Jim received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and his JD from Texas Tech University School of Law. He is an assistant professor of business administration.
What brought you to Alaska?
Very simply put, my son. I grew up in northern Canada and I wanted him to have that same experience. There is something about the northern lifestyle that imparts a certain sense of independence and integrity in people who grow up in the far north. As the musician, Prince said when asked why he lived in Minnesota – “because it’s so cold it keeps the bad people out.” There is a simple truth to that. There are easier places to live, but few better.
What do you enjoy most about Alaska?
The people and the unpretentiousness of it. Let’s just say that I have saved a lot of money on razor blades since moving here.
This is your second year with SOM. What do you tell people in the Lower 48 about it?
I constantly tell my friends and family what a great place SOM is to work. I can truly say that I love teaching here. The administration, faculty, and staff here are fantastic and a pleasure to work with.
You’ve spent time teaching in China. How does that translate into the classroom here?
There is very little difference in the teaching component between China and here. Students in both countries want to learn and they want to be engaged. I try the best I can to strip down the material and make it relatable. What I have found to be most beneficial from my time in China is the plethora of experience I gained from consulting and working with both Chinese and foreign corporations. Many of the textbooks today contain information on doing business in China and, having been directly involved with it, I am hopefully better able to communicate the realities and dispel some of the myths associated with China.
Which research or project are you currently working on?
I am currently working on several projects with other SOM faculty members, but I recently finished an article on the Federal Court injunction that was issued against the new salary level base of $47,476 for overtime exempt employees, which was to go into effect on December 1, 2016.
What advice do you have for current students?
Get out and experience the world. Take your headphones off, put your phone and iPad away, and talk to people. I have met some amazing people who became great friends just by simply saying ‘hello’.
- What is one thing you think everyone should own no matter the cost? Nothing – one thing that I learned from traveling around the world is that there isn’t anything, other than the essentials in life (food, clothing and shelter), that people really need.
- Last music download? The new Jack Savoretti album, “Sleep No More”
- In a next life, what would your career be? Why wait for your “next life” – if there is something you want to do, go do it!
- If you were granted one wish to change the world, what would it be? Two things that shouldn’t require a wish because humans have the power to change it: End the suffering of children caused by war and hunger.