North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's 2011 nominee for the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching is Dr. Robert L. Howard, Sr., Associate Professor of Finance in the Department of Economics and Finance.
Dr. Howard joined the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University faculty in 1976. Like former Morehouse College president Dr. Benjamin Mays, Dr. Howard challenges his students to "perform so well that when a man is needed for an important job in your field, your work will be so impressive that the selection committee will be compelled to examine your credentials." Dr. Howard believes that all teachers must help students develop the tools and strategies needed to attain that level of success.
Dr. Howard encourages his students to strive for mastery and to give nothing less than their best. A former student, now in the Duke University MBA program, said: "I understood key finance principles as well as, or better than, my peers in many cases. The strong foundation taught by Dr. Howard helped me do well in a finance course that several 'top' students had to repeat."
Dr. Howard uses a variety of teaching techniques and engages students in practical, career-related research. Examples include presentations on Wall Street Journal articles, case-based research, financial analyses, and hands-on experience with the Trading Room in North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's School of Business and Economics. A colleague noted: "Robert's hard work and dedication have earned him the respect and admiration of countless students and faculty." Complementing his focus on academic excellence, Dr. Howard's recent research has included work on identifying student weaknesses in his courses and using the results to develop procedures for improving student performance.
Dr. Howard organized the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University chapters of the Golden Key International Honor Society and the Financial Management Association. He also established a successful GMAT preparation course for students preparing for MBA programs. As one student participant noted, "When I first took the exam, I scored 420. After your review course, I scored 620." Dr. Howard also established an SAT preparation program for high school students, many who also increased their scores substantially and ultimately enrolled at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Dr. Howard is a mentor, dedicated professional, and role model who has impacted the lives of countless students. A former student, now a PhD and university professor, stated: "Throughout my educational career I have not found any other professor who is as effective in his pedagogical approach as Professor Howard. I have tried very hard to emulate him and I continue to hope that I will measure up to the quality of his teaching sometime during my career."
Dr. Howard earned his BA in Music from Williams College, his MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate in Finance from The Ohio State University.