Michael Brandl may have spent the last few years at Ohio State teaching at the Fisher College of Business, but he knows the South, and Texas, well. He got his Ph.D. at the University of Houston, and he met his wife there, too. So when a job opened up at Rice University, Brandl jumped at the chance to bring his 26 years of experience to the Jones Graduate School of Business.
“It’s a little bit like coming home,” says Brandl, who taught for 14 years at the University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business before spending the next seven at Ohio State. “I met my wife in Houston, so we’re familiar with Houston and we have friends and family here so when the opportunity came to go to Rice, we jumped at it.
“Rice is a great school and I’m very impressed with Peter Rodriguez, their new dean. When I did a little digging into his background and reading about where he wants the school to go, I thought, ‘This would be a great thing to be a part of.’”
LEAVING BEHIND THE CHALLENGES OF MIDWEST PUBLICS
At Rice, Brandl, an economist, is a lecturer in finance/management. He began this fall teaching an executive MBA class and putting together a class for Rice’s new online MBA, which began in the middle of October. The latter was Brandl’s first online MBA teaching experience.
“I think it will be very interesting reaching a different group of people who want access to the MBA but don’t have the ability for whatever reason to do the traditional come-to-campus type of thing,” he says. “It’s different, talking to that camera!”
In leaving Ohio State, Brandl praises the school but cites financial challenges faced by professors at public schools, challenges that “can raise some serious issues.” A 1987 alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate program and, afterward, a visiting professor of economics there, Brandl adds: “We loved the Midwest, but Houston is a wonderful city — one of the most diverse cities in the country — and this was just too good of an opportunity.”