The Outstanding Teacher Award is among the highest honors The University of Tulsa bestows. It can only be won once. Previous winners have set a high standard that has made this honor coveted and respected. Award winners are assured that a consensus exists among students and colleagues that their teaching is meritorious in the highest tradition of the university.
Ralph Jackson, who has been at the university since 1985 and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing for the past 19 years, is a dedicated and engaging teacher who has shown consistent teaching excellence throughout his career at TU. He seamlessly blends his research interests — buyer behavior, ethics, sales and sales management, social responsibility in business and volunteer and donor behavior — into classroom lectures and presentations.
Often using complex business cases published by Harvard Business Review in his classes, Jackson uniquely teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate management and marketing courses, as well as MBA courses. In addition, he has overseen numerous internships and nonprofit practicums. In recommending Jackson for this award, his colleagues commented, “It is remarkable for a faculty member at any university to remain so highly motivated and to continue inspiring students over nearly 30 years. This is all the more impressive when one considers he has accomplished this while fulfilling his administrative responsibilities, assisting and overseeing a department of 11-12 faculty members, and serving on a number of college and university committees.”
Ensuring that his students learn rather than merely get good grades is the common theme among his student nominators, who noted: “He was very thorough in our essay critiques, which actually shocked me on the depth of thought he put into each student. I thank him for caring.”
“Prof. Jackson demanded a high level of writing ability in all papers, which helped necessitate a full understanding of the material.”
Jackson embodies one of the characteristics that makes the university special — being easily accessible to students in and out of the classroom. Students wrote, “He’s an exceptional instructor: available, relevant, and engaging.” And, “ He’s very accessible and had many examples to apply to subject discussions.
Jackson’s teaching methods, including case studies, help his students experience the types of challenges they’ll face in the workplace in the safe environment of the classroom. One student noted: “Group discussions and projects pulled us out of lectures, and case studies forced us to work with realistic problems and situations.
Professor Jackson holds the following degrees: a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, an M.A. from Texas Christian University and a B.A. from Houston Baptist University.