This year, we’re shining a spotlight on the fantastic OKWU professors who dedicate their lives to helping students achieve their callings.
We’re talking today with Dr. Brett Andrews, Vice President of Graduate and Professional Studies and Professor of Management. Andrews joined Oklahoma Wesleyan University in 2002 as the inaugural Dean and Professor of Management for the (now) Chesapeake Energy School of Business. During his time here, he’s launched the university’s first graduate programs, developed the online campus, and led multiple successful accreditation efforts. He holds degrees from Northeastern State University, Oral Roberts University, and Walden University.
How did you end up here as a professor (and administrator) at OKWU?
“This is my second time as an employee here at OKWU. First, I was the original Dean for the Chesapeake Energy School of Business and was later promoted to VP for Adult & Graduate Studies. That tenure lasted from 2003–2013. More recently, I worked for Newman University in Wichita, KS, and I received a phone call from President Dunn. He told me that he had some needs on his leadership team and then asked me if I would consider praying about joining the OKWU team. My wife and I prayed about it, and the Lord was very clear that He was opening this door and my only response was to walk through it in faith. We did so, and I re-joined the OKWU leadership team in January of 2020.”
What’s your favorite thing about the job?
“By far, my favorite thing is serving the faculty and staff members who do the hard work of serving our students each day. Having been a faculty member in the past, I recognize how important it is to be able to give the students a great learning experience. To do so, it is vital to have a well-trained faculty who have the support of a great team of staff members.”
Do you have a favorite class to teach?
“My favorite course is the MBA Capstone course in Strategic Management. It’s that course where I get to see so much growth in the students. I get to see that ‘eureka’ moment when they realize how all of their coursework fits together to help them run a corporation. It is so personally fulfilling to me to see a student learn how to solve complex problems in class.”
Favorite thing to do in your free time?
“Running! I’m a long-time endurance race junkie. In the past 15 years, I’ve competed in dozens of half marathons, marathons, and even iron-distance triathlons. When I’m in training mode, it’s not uncommon for me to go through six pairs of running shoes per year. Now that I’m a bit older (and slower), I’m focusing on being an ambassador for the sport. With the help of Aaron Bunker, we are starting a public running club here in Bartlesville based out of the OKWU campus. I want to encourage others to adopt a healthier lifestyle and realize how friendly and encouraging the running community is.”
What is it about OKWU that makes it a fulfilling place to work?
“It’s clearly the mission statement. During my career, I’ve visited nearly 100 other college campuses in the US. I can confidently say that I have never visited another Christian university with such a powerful mission statement. The mission drives a culture of Christian community that is open, welcoming, warm, and supportive. It attracts a special group of people who are making a tremendous impact in our students’ lives. It is a thrill for me to come to work each day and serve beside such august company.”
When you teach, what’s the biggest thing you hope your students take away from one of your classes?
“First, I want them to come away with the impression that they CAN do this stuff. Running a corporation seems difficult on the surface. Second, I want them to realize that the people who surround you at work ARE your ministry field. I believe that God brings people into our lives so that we can introduce them to Him.”
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
“I read a lot—about 20 books per year. I recently read through The Innovator’s Solution by Clayton Christensen. In the book, the author talks about disruptive innovation as a strategic solution to propel corporations forward. Now, having read it, I’m thinking about how to apply it to my industry in higher education.”
Who was one of your heroes in life?
“Batman! There’s just something fantastic to the young boy in me reading about the Dark Knight crusading for justice. Now that I’m all grown up, I realize that all of us get to pursue justice when God tells us to, ‘Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.’ (Isaiah 1:17).”
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If money was no object, how would you spend your days?
“Giving that money away.”
The last, classic question: if you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
“Well….these have been mentioned before, but…
1.) Dora’s backpack (because it has everything).
2.) Batman’s utility belt (for the stuff Dora didn’t pack.)
…and 3.) some bacon.”