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Saint Leo 360 Podcast

Episode 48: Discussing Saint Leo’s Undergraduate Business Administration & Management Programs

Posted by Greg Lindberg on November 9, 2021
Episode 48: Discussing Saint Leo’s Undergraduate Business Administration & Management Programs

Download Episode 48 Transcript

Speaker 1:
Saint Leo 360, a 360 degree overview of the Saint Leo University community.

Greg Lindberg:
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Saint Leo 360 Podcast. As usual, this is your host Greg Lindberg, here on this episode of the podcast, we are speaking about several of our undergraduate business degree programs here at Saint Leo University and to help us do so, we have a great guest by the name of Dr. Tim Lowder, and Dr. Lowder is an associate professor of management in the Tapia College of Business here at Saint Leo University. Dr. Lowder, welcome.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Thank you. How are you doing Greg?

Greg Lindberg:
I'm doing well, doing well, really looking forward to this conversation. Glad we were finally able to connect.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Yes, sir. Been tough, but we all try to ensure that we make that our audience understands what's going on here at Saint Leo.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Yeah. A lot of good information to get into here. So first off, Dr. Lowder, just give us a brief bio of yourself, your background, both personally and professionally and whatever you'd like to share to start off?

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Well, I graduated from high school in Stanly County, North Carolina of all places, a place called Albemarle. I like people to think I was born in Albemarle Sound, which is a beautiful coastal area, but no, I was born in the center of North Carolina and it was normal U.S. city. I grew up in the '60s and '70s. So I had a lot to watch on TV when we finally got one. And it was a very emotional decade during the '70s. And I learned a lot, graduated from high school in 75, started at Stanly Community College, which was a nice little college in Albemarle. And I obtained my AA there, my associates degree, and then decided I wanted to go on and pursue education beyond the associate's degree level.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
The AA was in business administration and then I enrolled in a university called Pfeiffer. It's a small private university. It is also close to where I live. So it wasn't that big of a move, I hadn't really moved outside the area yet. But I attended Pfeiffer, I really enjoyed it there. I ended up getting my bachelor of science degrees in both economics and business administration, so I did get two degrees there. I really, really felt that education was the key to success in the future business world. Because I worked the whole time that I was in college, I'd worked at restaurants, I had worked in retail, all kinds of jobs to supplement my college income. And so I really becoming familiar with the business world.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
I'd stepped up to assistant manager and one job of a restaurant before I actually graduated from Pfeiffer. And when I graduated, they offered me a job at the dining hall. So I took that and worked, I learned how to cook what you might call big scale which was fun. I enjoyed that job but again, I wanted to move. I wanted to do new things, so I decided to move to South Florida. And so I moved to South Florida and a spent about 10 or 12 years down here. And I loved it. Initially 10 years, I didn't do much academically, but after 10 years I did enroll at the University of South Florida in their MBA program and [inaudible 00:04:35] around with that for three or four years while working in banking.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And I decided to commit full time to my MBA and finished it up real quick. So I transferred to Winthrop University, which is up near Charlotte, North Carolina, it's in Rock Hill. And I graduated from there in 92 with my MBA. I was top 20% of my class, which was rewarding. And then another 10 years go by, in the interim I moved back to South Carolina to teach and run a small business development center. I do that for about 10 years, and then I decided at the age of 40 to get my PhD. And I enrolled in Capella University, which was a very good choice. And it took me three years. I did it in record time and that is while working and it is during this period that I got my job at Saint Leo University.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And I finished my PhD within my first year here at Saint Leo. And it's just been a blessing for me since to be a member of the community here and to share the core values that Saint Leo has. So Greg, I can say that it's just been incremental, but it has been almost directed that I end up here because I've never worked at any university or job for that matter longer than I worked at Saint Leo, because I've never felt comfortable at a business. And Saint Leo is a business and we have to operate like one. So insofar as my bio, that's a pretty brief and as best as I can give it, because I did a lot over a long period.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. And then, so how long have you been with Saint Leo now?

Dr. Tim Lowder:
15 years.

