Q. Illustrate your commitment to MOBTS and management teaching with examples of your involvement in MOBTS-related activities, including but not limited to; Board/leadership roles, domestic and international MOBTS conferences, roles (author/publisher/editorial) within Journal of Management Education and Management Teaching review, as well as roles outside of MOBTS that have helped further management education.
My first experience with MOBTS was as a participant in the Doctoral Institute at the 2013 conference at UNC-Asheville. I am so, so grateful to have participated in the DI the summer before I began teaching, as the activities in the DI and sessions following started me down a path of grounding what I do in the classroom in the scholarship of teaching and learning. If I wasn’t hooked on MOBTS and its purpose by the end of the DI, I certainly was by the end of the talent show. The mimosas at breakfast-for-dinner didn’t hurt.
Since the 2013 OBTC, I have been involved with many MOBTS-related activities, including service on several ad hoc committees and the board, engagement with the Society’s journals, and active participation in both domestic and international conferences, among other activities. Shortly after that initial conference experience, I volunteered to serve on an ad hoc committee set up by the MOBTS board to examine membership and attendance. In 2015, I served on a similarly themed ad hoc committee. After being honored with the New Educator Award in 2016, I chaired the New Educator Award selection committee in 2018. Within the past year, I served on another ad hoc committee charged with providing the board with strategic options for their consideration, and I am currently serving on a committee reviewing awards processes.
In 2018, I was thrilled to serve as site co-chair for the 45th conference (but first under the MOBTS banner), which we hosted at Coastal Carolina University. Serving as site co-chair provided valuable perspective on what it takes to develop and run a successful conference, but it also provided the opportunity to meet and interact with MOBTS members across typical divides. I am especially grateful for the relationships built or strengthened through this involvement.
The site co-chair role came with the opportunity to serve on the MOBTS board. My board service included the typical activities, including discussions on budgets and site selection, but also at least one atypical activity. I had the opportunity to serve on the committee tasked with exploring a name change. That committee’s work, along with the leadership of Tim Peterson and Brandon Charpied, led to the Society’s current name, which has reinforced the ideal that MOBTS is open to all management educators.
My commitment to MOBTS is demonstrated further by my involvement in Journal of Management Education and Management Teaching Review. I currently serve as an Associate Editor for Podcasting and Social Media at JME. I regularly review for MTR, and I was recognized in 2019 as one of MTR’s outstanding reviewers. In 2018, I chaired the selection committee for the MTR Best Pedagogical Contribution Award, and I am currently serving as a member of this year’s award committee.
My participation in domestic and international conferences extends beyond my DI and site co-chair experiences. I participated in the inaugural Early Educator Institute at the 2015 OBTC at La Verne. In addition to half-a-dozen presentations at our domestic conferences, I presented at both the Winchester and Maynooth conferences.
My commitment to the Society’s ideals is reflected in my scholarship and service beyond the MOBTS. I have published pedagogically oriented work in Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education and Industry and Higher Education. I have presented teaching-themed research to the Academy of International Business, Southern Management Association, Southeast Decision Sciences Institute, and Southeastern INFORMS. I have reviewed pedagogical work for Organization Management Journal, Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, Industry and Higher Education, and annual meetings of the Academy of International Business.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, my commitment to MOBTS and what it stands for is evident in my participation in not one, but THREE talent shows and closing down Jim’s Place more times than I can remember. Along with those mimosas, I must have taken a giant gulp of the Kool-Aid at that 2013 conference.
Q. What specific personal, professional, and/or technical qualities and experiences will you bring to the MOBTS Board of Directors?
My experiences equip me well not only for general service on the board, but for this position coordinating the Doctoral Institute specifically. For general board service, my experiences across nearly every facet of the Society, from previous board experience to active participation in the pre-conference activities, domestic and international conferences, and journals, allow me to provide a grounded perspective on just about any of the discussions likely to be included on a board meeting agenda. Moreover, my background studying, teaching, and leading strategic management efforts equips me well to help keep MOBTS on sound footing going forward.
My experiences equip me well for the Chair of the Doctoral Institute position specifically. My first OBTC experience was as a participant in the Doctoral Institute, which was made possible by generous scholarship support from the Society. That experience led to my first academic job, as I met and got to know Barb Ritter (who became my dean) and Erika Small (who became my department chair) through that DI experience. After being honored with the New Educator Award in 2016, I led a workshop for the 2017 Doctoral Institute, which focused on designing courses with students’ learning preferences in mind. I have been part of conversations in board meetings about making the most of the DI and what we can do to keep DI participants engaged in the Society long after their DI experience. Through my participation in the conferences and journals, I have developed relationships across MOBTS and beyond. These relationships are especially important, as the success of the DI relies on the willingness of fantastic, engaging facilitators to volunteer their time and effort to share their expertise with participants. It’s no small ask. In summary, I have experiences as a participant in the Doctoral Institute, as a DI session facilitator, and in discussions from a board oversight perspective, and I would love to use the lessons learned from these experiences to ensure the DI’s continued success.
Q. The academic landscape is constantly changing. This not only impacts our institutions, but so too does it greatly impact not-for-profit organizations such as MOBTS. What issues and/or situations do you perceive to be on the horizon that MOBTS will have to assess and adapt to?
Several trends in higher education and beyond could spell trouble for MOBTS, but only if they are not adequately addressed. I’ll briefly address two. First, slowing growth and then decline in the number high school graduates in the US threatens many tuition-dependent university budgets. Second, the proportion of tenure-track faculty lines relative to term-limited faculty lines continues to shrink.
One likely result of the decline in the number of high school graduates is that many universities are likely to face budget cuts, if they haven’t already. Budget cuts cut deep for MOBTS in two ways. One popular place to cut is faculty travel. The bulk of our revenue continues to come from our conferences. Cuts to faculty travel budgets threaten the success of our conferences, and, thus, the sustainability of our current funding framework. Another popular place to cut is library budgets. With library budget cuts, fewer libraries are able to purchase access to our journals. Most of the remaining portion of our revenues not accounted for by the conferences comes from journal subscriptions. Thus, with continued university budget cuts, we could see a significant hit to both of our main sources of revenue.
The changing proportion of tenure-track vs. term-limited faculty provides both a threat and several opportunities. Term-limited faculty frequently do not have access to the same travel funding as tenure-track faculty. Thus, relative growth in term-limited positions could result in declining conference attendance. But this trend also provides potential opportunities worth exploring. For example, term-limited faculty are frequently professionally qualified (to use the old AACSB language). This presents an opportunity to sell our Kool-Aid beyond our traditional audiences. This also creates the potential for particularly valuable collaboration. Lastly, this presents an opportunity for MOBTS to target those transitioning from industry to academic work with tailored offerings on pedagogical approaches that fit our culture.
These are just two issues that could have significant impacts on MOBTS over the next several years. There are many more, including an increased focus on mental health and over work in the academy, ongoing and pervasive diversity and inclusion issues in our institutions and within the academy, changes in student demographics, a continuing retirement cliff in business schools, and trends toward isolationism in politics, not to mention the myriad threats posed by climate change. Thankfully, we have an excellent board and executive leadership team, and I hope I am given the opportunity to work with them not only to address these issues but also to ensure the continued success of the Doctoral Institute.