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 the age of print may be declining as a whole, Barnes and Noble is staying relevant as a company due to their college bookstores.
According to a press release from the company, their college revenue suffered a -.6 percent decrease from the third quarter of 2013, to the third quarter of 2014. But, the company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) has increased by 3.9 percent.
The third quarter felt the increase with the approaching of Spring semester for college kids. “With students returning to class for the spring semester, higher margins helped college earnings rise 3.9 percent to $35 million dollars,” said Forbes.com on their website.
According to the Ole Miss branch of the store, they are still going strong. “…unfortunately I can not speak of the business aspect of it [sales] other than we have had a good year and we hope that we, Barnes and Noble on the Ole Miss campus, continue to be able to serve the faculty, students, and the community as the number one bookstore,” said Laurie Woo, manager at the Barnes and Noble on Campus.
So why do college campus Barnes and Noble do so well? With the rise of tablets, you would think that students would be switching over to digital editions. Here at Ole Miss, that proves to not be the case, and students seem to always be purchasing their texts for class.
“I’ve never bought an e-edition of a book, it just doesn’t work for me, I need a book I can physically highlight and touch, basically something I can destroy,” said senior Sam Johnson
Destroying these books may not be an economical decision for these students. Barnes and Noble makes a great deal on these books, adding hugely to the company’s profit. For example, look at “Biology : The Essentials.” This is a highly purchased book with non-biology majors. At the Ole Miss Bookstore, the book can be purchased for $107.40 -143.20. At an online booksellers, such as Amazon.com, the book can be purchased used for as little as $85.00.
Yet, many professors give students the opportunity to buy an e-edition of a book.
“I do give my students the option to buy the hard copy, an e-version, or even to buy NO copy because we have a hard copy on reserve at the library,” said professor of biology, Dr. Tiffany Bensen, via email.
Some teachers are not concerned about cost. Most professors choose books solely on their needs, and they leave it up to students to find the best deals on their texts.
“In the biology for non-majors classes, there are several of us teaching the class and we all use the same book, so it’s a group decision which book to use. In that sense, we choose the book that we all agree is best for the class, with little regard to the cost,” said Bensen.
For many editions of books, the e-edition of a book is much cheaper. Also, e-editions may be more convenient. But for many students, as Johnson mentioned above, the use of an e-edition can be distracting and not beneficial.
If students can get books cheaper in other locations, why do they pay the extra? One reason is convenience.
“I’m from the east coast, and honestly trying to pack my stuff was enough of a hassle, I didn’t need to worry about books too. I mean if you can buy them on campus, why wouldn’t you?” said freshman Mackenzie Hines.
It is no secret that the print industry has been struggling for the past few years. During this time, Barnes and Noble in particular has been under scrutiny for their decrease in sales, and many believe that the the Nook is the only thing saving them.
This in fact is inaccurate. According to an article by Bloomberg Business Week, “Device sales dropped more than 50 percent, to $157 million, in the quarter, and digital content sales dropped 27 percent.”
This statistic is proving to be accurate with the amount of Ole Miss students still purchasing the hard copies of books.
Barnes and Noble on campus also is able to make a profit off other products. The store offers school merchandise, ranging from clothing to game day face stickers. They also sell school supplies. These include cheap items, such as pens and pencils, and more expensive items, like calculators.
(Clip from Alex Able, a freshman at Ole Miss)