Roland J. Kushner has a B.A. in History (1981) from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and M.B.A. (1983) and Ph.D. (1994) degrees from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He joined the Muhlenberg faculty in 2006, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2012.
Since fall 2017, he has been Business Program Director at Muhlenberg College, where teaches business & society, management, small business management, arts administration, nonprofit management, and the capstone strategic management course. Serving the broader Muhlenberg curriculum, he has also offered a first year seminar on the study of songs, and developed the initial curriculum for the Master’s in Organizational Leadership in Muhlenberg’s Wescoe School of Continuing and Graduate Study.
Dr. Kushner came to Muhlenberg after a career leading arts organizations, providing strategic management and research services to national and global clients, and college teaching. From 1984 to 1987, he was the first Managing Director of Bethlehem Musikfest, responsible for artistic programming and festival operations. From 1987 to 1990, he was Director of Development for Bach Choir of Bethlehem. From 1992 through 1999, he was Assistant Professor of Economics and Business at Lafayette College in Easton, PA.
From 1999 until 2006, he led Kushner Management Advisory Services, a consulting company specializing in strategic management and policy analysis challenges facing nonprofit organizations. His clients included American Red Cross (International Services), RAND, Urban Institute, Pew Charitable Trusts, Opera America, Americans for the Arts, and Chorus America.
While consulting, he stayed active as an educator, teaching economics, business management, and nonprofit management at Moravian College, Lehigh University, Drexel University, and Ohio State University.
Before joining the Muhlenberg faculty in 2006, Dr. Kushner was Interim Executive Director of WDIY-FM, the National Public Radio affiliate in the Lehigh Valley.
Dr. Kushner’s research focuses on two main areas: strategic management and organizational performance challenges in nonprofit organizations; and the economics of cultural industries. His work has been published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, Journal of Cultural Economics, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, International Journal of Arts Management, Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society, Journal of Higher Education, Nonprofit Policy Forum, and Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and by Brookings Institution Press and Pearson Education. In 2009, he published the Instructor’s Manual for Arthur C. Brooks’ textbook “Social Entrepreneurship.”
In 2010, he and co-author Randy Cohen of Americans for the Arts published “National Arts Index 2009. An Annual Measure of the Vitality of Arts and Culture in the United States.” Followup National Arts Index reports were also published through 2016 Starting in 2011, he collaborated with Americans for the Arts on the Local Arts Index project, creating web-accessible data to show the vitality of arts and culture at the local level. National and Local Arts index data are available at the National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. From 2006-2016, he collaborated with Chorus America to produce the annual Choral Operations Survey Report on financial and operational activity in the choral music field. In 2017 Chorus America published his report “Choral Conductors Today: An Updated Report.”
Since 2013 he has been invited to lecture on his research at Texas A & M University, Arizona State University, and for the Korea Arts Management Service in Seoul, South Korea. He has received research funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Society of Association Executives.
Dr. Kushner lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with his wife Barbara. When not teaching and researching, he is a performing songwriter who appears occasionally in the Lehigh Valley. He is Board President of New Bethany Ministries (2016-2019, now Immediate Past President)), Board Secretary of The Sing Out Corporation (2006-present, and Board member of Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation (2017-present).