Season 4 - Episode 414
After 24 years of leading Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business through incredible growth, Terry Maness is retiring this summer as dean of the business school. On this Baylor Connections, Dr. Maness discusses why the timing was right for a new season of life, shares key moments in his career as dean, and reflects on a period of distinction for the school.
Derek Smith:Hello and welcome to Baylor Connections, a conversation series with the people shaping our future. Each week, we go in-depth with Baylor leaders, professors, and more discussing important topics in higher education, research and student life. I'm Derek Smith and our guest today is the Dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, Doctorate Terry Maness. A Baylor graduate, Dr. Maness returned to his alma mater to teach in 1977 and ascended to the role of dean in 1997. Over the last 24 years, Dr. Maness has been a driving force behind a dramatic period of growth and recognition at Hankamer School of Business, what he called years of distinction for the school. From the development and construction of the Paul L. Foster Campus of Business and Innovation to the addition of a variety of programs and fields of study, both undergraduate and graduate, the business school and a number of programs are ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report. It's been a very eventful time in the school's history. After serving Baylor faculty for 44 years and leading Hankamer through much of that period, Dr. Maness will retire this summer when his successor is chosen. Well, Dr. Maness. I know it's been a very busy year for you and your colleagues throughout Hankamer School of Business and I really appreciate your time today. Thanks so much for joining us on the program.
Terry Maness:No, I appreciate the opportunity Derek and looking forward to the conversation.
Derek Smith:Mm-hmm (affirmative). In a recent issue of Baylor Business Review, Dr. Maness, you said, "God sure had a different set of plans than we did" and I'm sure a lot of people are feeling that way. I mean, it's COVID-19, but that's certainly the case for you. COVID-19 helped you make the decision to delay your retirement by a year to continue to lead during this time. And I'm just curious, here amidst the pandemic in this crazy time, what's it meant to you to be able to serve Baylor and Hankamer through this time for another year?
Terry Maness:As I think back just the about a year ago, it was prior to spring break in 2020 students left for spring break, nothing changed. And we were beginning to wind up the search for replacement for the Dean of the Hankamer School of Business. And it was during spring break really that we decided we didn't find the right person for that. And also it was decided that students would not return, come back to campus. So within just a matter of a few days, a lot of things changed for me personally, but also for everybody else as well. And so that was certainly unexpected and wasn't what we thought was the plan going forward so. As I said earlier, I think God certainly had a different plan for all of us, but I really think, Derek, that in terms of what it's meant to me, I think it would have been very difficult for a new person to step in either late that spring or early summer when everything's virtual and to step into new environment. It would be very difficult I think for our faculty staff to also work under new leadership during such a time as that. So it was I think opportunistic that I was able to stay around and hopefully I've been able to provide some continuity in doing that. But I think really ultimately what it meant to me, it's just an opportunity for me to share the burden with everybody. I've worked with these people for many, many years. I certainly wouldn't want to leave them in a lurch, so to speak as a result of the circumstances. So it was an opportunity to share the burden.
Derek Smith:Well, Dr. Maness, obviously I say why is now the right time? It's a decision that you made a couple of years ago in this general timeframe. We'll talk more about it later on, but I'm just curious for you and your family, why was this general timeframe the right time for the decision?
Terry Maness:You oftentimes hear people, hear stories about people hanging on too long and that's maybe a part of it. I also have heard people talk about, "Well, you'll know when it's the right time." And I think that's really my story. I think I just begin to sense and feel that for myself and my family that this was the right time. You don't want to go out too early. You don't want to go out too late, but this just had a good feeling to it in terms of the years that I had served at Baylor and felt like the business school was in a very good place at this point in time. So I think that was a part of it, but also I think just from a family standpoint. I now have five grandchildren ranging in a wide range of ages, but they're at a point where I started their schedules were full and my schedule was full. And so I would love be able to spend more time with them and my son and his family and my daughter up in Dallas and her family. And with the kind of schedule I have, I can't always do things with them like I'd like to so. Feeling that it's just the right time from a career standpoint and also just a growing family and their complex schedules. And if I've got more flexibility and I can be more involved, I think that was all part of it.
