The power of “no.”

Last week, for the third time in my life, I sat in a bus and nearly cried. But not for the reason you might think.

My daughter and I had returned to Dearborn, Michigan, to visit the Henry Ford Museum. The museum has a number of historical artifacts on display including cars and buses. The bus where I was sitting had once worked the streets of Montgomery, Alabama, and served as the scene for one of the most courageous uses of the word, “no” in US history. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a group of white people who had stepped on the bus. Her refusal was illegal under city ordinance and was voiced at a time when the KKK actively hunted down those who fought against segregation. Her act was courageous and it led to her arrest.

This is a story that many of us here in the US were taught in high school. I know I was. But sitting in that bus, looking around, and hearing the story yet again, brought me to tears. I admire her courage while at the same time, am pained by the reality of the challenges that she and so many others faced during segregation.

The Montgomery bus boycott, initiated on December 5 when Parks was found guilty by the court, brought the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, into the news. King was deeply involved in the boycott, and argued for the boycott with this call: ‘‘I want it to be known that we’re going to work with grim and bold determination to gain justice on the buses in this city. And we are not wrong.… If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong’’ (King Online Encyclopedia, Stanford King Institute, Montgomery Bus Boycott). Less than a year later, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Montgomery bus segregation law unconstitutional. The decision propelled the civil rights movement.

On Monday, January 16 we observe Martin Luther King, Jr, day where we remember not only King but all of the people who helped the US move closer to the ideals spelled out in our constitution, where the blessings of liberty are secured for all.

Happy graduation, happy holidays!

To our nearly 300 December graduates — congratulations! The event was lovely with great speeches and celebrations. It was fun to see parents proudly taking pictures. We had a professional photographer on site. Here is the link to those pictures.


And to everyone, please have a joyous holiday season. I hope its a time of peace, reflection, and fun with your family and friends!

Message to Students about Finals: Tips, Space, and Snacks!

Study Tips
Please keep in mind a few basic principles that research shows will increase test scores: (1) sleep is required for memory formation as well as physical and mental health — space your studying so you can get sleep each evening; (2) spaced study episodes work better than cramming — studying for 20 minutes 3 separate times is generally more effective than a single 60 minute session; and (3) testing improves memory — don’t just review material, practice recalling, solving problems, and writing out key points.

As a final tip, please remember the Tippie Honor Code. Here in Tippie we value hard work, honesty, and integrity. Do not be tempted to take a shortcut that would jeopardize your college career. Before each final paper or exam, please review the syllabus and make sure you are not violating any course-related policies. And if you witness a violation, please report it to your professor or to me.

Study Spaces and Snacks
There are many places for you to study this weekend and into the week. The main library is open 24 hours a day until Friday. The Cultural and LGBTQ Resource Centers are open extra hours and have snacks and drinks available. Here in the Pappajohn Business Building, the Business Library will be open Sunday to Thursday until midnight, and Friday until 7pm. And Tippie Senate will be providing food and coordinating extra study space as noted below:

Sunday, December 11 from noon to midnight
Monday, December 12 from noon to midnight
Tuesday, December 13 from noon to midnight
Wednesday, December 14 from noon to midnight
*To access W401 PBB, take the west elevator up to the fourth floor and turn right

FOOD FOR FINALS in Howe Galleria (first floor, south wing outside UPO)
Monday, December 12 at noon – Cactus Tacos
Tuesday, December 13 at noon – Kapok
Wednesday, December 14 at noon – Domino’s Pizza

The faculty and staff of the Tippie College of Business are rooting for you — we want you to succeed!

Tough election

This election season was a difficult one for many people. Whoever your chosen candidate was, you probably were frustrated by people “on the other side.” And there has been hateful rhetoric and even violence over the last week.

I’d like to echo the calls on campus and nationwide for people to come together and listen to each other. In my own case, I have reached out to family members with different views and asked questions with the goal of understanding rather than persuading. I hope you will do the same, and will show that you care for and support all people, no matter their politics or identity.

In that vein, you may have noticed a few signs around the Pappajohn Business Building. Each is a little different but the message is the same: All people — no matter their politics, background, or identity — are welcome in the Tippie College of Business. We are better because of our differences.

Stay tuned for more information about conversations and meetings. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

A summer job?

A dedicated and hard-working Tippie alum reached out to me with a summer opportunity. If you don’t have an internship or summer classes lined up already, read on:

“Thanksgiving is just around the corner – do you have something lined up yet for next summer? Your family will be asking about your plans. Check out this video of Brent Sampson (Class of ’14) and others sharing about how they did with Something Different College Pro. Several Iowa students and grads have gone through the same experience. Check it out and apply HERE or reach out to Jon Swearingen (Class of ’13) at for more information.”

