R. John Kaegi, Adjunct Instructor
"While college students learn 'how' and 'what,' MBA students gain deeper insight into 'why' systems and economies work the way they do and how to use more analytic and evaluative tools to apply the 'why' to their business circumstances."
- MBA – University of Memphis, 1986
- B.A. in Journalism – University of Oregon, 1970
The former senior executive with major brands in four different industries, Mr. Kaegi applies 40 years of corporate business experience to his life-long interest in teaching. Kaegi, who was raised in Ashland before working in the Eastern U.S. throughout his career, also instructs online business courses for Florida State College at Jacksonville and previously at Jacksonville University.
In addition to teaching, Kaegi continues his career as chief strategist for Healthstat, a Charlotte, North Carolina, health management company. Previously, Kaegi served as chief marketing and strategy officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (Florida Blue) and continues to be deeply involved in shaping health care reform. He also led Florida Blue’s solutions innovation processes.
Kaegi's background includes senior management experience in management, marketing, communications and strategic planning. Prior to joining Florida Blue, Kaegi held leadership positions in marketing and strategic planning at Vytra Health Plans in New York, La Quinta Inns, Kindercare Learning Centers and Holiday Inn, Inc. In 1994, he was named to Advertising Age magazine's "Marketing 100," recognizing him as one of the top 100 marketers in the nation based on his success rebuilding the market value of La Quinta Inns. Kaegi was also a member of the prestigious Harvard/Kennedy School Health Care Delivery Policy Program, a Harvard-based think tank intent on reforming health care from 2005-09. Kaegi holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Oregon and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Memphis.
In which online MBA programs do you teach?
How long have you been teaching online courses?
Eight years for Florida State College at Jacksonville; five years for SOU.
What do you want students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?
1) Learn how to think analytically and creatively, for themselves and their organizations rather than blindly following conventional wisdom or non-committal advice. 2) Learn fundamental principles of the respective business disciplines and how to apply them to their thinking processes. 3) Learn to enjoy exploring new ideas and developing a professional curiosity.
What is the value of an MBA?
While college students learn "how" and "what," MBA students gain deeper insight into "why" systems and economies work the way they do and how to use more analytic and evaluative tools to apply the "why" to their business circumstances.
Why did you start teaching?
I have always loved to teach or guide/facilitate creative thinking, so I retired early from my professional business career in 2010 in order to teach.
What advice would you give to those considering the online MBA program?
Must be a self-starter and have a natural affinity for learning to optimize the online learning system compared to classroom systems that are better for students who not as personally motivated.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
The Innovator's Solution by Clayton Christensen.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.
Played professional tennis from 1977-81, including mixed doubles in the 1979 U.S. Open in Flushing, New York.