Save Our OBHR Professor Dr. Vance Lewis!
Our professor, and Director of the Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Department at the University of Texas at Dallas, is facing dismissal from our school, and nobody really understands why. There are a number of rumors out there but, nonetheless, many at the Jindal School of Management are outraged, both faculty and students alike.
There is no doubt that this professor meets and/or exceeds expectations when it comes to how he teaches. Some may think his methods are a bit unorthodox, or that he is a bit too strict for their taste. But a common opinion we, the students of UTD, have is that he is a great professor, a great mentor, and a dear friend.
Allow me to argue my point:
First, class and curriculum -
Before Dr. Lewis arrived, there was no true HR program, and if anyone argues that there was, very few students knew anything about it - it had been hidden underneath all the math-intensive courses offered at the school. Nobody raised awareness of the concentration like he did. The program is still relatively new, but in the 2-1/2 years I've been in the program, I've seen the number of students multiply tenfold. I accredit the growth of the program to the fact that his methods appeal to students who hunger for challenge, practical application and high standards.
In addition, he has improved the Business Administration major as a whole. Not only has Dr. Lewis attracted undecided majors into the degree program, but he has encouraged them to pursue a concentration, in order to strengthen their degree.
Second, his desire to see his students succeed -
He, along with a group of enthusiastic students, helped create the Society for Human Resource Management student chapter in the Fall of 2013. Membership growth came very quickly and they can now boast being the largest SHRM student chapter in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. The SHRM has been influential in improving the school's OBHR program, and enhancing efforts in making UTD the prime source for talent in the local HR community. These and other initiatives have enabled the SHRM to serve as the model for other SHRM student chapters across the country.
His desire to see his students succeed carries on to Phi Beta Lambda, another great student organization. He mentored a group of intelligent, competitive students of high character from majors across our business school. He led PBL to 1st place in our 2014 State Competitions (subsequently breaking state records) and put our school on the map at Nationals.
And last, but not least, his persona -
When he says he has an open-door policy, it is an open-door policy. For many other educators, I've witnessed, this policy was simply an empty promise. Dr. Lewis mentors. Dr. Lewis advises. Dr. Lewis encourages. But, most importantly, Dr. Lewis takes the time to listen. In my entire academic career, I have yet to meet anyone who can come close to matching him.
Furthermore, as a professor who loves his students, he inspires us to become part of something greater than ourselves. We've had mixers, projects, networking events - all in an effort to ensure that we were well-rooted and part of a strong unit. This has enhanced our love for the JSOM, and UT Dallas.
All of this, because of Dr. Lewis.
Many of us know student evaluations of professors can be warped - as is with any other survey, there are many more people who are inclined to talk about their negative experiences than there are people to talk about their positives. And don't get me started on ratemyprofessors.com.
Dr. Lewis is not deserving of a dismissal - there is too much left to be done. He is the perfect person for the position he is currently in and his efforts have undoubtedly enhanced the reputation of the Jindal School of Management within the professional community. Nobody else has the drive to improve the value of the OBHR program and to heighten the reputation of the school like he does.
Please take a moment to sign this petition and demonstrate to the school that you want Dr. Lewis to stay. If you care about the growth of the business school...if you care about the OBHR program...if you crave challenge...and you have high standards and expectations, you'll sign this petition, and have your fellow Comets (current/former students and alumni) sign it too.
Thank you for your time. Please sign and share.