'right' guy goes home
professor David Messick retires, having enriched Kellogg with
his passion for bridging business and psychology
many awards, books and other honors testify to the impact
he has had as a professor of business ethics at the Kellogg
Morris and Alice Kaplan Professor of Ethics and Decision in
Management has been a star in the classroom, earning one teaching
award after another. He's published scores of articles and
been a sought-after speaker at universities in the United
States and abroad. He helped create the school's Ford
Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship, one of the
foremost centers for research on corporate responsibility.
in an era when business ethics was often the top item on the
evening news, Messick became the Kellogg School's oft-quoted
expert on Enron, Worldcom and other corporate scandals.
this influence, it's a little surprising to realize that when
Messick first joined the Kellogg faculty in 1992, he had never
before taught a management course.
had no background in business whatsoever," he confides
with a laugh. "I couldn't even balance my checkbook."
truth, the self-deprecating Messick, who is retiring this
year, had an extensive background in psychology, having taught
and researched the subject for nearly 30 years at the University
of California in Santa Barbara.
was a straightforward, card-carrying social psychologist,
with a focus on fairness and justice," Messick recalls.
"This was a wonderful opportunity to apply the theories
of research psychology to business problems."
found the switch from pure academia to the more practical
area of business "a bit hard for the first year or two,"
but his Kellogg students helped him to re-orient.
weren't interested in psychology as an academic endeavor;
they were interested in knowledge that would help them run
better organizations," he said. With their feedback,
he built an ethics and leadership curriculum that drew raves
from students and faculty. He also collaborated with students
to create the popular Social Impact Club, which focuses on
socially responsible business.
once told me that to be an effective teacher, the most important
thing is to like the students," Messick says. "And
I did. I found the students at Kellogg to be smart and interesting,
and I've really enjoyed working with them."
feeling has been mutual. Messick repeatedly has been voted
one of the school's top teachers, earning the Sid Levy Teaching
Award, the Executive MBA Program's Outstanding Professor Award,
and the Best Teacher Award from the Kellogg-WHU Executive
Program in Germany.
Messick will return to Santa Barbara with his wife, Judy
Messick, a clinical associate professor of communications
who left her own mark on the school before retiring in 2001.
her husband, Judy Messick had never taught a business course
prior to arriving at Kellogg in 1992. She, too, found Kellogg
a fertile place to expand her skills. In addition to creating
a for-credit business writing program at the school, she served
as director of the Global
Initiatives in Management program from 1998 until 2001.
to Kellogg was absolutely the best thing either of us ever
did professionally," Judy Messick says. "We loved
the atmosphere, the faculty, the students and the staff. Kellogg
gives people opportunities they wouldn't have had otherwise,
and that was very true for us. Our time there was a horizon-expanding
experience in so many ways."
Messicks have few firm notions for the next stage of their
lives. David Messick says he may teach occasionally for Kellogg,
but for now the two are anticipating reading, hiking and bird-watching
back in their old home of Santa Barbara.
have absolutely no formal plans," David Messick says.
"I'm looking forward to getting caught up on things I
haven't had a chance to read and taking advantage of the opportunities
that each new day brings."