Dean Profile: Dr. Kurt Kirstein, School of Management
Dr. Kurt Kirstein has served as a faculty member and program director in business and technology at universities in the Seattle area since 2004. Prior to that he spent 20 years managing technical and training teams for organizations in the telecommunications and biotech industries.
Q: What is the vision of the School of Management?
A: The mission of the School of Management is “to advance the individual competency and professional development of ethical leaders worldwide by offering accessible, relevant education taught by practitioner faculty.”
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: Mostly outdoors stuff. I am interested in fitness and spend a lot of time pursuing outside athletic activities. I also have a cabin on a mountain lake in British Columbia where I spend a lot of time during the summer.
Q: Do you teach any classes?
A: I design and teach classes in socially and environmentally responsible leadership. I am kind of the sustainability guru of academics and have overseen the incorporation of these topics in programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.
Q: Why did you decide to go into education?
A: Because I enjoy the advancement of knowledge both for students and for instructors. Student learning is the primary reason for a university but instructors learn too. I have never taught a class where I didn’t also learn a good deal of information.
Q: Why do you enjoy serving students at CityU?
A: Because they are unique and they are a good fit for the type of education we offer. We primarily serve the working adult and our education is designed for that population. I like the fact that we are teaching our student skills they can use right away in their jobs. I also like that we are making an immediate difference in helping our students develop professional skills that will translate to a job.
Q: What is one thing you tell students about the School of Management?
A: We are not just going to teach you about a business discipline; we are going to teach you how to be successful in the discipline. We are going to give you an opportunity to practice those skills and then we will take the time to verify you can do them well enough to employ them on the job.
Q: Any fond CityU memories that you can share?
A: All eight commencement ceremonies I have attended are great memories for me. Also, a great man who used to lead this school once said: Education is the great emancipator. That is something that has stuck with me for a long time and it drives much of what we do. That, too, is a great memory for me.
Q: What might you tell a student who was thinking of enrolling in either of your schools?
A: Get ready to learn and get ready to apply what you’ve learned to a real world scenario. Every class you’ll take at CityU will strengthen the skills you can offer an employer.
Q: What have you applied that you learned through end-of-course evaluations?
A: There are so many things we’ve learned. We read every one of the evaluations. The biggest changes we’ve made focus on the way we delivery online education. This is always changing and improving and most of the decisions we made have improved our online classes based on feedback from these evaluations. Currently we are focused on the quality of the feedback we are providing to students, the way we are using the discussion boards, and the use of video and other technology tools.