When asked to be interviewed for his profile, Dr. Michael Harvey, distinguished chair of global business and professor of management, called himself “uninteresting,” and too old to be of any value for an interview.
With his gray hair, relaxed short sleeved button down, Dr. Harvey sat in front of an array of death masks, which were shocking to say the least for a first-time visitor to his office. He then opened up, entirely comfortable, about his long lasting career in global business.
Dr. Harvey is a very intriguing subject, having traveled to over 130 countries, and having written hundreds of papers from his research. Everyday, 365 days of the year, according to Harvey, he sits in his office,working, researching. He never has one project going on, rather 15 to 20.
“I’m that man that’s calling people on Christmas,” said Harvey.
His office is not a conventional one. The space has almost every inch covered, with artifacts from around the world. Shadow puppets from Indonesia, death masks, and megladon shark teeth are scattered around, all collected by Harvey.
“Each mask is named after an ex-grad student,” said Harvey, explaining that each artifact held a memory for him.
Harvey never expected to go into business. While studying to be a doctor, he injured one of his hands, and after realizing no one would need a one-handed surgeon, he promptly switched to business, along with gaining a biology degree.
Looking at Harvey’s record, he’s held countless jobs from consulting, to owning his own business. When asked why he’s held so many jobs, Harvey replied, with a smile, that he can not keep one.
“I don’t suffer fools well,” he said.
Harvey then explained how he first became employed at Ole Miss, rather out of the blue.
“It was a bad night,” he laughed.
The University needed a new dean of business. He worked as the dean for three years, gaining a total of $12 million for the school. Yet, Harvey did not last long as dean, due to “ingrain stupidity”, he felt he needed to deal with.
Dr. Harvey explained his strategy for life. He admitted that he gets bored quickly, and enjoys pushing him self to the next level. He compared himself to a boulder at the bottom of a hill. With every month, there is more to to do, and more to strive for, with a bit of fall back each time.
Harvey also confided that he has ADHD, which has affected his work in quite a big way. He never focuses on one project for long, working on multiple things at a time, and waiting for a light bulb to go off. Yet, this has affected him positively, as he turns out almost fifteen to twenty papers a year, while his other colleagues only come up with a few.
Harvey also uses ADHD as a model for his research. Many of his papers revolve around businessmen dealing with ADHD, and other disorders.
Yet, his main focus of research is travel, which he lives for, especially since his main business focus is global. He’s been traveling to Australia twice a year for ten years, to help at various schools. He has also helped various universities over seas get accredited. He also attends conferences all over the world and presents his research.
His favorite place to travel is Australia, and Northern European countries. He doesn’t enjoy Southern Europe, or South America very much.
Surprisingly, Harvey does not actually speak a second language. Besides ADHD, he suffers from dyslexia, and it was hard enough for him to learn English. This is why he tends to prefer countries where English is spoken. Harvey is extremely passionate about education.
He sometimes gets frustrated with students at Ole Miss, and feels that their main purpose is not always to learn when they come to Ole Miss. He believes students should be putting education first.
“Smiling, and drinking beer is not what you need,” said Harvey.
He wants his students to proud of their alma matter. Harvey says that he is a proud SMU graduate. He had a great experience during college, and he wants to make sure students feel the same way, while still getting a great education.
Harvey has been described as a tough, but really intelligent professor by many.
Before leaving his office, Michael Harvey gave a brief tour of the artifacts that he holds so dear to his heart, which he collects every time he travels. He shows off his masks from Mexico, that mock the Spanish, Indonesian shadow puppets, and megladon shark teeth.
Dr. Michael Harvey was not so un-interesting after all.
While Oxford, Mississippi may be a small town by national standards, the community is doing all it can to keep tourism alive.
For this tourism season, occupancy was 48.9%, a 3.9% increase from last year. Board members were extremely happy about these numbers
“The business is shifting from one hotel to another…to have 85% growth in the slowest month of the year (December) would be, well, a Christmas miracle,” said board member Lance Reed.
During the March 19th meeting of the Oxford Tourism Council, the tourism report, led by council member Mary Allyn Hedges, revealed that Oxford has many plans for this Spring to draw tourists to Oxford.
One exciting project that Katie Kaiser, head of social media, is working on, is a new social media campaign. She has been working vigorously to get information about the city out, on multiple social media platforms.
As reported by Kinney Ferris, board member, the Facebook page has 1,816 likes, as well as their website pulling in 10,609 visitors.
The website has been getting some updates, and trying to reach more viewers. Recently, the pedicab service, Rebel Rickshaw, was added to the tour section on the website.
As well as the social media factors for spreading the word about Oxford, a new monthly talk show, “Tourism Talk,” will start April 10th on station Q93 at nine o’clock.
The tourism council also is sticking to more traditional forms of media to get their story out. Recently, Oxford was shown as a featured destination in Country Living.
“That’s a great publication, really targeted to people who want to visit Oxford,” said board member Nicole Boyd.
Oxford was also featured in the March/April addition of Triple A’s southern travel magazine. That reached 200,000 members residing in the South.
The tourism council also got involved with “Taste of the South,” an event in D.C. While the council will not be attending the event, one which sells 2,000 tickets annually, they were able to send a number of promotional items.
New additions have been brought to Oxford, such as free bus tours of the town.
The Double Decker Festival was also a large part of the meeting. The event has gained a lot of buzz once again. A press conference was just held, attracting 20 to 25 media stations. Also, the use of Facebook and Twitter regarding the event was in the 90th percentile. This possibly has to do with some changes that will be occurring for the festival this year.
This year, there should be many new faces regarding the food vendors. Jensa Sushi is one of the new faces. Most of the vendors are hoping to switch up their styles this year.
Yet, the festival is still in need of volunteers to run it. The tourism council plans on going to the Ole Miss campus to find volunteers. They will soon be talking to IMC and hospitality classes, hoping to gain some help.
Advertisement is still being worked on for the festival however. Currently, there are only advertisements for the event in Delta Magazine. Hedges said that she would look into doing an interview with WDBA radio.
New signage is also being added to various highways, hoping to attract for visitors to Oxford. Oxford is partnering with New Albany, and MDot, to put a new sign on Faulkner scenic highway.
The tourism council went into a fifteen minute executive session, then the meeting was adjourned.