Making a Difference by Being Different

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By Brooke Prokopchak ′08

Dr. Randy NutterLike many business professors at Geneva, Dr. Randy Nutter was "in the industry" before he started teaching.

"I was a human resources director," he remembers. "I had a nice lifestyle: country club membership, no real budget."

So why give up the comfort and luxury to teach business to Christian college students? Everything changed one day while lamenting to his pastor over the lack of ethical challenges he saw being presented to the college graduates his company was hiring. His pastor looked him in the eye and said, "So if someone like you doesn't go and teach them, that will continue, won't it?"

So Dr. Nutter took his pastor′s words to heart, took a 75 percent pay cut, and began teaching. After chairing the business management program at Liberty University for several years, he was recruited by Geneva in 1992 to replace the retiring business department chair. The agreement was that Dr. Nutter would revise the curriculum to bring a more contemporary design and more complete content, seek and receive outside accreditation for the major, and establish a master′s in business administration program, all of which he has accomplished.

His most recent accomplishment, and one into which he has invested much personally, is establishing a formal relationship with the English Language Institute/China so that Geneva students spend their May term learning about business from the other side of the globe.

But it hasn't all been one sided. According to Dr. Nutter, Geneva gave him a new way of thinking about his vocation.

"Until coming here, I was never challenged to answer the question, ‘What does it mean to integrate faith with business?′" Having answered that question, he hopes to leave behind a business program that will maintain its high quality and continue to assist students in gaining perspective on how faith and vocation fit together so that they have the opportunity impact society as Christian business people and "make a difference by being different."

Joy Entwistle ′05 attests to this. "Dr. Nutter teaches with passion. I learned from him that we have to take advantage of the opportunities God has given us and that we should never give less than our best. His presence will definitely be missed on Geneva′s campus."

Though his only finalized post-retirement plans involve spending more time with his grandchildren, Dr. Nutter has been selected by the federal government as one of only 100 examiners who evaluate organizations to receive the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. He also plans to continue working with the Association of College Business Schools and Programs, in which he has held a number of commission chair positions.