Last week Greg Mathison invited me to sit in on his Change Management class in the Professional Masters in Management Program downtown at the Executive Development Center on Pine Street. They were doing a presentation on Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring’s book “The Innovative University.” Greg knew the topic would be of interest to me and I wanted to engage students in a dialogue about the future of higher education in the face of so many potentially disruptive forces.

At one point in the students’ presentation, they had a line on a slide that read:

Take Professors not Courses

Being skeptical of the many versions of “the sky is falling in higher education”, I thought: well, at least the authors got that right.

Taking courses is about filling out plans of study. That is about graduating. Taking professors is about gaining insight and perspective. That is at the core of higher education.

Every professor knows exactly what I mean. They were someone’s student and can tell you who. I am a James Stern/Paula Voos/Craig Olson student. This matters in how I view the world, seek solutions, and define success.

You want to take professors who will make you their student. Doing that will help make you unique.

Paul Jarley, Ph.D., is the dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. He blogs every week at This post appeared on March 3, 2013. Follow him on Twitter @pauljarley.