The time has come for Webber to say “goodbye” to one of its long-time professors of over 30 years, Dr. Nikos Orphanoudakis. “Dr. Nikos”, as he is affectionately called by many, has spent much of his life serving the students at Webber. His legacy and impact will certainly not end here, but continue to be carried on for years to come.
Dr. Orphanoudakis, Dean of the Graduate School, has been with Webber since 1987 and has been teaching management courses at the undergraduate and graduate level throughout that time. He helped restructure seven programs/majors in Business Administration and assisted in the development of curricula for both undergraduate and MBA programs. After serving as Business Division Chair and then Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Orphanoudakis will retire from the work he loves doing in life. August 31, 2019 will be his last day at Webber.
Before teaching at Webber, Dr. Orphanoudakis worked for NASA in their space program as a Systems and Quality Control Engineer. He later helped put together an Oceanography Technology Program for his Alma Mater at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT).His experience in the Space Program and in education enhanced Dr. Orphanoudakis’ sensitivity in planning and underlined the strategic importance of management. This is what led him to pursue his Doctorate in Management with a focus on strategy from Nova Southeastern University. He has since been using his education and career experience to help others.
When did you start teaching, and what made you decide to become a teacher?
“One of my colleagues in the doctorate program told me that Webber was looking for a department chair for their business department. I had no intentions to teach but my father got ill and if I went back into the engineering industry, I would not get more than one week of vacation. So, I started working at Webber and spent time with my dad during the summer.”
What are some things you wish more people understood about teaching?
“Teaching is not transmitting information, but rather transforming students with the goal that the student would gain confidence and strength to deal with future problems.”
How do you feel about retirement? What are your plans?
“After working 12 hrs a day/7 days a week, I leave behind many personal challenges that needed attention. So now I need to focus on those.”
Can you describe a particularly memorable day you had as a teacher?
“The biggest reward in my whole experience in teaching is when students tell me I have changed their lives. It makes me take my job and responsibilities seriously as I know I am carving another person’s career.”