Hello! My name is Joe McGirt and I currently am part of the Academic Administration of a large university in the Southern US. I am an academic administrator, faculty member, and general manager as well as a specialist in Law and Corporate Finance. In my present capacity I regularly teach working adults and students who need the flexibility of non-traditional classes in their educational journey.
My passion for education began very early in my life, because it provided a new world that rose above the restrictions of poverty and discrimination. Initially my love was mathematics, with spelling and history close behind. But it was my experience at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. that opened my mind to the power of learning and the possibilities in life that extend beyond materialism and power. I joined the US Navy during the Vietnam Conflict, serving as a Legal Officer and Casualty Call Officer. My involvement in law was prophetic for my later career, but the responsibility of notifying parents of the death of their children in war completely reoriented my appreciation and viewpoint on my life and my family.
I earned my MBA from Harvard Business School, emphasizing Corporate Finance and Entrepreneurism and served in a variety of management slots, having responsibility at various times for a wholesale distribution center, a 5 store retail chain, and a wholesale food company. I eventually returned to school at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC to earn my JD, with emphasis on Corporate and Financial Law, as well as New Businesses. It was around 6 or 7 years after beginning this experience that I left with an old friend to begin and operate a start-up manufacturing venture. Nineteen years later, after a variety of ups and downs and a range of emotions that mirrored the lessons of life, I returned to Law Practice. It was not much later that I entered the world of Higher Education on a full time basis.
I have taught working adults for 40+ years, beginning in Memphis and advancing to other Universities as I moved around the country. As I went from field to field I was always drawn to the classroom and the opportunity to help others reach their possibilities and dreams. I was fortunate to find a full-time position in an established educational institution that allows me to continue my passion.
With my variety of career experiences and extended graduate education I am confident that I have a full toolbox that will allow me to continue to make changes in this world of higher education that I am most passionate about. I want to share ideas about major issues in higher education, from inside the classroom to the broadest educational issues challenging our society.
Thank you for letting me share with you my thoughts and beliefs on how we can move forward together in the exciting and ever developing world of higher education.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author alone and do not represent those of any other person or any organizational entity, whether presently or formerly affiliated with the author.