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Meet the Professor: Tim Reynolds

Friday, February 26 2016 12:00am

Executive-in-Residence and Executive Director of the Robert D. Walter Center for Strategic Leadership Tim Reynolds is a Bobcat through and through

By Brianna Wilson

Nearly four years ago Tim Reynolds, executive-in-residence and executive director of the Robert D. Walter Center for Strategic Leadership, left more than 24 years in the corporate world to higher education.

With nearly a quarter century of work experience in business, Reynolds has no problem teaching relevant and real-world content to students. He started his career at Marathon Oil, gained additional experience at Abbott Laboratories and Johns Manville, and spent the majority of his career at Whirlpool Corporation, where he took on numerous roles with progressively more responsibilities.

“I like to help people realize their potential—not only in terms of how to develop their knowledge and skill set, but also their potential to become a leader,” Reynolds explained. “If students learn to lead in the right way, they have the potential to make a difference, and that’s why I’m here; it’s what I’ve done in my career." 

Of course, there’s another reason Reynolds made the switch. He grew up in Marietta, and went to college at Ohio University. “When I came here, I had no idea what I was going to do, but caring professors took the time to inspire and take an interest in me,” he said. 

In fact, Ed Yost, director of the Center for International Business and emeriti associate professor of management systems, was Reynolds’ professor and mentor when he was a student. “He took a lot of time to coach me, and played a big role in my development,” said Reynolds. “The experience was incredibly transformative for me, and I hope to replicate it for current students.”

Reynolds starts the process by having a “leadership transition meeting” at the beginning of every semester, where he asks his students three questions: What they expect to get out of the course, what they expect from him as a professor, and what they expect of themselves. Reynolds said students expect that he teach enthusiastically, take the time to get to know them, and that everything he teaches them is relevant and timely. 

In Reynolds’ final role at Whirlpool Corporation as vice president of talent and organizational effectiveness, he worked directly for the chief human resources officer and with the chief executive officer, and investigated how to nurture leaders and maintain employee engagement. “I try to use that enterprise experience to help numbers, statements, and textbooks come to life for students by using real-world examples,” he said.

Though Reynolds valued his time in the corporate world and continues to keep in touch with old colleagues, he doesn’t regret transitioning to academia. “I absolutely love it,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better place to work or for a better job.” 

- Potpourri –

Five pressing questions for Professor Reynolds

Do you have a favorite place to eat in Athens or on campus?

“Casa Nueva. It’s a fun atmosphere and brings back memories from my time as a student here.”

Do you have a favorite spot on Ohio University’s campus?

“The Baker Center terrace, where you can look out toward West Green—particularly at sunset.”

Which season do you like best in Athens?

“Fall; I like the change of the colors, the beautiful trees, the excitement and energy, and all of the activities, like football and homecoming and band performances.”

What performances or sporting events have you enjoyed?

“I love the football games. Hockey games; watching those is new for me, and I’ve really enjoyed them.”

What have you liked most about working with students and faculty here at Ohio University’s College of Business?

“I love how eager the students are to learn and grow, and how invested they are in developing themselves. I like their sense of respect for one another. It’s just a joy to engage with them. As for faculty, we have people here with industry experience, and others with a scholarly background, some with both. What I really like is that we work very closely as a team and use the best of our knowledge to serve students.”