Dr. Black recently fulfilled all the requirements for a Ph.D. in business administration with specialization in management information systems from the School of Business and Technology Management of Northcentral University in Prescott, Ariz.
Black says the degree reflects an ongoing interest. “Really, it’s a combination of business and computers, just like what I’ve been interested in studying in my undergraduate and master’s programs.”
Black has a master’s degree in accounting with specialization in information systems, similar to his doctorate study.
“It fits right in with what I teach at the College of Eastern Utah and will bring more depth to what I am teaching. I think it will be of benefit to the school.”
Black’s dissertation is entitled Examining the Extent and Success of E-Business Adoption in Rural Small Businesses.
His research included a survey that he sent to 478 small-business owners in San Juan County.
Of those, 169 completed surveys were returned, a 45.7 percent adjusted response rate that pleased him.
“Usually, in surveys like this, there is only a return rate of 15 to 25 percent,” Black said. “I was really proud of how the local businesses pitched in to help me out.”
The survey questions focused on how small business use and benefit from the Internet in any aspect of their business, including “everything from using e-mail and browsing the Web to utilizing intranets and extranets,” Black said.
The top uses of the Internet by businesses were browsing for information, e-mail, purchasing, and banking. The survey also showed that only 30 percent of the businesses have a Web site.
Black was able to earn his doctorate without leaving the area. His dissertation chair lives in New Jersey, and some of his committee members live as far away as Minnesota. “That’s one thing I really liked about the program, it didn’t require me to travel at all. I was able to do 100 percent of the dissertation right here including defend it.”
Black says the experience was enlightening. “I really enjoyed getting back into the academics… but I didn’t enjoy all the Saturdays in the office.”
He says his wife Shauna served as his proofreader. “She is probably the only person who has completely read my dissertation all the way through besides me, and probably the only other person who ever will,” he added jokingly.
Black also credited other family members and colleagues at CEU for their support and financial help from a CEU-SJC Title III program. Dr. Black plans to attend the commencement program in Prescott next June.