New Goodyear professor gives back to college

Jaclyn Dixon

Greg Hackett is the new Goodyear professor in the business school at Kent State and will teach the exploring business class. Hackett was in class the first day the Business Administration building opened. MICHELE ROEHRIG | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

As a student, Greg Hackett sat in the College of Business Administration building the first day it opened at Kent State.

Now, more than 30 years later, Hackett is giving something back as the new Goodyear Professor.

“I was successful beyond my wildest dreams,” he said. “I attribute a big portion of that to Kent State, so this a chance for me to give something back.”

Hackett earned a business degree in Industrial Management from Kent State and a master’s degree in Operations Research at Miami University. He worked as a management consultant, restructuring companies to make them more effective.

In 1991, he set up his own management consulting firm, The Hackett Group. Hackett said he worked with 1,200 companies around the world, 75 percent Fortune 500 companies.

One of Hackett’s main goals as the new professor for the exploring business class is to bring real-world experience to students.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my experience with future leaders,” he said.

The exploring business class shows students what business is like on the front-end and how it all works together, Hackett said.

The exploring business class is usually a student’s first exposure to the business sequence. Having someone like Hackett teach the class will change the way students view business entirely, said Richard Kolbe, chair of the marketing department.

Hackett has dealt with business situations and problems for years, Kolbe said.

“Business is the hardest profession in the world. There is no formula for success and there are no fixed procedures,” Hackett said.

Energy and enthusiasm go a long way, and Hackett has both, Kolbe said.

“You can’t spend more than five minutes with him without being drawn into his energy,” Kolbe said.

Hackett plans to add a creative spin to the way it’s run. Rather than earning points for course work, students will earn a salary. Every test, quiz and homework is worth so much money.

Students can earn a theoretical $63,000 in the class. If students earn more than $54,000, which is considered an A, Hackett will provide those students with a 30-minute career-counseling session and write a recommendation identifying the student as a top performer.

By the end of the class, students will know how to read a balance sheet, what the biggest issues in business are and the top 10 things to do in order to be successful in a career, Hackett said.

“I’m going to demystify for students all the complexities of business and how it comes together,” he said.

Kolbe said students sometimes miss the aspects of creativity existing in business. He believes Hackett is a person who manifests this creativity in business and excitement one can get from the experience.

“I have a chance to shape 1,000 business leaders,” Hackett said. “I don’t think there can be anything more important than that.”

Contact College of Business and Education reporter Jaclyn Dixon at [email protected]