Robert Letovsky Professor of Business Administration and Accounting
Ph.D. Concordia University
M.B.A. University of Toronto
B.Comm. McGill University
Eleven + years corporate experience in commercial banking and export finance.
Areas of Expertise:
International marketing/business, business strategy, business/government relations.
Courses I Teach:
- International Marketing
- International Business
- Organizational Problem Solving
- Business Strategy
My favorite classes to teach are International Marketing and International Business. Both courses give students a chance to see the interactions between business strategy and a wide range of economic, social and political factors. Government policies have a very large impact on international operations and students get a chance to see how good – and bad – policies affect what types of goods and services are produced where. There are also a lot of ethical decisions which international businesspeople have to make. In both courses, students see how tricky it can be navigating through differing cultures and legal regimes. Our first-level Marketing course is also a favorite because strategies and tactics in the field are changing so rapidly. In the past few years, for example, we’ve seen a complete transformation in the way brands connect with and sell their products to customers. This makes the course a continuous learning experience for me.
I typically use a computer simulations in most of my courses in order to give students a hands-on experience as managers making decisions in a dynamic environment. I think the students really enjoy both the learning and the competition these simulations are based upon.
Case development focusing on business/government relations and sustainability
I use my published cases in my courses. The cases are written with my teaching interests in mind, and they underline key points being made in the course. At the same time, students get to see that I am actively engaged in research and in examining best (and worst) practices in the real world.
Awards & Recognition
As an outgrowth of my lifelong commitment to entrepreneurship, I also serve as an instructor in the Small Business Administration-funded Boots to Business program, working with active duty military personnel and veterans through distance learning classes and on-base presentations in Europe and Asia.
Since 2006, I have served as an adjunct instructor at the Universidad Católica de El Salvador (UNICAES), in Santa Ana, El Salvador, teaching marketing in the university’s online MBA program.
I served as a consultant developing the business program at the newly established American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan, making three trips to Kabul between 2007 and 2008. In the summer of 2008, I taught an undergraduate introductory marketing course.
I have had papers and cases published in several journals, including The Case Research Journal, Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy Case Study Collection, The Columbia Journal of World Business, The Journal of Teaching in International Business, The Banker magazine, Multinational Business Review, and Quebec Studies Journal.
Life Off Campus:
Outside Saint Michael’s I enjoy hiking, canoeing and cross-country skiing.
Robert Letovsky of the Saint Michael’s business administration & accounting faculty wrote a commentary that appeared in late August on the Vermont news website VTDigger. In his piece, Robert urged a broader view toward global energy issues. Robert also teamed fall semester 2022 with Todd Johnstone-Wright of the UPE office to offer professional certification as an option for his marketing and entrepreneurship courses.
(posted February 2023)
Robert Letovsky of the business administration & accounting faculty was quoted in a story this summer on Burlington-area television news station NBC5 in a story titled “Union representing Canada border guards votes to strike ahead of reopening,” by reporter Brandon Menard. Robert spoke in the story about the effects of the pandemic border crossing.
(posted February 2022)
Robert Letovsky of the business administration and accounting faculty on February was to lead a book discussion for a new online group initiative by the Institutional Advancement office, called SMC Reads. The group chiefly is for alumni, along with any interested faculty, staff or students. Robert is leading discussion of the SMC Reads selection for this winter: The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War by A.J. Baime. Robert also recently joined the board of the Ethan Allen Institute, which bills itself as “Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization” and a “think tank” founded in 1993. And, Robert learned early fall semester that his case study titled “The Customer is Always Wrong – The Airbus 220 and U.S. Trade Law” was published by Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. The case focuses on the events leading up to the January, 2018 ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) overturning anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) on imports of the CSeries commercial jet, produced by Bombardier, Inc., a Canadian company. Earlier in September he offered insights on a story about New England governors who were calling on President Trump to reverse tariffs on Canadian aluminum. The local NBC affiliate, WPTZ Channel 5, used clips of Robert saying how tariffs put further strain on America’s relationship with its Northern neighbors.
(posted February 2021)
Robert Letovsky of the business administration and accounting faculty was a guest over spring semester 2020 on What Matters This Week is a politics and issues show, hosted by anchor Lauren Maloney, which airs Sunday mornings on Local 22 (ABC) and Local 44 (FOX). Robert talked at some length with the anchor-host about the role and imp(portance of branding in American presidential elections. Marketing and branding are areas of expertise for Robert in his teaching and research at Saint Michael’s.
(posted June 2020)
Robert Letovsky of the Saint Michael’s business administration and accounting faculty was interviewed for a local TV news report in January about the recent closings of some retail stores in South Burlington. In December, Robert helped veteran local TV reporter and anchor Stewart Ledbetter on news channel NBC5 explain for viewers the impact for Vermonters and beyond emanating from a new “NAFTA 2.0” agreement with solid bipartisan support affecting U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada. In the interview Robert touched on effects for dairy farmers and the impacts on the automobile and pharmaceutical industries.
