UHV professors build foundations for other researchers

Published works by professors at the University of Houston-Victoria are being used by other scholars around the world in their own research efforts.


Business professor Peggy Cloninger recently discovered that her paper published in March 2007 had been downloaded 163 times from Wiley-Blackwell, the largest publisher of society academic journals in the world. Wiley-Blackwell officials noted this made it one of its more popular papers.


In January, the paper was among the top 10 most downloaded from the Social Science Research Network, where people paid $29 each to read it.


The paper, "Service Content and the Internationalization of Young Ventures: An Empirical Test," analyzes how important the service component of a business's product is in allowing that firm to trade internationally and where they trade in the world. It was published in "Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice," one of the top business journals.


"I hope in the next year or two to see this paper cited in a lot of other top journals," Cloninger said, adding she was honored by the attention her paper has received.


But Cloninger is far from the only faculty member whose work has been used by other researchers.


Economics professor Vera Adamchik's paper on the difference between public and private sector wages in Poland as the country moved from socialist control to a market economy has become a touchstone for researchers across the world.


"In academia, highly cited research is considered meritorious and significant, since the extent to which research is used is a measure of its contribution to knowledge," Adamchik said.


She found that while public sector employees were higher paid than their private sector counterparts in most developed countries, the opposite was true in the developing economy of Poland.


Her findings have been cited and analyzed in numerous journal articles, books and other studies that examined the public-private wage gap in countries including China, Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Malawi, Australia and the United States. Similar findings were reported by other researchers in post-communist economies.


Her work also was cited in reports by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The research has been used in classrooms as far away as France, Switzerland, Italy and the Czech Republic, and has been a key component of master's and doctoral theses, she noted.


Another example of UHV's contribution to the world of scholarship came from finance professor Xavier Garza-Gomez.


Garza developed a system used to detect falsely inflated profits or embezzlement in a company’s accounting. The system may help detect or prevent future scandals like those caused by Enron and Tyco. Specifically, Garza created a more precise way of estimating an accounting variable that measures the difference between profit and cash flows. The method was used by scholars in Europe and China with good success and in at least one published paper.


While the original test of the system was based on data from Japan, Garza recently published an updated paper using U.S. statistics and expects his method to enter more general use in the near future.


These are just a few examples of the foundational research published by the 87 faculty members at UHV, Provost Suzanne LaBrecque said.


"We've been blessed with quite a few gifted scholars here at UHV," she said.


Such scholars are a credit to the university.


"The fine work done by our faculty scholars adds to the prestige of our university on an international level," UHV President Tim Hudson said. "As we grow as an institution, so will our contribution to the sum total of knowledge in the world."


Increasing knowledge is the core mission of every institution of higher education, he concluded.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342