Derek Smith:That's great. Visiting with Dr. Terry Maness, Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. Dr. Maness, you spent 44 years on faculty and as dean here at Baylor after four years as a student. The overwhelming majority of your life has been spent on this Baylor campus. And in that time, if you met someone who has no real exposure to Hankamer and to Baylor and they asked you why it's special, what would you tell them?
Terry Maness:Derek, I think it boils down to really two things. The first aspect that I would talk about would be simply the people that are here on campus and the people you're able to work with, the faculty staff. Because of the faith-based nature of who we are as an institution, there's a common bond between us. There's a common denominator for all of us. Our students excel in so many ways. It's just fun to be around them in addition to that. So I think it's the people is number one. And then I think, secondly, it's really the mission of the institution and specifically the mission of the Hankamer School of Business. Let me just state that because I think it says a lot. We cultivate principle leaders and serve the global marketplace through transformational learning and impactful scholarship in a culture of innovation guided by Christian values. And I think that says a lot in terms of really the word serve is a big part of it and cultivate principle leaders. We're about doing that. And so the opportunity to do that at a faith-based institution I think has just been a real blessing.
Derek Smith:Going back to when you were a student at Hankamer before you rejoined the faculty. And if I on your timeline right, you were a student here at Baylor, you got married, went to Indiana for your MBA, and then came back to Baylor to teach.
Derek Smith:Was that a path that when you were a student, you had pictured that you had pictured for yourself?
Terry Maness:Well, it's not only not a path I pictured for myself. I can imagine there's some high school teachers that they're turning over in their grave. No, it wasn't. My brother and I, we were what you'd call first generation college students. My parents, neither one went to the college. They did a lot for us. They set a certain set of values for us. Both my brother and I were saved under their tutelage, if you will, a very Christian-based home, but they didn't have that professional experience. And so we really didn't have much guidance from them in terms of career opportunities. What they did, their goal was to send their two boys to college. They didn't have that opportunity and they wanted us to have that. So I came to Baylor without really a clear stance of what I'd be doing four years upon graduation. So when I arrived on campus, I really didn't know what I wanted to do career wise. When I left Baylor though, I had a very clear career goal objective and that came as a result of mentorship of Baylor's caring faculty. So again, that's another aspect of that people dimension. The faculty really care about the students who are here and it certainly impacted my life.
Derek Smith:So you went on to Indiana, got your MBA, came back here to teach it on the faculty in 1977. So about 20 years, you taught and then for a little over 20 years you served as as dean. What took you from teaching at Baylor in 1977 to eventually be enabled to take that role as dean?
Terry Maness:Well, I would attribute that to a couple of people. Dr. Jim Truitt was that mentor, that faculty mentor that mentored me toward a career in higher ed. I think, his vision at that point in time and we talked about that. He wanted me to have the opportunity to come back to Baylor. We didn't sign anything or anything like that, but he was very interested in me joining the faculty after finishing my degree at Indiana. And so I think he's the one who started me on the path of higher education. It was really Richard Scott who was the new dean when I returned back in '77. He was just starting off as dean of Hankamer School of Business. And as I got to know him and working with him as dean and I was a faculty member, he began to kind of channel me towards some leadership opportunities. And so it was really Jim Truitt that mentored me and guided me toward being a faculty member. And it was really Richard Scott and his guidance and tutelage and mentorship that really carved a path of leadership. That leadership path really involved being an associate dean for undergraduate programs for a period of time. And then also so I was managing a program and got that experience. And then also had the opportunity to lead a department. So I was named Chairman of the Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate. So that's managing faculty. And so with that experience then when the opportunity to step into a dean's role or at least be considered for a dean's role, I had quite a bit of leadership experience in higher ed from that standpoint.