Greg Lindberg:
Wow. Wonderful.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And unfortunately this will be my last year. I'm retiring at the end of a spring semester.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, wow. Congratulations.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Well, thank you for that. I'm looking forward to retirement.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. And thank you for all your service to the university over all this time. So in terms of the Tapia College of Business, obviously we've had this college for many years, it's got a great reputation and let's just start off this discussion, just your perspective on the college and its reputation. And then just in general terms, how you would describe this college?

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Well, there's a couple things Greg that are interesting that I recalled when I was thinking about this. And the first one is the parking issue that we had and we still have parking issues, but not as bad, I promise as we did back in the day. And at that time, we also had an office issue. So those are the two issues, the office issue and parking issue. And we were really in a state of flux as far as how we were going to make it through this with enrollment increasing, it's such high levels. And we truly had a vision of how to fix it, but that vision took time. So thank God that the community has patience and we were able to survive through it.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
I can remember my first office was in the library in one of the little rooms off to the side. That was my first office over there. I must mention that I started out working as the lead liaison for Key West in Corpus Christi, what a tough job. To be the liaison faculty member. And Corpus Christi is a lovely city too, so I got to go there every month or so. I mean, I really enjoyed my tenure, but I didn't do that long because I wanted to be on campus. And so I got transferred to campus and then I had the library office for several months, but wasn't long. And then I got transferred to St. Francis Hall and I had a nice office over there. And I'm thankful for that, but this was during the time that the Tapia School of Business was being built.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
I can remember a lot about what was going on then. And we really focused on growth and focused on developing good solid programs that met the requirements of businesses, not only in our local community, but in country here in the U.S., but globally also because we have a lot of international students and that's a good thing because it adds diversity to our university as a lot of new knowledge to our university. And also it adds to our culture and enhances the culture of our university by bringing and having lots of different types of people working together toward common goals, which is the attainment of their degrees.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And so that's a beautiful thing, but then we look at those two issues, Greg, the parking and the offices. And then all of a sudden everything starts smoothing out a little bit. And that's because of the leadership. Dr. Kirk was the president at the time. And he had a clear vision of where he wanted to go and how we were going to get there. And he was steadfast in his efforts and yeah, we exceeded what our construction goals were, we met lead requirements, which means that we were doing sustainability. We were addressing sustainability issues during the construction and even doing that, meaning that all the waste, which reused that could be reused didn't slow us down. That's really perseverance and commitment right there. And so things went really well, very smoothly. We moved into the School of Business over here. And by that time I had accepted the department chair position.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
So that was fun. I got to start out in a new building as a department chair, and then we just rocketed from there. In our particular department, we developed the project management and supply chain management within two to three years of being in here. And those went over really well. And we also added a lot of specializations within our programs at the business administration level to meet the needs of all of our centers. It's critical that and when you were as big as Saint Leo at that time, it's critical that you have communication and engagement, not only on university campus, where we're building the Tapia of School of Business. We have to also be focused on developing the technologies at all of our education center, which we had a lot that time. And then it came together, Greg, just like when the program started working, we all bought into the culture. We all bought into the leadership and that's critical. And so that's what got us through is steadfast, leadership and a commitment to excellence that we always tapped.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. I appreciate that history. And it sounds like it's been quite an effort and it's really paid off in the end of here.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Yeah, it has. I think that the key is a lot is our processes. We've really in the past been good on our processes, meaning that if something's wrong, we do feedback loops and we fix it. And we have that process where we have to go through the academic committee for every change in our curriculum, those kinds of things. And so our curriculum gets reviewed multiple times before it's even approved which it has to be approved by the entire faculty in the department. Actually the school before degree changes can be made. So if there are issues, if someone sees or has any questions about there's plenty of opportunity to address those in our processes that we use to create curriculum.

Greg Lindberg:
All right. So let's go ahead and dive into some of the specific undergrad programs in terms of business. And let's begin with the associate of arts in business administration. And so first off, where exactly is this AA program offering?

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Well, the AA is offered online and at education centers, the specific education centers that the AA in business administration is offered are the East Pasco Education Center at university campus. The Key West Education Center, the Mayport Education Office, Ocala Education Center, Tampa Education Center, Savannah Education Center, Charleston Education Center, and last but not least the Corpus Christi Education Center.

Greg Lindberg:
Wow. So definitely a lot of options in terms of locations there.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Yes sir.

