-released book, Intimate Bureaucracies, examines social entrepreneurship during the creation of the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan in the 1960s-1980s.
Saper is planning two projects during the course of his Bearman chairmanship. The first will examine the social entrepreneurship involved in the building of shared memorials and monuments. His research will focus on the entrepreneurs who organized and made the memorials possible.
Saper’s second project will explore the possibility of establishing a digital e-press at UMBC, which is he doing in collaboration with colleagues in the Library, the English department, the media and communication studies program and LLC as part of the campus’s larger Digital Humanities efforts.
“I’m interested in being a participant-observer of this group-entrepreneurial effort that works within, and for, UMBC’s institutional structure and the larger demands of academia and legitimate scholarship,” he said.
But Saper’s objective as the Bearman Foundation Chair isn’t just to achieve his research goals – it’s to offer a new vision of what entrepreneurship can mean.
“Hopefully, at the end of my term I will have promoted a progressive model of entrepreneurship that offers an alternative to Ayn Rand’s outlaw heroes. In the new model, entrepreneurs are part of communities working cooperatively for public space, public schools and the public good not renegades and raiders,” he said.