Derek Smith:You'd been a part of Hankamer in three distinct areas for the business school. Hankamer when you look back at the history, the era before Richard Scott was building that foundation, and then you came here when Richard Scott was here for what people really considered those expansion years in 1977 up to the time you ascended the role of dean in 1997. And that really distinction years. Since the late 1990s, the school was gone from being a regional teaching facility into a nationally and even internationally recognized research and teaching facility. So I know as we talk about some of these things, well, a lot's happened in 24 years. And there's been so much growth and so many exciting things that there's no way we can can touch on it all. But when you think about growing, building on that foundation that came before you, what were some of the meaningful moments or meaningful steps in growing from that expansion to the distinction that's led Hankamer to where it is now?
Terry Maness:Yeah. Well, first and you had kind of laid it out. I started a career in Baylor and got settled as a typical faculty role teaching research and service, and I really enjoyed developing a learning environment for the students and I enjoyed the research aspect as well. And really the research aspect of faculty in '77 was just really a relatively new thing. And Richard Scott was one who really began to emphasize that in the business school in particular. And so as I had mentioned early in my career that's where I started. And early in my career, I had the opportunity to have those academic leadership roles that I had mentioned that just a few minutes ago. So really as the dean opportunity came and you've mentioned a period of distinction, Richard had built up the program and then expanded it in a lot of different areas. And I saw it as an opportunity particularly with a renewed focus on research that it wasn't just about doing research. It was really about doing impactful research and research that makes a difference and it's about teaching that makes a difference. And so that's really where when I made my presentation to the faculty as a candidate for dean, I talked about those growth stages of the business school. And I just laid out that it was time for us to be a distinctive business school and not just one that did a lot of things and we'd grown, but we were distinctive in the kind of research we did and the impact that the research did. We were distinctive in terms of the kinds of learning environments we created. Something we call active learning eventually. And so I think those were some of the meaningful moments that just those transitions and we made it a point in time where there's a strong enough foundation that we could really begin to be distinctive in certain areas.
Derek Smith:Visiting with Dr. Terry Maness, Dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. And over those 24 years the dramatic growth at Hankamer is obvious. But how internally have you approach that strategically working along with faculty and other stakeholders within Hankamer?
Terry Maness:Well, again, we talked about those foundational years and expansion years and distinctive years. And I think a part of the distinction that I had in mind when I started out as dean is I talk about quality. So we didn't want to just grow as we were growing at that point in time, we didn't want to just grow for growth's sake. What we were really interested in was doing kind of managing that growth. And so one of the areas of managing growth that we took very seriously was enhancing the academic standards of what it means to be a student in the business school. Not just accepting every student that applied, but you had to meet certain standards, academic standards. And so over my tenure as dean, we slowly increased those standards over the 20 years that I served as dean. We also needed to add faculty obviously, but it wasn't just about adding any kind of faculty. We were very intentional and this was true to Richard Scott and previous deans in the business school. We were interested in growing faculty that were faith-based faculty, faculty who really were there because they want to impact lives and have an influence on students, but also have an influence on their discipline. And then that's really where the research quality comes in too. We want them to be when they're teaching to really be focused on the student. But when they're in the research area, really look at those research topics that really can impact society and impact their discipline, and really where they can make a big difference. Then finally, I think we were wanting to have a distinctive learning environment. And so I think that's a big part of what the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business Innovation really brought to the table was as we were growing and outgrowing the facilities that we had at our original Hankamer campus, the Paul Foster campus really provided us an opportunity to design a very collaborative learning environment, a very engaged learning environment. And a kind of environment that students wanted to come back to when they weren't in classroom and so they could collaborate and build community within the business program.
Derek Smith:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Dr. Maness, the Paul Foster campus is certainly the most visible aspect of that growth. And I realized as I asked this that I'm asking you to kind of summarize many things in a short amount of time in 24 years. But as you think back to the growth leading up. I'll ask you about the campus more in a minute, but thinking back to the fact that now there are so many new ways that people can get their MBA, for instance, that they didn't used to be. There's a lot of online professional programs. There's additional programs throughout the Hankamer School of Business. You see a number of programs within Hankamer like entrepreneurship and others routinely rated among the nation's best. So that's just a couple things for me to mention, but I'm curious for you, what are some of the tangible aspects of that focus that you just described that have really been meaningful to you and the faculty and the people who have worked so hard to take Hankamer there?