Greg Lindberg:
Excellent. And then let's talk about who this program is intended for, what kind of perspective students would you say are ideal for this AA program?

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Well, the AA program is great for students who are not sure that they want to attain a higher level degree. The great thing about the AA is that is very concentrated. You don't have a lot of courses in the AA curriculum that's required that are non business relate. Okay? So the AA is a concentration of business courses. It's great for students who want to enhance their business skills, who are currently working for an organization that might pay for tuition. And it allows students to take a quick program. Like I said earlier for students to determine if they enjoy learning, lifelong learning, which I love and if they enjoy lifelong learning and they want to go further toward a BA, that would be a good decision that they can make as a result of attaining an AA degree.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
It would also enhance their specific business skills related to the jobs they do out in the business environment. The courses are designed around specific skills and abilities that business owners need in today's business environment.

Greg Lindberg:
Got you, very interesting.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Now, some of the courses you might take would be like Management 301, Marketing 301 courses that introduce you to the business, introduce you to marketing. You will get a good depth, a good background of what it means to be in management. What a manager is, how management functions and performs at higher levels. See, they might just be frontline employees and they don't understand how frontline supervisors or directors or VPs, they might not understand how those other functional areas perform. And so Management 301 allows them to get a big vision of what a company is and how management controls that company and plans and directs the resources and then applies them to what needs to be done.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. I see. And then in terms of the faculty who teach in this AA program, let's talk about the faculty.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Well, Saint Leo always, we have a large number, top certified people, meaning they have their DBA or their PhD. You can be sure that many of the classes, I won't say most in the AA, but many of the classes will be covered by PhDs or DBAs. People who are specialists their field. The remainder will be taught by people who are MBAs who are masters in their field, who are qualified to teach them according to our credit. Now, always keep in mind that Saint Leo is fully committed to ensuring that we meet the requirements of our creditors, meaning that if a university is not accredited, you don't want to attend it, period. Yes, you must check the accreditation of a university and ensure that it's accredited. And there are several accreditors that you can look into.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
There are regional accreditors, that are done by the Florida Department of Education. I mean, the U.S. Department of Education, there are all monitored. So it's a rigid process. This is not a kind of processed that anybody enjoys. I assure you. But what it entails is them coming in and auditing everything we do essentially. Look at our graduation rates, look at our number of PhDs to class, look at the qualifications of our PhDs, make sure they all come from accredited degree programs, which obviously that's something we check for. We hire someone, whether they have a masters or a PhD or a DBA, they must come from an accredited university because we are credit and that assures our customers, that they are getting top notch, top quality curriculum, faculty and programs that are designed around enhancing their abilities and skills in a modern business world.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
The key, I think, is synergy and integration, all right? The accreditation is just one part of us, Saint Leo and then there's all the other things. There's the faculty, there's the students which are in the center and parents depending upon much access we have to them because of the privacy laws, we can't talk to parents without the student's permission and et cetera. But parents are still very, very critical. And also all the other stakeholders we take seriously, just like I mentioned earlier with the lead program and us trying to focus on sustainability, that's the community, that's a stakeholder for us. We try to make all of our decisions that would benefit, create win-win situations with the community and the university. And to do that, we reach out a lot and accreditation makes us reach out.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
We have to do annual reviews of all of our curriculum, all of our programs and in that review, we have to break down every aspect of it and analyze it to make sure it's both effective and efficient, and that we're doing a good job for our customers, which our students. But we also have businesses, businesses to some degree are also our customers. We provide resources to them. Therefore, I mean, we're obligated to a lot of people here at Saint Leo, and that's why we do strive so hard to attain the image that we have. I'm proud that people respect us. I've worked hard to maintain that image throughout my 15 years here. And I know my other colleagues have worked hard. The ones that I work with insofar as whether they have master's degrees or PhDs, or DBAs, they all have worked extremely hard, but what I've seen is a lot of people who get their MBA, they want to teach after that.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And so you can't always get teaching jobs with an MBA but once you get your PhD or DBA, then you're more apt to be able to get a teaching job. So I see a lot of people go from master's to DBA or PhD pretty quickly but the two year to the four year I don't know if the conversion rate is as high, I mean, from master's to PhD. But I do see rates similar from AA to master, I mean, to bachelor's and then bachelor's to masters. I mean, it's just from my contacts with students now that's the antidotal. Antidotal evidence. So we'll just name it as that and say, that's kind of what I seen. But I do think that there is a good conversion rate of people who decide to go on from their associates to their masters.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. I see. All right. So let's move on from the AA program to the bachelor of arts in business administration and the let's first start off this discussion also, as far as where this program is offered.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Okay, this is a interesting program. It's been designed around our centers. And so therefore this program is only offered online in our education centers at the moment. There are several areas that you can specialize in within the BA in business administration. And you can get the straight BA of course, but you can also do logistics. You can do management, marketing, project management and technology management. Those are areas that you can choose as a specialization within the BA in business administration that's offered online at education centers. Now where that is offered. There's a list and it's East Pasco Education Center at university campus, Jacksonville Education Center, Key West Education Center, Lake City Education Center, Mayport Education Office, Ocala Education Center, Pasco Hernando Education Office, Tampa Education Center, Savannah education Center, Columbus Air Force Base Education Center, Charleston Education Center, and Corpus Christi Education Center. So as you can see, lots of areas within the country that offer that.

