Faculty Profile

Robert Letovsky, Ph.D.

Professor of Business Administration and Accounting

Ph.D. Concordia University
M.B.A. University of Toronto
B.Comm. McGill University

Areas of Expertise:

Case development focused on organizational strategy, business/government relations and sustainability.

Courses I Teach:

  • Managerial Ethics
  • Business Policy & Strategic Management
  • Organizational Problem Solving
  • Marketing

My favorite class to teach is Managerial Ethics. It is the first required course in the BU major, and it really gets students to step outside of their comfort zone. While there is a core theory that has to be addressed, the course is set up so that we can explore issues that are current in the business world. For example, this Fall semester, the overall theme of the semester-long team research project is the ethical dilemma(s) posed by the adoption of new technologies in business. We will be examining data mining, drones, robots, self-driving vehicles and artificial intelligence. The course also puts students into situations where ethical reasoning comes into play. I typically use a computer simulation to give students a hands-on experience as a manager in a series of hypothetical situations where they must make decisions which are sound not only financially but ethically.

Research Interests:

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. 

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. Since 2006, I have served as an adjunct instructor at the Universidad Católica de El Salvador, in Santa Ana, El Salvador, where I have taught both Marketing and International Marketing in the university's MBA program. I have had papers and cases published in several journals, including The Case Research Journal, the Pew Case Study Center at Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, The Columbia Journal of World Business, The Journal of Teaching in International Business, The Banker magazine, Multinational Business Review, and Quebec Studies Journal.  

Saint Michael's faculty can participate in our First-Year Seminar program, which is interdisciplinary. This has been a fabulous experience for me. Ten years ago, I co-developed a seminar on sustainable development with a colleague in our economics department. We taught the course for two years, then I co-taught it with another colleague from our biology department. I recently had an opportunity to participate as an instructor in the new Environmental Studies program, helping to team-teach an introductory course. For the past three years, I have worked with a colleague in the biology department to bring our senior capstone courses together. We form mixed teams of business and biology students and prepare business plans for "green" business startups. These plans are entered in our annual Enterprise Plan Competition. It's been a tremendously rewarding experience for me - I have learned a lot from my colleague and from the biology students and I know that our students are enjoying getting two different perspectives on a range of environmental issues.

Life Off Campus:

Outside Saint Michael's I enjoy hiking, canoeing and cross-country skiing.

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.

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