Full Professor, Colorado State University

Main Topics

Teaching Philosophy

While I wish I could quote a revered philosopher and get your attention, I think the reality is that a successful business person might. Ex-IBM Chief Executive Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. once told an educational panel, "It is not in the interest of business leaders to turn public schools into vocational schools. We can teach [the graduates] how to be marketing people. We can teach them how to read balance sheets. What is killing us is having to teach them to read and to compute and to communicate and to think." I intend to do my best to help you think and communicate, clearly. My courses are never easy, the assignments never simple, the answers never clear. Welcome to the real world! Please check out Professor Rotfeld, who has described the problem more eloquently than I at this stage.

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This information and the course syllabus serves as a contract between you, the student, and me, the professor. You are expected to understand all policies set forth herein. Any deviations from this syllabus will be announced in lecture. By enrolling in this class there is an implied agreement that you will follow all of the policies herein.

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Personal Background

I am in my 50s now, married more than 30 years and have 2 boys.  I'm a private pilot, love to ski, and play golf, basketball and rugby. I received my undergraduate education in Canada at the University of Alberta, where I studied computer science, management science and finance. After graduation, I worked as a consultant for a couple of years and then entered the Management Information Systems Ph.D. program at the University of Arizona. My first position was with the University of Calgary and I received tenure at Arizona State University in 1999 and tenure again at Colorado State University in 2001. I have taught a wide variety of courses from Strategic Information Systems, Telecommunications, Database, Programming, Systems Analysis and Design to Management Decision Making and Group Support Systems.

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Class Format

In my courses, I always assume that students are computer competent. The following are necessary, but not sufficient, skills you should have acquired before taking this course (or work hard at obtaining before getting too far into the semester): Windows, word processing, spreadsheet analysis, using an ATM machine, cooking in a microwave oven, and programming your VCR (you do remember those, right?  Is it always flashing 12:00 at your house?).

But seriously, as university students who have been around computers for quite some time, you should feel confident picking up any manual (or search with google) and teaching yourself how to use new software.  Some of the courses I teach are not computer courses but you'll need to feel comfortable around a computer to do well.

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Office Hours

As published, after class, and by appointment. Office hours are to be used to get help with homework assignments, to clarify any concepts from lecture, or to discuss your grade. If you have missed class do not come to office hours expecting a private lecture; get the lecture notes from one of your classmates. If you missed any handouts, please get them from a classmate. Better still, get them off the Internet since I will post all lecture materials there. I do enjoy spending office hours discussing your future plans, such as other courses, employment, and graduate school, so please drop by to chat!

Now, I know that my office hours may not be accessible for everyone, especially those who are working. You can call me from your work place and we can talk on the phone. If you are on campus and need to see me but it is not my office hours you can drop by and, if I am not busy, I will happily sit down and talk with you. Flexibility is the key here. I will make appointments if necessary but I would prefer you to come see me during my designated hours. Of course, you always have access to me via e-mail...

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Course Materials

All course notes, grades and other information are available via the World Wide Web. Many course announcements will be distributed over the Internet via the World Wide Web or electronic mail.

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Computers and Software

All computer work required for this course may be done using the computers on campus. If you have the appropriate software and hardware on your own computer you are welcome, and encouraged, to do your computer work at home. Unless instructed otherwise, all of your written work must be done on a word processor and printed on a laser printer. You may use your favorite DOS, Windows, or Macintosh word processor for this.

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Academic Dishonesty

Do not cheat. You should not be helping each other with any of your assignments. Cheating will not be tolerated by me, the college, or the university. The grapevine works in mysterious ways and I always hear about it when people are not doing their own work. I will pursue cheating as far as the university allows me. Plagiarism will be immediately punished with a grade of zero for the assignment in question. Further disciplinary action will be pursued as I deem appropriate.

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Grade Appeals

If you are not satisfied with a grade you have received you are welcome to discuss it with me during office hours. I will not spend class time arguing about points.  Please sit on your appeal for a day or two so when you come to see me your argument will not be based on emotion. If after you see me, you are still dissatisfied with a course grade you must follow the student grievance policy in the CSU catalog.

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Grading Criteria

If possible a straight grading scale will be employed, i.e., 100% - 91% = "A", 90% - 81% = "B", etc. Pluses (+) and minuses (-) will be given. If the course needs to be curved at the end of the semester it will be curved. I do not curve individual assignments. Throughout the semester I will post grades which will indicate your current performance.

I will give an incomplete in this course only if both of the following criteria are met:
  • The student is passing the course with a grade of "C" or better, and
  • There is a documented medical reason for requesting the incomplete.
Responsibility for removing the "I" from your transcript lies exclusively with you.

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