Greg Lindberg:
Okay, so then as far as who this bachelor's program is intended for, how would you describe that perspective students?

Dr. Tim Lowder:
These programs, some of them are fairly tough. I'll be honest with you. Logistics and project management are tough. A lot of spreadsheets involved in project management, a lot of stuff to remember logistics. Management, marketing, they're aligned with those topics. And if you love them, you'll enjoy that. However, if you choose to go into logistics or the supply chain or project management, those are very specialized. Okay? So keep in mind that, that needs to be a field or a specific area that you're very interested in choosing a job, because that's where the job is going to be once you come out of those programs, there's hundreds of thousands of jobs that are coming along now in supply chain management, which is logistics because of the pandemic. People who own companies are concerned that, "How did our supply chain just crumble in a year?"

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And so companies are a little bit ill at ease insofar as their previous supply chain management programs, the processes they had in place, and those kinds of things, what that does, it opens up for new people when you thinking, who can think outside the box, and hopefully, well, not, hopefully that's what our supply chain and project management programs were designed to make our students think outside the box, make them think holistically. And to go back to something I mentioned a little while ago about Saint Leo and all of its stakeholders and how important they are. And then when you look at Saint Leo and we try very hard to meet all those needs and ensure that we're transferring knowledge everywhere to our community, to other businesses, to our students, to our parents, so on and so forth.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
But in doing that, there's an old saying, well, there's an old term, got a German philosopher. It's called Gestalt theory. The stall theory says that, "The sum of the parts does not always explain the greatness of the whole." Now think about that deeply and what that means. Well, it means that if you put enough things together that are positive, they're going to create synergy, okay? And synergy creates greater power and greater knowledge and greater levels of knowledge. And so within all those sub nodes, those little shareholder, stakeholder, sub nodes of our community, we've created synergy. Here, there. Maybe here there, here there, here there. So we are greater than the sum of our part. And that to me is something that means a lot. It means that I'm not perfect at that's okay. When you work together and you give positive energy into an effort, man, you're going to create something that's bigger than you.

Greg Lindberg:
Definitely. Very well-stated.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And so that's what I think our faculty has done in our programs here. I think they're committed, I think they're focused on that vision of creating something bigger than ourselves.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. Absolutely. And then in terms of this, the business administration program, any specific courses you want to point out?

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Yeah. Well, I would like to also mention I did say that management and marketing are more general. Tech management is an area that is only offered at education centers. And it was designed for people coming out of the military I believe, to help them. It was about theoretically people who were involved with technology, in the military. And the technology management component is designed to help people better understand all the various aspects of technology and business today. So it's very specific, but general enough to not limit you to a specific career. In fact, if you took the tech management, bachelor's in business administration able to qualify you across many areas within information technology. So you're not that limited insofar as a project management person who is involved in information technology.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
But project management, yeah. It's its own area. It's its own job. You are a project manager and either you perform in projects or you lead projects. Supply chain management is more of a management role where you're involved in executive management and perhaps operations management. Okay? That would be where I would see supply chain managers within the production and operations management of the company. And so I told you where the BA in business administration of various centers were offered already. All right. So just keep in mind that these five, these are specializations only are offered at online and education centers. Okay? That's the key to remember that's under the BA in business administration.

