While standing on the cusp of retirement at the close of the fall 2018 semester, College of Business (COB) Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Curriculum Timothy Longfellow expressed appreciation for those who helped to make the last three decades a meaningful and fulfilling experience.
“I have truly loved my time at Illinois State,” he said. “The University and the College have provided me with so many opportunities to grow professionally and personally. I have had the great pleasure of serving under a number of great deans and a truly wonderful department chair, Steve Goodwin. I have learned a number of things from each of them, and I am grateful that I was trusted to be a part of some tremendous growth in the COB and the University.”
He also spoke highly of the encouragement he has received over the years from his wife, Loretta, and sons, Timothy Adam, Michael, and Patrick.
“They have always supported me, allowed me to pursue this wonderful career and have been the emotional support and grounding that I needed to have any level of success,” he shared.
Longfellow originally came to Illinois State in 1988 as a member of the marketing faculty. He taught at both the undergraduate and MBA level and was named the 1992–93 Outstanding Teacher of the Year in the COB. He went on to serve as the department chair for 15 years, and for the past four and a half years, he has held the associate dean position.
Additionally, for several years Longfellow served as the director of the MBA program and worked to implement curriculum changes and establish accelerated corporate MBA programs in Decatur for working professionals.
“His numerous contributions to our college and to our students are greatly appreciated,” said College of Business Dean Ajay Samant.
Samant also thanked the retiring educator for serving over 30 years as a wonderful faculty member and an exemplary administrator.
“I love coming to work every day,” Longfellow said of the many hats he has worn at Illinois State. “There are always new challenges and great colleagues to work with as we address those challenges. I guess bottom-line, I like to provide students, faculty, and others with opportunities that impact them on a personal level or help them professionally.”
The COB itself has changed during his years as a Redbird. In particular, Longfellow cited the move from Williams Hall to the State Farm Hall of Business.
“This was a tremendous change for the reputation of the College,” he said. “Furthermore, I believe it has help to attract students and highly-qualified faculty – (who are) experts in their field of study and truly outstanding teachers.”
In addition to curriculum changes and the creation of new programs of study, Longfellow also witnessed a shift in classroom dynamics.
“I think how faculty does their jobs have changed perhaps the most,” he said. “When I arrived, courses were 100 percent face-to-face. With the tremendous change in technology and student learning, the classroom is not confined to one locale or one pedagogy. We have seen that change with the number of courses delivered 100 percent online or in some form of a hybrid or flipped classroom. As new apps are more readily available, we will need to change how we deliver our classes in order to be relevant in a rapidly changing learning environment.”
In keeping with this idea, during his time as a department head, the educator led the marketing faculty’s push to become the first department in the COB to offer all of its undergraduate summer classes online so as to better meet the needs of students.
Longfellow said enrollment in the summer has remained strong since this was first implemented in 2008 and recals that 2010 was the first year all of the summer marketing courses were offered in an online format.
Some of his other most treasured accomplishments while at ISU include developing the professional sales and integrated marketing communication sequences, seeing the strong growth of the MBA program and overseeing the Redbird Career Portfolio. The latter undergraduate program is designed to enhance students’ overall professionalism, career preparation, and other soft skills.
Longfellow also is proud of his role in overseeing both the bachelor’s degree in International Business and MBA program that ISU conducts in Panama.
“Both of these programs are delivered onsite in Panama City, Panama, at Quality Leadership University,” he explained. “These are cohort, accelerated programs. ISU COB faculty members travel to Panama to teach these courses.”
The retiring Illinois State administrator credited his success and impact to the wonderful people whom he has worked alongside over the years.
“One cannot be successful without the insights and efforts of many people,” he said. “My hope is that I am remembered as someone who worked to get things accomplished, rather than taking the easier road of saying, ‘No, we can’t do that.’ I viewed my role as providing service to students, faculty, the University, the business community, and our larger community. Hopefully, I accomplished that in some small way.”
Following retirement, Longfellow is looking forward to traveling, fishing, golfing and volunteering with his church and community.