Dr. Curt Bacon, Professor
"I want my students to leave my finance courses with an ability to make sound decisions based on reasonable assumptions, accurate calculations, and ethical reasoning."
- DBA – Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1996
My research has been in the areas of financial markets and institutions and corporate finance. My career highlights beyond teaching at Southern Oregon University include teaching abroad in Germany, and Chairing the School of Business at SOU. My greatest honor is being married to Susan for over 30 years and raising two wonderful children. I have also been inducted into the North Dakota State University Athletic Hall of Fame for my accomplishments as a track and cross country runner.
In which online MBA programs do you teach?
How long have you been teaching online courses?
What do you want students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?
I want my students to leave my finance courses with an ability to make sound decisions based on reasonable assumptions, accurate calculations, and ethical reasoning. Finance is essentially a decision-making tool. But finance is based on economic principles, models, and assumptions. Thus, quality financial decision-making combines mathematical accuracy with the imagination of an artist. I believe that if you can dream up a financial product in your mind then you can create that financial product in the market place. But just because you can create a product doesn't mean you should.
What is the value of an MBA?
The value of an MBA is a function of what a student makes of the MBA. In my opinion an MBA is most valuable when a student's hard work is combined with curiosity and a willingness to listen in an effort to make ethical decisions.
Why did you start teaching?
For me the satisfaction of helping people understand and apply important business concepts was greater than the satisfaction I felt from the acquisition of wealth in the private sector. Today, I continue to believe that helping students hone their abilities to make informed well-rounded decisions is one of the most important things I can contribute to our university, community, and society.
What advice would you give to those considering the online MBA program?
The time I spent with my colleagues in graduate school was among the most intellectually stimulating times of my career. Use graduate school to grow your personal world by becoming part of the fabric of the institution, department, and cohort to which you belong. This is easier in a face-to-face environment and you should explore residency options before joining an online MBA program. If and when you join an online program, however, remember that your true learning and understanding will come from within yourself and your interactions with your fellow students. The professor is only the conductor, you are the player.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.
I am an avid bicycle rider and in the summer of 2017 a friend and I rode across the country from Florence, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, a journey of 3,335 miles.