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Q&A with John Trinkaus

Q&A with John Trinkaus, Emeritus Professor

by Donald Vredenburgh
Professor of Management, Zicklin School of Business

 

Trinkaus_2
John Trinkaus

John, thank you for sharing some comments with us. Tell us if you would please, your history at Baruch.

I first started teaching at Baruch in the early 1960s as a part-time lecturer in the management department, becoming full-time in the late 1960s. I retired from the College in the early 2000s after serving about a dozen years as the associate dean of the school. I continued teaching, part-time, as an emeritus professor until this year.

 

What were the positive elements of your career at Baruch? Any sustained frustrations?

On the plus side: the start-ups of the continuing education undertaking, the executive education program, and entrepreneurial studies, enhancing the excellence of the school and raising its tier ranking.

On the minus side: not being able to shift some of the focus of faculty research from gathering numbers to test hypotheses, to gathering numbers to suggest hypotheses, making acceptable research that makes you grin and then makes you think.


You qualify for the role of institutional adviser. What advice would you offer to Zicklin faculty members? To Baruch and Zicklin administrators?

To faculty, remember that without students there would be no school. Help students all you can. You can do so by teaching what managers should do; not what they do. Support, protect and defend the school. Be nice to each other, and of course smile.

To our administrators, remember that student learning is what it is all about. The faculty is your most important asset, so be sure to work with each other to support, protect and defend the school. And of course, smile.


And how about students? What advice should Zicklin faculty members and administrators provide to masters and undergraduate students?

To all students, it’s important to learn and participate all you can. Talk with each other, while also asking questions and providing feedback.

For graduate students, recognize that grad courses are different from undergrad courses. Be sure to share your knowledge and know-how in your education.

 

From your perspective what are the attributes and behaviors of a good business school faculty member?

There are many, including the desire and willingness to teach students what they need to know. It’s very important for faculty to be helpful to "all," and to go the extra mile for the school. Thinking in terms of what is best for the school first and best for "me" second is key. Above all, don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember, sometimes it’s better to simply nod your head and beam.

 

You had considerable time to plan your retirement. What advice about retirement would you offer to current faculty members?

Do all the things on your "to do" list that you never had time to do. Stay included and active in your daily life. Remember the school fondly by helping it all you can. Most importantly, keep smiling.

 

Thank you, John. Thanks also for your long service to Baruch. Best wishes.

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