About Paul Jarley

Opinionated dean working to improve the educational experience and prepare students to compete as business professionals

The eXRays?

A couple of weeks ago, the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they had received permission from Major League Baseball to explore the possibility of playing half their games in Montreal. It seems like a crazy idea, but it’s not unprecedented to have a team play some of their home games in another city. When I was young, the Green Bay Packers played some of their games in Milwaukee. More recently, the Montreal Expos played some home games in Puerto Rico just before they moved to D.C. and became the Nationals.

That said, the Rays proposal is more radical and would probably require a rebranding of the franchise. Luckily, I have some advice for the Rays on this very topic. First, they should listen to our latest podcast. It just happens to be with Dr. Massiah talking about the challenges and pitfalls of rebranding. You can listen by clicking here. Second, I have the perfect name for them: the eXRAYS. (Make that e a superscript: Expos + Rays = eXRAYS). Guessing apparel sales will go through the roof….

But are the eXRAYS really likely to be a thing? Well in a week or so we will have a new podcast to help you figure that out. Stay tuned.

How to Go To College Regret Free

A recent study by Payscale (click here) has gotten a lot of press by reporting that two-thirds of graduates with at least a bachelors degree expressed some regret about their college experience. While such a headline might make you think lots of people regretted going to college, that question wasn’t directly asked of the respondents. The closest is an item that allowed graduates to say that they got too many degrees and are over-educated for their position. That choice finished dead last– only about 1% of respondents checked that box. Those who attended college and did not graduate, were not asked about regrets (some no doubt regretted that they went to college at all, others that they did not stick it out and get their degree.)

What current students should pay attention to in this report is what graduates regretted the most. The main issues are nicely summarized in the article’s conclusion:

While we can only ever hope to cherish our college experience, the outcome of our education is dictated by what we study, the connections we make, where we go to school and the financial resources it costs us.

The three biggest regrets: student debt (27%), area of study (12%), and poor networking (11%). If you are a UCF College of Business student, these issues should be very familiar to you. It is why Paul Gregg gives you lectures on personal finance and student debt, why the OPD staff and our Professional Development Courses stress the importance of getting into the right major–one that is consistent with your talents, interests, and abilities, and it is why Lonny keeps stressing the importance of developing your network. The good news is that all of these regrets are avoidable and we give you plenty of advice on how to make better choices. Take heed.

Boundless Optimism: Ed Schons

The University has one less ambassador on the payroll today with the retirement of Ed Schons.  Ed racked up 42 years in economic development, including the last 18 years at UCF and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.  I don’t remember exactly when I met Ed, but I’m guessing Tiffany made sure we met soon after I got here.

Ed is dapper (second maybe only to Gordon Chavis for best dressed man on campus) and ultra-connected (42 years in economic development does that to you).  He has more than a bit of a lead foot, is a fellow Detroit Tiger fan and is armed to the teeth.  When the Zombie Apocalypse comes–I’m heading straight to Ed and Jackie’s house.  He is one of those people who is just larger than life and the perfect person to welcome anyone to a new community.

The thing that most stands out about Ed though is his boundless optimism.  I have never seen Ed on a bad day.  I don’t think he has ever had one in his entire life.  He is optimistic about the future, about UCF, about Central Florida, about the people he works with, about the companies he tries to attract and assist here and even about surviving the Apocalypse.

Things change. Institutions  evolve.  People move on.  I’m sure Ed’s optimistic we will do just fine without him.  I am very grateful to have called him both a colleague and friend. Lets see some Spring Training games in 2020 Ed, I sure the Tigers will be better by then.  Charge On my friend.Edschons

We Love Our Alpacas

When we created Integrated Business a few years ago, I had a meeting with its new chair Jim Gilkeson where I handed him a book: “How Stella Saved the Farm”  (click here for a synopsis).  To make a long story short, the book is a simple parable about how to innovate.  Key to the story is Stella’s decision to bring in alpacas to save her farm.  At first the other animals don’t like the alpacas, mainly because they’re weird and they smell.   Acceptance and assimilation of these exotic creatures into the farm is fraught with several challenges but ultimately the alpacas’ wool saves the farm.   When I handed Jim the book I told him to “go get me some alpacas.”

He did.

What I didn’t mention to Jim at the time  is that innovative efforts like Integrated Business require a high tolerance for risk and failure and that every alpaca has a unique personality.   Case in point….

There are alpacas and then there is Chris Leo.  I love Chris Leo… He is never afraid to take a risk…

Start Learning What You Will Do This Wednesday at Welcome to the Majors…

When someone becomes part of something that is different from what they have experienced, it is a good idea to mark this change with an event that signifies their movement into unfamiliar terrain.  Ideally that event should also help them better understand what will be expected of them going forward.

This is why we do Welcome to the Majors each semester in the College. This semester’s edition runs this Wednesday.  The College of Business is different than what students have experienced to this point in their education. How different depends a bit on where the student is coming from, but one way it is different for every new student is the importance we place on “doing” here here in the College of Business. Up until this point, the typical  student has probably thought that college was about acquiring knowledge so that they could  “be” something– an accountant, or a financial analyst, for example.  So you expected to sit and learn– meaning you would attend class, passively consume lectures and correctly repeat what you were taught on exams.

The basic message of Welcome to the Majors is to let you know that you have entered a different experience where that strategy won’t be enough for you to succeed. The College of Business is a professional school. We believe the ultimate purpose of business education isn’t knowledge, but action. Don’t misunderstand: Knowledge is important. But if you don’t learn how to do things with it, it’s not very useful. In short, knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient condition for success. In our College, you must do. This starts at Welcome to the Majors where we encourage you to think about what you want to do in your career rather than what you want to be. It continues in our core courses where we ask you to work in teams to solve real world problems and in our professional development courses where you need to invest time in getting out of your comfort zone and do things that will help you develop your professional network. We want you to leave us with a track record of doing because we know that will get you a great job offer before graduation.

All of this will require a change in your mindset. Welcome to the Majors is just the start of that process. It will introduce you to the many opportunities you have in the college to embrace doing, connect with amazing people and get to where you want to go. To accomplish this you need to come ready to dive in. Fortune favors the bold.

How the Majors Stack Up: 2018-2019

At the end of each semester, a number of students finish their primary core and are admitted into a major.  At the end of Spring 2019, 679 students found out what major they will be going forward…


As has been the case for the last several semesters, Integrated Business admitted the most students, followed by Finance and Accounting.  In fact, the order of the majors really hasn’t changed in the last couple of years.  Congrats to all of our new majors.

Charge On!