Downtime with Debra Ringold

Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University.

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Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University

What I’m Reading

Disrupt or Be Disrupted: A Blueprint for Change in Management Education. It confirms that the Willamette University M.B.A.’s approach to management education is ahead of the curve. We are actually setting the pace.

What I’m watching

Selma. It reminded me of what is important in life — personally, professionally and as a citizen.

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Never go without…

My Hewlett Packard HP 15C calculator.

You are an amateur dressage competitor. What’s the appeal?

Dressage is a very difficult pursuit. One’s performance is scored against clearly defined absolute standards. When a ride goes well, one credits the horse. When a ride goes poorly, the responsibility resides with the rider.

Most memorable dressage moment

Anytime my equine partner and I execute a movement correctly, I experience joy — that’s why dressage is perfect for me. Effort, effort, effort, joy, effort, effort, joy, effort, joy. To be sure, there is more effort than joy. But joy is worth pursuing.

No place like…

Corvallis, Oregon. It is home — where my family and friends gather.

When I’m not riding

My husband, Paul, and I are taking ballroom dancing lessons. We are also avid Mariners fans.

Business role model

Katharine Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post. She was principled, brave and a very good writer.

Online-only M.B.A. programs

They promise much more than they deliver. High-quality graduate education should motivate and challenge people in real time, face to face. Many, if not most, online programs are not AACSB accredited. Buyer beware.

What sets us apart

Our faculty, our curriculum and our students.

Advice for young people

Higher education is overbuilt, overpriced and underperforming. One needs to be either a maverick or a reformer to make important contributions in higher education today.

What motivates you to come to work every day?

Serving our faculty and students. All of us work to create an environment where teaching and learning are maximally effective.