Assistant Professor, Management
“Why are you in the room?”
It may sound a little intimidating, but it’s the question Chris Meyer asks of all his students on the first day of his Negotiation classes. And he is just looking out for their best interests.
“If a student walks in and doesn’t know why they’re there, they’re going to lose,” Meyer said. “Negotiation is hard, and you really have to think about it critically.”
Originally from Michigan, Meyer earned a BBA from Northwood University and spent eight years working in industry for software start-ups before the dot-com bubble burst. Meyer began teaching at Baylor in the fall of 2005, finishing his PhD from Michigan State in 2006.
“When I was going through the PhD program at Michigan State, the focus was on the research aspect of scholarship,” he said. “That was great to train as a researcher, but something that was important to me was also a student focus. Baylor has a student focus and commitment to values-values that I believe in. It became obvious that this was a place where I could do the type of work that was important to me and I wouldn’t have to sacrifice in any area.”
Life is busy for Meyer-he and his wife have three children, ages 13, 5, and 3. He teaches Negotiation and Conflict Resolution courses for Baylor’s MBA program and is also a road warrior, traveling to Dallas and Austin to teach courses for the Executive MBA program.
“I’m pretty bold in my classes about what I want to accomplish™I want people to think critically about negotiations,” he said. “Of course, I have skeptics. Everyone comes into the room with an idea that’s preconceived. I don’t want to change the way they think, but change the way they think about it [negotiations].”
With teaching current and future working professionals, Meyer stressed the importance of relevance and applicability in his course curriculum.
“You have to be relevant, and relevant now,” he said. “Since I teach at the MBA level, my students are already dealing with negotiations every day at work. Especially the executive MBAs-they focus on ‘What can I learn today that will impact Monday?'”
Meyer’s work in negotiations has led to a three-year grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research to research online negotiations, in the context of trust and suspicion levels. Meyer has received academic honors as well-he was named the 2009 Outstanding Professor for the Executive MBA program in Austin and received the 2009 Teaching Excellence Award from the Hankamer School of Business.
“I really can’t imagine doing anything else but teaching,” he said. “This is who I am. It’s hard to separate Chris as a person from Chris the professor. It’s a very fitting job for me.”