Dr. John “Jack” Veiga graduated from Gannon University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial management. As a native of Erie, Dr. Veiga attended St. Andrews School and Cathedral Preparatory School before attending Gannon. As a teenager, Dr. Veiga says he had an interest in “souping up” old cars and drag racing them. As he began his undergraduate career, he transferred his passion for cars into a mechanical engineering degree.
Like many college students, Veiga began to doubt his choice for a field of study and decided he wanted to look into pursuing other majors. He says he is thankful Gannon gave him the chance to experiment with different educational paths until he found what he was most passionate about studying. “I started out in mechanical engineering, shifted to electrical engineering, and then finally settled on industrial management.”
After the completion of his degree, Dr. Veiga accepted a position as an industrial engineer at Lord Manufacturing Corporation in Erie. During this time, he also enrolled at Gannon once again to pursue his Masters of Arts in economics.
Dr. Veiga completed his M.A. in 1968 and began working as a Senior Industrial Engineer at Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation in Erie. It was at this time his former statistics professor at Gannon, Norm Myers ’49, encouraged him to pursue his doctorate.
Leaving his hometown, Dr. Veiga relocated to northeast Ohio to enroll in Kent State University’s Doctorate of Business Administration program. Here, not only did he study as a full time student, but he also served as a resident director and area coordinator of residence halls at the university.
Following the completion of his doctorate, Dr. Veiga began to pursue a career in teaching and research. He completed a one-year teaching stint at Northeastern University in Boston and then moved to the University of Connecticut (UCONN), School of Business, where he spent the rest of his career.
From 1972 to 1975, Dr. Veiga served as an Assistant Professor of Management in UCONN’s School of Business, with the primary responsibility of teaching graduate students. During that time, Dr. Veiga notes that, “The in-career MBAs I taught were quite a bit older than I was, and this was a challenging part of my teaching career.” In 1975, he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and in 1980 he was promoted to Professor of Management.
At UCONN, Dr. Veiga became Chair of the Management Department in 1981, a position he held until 2007. A natural leader, Dr. Veiga willingly accepted this challenge and built a department whose research productivity was ranked in the top twenty among Management Departments globally. During that time he also served as Interim Dean of the School of Business from 1991 to 1992.
From 1997-2005, Dr. Veiga became the Airbus Industrie International Scholar and in 2000, in recognition of his scholarly achievements and prolific research, Dr. Veiga was the first recipient of the Northeast Utilities Endowed Chair in Business Ethics, which he held until he retired. In 2001, his scholarly achievements, teaching excellence, and service to UCONN were recognized when he was promoted to the university’s highest rank, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, a rank awarded to a maximum of five percent of all professors across all fields. Although he retired in 2009, he continued working on research, and served as a senior research scholar and Distinguished Professor of Management Emeritus at the University of Connecticut.
He has been recognized numerous times throughout his career for his accomplishments and has received multiple honors including the Connecticut Bank and Trust’s Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award and University of Connecticut Award for Promoting Multiculturalism and Affirmative Action. In addition, he is a Charter Fellow of the Eastern Academy of Management, having served as its president. And, for his research productivity, he is one of forty scholars inducted into the Academy of Management Journal’s Hall of Fame (the field’s premier research journal) out of more than 17,000 scholars in the Academy world-wide.
Among his abundant lifetime accomplishments, Dr. Veiga is the proudest of his marriage and family. Currently he resides in Coventry, Connecticut with his wife of 51 years, Moira Holihan Veiga, his “rock”. The couple has two daughters, Lisa and Meghan, and three grandchildren, Seth, Holly, and Josh.
Although formally retired, Dr. Veiga continues to work on research. In 2014, he was first author to an article selected as one of the five best Information Systems Papers of 2014 by the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) Senior Scholars.
When asked to give advice to Gannon students Dr. Veiga offered this. “As longtime chairperson of the Management department, I have supervised faculty members from some of the most prestigious universities in the world: Harvard, Penn, MIT, etc. During that time, I have found, however, that the most productive, internationally recognized scholars in my department were often not graduates from such universities. More important than prestigious degrees, the most successful scholars had strong work ethics and an ability to self-motivate, which provided them with the level of determination needed to learn from and cope with the many obstacles and rejections involved in research and writing, rather than simply giving up.” He continued, “…learn how to self-motivate. Being successful in whatever you pursue is all about getting up every morning, and yes often on weekends too, and motivating yourself to start working. If you are unable to self-motivate, chances are you are in the wrong career.”
(Published June 2016)