Coles College professor Charles Hofer retires

          After four years teaching at KSU’s…

Georgia (May 25, 2011) —           After four years teaching at KSU’s Coles College of Business, Regents Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship Charles W. Hofer is retiring at the end of the 2010-2011 academic year.

            Hofer, an award-winning professor who came to KSU in 2007 after teaching at the University of Georgia for 27 years, is known around the world as one of the pioneers in the academic fields of strategic management and entrepreneurship. He taught entrepreneurship and strategic management for four decades, with stints also at Northwestern, Stanford, Columbia and New York University, and won many awards for his scholarship and teaching.

            During his short tenure at KSU, Hofer, who has a DBA and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, restructured the MBA program in entrepreneurship, earning accolades for the university. He is credited with revitalizing the entrepreneurship program at the Coles College of Business and with preparing student teams to participate in national business-plan competitions.      

            “It has been an honor to have Chuck Hofer on our faculty for the past four years,” says Kathy Schwaig, interim dean of the Coles College of Business. “He led the effort to restructure our entrepreneurship curriculum at the graduate level and he moved the Georgia Bowl® Competition, the third oldest business-plan competition in the world, to KSU from UGA. Without a doubt, Chuck has helped solidify the Coles College’s position as a national leader in the field of entrepreneurship.”

            In 2007, Hofer was named by Fortune Small Business magazine one of the top 18 entrepreneurship professors in the U.S.

            Hofer was the first business school professor in the history of the University System of Georgia –– where he has taught for 31 years –– to be named a Regents Professor and is the first and only Regents Professor that KSU has had.

            At KSU, Hofer restructured the MBA entrepreneurship program by adding new courses such as “Developing Effective Business Plans,” “Launching New Ventures” and “International Entrepreneurship,” as well as restructuring “Entrepreneurial, Angel & VC Financing” and other courses. As a result of his efforts, the Coles College’s MBA entrepreneurship program was awarded the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s 2010 National Model Program Award.

            Hofer also worked closely with Kennesaw State student teams to prepare them for national business-plan competitions. During his four years at KSU, he helped Coles College MBA teams get accepted 43 times to 10 of the major U.S. and Canadian business-plan competitions, winning three times and finishing in the top over more than a dozen times. Hofer has assisted numerous KSU students start their own businesses. Six have already successfully launched their ventures and 17 are in the process of doing so. 

            Hofer also launched the semiannual Concept-2-Reality® competition to provide KSU students, faculty, staff and members of the community the opportunity to pitch their ideas for new products and services to local entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors. Seven of the 17 teams that have won the competition have successfully launched their products and nine are in the process of launching.

            “Through his various endeavors at the Coles College, professor Hofer has raised the national profile of our entrepreneurship program,” says Rick Franza, chair of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. “He put us back on the map. Also, his track record preparing students for national competitions is outstanding. We will miss him.”

            Hofer, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics, became interested in entrepreneurship while studying physics as a graduate student at Harvard, where he took classes at each of the professional schools, including law, medical and business schools. “I pretty much decided I didn’t want to be a doctor and I also decided I didn’t want to be a lawyer,” Hofer says.

            Hofer, whose father was a businessman, explains that he likes entrepreneurship because he likes to “make things happen. All new products and services come from entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is the most important function in the world,” he says.

            Though his stint at KSU was brief, he cherished the years he was here, praising the friendly faculty and students with real-world experience.

            “KSU has been exceptionally supportive of what I have done. The students are one of the positive reasons for coming here,” Hofer said.

            Hofer laid the foundations for the creation of a Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Coles College, which is being continued by his colleagues.        

            Says Hofer: “The future of entrepreneurship at the Coles College and at KSU is extremely bright.”


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit