Poets&Quants Top 50 Undergraduate Professors Of 2021

Among Poets&Quants‘ 2020 Best Undergraduate Professors are, clockwise from top left: Mahfuja Malik, Sara Ryoo, Srikanth Parameswaran, Rand Park, Andrea J. Heuson, and Eric Anicich.

David Shrider was “the definition of what a professor should be,” says Miami University Farmer School of Business student Robert Brumberg.

“David was always invested in his student’s success,” Brumberg wrote in nominating Shrider to Poets&Quants’ 2021 list of Best Undergraduate Business Professors. “He sacrificed his own time to ensure students grasped concepts that may have eluded them during lecture. People who took his classes actually learned something rather than simply earning credits required for a degree.

“We should all be so lucky to have a Dr. Shrider touch our lives.”

But you won’t find Shrider’s name on the official list of our Best Undergraduate Business Professors. The beloved professor died on June 25, 2021, after falling during a hike with his sons and others in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska. He was 52. Most of his nominations were written as memorials, after he had passed away.


David Shrider of Miami University’s Farmer School of Business died on June 25, 2021. He had more nominations than any other professors for this year’s Best Undergraduate Professor list. (Photo Courtesy Miami University)


Shrider, an associate professor of finance, had by far more nominations than any other professor for our 2021 list — 170 total, including current and former students, colleagues, and Farmer Dean Jenny Darroch. They describe an inspirational teacher who, along with rigorous and challenging classes, was known for his bowties and establishing a deep connection to students.

In fact, he gave out his home phone number so students could reach him any time.

“Dr. Shrider was one of the most encouraging, engaging professors I have ever had. I’m very fortunate that I got the chance to tell him after the semester ended how much of an impact his class made on my confidence as a student, and his reply was that …he would be happy to remind me of my strengths now, in two years, or in twenty,” student Emily Rose wrote in her P&Q nomination. “I will always remember his impact: Now, in two years, and in twenty.”


The staff of Poets&Quants debated how to honor Dr. Shrider as we pored through his heartfelt nominations. On the one hand, he was clearly qualified for the honor. On the other, in presenting the award, we ask each winner to reflect on their personal teaching philosophies, experiences, and the future of business education in detailed questionnaires. (You can read each of those on the following pages; the full list of professors is on page 3.) We didn’t know quite how to proceed.

We decided to share some of the outpouring of love from the Miami University community here.

“Dr. Shrider was the perfect balance between outstanding teaching, impactful service, and rigorous research. A phenomenal professor, a great colleague, and a dear friend,” wrote colleague Byron Finch, who recently retired.

Farmer alumni and Bain & Company consultant Grant Stierwalt says Shrider was the most thoughtful, effective teacher he ever had. “He cared deeply about his students and knew how to balance challenging students and helping them,” Stierwalt wrote. “His tragic death shook the Miami community, and the outpouring of student/faculty/friend testimonies of how David impacted their life was a testament that David was the best professor of 2021.”

And another former student, Sean, who didn’t provide his last name, wrote simply that Dr. Shrider was “the GOAT — the Greatest Of All Time.”


David Shrider was born in Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University, and graduated from his hometown university in 1992. He returned in 2004 as a member of the faculty, Farmer Business School Dean Darroch wrote in her nomination. Shrider won multiple teaching awards, including the prestigious, university-wide 2020 Outstanding Professor Award from MU’s Associated Student Government. He led study abroad trips around the world as director of Global Business programs, and once helped a student find an orthodontist in Milan, Italy, after breaking her retainer.

“He was a friend to all who had the pleasure of being taught by him,” the student, Marena Salata wrote. “I’ll miss those bowties, his huge heart, and his love for adventure.”

Shrider was also an avid supporter of Miami’s athletic teams and a former Volunteer of the Year for the Miami Red & White Club.

“Above all, David was someone you simply wanted to be around. He was kind, enthusiastic, fun loving and deeply committed to the success of the Farmer School of Business and Miami University. We all miss David,” Darroch wrote.

“This class prepared me for my current role more than any other class, and in every client engagement now, I try to put forth the professionalism and quality of work that he expected,” former student Jared Daly wrote to P&Q. “It is very unfortunate that future students will not be gifted with the grace of his lectures and teaching in the future. The inspiration he gave to so many students in his career before his untimely death will continue to live on for many years to come.”

Next page: The Best Undergrad Business Professors of 2021

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.