Greg Lindberg:
Appreciates you clarifying that.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
I just want to make sure that, because so many people get confused with this and I want to make sure that just like with one of my class, I always them at the beginning of the class, I know you're going to be bored for five minutes, but I'm going to repeat everything briefly that there's a due what's coming due. So I try to stay on the same page with my students every day. And I think it's important when we're talking about these majors that we ensure we're on the same page because we don't want our customers to get confused.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. And the fact is we have several modalities in a number of locations as you've mentioned, and it can be overwhelming at first, but when you really break it down, it's more understandable. All right. So let's close out here with a little discussion on the bachelor of arts in management. And I know people think business administration, management, they hear those terms and they think they're very similar. But these are definitely distinct programs.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Absolutely. Business administration is along the lines of learning how a business operates. It's about the administration of a business, hance business administration. And it focuses on all the aspects of the businesses and its daily operations, but it doesn't get into as much, nearly as much about decision-making. Okay? And so the BA in management is more aligned with what management has to do and the decision making that management must perform on a daily base and the tools and techniques that are available for them to make those decisions. And that's where this degree program differs than the administration aspect of a business.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
They do cover some decision-making. I'm not going to say that business administration doesn't of course it has to because decisions are made, but it doesn't go into the detail and focus on management level decision-making, which includes VPs, CEOs any executives, how the board of directors influences the organizations and their decisions when they're asked upon the chief executive officer and then the president and then the various VPs.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
So that's the focus of this program and all right, you did a job as a director. All right. What tools do you have available? How do you understand the people, it talks a lot about culture. The management degree deals a lot with culture, almost every other course, I'd say every other course has something in it about culture and understanding culture and trying to manage culture within your organization. And culture is nothing but the sum total of all the values, the beliefs the white people think it might be traditions that are held, that are shared between the employees. Every organization has a shared culture. And so the management program, the BA in management focuses on learning how to shape, manage that culture. And it also goes on of course, into the hard stuff, how to make financial decisions with finance.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And it goes into other areas you get elected. So also you can choose within the program that might be in an area like labor relations. Okay? If you're going in a unionized company and you know, you are, you definitely want to take a course in labor relations because then you would know how management and labor look at each other or treat one another. And we can't, that has always been good. And let's just say it's still nominal insofar as the relationships, but both have separate goals that somewhat conflict with one another. How do you solve that? Well, that's what library relations teaches you. So that's what we try to teach in management.

Greg Lindberg:
I see and I did, I definitely wanted to mention where this BA in management is offered as well.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
All right. The BA in management is offered at university campus, and then the BA in business administration is offered online in education centers.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, I see. I see. So it's just strictly university campus for this management program.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And also, just to mention that the BA and the MBA is both offered at university campus also, but we do have our MBA is offered the Tampa Education Center, Savannah Education Center, in Columbus Air Force Base Education Center and online.

Greg Lindberg:
Yeah. I appreciate you mentioning that because that's, I know we do have a lot of students that complete the bachelor's and go on to our MBA as well.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Yes, we do. And that's why I wanted to bring that on. We do have a large, a reasonable percentage just like from the AA go on to enroll in our BA. One other thing about, let's go back up to the BA in business administration, please note that there is a specialization in management. So there's where we differentiate. At the time we felt like, hey, we need to have courses that can offer the same thing. Do offer the same thing out there. And that's why we added the management under the BA in business administration. Now these are five courses that you have to take to get to specialization. And they're really good courses. They get you ready for the real world.

