Friday, April 21, 2017

Priorities, Principles, Politicians, and Professors

In this semester's student mentorship group, we have been discussing personal priorities and principles. The consensus from the students seems to be that this topic is not only useful, but also more difficult than originally envisioned. A number of the students expressed a lack of clarity regarding their own priorities and life principles, but they recognized the need for deep thinking about those things.

Outlining priorities and principles could be a useful exercise for politicians and professors as well. Without a clear understanding of our priorities and principles, we often drift toward our political parties and the visible rewards dangled in front of us.

Regarding both politicians and professors, I am most inspired by those who take stands that do not benefit their party or themselves, but rather make the stand because it is the “right thing” to do. Professors, obviously, have more freedom to seek and speak the truth, but I think that professors' impact will be greater if they stick to their principles regardless of the party in power.

Of course sticking to priorities and principles does not guarantee a good or admirable outcome. One must have “good” priorities and principles. What qualifies as “good” is beyond the scope of this short blog post, but I do think priorities and principles that are selfless (or as selfless as we are capable of being) tend to be good ones.

April 21, 2017 in Business School, Ethics, Haskell Murray, Service, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 3, 2017

J.D. Vance and Mentors

A few months ago, J.D. Vance, Yale Law School graduate and author of New York Times Best Seller Hillbilly Elegy, talked about "America's forgotten working class."

With the rise of Donald Trump, Vance's book and the book's topic have been much discussed.

I, however, want to focus on Vance's discussion after the 10 minute mark where he thanks various mentors for helping him overcome family financial, and community-based problems. Without a stable immediate family, Vance found guidance from his grandparents, the military, and his professors.

Raised in a predominately individualistic culture, I believed, for a long time, that hard work was the primary driver of success. I still think individual dedication is important, but looking back, I am also incredibly thankful for the many people who provided a helping hand along the way.

While most schools do not specifically reward it, I think professors are particularly well situated to mentor students. We can also be incredibly helpful to our more junior colleagues. Recognizing the value of the mentors in my own life, I do hope to "pay it forward" and become increasingly involved in the mentorship process.

February 3, 2017 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Law School, Service, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Better Meetings, Better Teaching

During the past few days, I have participated in a lot of meetings.

This has led to some thinking on what makes a good meeting.

To me, a useful meeting is one that accomplishes things that could not be handled appropriately by an e-mail. Some meetings are held, I am convinced, because those calling the meetings are not sure that participants read and pay attention to e-mails. This worry could be best addressed, in my opinion, by making expectations regarding e-mail management clear, perhaps coupled with consequences for those who ignore the contents.

That said, e-mail is not appropriate in all cases and here are four categories where in-person meetings can work better than e-mail:

  1. Inspire. Perhaps some can be inspired over e-mail, but it seems much easier to inspire in person. As such, I think some good meetings can be used to inspire participants to achieve organizational goals. But inspiring others, especially sometimes cynical professors, can be difficult to do.
  2. Build Relationships. Sometimes the only times you see certain colleagues are at faculty meetings, so meetings can be a good way to build relationships, especially if folks hang around before and after meetings or if significant time is given for small group discussion.
  3. Engage in Group Discussions. E-mail is pretty good for one-way communication, but as anyone who has been on a group e-mail with hundreds of replies knows, e-mail isn’t great for dynamic group conversation. As such, it may make sense to have meetings when a group needs to converse about working through an issue. That said, preparation for the meeting can often be done alone, and the lion-share of the conversation can be done in small groups.
  4. Engage in Difficult Conversations. When tone is important, e-mail is often inadequate. Thus, in-person meetings may be important for communication of sensitive or controversial information.

When meetings focus on things that cannot be done remotely, I think meetings can be quite useful. Similarly, when teaching, we should think – what is it that students cannot get through an e-mail, the internet, or an online class? We should focus on those things. As such, I am trying to do even more interactive projects and small group discussions in class this semester.

August 26, 2016 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Law School, Service, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Business School Legal Studies Professors on Twitter

Bridget Crawford (Pace Law) has posted an extensive list of law school professors on Twitter that is available here.

Previously, I compiled a list of business law professors, in both business schools and law schools, but to avoid overlapping with Bridget's list, I am only including business school legal studies professors in this updated list.

I will update the list from time to time. 

Perry Binder (Georgia State) – @Perry_Binder

Seletha Butler (Georgia Tech) – @ProfSButler

Kabrina Chang (Boston University) – @ProfessorChang

Peter Conti-Brown (Penn-Wharton) – @PeterContiBrown

Greg Day (Oklahoma State) – @gregrrday

Laura Dove (Troy) – @LauraRDove

Marc Edelman (CUNY-Baruch College) – @MarcEdelman

Jason Gordon (Georgia Gwinnett) – @JMGordonLaw

Nathaniel Grow (Georgia) – @NathanielGrow

Enrique Guerra-Pujol (Central Florida) – @lawscholar

Lori Harris-Ransom (Caldwell) – @HarrisRansom

Laura Pincus Hartman (DePaul) – @LauraHartman

Kathryn Kisska-Schulze (Clemson) - @ KKisska13

Lydie Louis (Miami) – @LydieLouis

Haskell Murray (Belmont) – @HaskellMurray

David Orozco (Florida State) – @ProfessorOrozco

Eric Orts (Penn-Wharton)– @EricOrts

Marisa Pagnattaro (Georgia) – @pagnattaro

Joshua Perry (Indiana) – @ProfJoshPerry

Angie Raymond (Indiana) – @AngRaymond

Susan Samuelson (Boston University) – @bizlawupdate

Tim Samples (Georgia) – @TimRSamples

Inara Scott (Oregon State) – @NewEnergyProf

Mike Schuster (Oklahoma State) – @Patent_Nerd

Adam Sulkowski (UMass-Dartmouth) – @adam_sulkowski

Peter Swire (Georgia Tech) – @peterswire

July 2, 2015 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Service, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1)