Business Schools

A 'Go-To' B-School Teacher


Tulane prof Michael Hogg wins plaudits as the "hardest working" teacher students have ever met. He works them hard too, but rewards them

BusinessWeek asked business undergraduates to tell us about their favorite professors. Here's another installment in the series.

Michael Hogg, a professor at the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, considers spending time with his students one of the greatest perks of his job. Once a week, he makes a point to take a group of five or six out to dinner to New Orleans restaurants to get to know them better. He's even been known to bail students out of jail when they're picked up for indiscretions such as disorderly conduct.

"Outside of the classroom, whether you're a good student in his class or a bad student in his class, he's the person you go to for anything," says recent Tulane graduate Shawn Holloway.

Hogg is involved with undergraduate students at both micro and macro levels, interacting with them in a classroom setting and as associate provost and professor of business law for the Freeman School. His balancing act on top of his constant attention and dedication to his students gained him accolades from Tulane business students who responded to the 2007 BusinessWeek undergraduate student surveys.

Always Available

"He's the hardest working person I've ever met," says senior Maureen Quinn. "He's constantly at the business school into the wee hours of the morning. I could always go to him or call him on his cell phone to ask a question without feeling like I was intruding on him."

Hogg is just as personable in class as he is out. In his contract law class, he explains bankruptcy, for example, by telling students about a mistake he made by overextending a client's credit when he was starting out in the working world. His philosophy is to use case studies that put students in the manager's place. He even features students from the class as main characters in the case studies on exams. "You can actually smirk while you're reading a case instead of stressing about it," says Quinn.

Hard Work and Motivation

Still, classes with Hogg are not necessarily stress-free. Students are graded on their participation, presentations, written critical-thinking assignments, essay exams, and in some courses, public service. Classes are teamed up with nonprofits, for example, and apply what they are learning to solving problems and improving business. Back in the classroom, Hogg has a tendency to call on students at random and pack a three-and-a-half-hour business law class with information. But in the end, students want to please him because of their relationship with him and the motivation he gives to succeed.

"Because of the friendly manner in which he treated everyone, you didn't want to disappoint him," says Holloway. "He really has a passion for this stuff, and kids picked up on that." Whether they're receiving a lecture or sampling some good New Orleans grub, students say time spent with Hogg is always quality time.

Paula Lehman is an editorial assistant for BusinessWeek in New York.

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