Michael J. Fern

Michael J. Fern

Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship
Associate Chair for Finance & Administration
104 Sitterson Hall
919-590-6077 (phone)
919-590-6105 (fax)

fern (at) cs.unc.edu

(135) Ph.D. 2005, Strategic Management, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC – Chapel Hill. Leadership, strategy, customer value creation, innovation & entrepreneurship, business development


Michael J. Fern is the Associate Chair for Administration, Finance, and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, Michael founded two software (SaaS) companies, including ContentGems.com, a content curation platform for marketers, and Utilium.com, an online learning management system. Michael also provided strategy consulting for both high- and low-tech companies such as Dolby Laboratories and Rift Valley Holdings, one of the largest agribusiness firms in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition to his startup and consulting experience, Michael has served as a professor of strategy at Korea University (visiting), Santa Clara University, and the University of Victoria. As a professor, Michael conducted research in the areas of strategic decision-making, new product development, and entrepreneurship. He taught in the areas of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship, including teaching “Strategy in High Technology Firms” in Santa Clara University’s evening MBA program and “Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship” in Korea University’s Global MBA program.

Michael’s work has been published in leading academic journals (i.e., Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, and Organization Science) and he has presented his work at a number of U.S. and international conferences and events. He has received Fellowships and research grants from Booz Allen Hamilton, the Strategic Management Society, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for entrepreneurship, and the Canadian government.

Michael received his Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC – Chapel Hill. He received a Bachelors of Science, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Oregon.