DRAT: Pick a healthy habit!

Over the last few weeks we have seen a lot of illnesses past around campus, and we are in the mad rush right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Now is the time when, as the saying goes, the wheels may fall off the bus. You might get sick, for example, and have a hard time catching up. Or you might get overwhelmed and blow off a few days of classes. The first step to avoiding these things from happening is to be aware that there it is more likely to occur at this time of year!

One suggestion at this time of year is to make sure you are eating well and sleeping enough (a minimum of 6 continuous hours but some people need more). Also, don’t try to do too much and don’t get down on yourself.

In that regard, it would help to pick one single change in lifestyle habits and add that to your to do list this month. What one change might you make — washing hands 3-4 more times a day? Eating two extra servings of vegetables? Adding an hour of sleep to your schedule? Picking one change has the benefit of keeping you focused, and ensuring that you can make progress. Nothing is more rewarding than feeling like you are control of your life and making progress in the right direction.

So while working on overall health and school work, consider taking on a single “life project” of adding a new healthy habit. This month I will focus on walking. I’m going to walk 3 extra miles a week. I’ll check back with you next month to tell you how it went. What will your new habit be?

Friday events

This Friday is a big day with lots of events. Here are a couple to consider, including both events here in Tippie as well as a university-wide and community event in the Iowa City Public Library. So many options to chose from. And a football game Saturday, too. Go Hawks!

Friday, October 21, 2016 | 12:30–1:20 p.m.

1st and 2nd Year Business and Pre-Business Students (W207 PBB)
Information session about picking a major, joining student organizations, and making the most your 4-year journal, all organized by distinguished young Tippie alumni.

Friday, October 21, 2016 | 12:30–1:20 p.m.

3rd and 4th Year Business Students (S207 PBB)
Information session about job and internship searches, interviewing, negotiating, and transiting to work, all organized by distinguished young Tippie alumni.

Friday, October 21, 2016 | 3–5:00 p.m.

Iowa City Public Library, Pedestrian Mall
Records of African American Excellence
Presentations by contributors to the just published book, Invisible Hawkeyes, about African American students, staff, and faculty at the University of Iowa from 1930 to 1960. This program features one scholarly panel and one alumni roundtable.

Nominate our best faculty for a university-wide teaching honor!

Please consider nominating one of your faculty members for the highest teaching award offered by the University of Iowa: The President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence. The award is for a sustained record of teaching excellence and commitment to student learning, and it has been won by a number of Tippie faculty over the years: Gale Mote (2014), Jay Christensen-Szalanski (2012), Nancy Hauserman (2010), Todd Houge (2010), and [#humblebrag] me (2009).

If you have class with an outstanding faculty member who has been teaching at Iowa for some time, then please consider submitting a nomination. To submit your nomination, visit the website below and log-in with your HawkID. The form is not long, and your nomination will determine whom the college nominates for the university-wide competition.

Thank you for helping us recognize outstanding faculty!

Tippie Launch has, well, launched

Launch Week started this past Friday with a kick-off guest speaker, Drew Butts. Drew a regional talent manager for Enterprise Holdings, has been involved in hiring over 10,000 people in his career. He knows what it takes to be successful in an internship, an interview, and on the job. By the way, Enterprise may be bigger than you think — it is the holding company for many recognized brands including Enterprise, National, and Alamo Rental agencies. Last year it had almost $20 billion (yes, with a b) in revenue and over 90,000 employees worldwide. It sits among the largest private companies in the world; if it were to go public (offering its stock on a public exchange), then it would be in the Fortune 500.

Drew explained that everyone is different and the key to success is to do more than just tolerate those differences; we have to understand and celebrate them! His first encounter with being different at work had to do with him being the only person in his team with a family. He had to learn how to tell people about it, and understand and appreciate those who did not have those responsibilities. Once he was able to do that, he had better relationships, which helped propel him into leadership roles.

Tippie Launch offers many opportunities to meet different people and learn new things. These events aren’t just for new admits to Tippie. Everyone is welcome. Don’t wait — take that step now:


As finals are wrapping up, I want to wish all of our graduates congratulations. Sometimes we take for granted the “college degree,” but it is an amazing accomplishment worthy of celebration. So celebrate and enjoy!

To those finishing up this semester to return for the summer and/or fall, congratulations on your success this year. Enjoy some time to rest and recover, so you can come back ready for a great fall semester — new faces, classes, and a refreshed and fired up football team.

Send summer stories my way so I can come back with a fresh set of stories to tell our new direct admit class. Our incoming class may be as many as 500 high achieving, eager students. I can’t wait!