(posted February 2020)
Robert Letovsky and Karen Popovich of the Department of Business Administration & Accounting faculty accompanied a team composed of Saint Michael’s College student, on March 1 as the students competed in the 7th annual “Free Enterprise Marathon” (FEM) held at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh. This year’s event, again sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation, boasted its largest field ever with 13 colleges and universities from New York, Vermont and New Hampshire sending student teams.
(posted June 2019)
Robert Letovsky, professor of business administration and accounting, has been appointed to serve on the board of the Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI) — a non-profit organization that, for more than two decades, “has served school districts by offering employee benefit plans responsive to the needs of both employers and employees and their dependents.” VEHI also provides health insurance benefits to retired teachers and their dependents through the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System. Robert has participated in several international education initiatives in Afghanistan and China and continues to teach as a visiting lecturer at the Universidad Catolica de El Salvador. Since 2014, Robert has served as an instructor in a Small Business Administration-funded entrepreneurship program for active-duty service members and veterans, teaching online and at military installations overseas. This is Robert’s first term serving on the VEHI board – it is a 6-year term — as the Vermont legislature last year passed a law (Act 11) which changed the composition of the board from 5 members to 6, with 3 being named by the union representing the majority of the state’s teachers (the NEA) and 3 being named by the organization representing the majority of the state’s school boards (the Vermont School Boards Association, which nominated Robert).
(posted June 2019)
Robert Letovsky, professor of business administration and accounting, was a panelist at the 42nd Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in Stowe, VT, on Monday August 13. The panel he was on spoke directly in front of the six governors and four premiers. The other panelists were Raymond Bachand, former Quebec Minister of Finance and Revenue and now Quebec’s chief negotiator to NAFTA; Maryscott Greenwood, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian American Business Council in D.C., and James M. Knott, Jr., CEO, Riverdale Mills Corp.in Northbridge MA.
(posted January 2019)
Robert Letovsky, professor of business administration and accounting, arranged this year for the College Business Society its second annual Business Etiquette Dinner on April 18, 2018. The event focused on helping Saint Michael’s students develop some basic strategies in terms of do’s and don’ts if they are invited to a meal during the job interview process. He also accompanied a team of five Saint Michael’s College students who competed in the 6th annual “Free Enterprise Marathon” (FEM) held at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh on March 2, 2018. The March edition of a widely circulated national trade publication called Shopping Centers Today contains an interview about business practices from past eras that might embody good lessons for modern retailers, and Robert shares extensively in the article both from his professional academic expertise and from his life experiences growing up in Montreal and working in various retail environments that might hold lessons even for today. He also spoke on WCAX-TV in February about the pros and cons of the North American Free Trade Agreement., and hosted an episode of Common Sense Radio on station WDEV to ask listeners “What is the single most pressing problem facing Vermont, and what should be done to address it? ” Other January WCAX appearances had him commenting on a Keurig Green Mountain/Dr. Pepper Snapple merger (a topic he also weighed in on with NECN), and on a lawsuit involving Vermont breweries
(posted June 2018)
Robert Letovsky of the Saint Michael’s business faculty has been a guest on Vermont radio news programs to discuss various topics in recent months: He was on WVMT AM 620 to speak with hosts with Charlie Papillo, Ernie Farrar and Lisa Nagle regarding the tax reform debate going on in Washington this week. He also was on Vermont Radio Station WDEV’s show Common Sense Radio on Oct. 2 for a discussion on the topic: “What can we learn from teacher strikes this fall, about education reform? Professor Robert Letovsky and Rob Roper explain.” Robert is an occasional guest host on the show as well. Robert also has been a regular guest on local television news reports when business news breaks in the greater Burlington area or across Vermont, such as this Fall over reports that Vermont will no longer be the only state without a Target store, once a planned new one opens next fall at South Burlington’s University Mall, in the space now occupied by a BonTon store. Eva McKend, WCAX news anchor, sat down with Robert to ask about the significance of the news during a newscast. He also earlier was interviewed by reporter Kristin Kelly of WCAX TV Channel 3 concerning Amazon’s proposed second headquarters and southern New Hampshire’s bid for it.
(posted December 2017)
Robert Letovsky, professor of business administration and accounting, recently was honored with a three-year appointment as the David LaMarche Endowed Chair of Business Administration and Accounting, effective Fall 2017. President Jack Neuhauser confirmed the appointment on March 9, 2017, after Robert was nominated by business and accounting faculty colleagues, and received support from both Dean Jeff Ayres and Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Talentino. Robert said he was hired by David LaMarche, so this appointment is especially meaningful for him.
(posted June 2017)
Robert Letovsky, professor of business administration accounting, in February gave a briefing/presentation at the Doubletree Hotel in South Burlington to the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce board about the impact of the lower Canadian dollar with an overview of the Canadian economy.
(posted June 2016)
Robert Letovsky, professor of business, recently had his case study “The Workplace that Kills: Suicides at France Télécom Parts A and B” accepted for publication by the Georgetown University, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Pew Case Study Center.