2017 Top 40 Undergraduate Professors: Bill Moncrief, Texas Christian University (Neeley)

Bill Moncrief

Charles F. and Alann Bedford Professor of International Business

Texas Christian University, Neeley School of Business

A lifetime achievement award granted by the American Marketing Association and more teaching awards than we can count are proof that Texas Christian University’s Bill Moncrief is the perfect blend between top notch scholar and an educator who makes a tangible, noticeable difference with students. His resume boasts dozens of research articles while he holds a reputation for knowing nearly all 1,600 students in the Neeley School by name. At Neeley, he is also actively involved in various groups and committees for the betterment of the college. This includes being chair of the undergraduate curriculum task force and chair of the school’s enrollment task force. Professor Moncrief has taught Marketing at Neeley since the beginning of his teaching career in 1982. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our students then seeing them develop into great business leaders and begin their families. I’ve had about a dozen students who are children of former students. What an incredible opportunity to teach two generations of Horned Frogs,” he said when he was recognized at the university level with the institution’s highest award for teaching.

Age: 64

At current institution since: 1982

Education: PhD in Marketing from LSU in 1983

List of courses currently teaching: Marketing management for our Neeley Fellows (business honors) undergrad; International marketing – undergraduate and MBA; and a special International marketing for Masters of Accounting students.

“I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…” I was an MBA student working for a professor who had a health issue and he told me to teach his classes for the next two weeks.  I loved it and it changed my career direction.

“If I weren’t a business school professor…” I’d be a professional baseball player. Ok, maybe not. I never could hit a curve ball.  Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else!

“One word that describes my first time teaching…” Exhilarating

What do you enjoy most about teaching undergraduate business students? I’ve taught long enough that I’ve seen former students become business executives and successes. They still come back to see me and talk about their careers. I had someone mentor and mold me and I’ve always felt it my duty to do the same for TCU students.

What is the biggest challenge that comes with teaching undergraduate business students? Giving them a real feel for the business world. I don’t want them to only have book knowledge, but also build skills that will carry over in the business world. Every class I teach requires a project that relies on creativity and innovation. I talk about business five years out rather than what is going on now. This requires that they read, think, interview and imagine the near future.

What is the most impressive thing one of your undergraduate students has done? The most impressive alumni are those who come back to mentor and help current students. I have hundreds of former students who are business leaders, but the former student who comes back to Neeley and TCU and realizes the importance of giving back are the true successes.

What is the least favorite thing one has done? Being accused of arrogance. It’s ok to be confident and even cocky, but the arrogant individual is all about themselves.

What does a student need to do to get an A in your class? Study, study, study. They also need to be able to sell their abilities to me with creativity and thought. I do essay exams which are harder to grade but allow the student to truly indicate their level of understanding of the material.

“When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as …” Challenging, but fair

“But I would describe myself as …” The same: challenging, but fair

What are your hobbies? Tennis and baseball

How did you spend your summer? Working on some research. One of my discipline’s journals asked me to submit an invited manuscript. It is quite an honor but takes a lot of time to put together especially without co-authors. Being able to sit down and think about the future of my discipline’s research was challenging but also enthralling.

Favorite place to vacation: Destin area in the Florida panhandle

Favorite book: John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. I was at Ole Miss at the same time as John and have followed his career closely. This was his first book and one of his best.

Favorite movie and/or television show: Survivor. My wife and I have been addicted to the show since it began 17 years ago. It is a great experiment in social behavior. I am a very competitive person and I love the competition and strategy that emerge in the show.

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist: Classic Rock. It’s on in my office and car as loud as I can have it without disturbing colleagues.

Bucket list item #1: Visit all 50 states. I have seven to go. If it works right I will finish with Hawaii.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? 1. The Chancellor’s award for Distinguished Research and Teaching and 2. The national American Marketing Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  Of course, this award means I’m getting up there in age!

What is your most memorable moment as a professor? I went to Honors Convocation and in front of a large crowd was named the Honors Professor of the Year. The reason it was so memorable was that no business professor had ever won this award and no business professor has won it since. I was totally caught off guard but really very moved by the award. I had to go up and give an acceptance speech and was struggling to not get overly emotional. One of the few times some might say that I was speechless.

Professor you most admire and why: Dr. Ron Bush (retired).  He was my major professor at Ole Miss in my MBA program. He was moving to LSU and convinced me to go with him to obtain a PhD. He stayed on me for a solid year and I finally acquiesced at the last moment. Best decision of my life. He changed my life and all that I have is because of his faith and believe in me.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? The majority of my research is in sales. I’m currently working on sales and social media. I’ve had three articles published on the topic and social media is totally changing the way salesforces approach the field of sales.

Twitter handle: I don’t have one. I’m a Dinosaur. The Neeley School’s is @NeeleySchoolTCU.

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…” Innovative courses away from the standard business silos (accounting, finance, marketing, etc). We have to have the business basics but I would love to have more cross-discipline courses in the business school and across campus.

“And much less of this…” Multiple choice standard courses. It is difficult to integrate innovation and creativity with multiple choice formats.

Looking ahead 10 years from now, describe what “success” would like for you:  I most likely will be retired for about five years. Success for me is simple: knowing that I made a difference in the lives of my students.

Students say…

“His lectures are awesome because he uses personal stories.”

“Dr. Moncrief is hilarious and will make your lectures interesting.”

“Moncrief makes class interesting and fun, but his tests will hit you like a freight train.”

“His stories make abstract concepts have real-life implications.”