Small Colleges with an Impressive Healthcare Administration Faculty

Students with a penchant for business management and a desire to work in the medical field might consider a career in healthcare administration. Becoming a healthcare administrator means learning the ins and outs of HR, management, policy-making, staffing, scheduling, budgeting, and medical records systems. As the American populace ages, nursing homes, retirement homes, hospitals, clinics, and research facilities will need expert healthcare administrators to oversee complicated daily operations. These professionals safeguard the health of the facilities by ensuring all of the systems are functioning smoothly.

So how does one join this high-growth career? Applying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare administration is a solid start. And fortunately for students interested in enrolling in a more intimate setting with increased opportunities for one-on-one interactions and smaller class sizes, there are several top-notch schools with exceptional healthcare administration departments which can provide that experience.

This guide to three small colleges (<7,000 students) with an impressive healthcare administration faculty identifies respected experts in the field, and details their disciplines, practices, achievements, and teaching.

La Sierra University – Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business

La Sierra University, a Seventh-Day Adventist institution in Riverside, California, was founded in 1922. In 1967, it was merged with local university Loma Linda before breaking away completely in 1990 as its own school. Its student body consistently ranks high in the Enactus competitions, where the school’s individual colleges excel in their respective fields. La Sierra University’s Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business offers a robust healthcare management program.

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    S. Eric Anderson, PhD

    Dr. Eric Anderson is a professor of management at La Sierra University’s Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business, where he studies and teaches strategic planning, economic analysis, operations research, and decision analysis. He has received numerous awards for excellence in academics, including the ACHE Board Chair Award, the ACHE Regent’s Award, the P. William Dysinger Teaching Award, and a distinguished service award from the Healthcare Executives of Southern California.

    He holds PhD, MBA, and BBA degrees in management from the University of North Texas, Tarleton State University, and Southwestern Adventist University, respectively.

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    Jere Fox, JD

    Jere Fox is an associate professor of law and management at La Sierra University’s Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business, where he teaches healthcare management, the theory of law, healthcare law, and general management. His research interests include trust and probate law, estate planning, healthcare law, business law, and constitutional law and the church.

    Professor Fox received his JD from Pepperdine University and his MA in management from La Sierra.

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    Dulce L. Peña, JD

    Dulce Peña is an associate professor of law and human resources at La Sierra University’s Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business, where she teaches healthcare management, theories of employment, business management, law, and conflict resolution. Her research interests include employment law, conflict resolution, and leadership.

    Professor Peña has a certification in management appended to her MA in business management from the Fielding Institute. She also received a JD from Pepperdine University and an MNA from Loma Linda University.

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    Elias G. Rizkallah, PhD

    Dr. Elias Rizkallah has been an associate professor of marketing and management at La Sierra University’s Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business since 2001, where he is also the coordinator of the university’s program in marketing and management. His teaching, lecturing, and research interests include strategic marketing planning, marketing management, healthcare management, consumer behavior, and international marketing.

    He holds a PhD from Northwestern University.

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    John Thomas, PhD, MBA

    Dr. John Thomas is dean of the Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University, where his research interests include the relationship between politics, economics, finance, and entrepreneurship; applied research in taking new ideas to market; and the study of entrepreneurship, economic development, and disruptive technologies.

    He holds PhD and MA degrees from Claremont Graduate University in economics/politics and the international political economy, respectively, in addition to an MBA in finance from Loma Linda University and an MBA in marketing from Symbiosis University.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is a state-operated medical research and training university located in the city of Little Rock. It comprises the College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Professions, the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, and the UAMS Graduate School.

The school is the core of a statewide web of health education facilities and schools and it is famed for the UAMS Medical Center, which doubles as a medical school and teaching hospital. The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health offers a variety of cross-disciplinary academic paths for prospective healthcare administration professionals.

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    Richard J. Ault, MHSA

    Professor Richard Ault is an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he teaches hospital administration, summer residencies in health services administration, theories of healthcare, the management capstone courses, and group practice management. Previously, he was a university fellow in government and public policy at the University of Texas, Austin. Currently, he is part of a team working on developing test cases for an upcoming group practice management textbook.

    Professor Ault holds a BA from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and an MS in health services administration from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

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    Clare Brown, PhD

    Dr. Clare Brown is an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where she teaches hospital administration, healthcare services, the history of the healthcare system, the economic evaluation of healthcare services and policy, healthcare data visualization, access to healthcare services, geographic variation in healthcare, and health disparities among individuals of different socioeconomic positions.

