Bubbler Exec of the Week: David Borst

Dr. David William Borst, dean of the School of Business Administration at Concordia University Wisconsin
Institution address: 12800 N. Lake Shore Dr., Mequon, WI 53097
Website: www.cuw.edu
Industry: Education
Number of employees: 600+
Family: Wife Elizabeth, son Tyler (26), twin son Jordan (21), and twin daughter Darian (21)

What edge does Concordia University Wisconsin’s School of Business have on comparable schools at other institutions?  
“We have the highest rated online graduate business program in the state as rated by US News and World Report, and we are rated as a best value by www.geteducated.com. [HYPERLINK] While rankings are not everything, when the outside world says you are the best, it is important to let others know it.”

How do you recruit students to CUW’s business programs? How do you work to keep them in the region upon graduation?
“Unlike some of the largest schools within our state, which scholarship students from other states and parts of the world only to have them brain drain out of the state after graduation, our students want to stay in Wisconsin because this is where they grew up and they want to raise a family and practice their vocation here. Concordia is an unapologetically Christian institution. While some schools today are running from their mission, we embrace it and that plays well with parents and students who believe that values and ethics are important in the world today.”

What will be your institution’s main challenges throughout the school year?  
“We are a tuition-driven institution, so we need to stay ahead of the curve in offering students and employers the best education for the dollar. The competition is driven to programs like flies to honey, so we need to outpace the competition by offering programs ahead of the business curve.”

Where is CUW in its plans to construct a new center to house its business programs?  
“I need to defer to the President and the Board of Regents on this one. This much I can say: We will always strive for excellence in providing our students with not only the best faculty but (also) resources within which to learn.”

What drew you to a career in higher education?  
“Failure. A failure I saw at the time of the academic system to properly educate and give students the practical skills they need to compete and excel in the world today. I do not go to education conferences for this very purpose as they report on old news and things that may have worked in the past. At Concordia, we do it differently on purpose, and this allows us to have a niche like no other institution.”

Do you have a business mantra?  
“Yes, it is on a sign in my office: ‘You’ll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.’ When someone comes to me with a business proposition, I usually say, ‘Yes, we can do that. We can make that happen.’”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?  
“Two people actually – my father, who is still one of the best business people I know, and from history, Leonidas from Sparta. He looked at a problem – how to keep those Persians out – and came up with a solution, which ultimately saved his people.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“Pursuing your doctorate is a marathon, not a sprint.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?  
“When I had to get my asbestos removal and abatement license. One of my first jobs was as a business manager, and the buildings I managed had tons of asbestos in them. I quickly changed out of my Tom Ford suit into work wear when I had to demonstrate my knowledge of the abatement process in order to pass the state license at the time. This was my ‘Green Acres’ moment, which is likely to date me with your reading audience.”

What do you like to do in your free time?  
“Smoke cigars (La Gloria Cubana) and snowmobile.”

Is it true you were in a rock band?
“Yes, I was lead singer of RMS for five years.”

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