Greg Lindberg:
And just to kind of put a bow on these programs. I mean, obviously it just demonstrates the variety of trucks. Like you've mentioned the specializations, modalities, whether it's campus, online education centers. I think in general, Saint Leo strives to reach as many students as possible based on their circumstances and needs.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
If you're interested in clubs chapters, any type of organizations, Saint Leo has a lot of them. And I didn't have time to get the list, but I know almost every major has its own little organization. I mean, a club. And then we have some clubs based on a national organization. We have fraternities and sororities. We have all kinds of things available where students can meet, get together, join those kinds of... It's just a great community that we have. And it's up to the students. We don't force you to join clubs. We don't say, hey, to get in this class, you need to join this club. No, we just look at it as that's something you really like.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
But one thing that taking part in these clubs and chapters and organizations does for you is it floss up your resume. So if you don't have some fluff on your resume and fluff is things that you didn't have to do, fluff is things that you volunteered to do, which makes you look bigger and better, and remember about the Gestalt theory. Well, let's hope your resume it's greater than the sum of its parts.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Very well said.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And so you have to make sure you've got inclusive information on where the employer's going to know that you're someone who is active and who is willing to take extra steps to participate in the community. They look at the community as their organization, of course but one thing for certain when they hire you, they're going to hire you to fit their culture. And they're going to look for skills and abilities that match up to the culture in their organization. So it behooves you to learn about the culture at a company, at your college, at your university, wherever you are. And there's a groups of people, there's going to be a culture that develops, and you need to learn to assess that. In fact, I teach in management as a manager. The first thing I do when I take over a company is perform a cultural audit or a cultural gap audit. And that is to help me better understand where my employees are. Okay?

Greg Lindberg:
Right.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And so we do things like that here at Saint Leo, we ask our students, we do surveys and things like that, just to assess our culture and make sure that we're performing the services that our consumers, of course our students need. And that's important. But that's just management stuff. I mean, good management does those kinds of things, because I want to know how their employees feel and where they're at within their culture. Is it a positive culture, or is it a negative culture? So clubs, chapters, organizations, they're going to be looking for that on your resume. If you're a student.

Greg Lindberg:
No doubt. Definitely part of being a well-rounded candidate.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Now another issue was career opportunities for our business programs. Our Saint Leo graduate do great. Every, I keep tracks of, I've got probably a hundred that I've taught that I've kept tracked off. And every one of them are doing great. They get promotions. It's just amazing because when I leave here, I think they do understand the importance of integrating within the operational foundations, the culture of the organization. It's very, very, very important to integrate. And to try to create synergy, win-win situations for everybody that you made in that organization. And if you can do that, then you're definitely going to be a positive contributor to that organization's culture. What does that do? Well, first of all, it makes you stand out because people believe in you and it also highlights your skills and abilities for opera management.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
So do these things, these things you've learned, do them. And once you've learned in your program in management here, or whatever you're in, logistics, marketing, project management or tech management or whether you're in the AA program and you're learning skills there, take those skills and apply them in your workplace. Be a contributor to your organization. All of them don't apply of course, but when you run across tools that apply, take them to your workplace, see if you can integrate them into the system and to the process. That's what's got us to where we are is processes. We've been firmly committed to you got to go to A, to B, to C, to D, and then once you get to D and everybody's happy, you go back to A, for a final review, and then that doesn't even include implementation because implementation or execution as it's called in management is all another scenario.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And so all along that way, we at Saint Leo, we focus on trying to correct our wrongs. We just don't send stuff through, we're kind of like a Six Sigma people. They just don't know it. It's a tough routine, I think accreditations enough, but yeah, Six Sigma to really put us out. And I might come back and do it. Those might be famous last words, Greg. But I would say, I will say I'm going to summarize it up because I could talk forever about Saint Leo and my experiences here. There are great career opportunities for people with business degrees. I mean, you just look up the numbers. It's there. The key to career opportunities is looking at the various types of jobs within the business field. That's where you would find the opportunities in these various special areas like project management, like supply chain management, like logistics, so on and so forth.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Every individual area, functional areas or functional areas across the board that are going to require lots of business management people. And so the argument for getting a general degree is that you can do any of them. But the specialized means that you're going after one that you know, is a tremendous opportunity. And it's all here at Saint Leo. It's there for you. We guide you. I advise on careers a lot with some of my students, my advisees who come, we talk about careers, we'll look up stuff. That's what their advisor here at Saint Leo is for, is to help them and guide them.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Absolutely.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
And you have any last questions?

