Inside the Mind of John Baum
What brought you to TCU?
I came to the Neeley School to help make the BNSF Next
Generation Leadership program a world-class academic
program for undergraduate students. We have an
outstanding team of faculty and staff who work hard to
provide these Neeley students with a solid
understanding of what it takes to be a successful
Describe your typical day as the Professor
of Professional Practice in Leadership
My first priority is working with the Next Generation
students, teaching classes and working with them in
co-curricular activities. I also work with managers and
executives in the executive development programs
offered through the Tandy Center for Executive
Leadership. This provides me with a very nice blend of
youth and experience.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
It is rewarding to watch students realize that leading
themselves and then leading others is a challenging and
demanding responsibility. Once they get it, I witness a
change in their commitment to meeting the challenges in
front of them. It is a genuine pleasure to work with
students who are smart, motivated, and know what they
want in their careers and in life.
Describe your most humorous experience on the
One of my hobbies is racquetball. Last year, I played
an early game at the recreation center and my playing
partner whacked me on the forehead with his racket. I
was forced to teach my 9:00 class with a big bandage on
my forehead to stop the bleeding. I got a lot of
interesting (and humorous) comments from my students
about my misfortune.
What do you think is Neeley's greatest
I am impressed with the quality of leadership in the
Neeley School. We are led by people who are committed
to strong values and principles and have a vision of
what the school can become in the near future. They
also have a strong sense of community and caring for
the people in the organization. They help make Neeley a
fun and rewarding place to work.
What do you think will be Neeley's biggest
challenge in the coming year?
Challenges almost always boil down to finding enough
resources to do all of the good things that are
possible. We are in the process of making some
fundamental decisions about where to focus our
resources to do the most good for our students and
other stakeholders in the Neeley community. These
choices will shape our future..
What is one thing most people don't know about
I live on a small ranch in Corinth, just south of
Denton. My favorite animal is a small donkey named
Quarter (because he is not worth a quarter). Even
though he is small, he can be heard for miles when he
brays to tell me that it is time for his dinner.