Terry Maness:Derek, I think it kind of comes back to, again, that I guess the distinctiveness of the business school. When I look around at various media outlets, it's not uncommon to find a Baylor faculty member being quoted. If I look at the academic realm of things, it's not uncommon to find citations of our faculty or other faculty citing research that our faculty did. So we have faculty that are being quoted in the media, the public media, but we're also finding our faculty being quoted and their findings being cited by other academic researchers. So I think that's one thing. I think the other thing is quality of our students. We were able to Institute a program. One of our faculty members, Allen Seward, was the founder of our Baylor Business Fellows program. And that's an honors program that brings students in as freshmen into the business school. And we have them for four years. It's just a very enriching type program that he was able to found. The kinds of students that we were able to bring in through our Baylor Business Fellows program, there's been a couple of student body presidents that have come through that program. We've had a couple of Baylor fellows, business fellows, student regents. So that's the kind of student we've been able to attract. I think not only because of our general program, but also because of some special programs we have. Then I think really the other part of it is just the hands-on learning that we've been able to incorporate in. It's important for students to learn in the classroom, but it's just as important that they learn how to apply it in the real world so that when they graduate it's not a shock to them. They can just blend right in and begin to be a productive citizen and a productive employee. So virtually all of our majors have some kind of active learning component to it from our Baylor Angel Network program that we involve students in and we have alumni who have invested several million dollars in early stage investments, but our students work with them side by side. Our pro sales program is actively engaged, connecting our students with executives in the professional selling area. Our accounting program, investment program that we have just they engaged students. So our students come in having practiced the art of business, as well as learning what they do in the classroom. And I think that we've also been, we've initiated three doctoral programs. So we're preparing the next generation of faculty mentors, mentors like I had at Baylor. We're putting those kinds of faculty out across the nation at other universities. And then finally, the last thing, the culmination of all that really is the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business Innovation. It's a place that we can do all that in now. And it's a kind of facility and campus environment that attracts quality faculty and quality students to campus.
Derek Smith:That's great. Yeah. Beautiful facility that houses programs that are even better than the building they're in for sure. As we visit with Dr. Terry Maness, Dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. And I think you've really described a lot of growth and exciting things that hopefully that you find some satisfaction in as you head into retirement. I'm curious as you do that this summer, what are the things that you feel like you're going to miss the most? I know we'll still get to see you back on campus and you'll still be friends with people, but one of the things you're going to miss the most about the role that you've enjoyed the last 24 years?
Terry Maness:I'll tell you I think what I'll miss the most, there's kind of a two-part answer to your question. What will I miss the most? I think it's the excitement of what's around the next corner. The opportunity we had to create a lot of new things we haven't done before. I think there's a certain excitement about that. I could also answer the question by saying what will I miss the least? What's around the next corner? There's been so much change going on. That's why I think I said earlier, I think the time is right. I've really been excited about the opportunities to do new things. And I think those opportunities are going to continue and perhaps quadruple, if you will. There's so much changes going on. And so that's what I'm going to miss, but also it's the kind of thing that says, "Hey, let's hand that opportunity off to the next person as well so."
Derek Smith:I know a new person is going to come in and bring their leadership and their vision and apply that to the school. But obviously you have a sense of some of the things that are off in the future. As you think ahead to the future of Hankamer, what are you excited about maybe seeing from a different side of things now?