Greg Lindberg:
Yeah, I guess just one final question here. We've definitely talked a lot about Saint Leo in general and the faculty and that the one-on-one support like you just mentioned advising students just any final comments on how you've closely were work with students and just how other faculty are really there for the student.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
I understand. Well, people find it weird sometimes, but I tell my students every day that I love them because I do. The type of person, I'm a Christian I follow Christ walk and His words. And so I try to love everyone as I love myself. And to do that, it's critical for me to treat others with extreme respect. And that includes my students. So I respect them as I respect myself. And that means I'm going to give of them the same level of support. So if they have something I have dealt with personal issues with students, but normally I direct that to the correct department depending upon the type of issue, but it also remains totally confidential in private, nobody else ever knows.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
But mainly, my main area that I love helping students in because I do love them is their career and helping them do well here at Saint Leo, helping them choose their courses. And in fact, I just helped one student decide whether they were going to choose their major as a BA or a bachelor's in management, a BA in management or a BA in business administration. Yeah. And I said, "Well, if I were you and we're going to go on." And she does plan to go on. "I would just get my BA in management because it's a much broader, it gives you more areas for jobs, and then you're going on to your masters. Then it's time to talk. What do you love?" And we got to the point where we started and she showed me some of the things she does.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
She owns a business she's only 22. And she owns a business. She creates crafts. And she showed me some of the of stuff. And I'm like, "Wow you sound like a project manager to me." And she started talking about project management and she said, "Yeah, that sounds just like something I love." And I'm like, "Well, that's what you've been doing. You buy the metal for your craft. You set up your laser, you design pattern that the laser's gonna cut. You produce it, then you paint it and all the steps that would be in a typical project." And she was all excited when she left here about an hour ago. So that's how much I think most of the faculty are here. We care about our students deeply. And we want to hear what they're doing. That's the only way we'll ever know what their needs are. And I think that that's what we do well here is we meet the needs of our students. Sometimes whether they know it or not.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. And I think that's such a key that separates Saint Leo from so many schools out there, is really being there for the student. Like you said, they can walk into your office-

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Anytime.

Greg Lindberg:
... call text, email many different options of communication and faculty are always there.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Absolutely. And that does not occur at a lot of schools. I have to say I've had so many students tell me that, "Hey, since I've come here, I've gotten more feedback than I got the whole time I was at so and so's school." So on and so forth. So we do try to make sure our students know where they're going. We try to guide them in a way. And like I say at the time they might not even realize it's the best thing for them, but then when it comes time to graduate and they're out there in the field looking for jobs they're like, "Wow, that came in so handy or that was so important to me that I learned in that class or this class you asked me to take was so useful in my career." So on and so forth. That's the kind of feedback that really, really satisfies me as educator. I want to know that I've done good, you know?

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Very rewarding, I would imagine when you do get that feedback.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Yes. And being a Christ-centered leader, a servant leader, when you're focused on that there's no better reward for a servant leader, especially a Christ servant leader than someone who tells them that what they did positively, positively impacted their life.

Greg Lindberg:
Okay. Again, we've been visiting with Dr. Tim Lowder here on the Saint Leo 360 Podcast and Dr. Lowder, thank you so much for your time. It's been a true pleasure.

Dr. Tim Lowder:
Well, thank you, Greg.

Speaker 1:
To hear more episodes of the Saint Leo 360 Podcast, visit saintleo.edu/podcast. To learn more about Saint Leo's programs and services. Call (877) 622-2009, or visit saintleo.edu.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, we are joined by Dr. Tim Lowder, an associate professor of management in Saint Leo University’s Tapia College of Business to discuss some of the undergraduate business degree programs. Dr. Lowder talked about:

  • His personal and professional backgrounds
  • His teaching career and journey to Saint Leo University
  • A history of the Tapia College of Business and its great reputation
  • An overview of the AA in business administration, BA in business administration, and BA in management degree programs
  • Where these degree programs are offered, who they are geared toward, and the faculty who teach in them
  • Chapters and organizations related to these business majors that students can join to enhance their resumes and professional connections
  • Career opportunities with these undergraduate business degrees
  • Options for pursuing graduate studies with these bachelor’s degrees, including Saint Leo University’s MBA program
  • What sets these business programs apart from others out there

Links & Resources

Learn more about Saint Leo University’s AA in business administration.

Get more details about the BA in business administration by visiting the degree page.

Want to learn more about the BA in management? Check out the program on our degree page. 

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