Meet the Faculty
Why teach at Whitworth?
Values. All individuals, faculty and staff, are committed to serving the students. To me, service is one of the strongest values. As instructors, we are able to serve by giving and sharing our strengths with others, and in return our students share their strengths with us.
On teaching adults:
Traditional classroom lectures simply aren’t that effective. Adults need novelty, they need humor, and I try to teach that way. The reasons for coming back for an MBA vary greatly, but no matter the reason, students are coming from a place where the old recipes for management don’t work. These are inquisitive people who want to know why their company acts the way it does. What I teach comes from the experiences in the room. We work together to understand what the individuals are seeing in their workplace.
During the day:
As the executive director of the Center for Organizational Reform (COR) I lead an organization that serves others facing change, crises, overload, and complex problems within their own organizations. Our clients reach out to us because they are not willing to settle for mediocre coping mechanisms in complex situations; rather, they want to use their experiences as opportunities for continued personal and organizational learning.
Ph.D., Gonzaga University
M.I.M., Thunderbird School of Global Management
B.A., State University of New York College at Cortland
I feel blessed to continue my international vocation with Whitworth, a university that embraces the development of comprehensive worldviews. As a Christian businessperson, I have represented and shared my Christian principles in a number of countries. My workplace is now the classroom, where I continue to nurture cross-cultural exchange, which breaks down barriers and fosters international trade and mutual understanding.
On adaptability and change:
The three most consistent factors in business today: change, change, and change. The phrase "business as usual" no longer applies; business is about navigating in an unusual environment. Successful organizations and individuals have learned to be agile and adaptive. The practice of continuous learning has become a necessity.
Integrating cultural competency:
People in business are keen on technical skills and can overlook the importance of "soft skills," such as cultural competency. We work in a project-based world of diverse challenges; acquiring the appropriate cultural lens and approach has become a differentiating factor of success. In a Whitworth classroom, students quickly realize they've entered a global stage and are learning from experienced professionals.
Todd Friends joined Whitworth University in 2008 with 20 years of executive experience in prominent financial institutions around the world, specializing in global financial service start-ups and turnarounds. His expertise is backed by extensive work experience and specializations including international business, operations management, customer-relationship management and cross-cultural scholarship. Having lived in six countries on four different continents, Todd has spent 50 percent of his career working internationally in corporations such as American Express, Bank of America and Pitney Bowes.
Ph.D., Gonzaga University
M.B.A., Gonzaga University
B.S., University of Idaho
On building relationships with students:
Faculty-student interaction is an important learning facilitator. As faculty and students learn from each other, they build mutual trust and respect that allows for insightful questioning and testing of new ideas and concepts. Here at Whitworth, faculty-student relationships are not nurtured just for the time the student is attending; rather they become meaningful, lifelong relationships.
The Whitworth approach to learning:
I am neither pure scholar nor pure practitioner. At Whitworth, the opportunity to be a scholar-practitioner inspires a focus on integrating theory and practice in each class I teach. Students become much more engaged when their own practical experiences, as well as those of their peers, supplement a course's foundational concepts. I've found that offering coursework rich in real-world theory and application better prepares students for an increasingly complex, dynamic, and integrated world.
Robert Buckham has extensive experience as a human-resource executive in multinational enterprises and has lived and worked in Europe and Latin America. His publications have appeared in domestic and international journals, and his organizational-development writings are cited in textbooks used in several countries. His consulting practice emphasizes making sense and creating futures through organizational narrative; implementing strategic human resource management practice; compensation and employee-benefit program design; and labor relations and negotiations.