Professor Molds Next Generation of Business Leaders

Christopher Long
June 13, 2022

As a Major in the US Army Reserve, Christopher P. Long, Ph.D. understands the importance of leadership. As an Associate Professor of Management at The Peter J. Tobin College of Business and director of its Executive-in-Residence (EIRP) program, he helps to mold the next generation of business leaders.

“We believe in the mission of developing leaders who can think critically for themselves and help other people get the best out of themselves,” Dr. Long said. “When our students come out of the Executive-in-Residence program, they are ready to work in the New York marketplace.”

A member of the faculty since 2017, Dr. Long enlisted in the Army Reserve in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Originally assigned to research combat stress and other psychological issues, he since has pivoted to organizational functioning and leadership development, where he sees symmetry in his work at the University.

As a consultant, Dr. Long has worked with a host of multinational corporations on issues of leadership, organizational design, and change. He was recently chosen one of the nation’s 50 best business professors by Poets&Quants, a website covering business schools across the country.

“Dr. Long is the epitome of a professor who inspires students to apply their wisdom and knowledge as they navigate life,” said Alexis Tovar ’21TCB. “Dr. Long is one of the best professors at St. John’s.”

Dr. Long, who has held academic positions at Georgetown University, Washington University, and Duke University, says credit for the honor belongs as much to his students as to himself.

“These are the smartest students I’ve taught in my career,” he said. “And they have no sense of entitlement. They put into practice all the things they learn, and they are such good people that we have companies come back year after year.”

The EIRP is among the most competitive programs at Tobin. A maximum of 18 undergraduate or graduate students are selected to each class. Students take part in real-world problem-solving with area businesses and nonprofits. Among the firms that have sought help from the University’s student-consultants are Fortune 500 companies Merrill Lynch, Inc., Sony Corp., and Henry Schein, Inc. Nonprofits such as Covenant House, the Developmental Disabilities Institute, and Goodwill Industries also have taken part.    

Executive in Residence Students
Students work through a real-world corporate issue as members of the Executive-in-Residence (EIRP) program headed by Dr. Christopher Long.

Dr. Long said more than 3,000 students have graduated from the EIRP since its inception in the late 1970s. Its  mission, he said, aligns well with the University’s core values. At least a half-dozen nonprofits have partnered with the EIRP in recent years and partnerships with for-profit firms often advance issues of social progress. EIRP students, for example, worked with State Bank of Long Island, now Valley National Bancorp, to make it the lender of choice for women- and minority-owned businesses.

EIRP students work as a unit to resolve issues in a mix of in-class instruction and on-site observation.

“We’re developing the next generation of business leaders, but leaders with a service orientation,” Dr. Long said. “They’re focused on the welfare of the people they lead. Our students also manage diversity issues well. That is something that is so distinct about our students.”

The EIRP’s blend of classroom and experiential learning helps graduates adapt quickly to an evolving business world, Dr. Long said.

“Solving real-world problems becomes part of how they learn,” Dr. Long said. “If we can model that, we can give them the tools to take on challenges. In today’s business environment, asking the right questions is as important as having the answers.”