Statement of Service Philosophy
Michael W. Brandl
The responsibilities of a faculty member go far beyond the teaching of classes, mentoring students, and serving on committees. Society made an investment in each of us with a PhD when it provided us the resources, either directly or indirectly, to achieve the level of learning we have been so fortunate to attain. It is our responsibility to repay this debt to the best of our ability.
Faculty service encompasses three realms: service to one’s university outside of your direct
college, service to the nation as a whole, and service to the international community. During my time at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business I have worked with diligence to provide a high quality of service in all three realms.
Service to the University outside of McCombs. I have had the great pleasure of being an
affiliate faculty member at the The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) which is part of the College of Liberal Arts here at UT. My experiences at LLILAS have allowed me to interact with colleagues and students from across the campus. We share insights into our research projects and our various experiences across Latin America. Professor Nicolas Shumway, the director of LLILAS and the Tomas Rivera Regents Professor in Spanish Language and Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese can provide more details of my involvement with LLILAS.
In addition, I have been honored by the request to give guest lectures at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The interaction with the faculty, staff and students at LBJ have been extremely rewarding for me. I have benefied greatly from the in-depth discussions of economic policy both domestic and international. I can only hope that I was able to provide them as much insight as they provided me. Admiral Bobby Inman the Interim Dean and continuing Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy at the LBJ School can provide more details about my contribution to their program.
I have also been asked on several occasions to give presentations to non-McCombs groups at the University including: presenting one my papers at the College of Engineering, making presentations for the Continuing & Extended Education Department’s Third Age University
program, giving speeches to the Economics Department Honor’s Society and hosting discussions with students of Plan II program. The last of these resulted in an invitation from the Director of Plan II, Paul Woodruff asking me to teach a class in the Plan II curriculum which I have agreed to do in the Spring 2006 semester.
Service to the Nation as whole. Our service responsibility does not end at the boarders of the 40 acres that make up UT. I have worked hard to put my knowledge to use in economic rddevelopment programs in East Austin and the 3 Ward in Houston. Both of these areas are
economically depressed with high levels of unemployment, crime, and drug use. The programs I have developed seek to bring entrepreneurial led economic development to these desperate areas. Working with people of a variety of ethic and economic backgrounds has been very enriching. I am proud to say that a number of McCombs students and alumni have been of great assistance to me in these projects. While a great deal remains to be done we can be proud of the hope and encouragement we have brought to these areas.
In addition, I have also been involved in attempts to bring economic development to Southeastern Wisconsin. This area is dominated by old-line manufacturing firms many of which are having a hard time competing in the global market place. I have been involved in projects designed to diversify the area’s economy as well as rehabilitate many of these dying old line firms.
I have also tried to benefit the nation as a whole with my willingness to give interviews and insight to journalists from around the country. I have been interviewed by print, electronic and on-line
journalists from New England to California. I have been quoted in newspapers, on radio, in books, as well as appeared on local and national television programs. Many of these interviews have occurred late at night or very early in the morning. My hope in doing these interviews is that people around the nation will come to recognize the McCombs School as a place of useful and relevant information.
Service to the International Community. We live in interconnected world. As such our service
requirement is not limited to just our country. Over the past 5 years I have been involved in a project to bring economic development to one of the poorest nations in the world: Bolivia. This land locked, South American nation has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. Yet the Bolivian people are some of the most generous, giving people I have ever met. Several of our McCombs students have traveled to Bolivia, using their own resources, to further our project. Each and every one of these students has described their work in Bolivia as a life altering experience. Hopefully one day Bolivia can free itself from its grinding poverty. Hopefully our project will play a role in that process.
I was honored to be named to the Board of Directors of the Universidad Tecnologica Privada de Santa Cruz, one of the largest private universities in Bolivia. We are working to develop a variety of programs that will hopefully benefit generations of Bolivians well into the future.
In addition to my work in Bolivia, I am a visiting professor at the Helsinki School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. My experience in Finland has given me a unique insight into the European markets that I can share with my students at UT.
I am also involved in economic development programs in India, Argentina and Brazil. While these are only in their development stages we hope that in the not too distant future they will make a major contribution to economic growth of their respected nations and regions.
In closing let me state that in each of these realms of service, I believe I have benefited more from the experience than those groups to whom I provided the service. This to me is the essences of service: benefiting oneself through service to others.