    Dr. Brown holds a BA in psychology from Lyon College, an MPH in health policy and management from UAMS, and a PhD in health systems and services research from UAMS, as well.

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    Saleema Karim, PhD, MBA

    Dr. Saleema Karim is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She researches and teaches hospital financial management, the sustainability of rural hospitals, and health economics, as well as signaling and information asymmetry. She holds multiple degrees that allow her to take an interdisciplinary and solutions-focused. These include a BSc from the University of British Columbia, a BSc from Dalhousie University, an MHA and an MBA from Dalhousie, and a PhD in health policy and management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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    J. Mick Tilford, PhD

    Dr. Mick Tilford is a professor and chair of health policy and management at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He teaches, studies, and researches hospital administration, healthcare services, health economics, and the economic evaluation of health services. Notably, he has led landmark studies such as “Measuring Quality Adjusted Life Years in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” for the National Institute of Mental Health and “The Evaluation of the Arkansas Marketplace Insurance Exchange” for the Arkansas Insurance Department.

    Dr. Tilford holds a PhD in economics from Wayne State University and MA and BS degrees in economics and business from Central Michigan University.

Xavier University, Department of Health Services Administration

Xavier University is a Jesuit university in Ohio. It is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the United States and the fourth-oldest Jesuit university founded in the country. It offers 81 majors in four colleges, most notably the College of Professional Sciences, where the Department of Health Services Administration offers a master of health services administration.

Like many older institutions in the country, it complements its focus on healthcare with work in philosophy, theology, and the fine arts, which are integral components of a satisfactory workload. Their health services administration degree is one of only seven programs in the entire country to mandate a third full-year to complete a residency at a partnering medical facility. Expect courses in managerial concepts, strategic management, policy analysis, and institutional and community assessment.

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    Lin Guo, PhD

    Dr. Lin Guo is an associate professor at the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University, where his research interests include the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery, avoidable hospital conditions, hospital readmissions, community health, healthcare operations, functions of ethics committees in hospitals, the implementation of outpatient disease management programs, physician recruitment, and the prevention of musculoskeletal injuries of nurses. At Xavier, he teaches two courses in the graduate healthcare administration program: quantitative methods for healthcare management and quality improvement techniques in healthcare management.

    Dr. Guo holds a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

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    Edmond Hooker, PhD, MD

    Dr. Edmond Hooker is a professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University. He is also jointly-appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. His research and teaching interests include emergency medicine, epidemiology, clinical medicine, health services management, and public health. Previously, he has taken significant interest in brain trauma and stroke research.

    Dr. Hooker holds a PhD in public health from the University of Kentucky, a BS from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and an MD degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He completed his residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Louisville, where he was a full-time faculty member from 1991 to 1996.

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    Nancy Linenkugel, DM

    Sister Dr. Nancy Linenkugel is the chair of the department of health services administration and director of the graduate program in health services administration at Xavier University. She has been director since 2011, where she transformed graduate courses in professional development, as well as assisted students with internships and administrative residencies. Notably, she served as the president of Chatfield College for six years and as president and CEO of the Providence Health System and Providence Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio for 17 years.

    She holds a doctor of management (DM) from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, an MHHA in health services administration from Xavier, and a bachelor’s from Mary Manse College. She is the first graduate of Xavier’s health services administration program to serve as chair of the department. She is also a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio.


Smaller schools that meet our criteria for having an impressive healthcare administration program must:

  • Enroll less than 7,500 students
  • Offer comprehensive healthcare administration programs with cutting-edge curricula that integrates research from contemporary scholarship
  • Boast a demonstrated history of student satisfaction in academics, facilities, and curricula
  • Retain a staff of credentialed and peer-reviewed healthcare experts

To decide who to include in our grouping of impressive healthcare administration professors and faculty, we look at the following criteria:

  • University Affiliation: Healthcare administration faculty on this list must currently be employed in instruction or research at an accredited university or college.
  • Professional Commitment: Together with whatever research, teaching, or leadership obligations such healthcare administration professors might have, they have risen to leadership positions (e.g., faculty dean, program director, advisory positions on the boards of public firms).
  • Peer Recognition: In their dedication to healthcare administration, faculty who have set themselves apart may have received special recognition for their published work, grants, or allotments for research or funding, as well as excellence in teaching awards.
  • Publication: In addition to having been published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, the professionals’ accomplishments have been featured in various media.
Kenneth Parker
Kenneth Parker

A graduate of the University of Oregon, Kenneth Parker is sometimes a musician and rarely a poet. His work spans copy editing, feature writing, and dissertation development.

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