Terry Maness:I've got a lot of my career has been invested here in Waco and I love the community. It's been a great place to raise my family. My wife and I, we're settled here. This is our community and our life. And I think really as I look forward, there are some things right now that the university and the business school and the university are in collaboration with that really have a high potential in something I'm really looking forward to seeing how that unfolds. And that's this area of economic development and the opportunity that Baylor has and the business schools are partnering with that in this BRIC collaboration that we have, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative. The program we've been developing over the last two or three years called Lab to Market, taking the research in our laboratories and moving those forward toward commercialization and planning them here in the Waco community for economic development. So I think big picture, I'm looking forward to seeing the impact that Baylor can have on just the economic vitality in the economic environment here in the Waco and the Central Texas area. But I think also I'm very interested to see and will relish in seeing the quality of our faculty and the quality of our students continue to excel as we move forward.
Derek Smith:You know as you talk about the impact on the community and growth, you've had some scholarships that have been established in your name to honor you and your leadership, but there was an anonymous gift, a group effort recently to name an endowed chair position in your honor, the Terry Maness, the Dean Terry Maness Endowed Chair for the Lab to Market program. And that's obviously going to spark a lot of that growth taking place what you described in the BRIC. What does that mean to you to have a part of your legacy be tied into that?
Terry Maness:Well, number one, I was shocked and surprised, but just really pleased that our provost Nancy Brickhouse was one who really initiated the concept and thinking. She wanted to see something formulated that would honor my legacy as dean here. And we really in partnership chose the Lab to Market collaborative to help support that. I think because it really culminates so many things. It's something that would support Baylor. It would support innovation here on campus, but it also supports the community because of what I described just earlier that through this collaborative, the opportunity to energize the entrepreneurial ecosystem, if you will, here in the Waco community. They're just a great opportunity for that. And so to have my name associated with that is certainly an honor to me and someone I want to give a shout-out because there's lots of people that have been involved in that from a Baylor standpoint. And so to have my name on it as an honor, but again it also makes me a little unease because what role I had really pales in significance to the role of others that have really come before me in laying the groundwork for that.
Derek Smith:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, it's a very exciting thing to see in that Lab to Market, a great program that I think people even would be hearing more about in the years ahead, taking research and turn it into products that can really help people to commercializing the research in ways that will benefit society as you talk about research growth in Hankamer School of Business.
Terry Maness:Derek, it's going to help us move toward our president's goal in Illuminate of moving the research status of a better university forward. That research that's going on in laboratories a part of that, the Lab to Market will certainly support in that. But it's also about the importance of that research and bringing students along with us through that effort that everybody benefits from it.
Derek Smith:Well, Dean Maness, as we wind down on the program, I think you've already answered this a little bit, but I want ask you. As you head into retirement later this summer, all of a sudden your schedule has a few less things on it than it did that it probably has certainly in the last a year especially. What are you most looking forward to? You mentioned your grandkids and family first and foremost, but the things that you're really excited investing some of that time back in
Terry Maness:Yeah. I think it's two aspects that I see and I've always heard people talk about when they talk about retirement how maybe a golden rule of retirement is you shouldn't retire from something, you should retire to something. And I think the things that I want to retire to are two aspects. One, I think family. I want to have that time to really grow with my grandchildren and my passion's spot fishing so. I certainly plan to involve them in that passion of mine, but have family time. And then secondly, I want to continue to give back to organizations that I've been involved in. I'm on the board of several organizations, some nonprofit, a couple of for-profit organization and boards. And I want to continue to give back in that way as well.
Derek Smith:Well, very exciting. So we'll still see you involved in the community in different places and get to share in some of those things together. Well, Dean Maness, I have the opportunity to say for probably a lot of people in this forum, certainly happy retirement and hope it's great. Now, not there yet. It's still a few more months to go before you get there. Yeah, but we congratulate you on that and appreciate your time today on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.
Terry Maness:Thank you, Derek.
Derek Smith:Thank you so much. Dr. Terry Maness, Dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, our guest today here on Baylor Connections. I'm Derek Smith. A reminder that you can hear this and other programs online at baylor.edu/connections and you can subscribe to the program on iTunes. Thanks so much for joining us today on Baylor Connections.