Dr. Mick Fekula
Dean of the School of Business Administration
"My first MBA course was Organization Theory. The professor did a great job with the course. Discussing the behavior of organizations was very interesting to me. I discovered that I wanted to do what that professor was doing."
- Ph.D. in Business Administration – Penn State University, 1994
- MBA – University of Wyoming, 1981
- B.S. in Business and Economics, Major in Management – Lehigh University, 1979
Dr. Michael J. “Mick” Fekula is the Dean of the School of Business Administration at USC Aiken. Prior to USC Aiken, he established the Department of Leadership Studies at The Citadel and served as its first chair. Prior to The Citadel, he taught at USC Aiken from 2004-2009. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Penn State University, an MBA from the University of Wyoming, and a B.S. in Management from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His current teaching and research interests include leadership ethics, management, organizational behavior and theory, and character education. He is the executive director of the Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning and past-president of the Southeast Case Research Association (SECRA) where he continues to serve as dean of the SECRA Fellows. Dr. Fekula is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. During his military career, he taught in the Department of Management at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was also the chief of the Character and Ethics Division at the Air Force Academy. Prior to his Academy tour, Dr. Fekula was the chief of the Emergency War Order Training Branch and a Minuteman III ICBM Launch Officer at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Links to share?
This is my favorite video. People on committees spend too much time talking and not enough time doing. The answer is zero committees, or as President Trump states in his book "The Art of the Deal" 'Committees are what insecure people create in order to put off making hard decisions.' In the video, Steve Jobs schools us about committees. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f60dheI4ARg
In which online degree programs do you teach?
MBA General, MBA Healthcare Leadership, MBA HR Leadership
Why did you start teaching?
My first MBA course was Organization Theory. The professor did a great job with the course. Discussing the behavior of organizations was very interesting to me. I discovered that I wanted to do what that professor was doing.
What advice would you give to those considering this degree program?
Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself (Chinese proverb). The effectiveness of your learning experience relies upon consistently preparing for each class by accomplishing the assigned reading and tasks. Preparation ensures that you can interact with the professor and fellow students by both answering and asking questions in order to better understand the course material. Videos, experiential exercises, cases, discussion questions, and other media will be used to engage students in online lessons. The professors expect all students to actively participate in class activities. Participation should exceed the minimum requirements stated in the syllabus. In turn, you should place high demands upon your professors. They are required to provide opportunities for frequent interaction with both the professor and the other students. Professors are also required to reply to your emails or other online questions within 24-48 hours. Professors should also provide assignment feedback and post grades on a weekly basis. The professors will place high demands upon you, and you should expect high performance from them as well.
What qualities make someone particularly successful in management?
My favorite quote is: "Everyone's responsibility is no one's responsibility." When you are in management, you must accept responsibility; not just for your job, but for everything. Famed Strategy Professor Michael Porter states that the only thing difficult about management is that "managers must consider everything." Ed Catmull, head of Disney Animation and formerly of Pixar, states in his book "Creativity, Inc.," 'No one needs permission to accept responsibility.' Also see a "story" I share below.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
"Good to Great" and "Great by Choice" by Jim Collins.
Tell us a story
A former student in an online class shared the following very impactful story: When I was 12 years old, I was with my grandfather, and he was driving his old pickup truck down a quiet, small, rural wooded road. He stopped when we came upon a tree that had fallen across the road. It wasn't huge, but it was still big enough to block our path. I said, "Wow, Grandpa, look! Somebody needs to move that tree!" He turned his head toward me and said, "You're somebody." And, yes, she got out and moved that tree. The student further stated that this incident changed her life from that point forward.