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John Spittell

Professor and Chair, Business and Management


John Spittell says he is in his third career. "I see my teaching as preparing
and enabling students to be successful when they step off the Knox
campus." He comes to Knox as the professor and chair of business and
management and executive-in-residence after careers in commercial
lending and distribution. He combines his wide experience in the business world with a healthy dose of the liberal arts philosophy.

During his career, Spittell found success as a commercial lender, but soon saw the challenge and excitement of running his own businesses. As an owner/manager, Spittell believes it is important to take a holistic approach to management, by learning all he can about customers, key operations, and enabling employees to succeed. This managerial skill has served him well. Over his career he has successfully navigated several mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and partner buyouts.

"Business changes and evolves every day," he notes. "Students need to acquire the proper skill sets required to meet the many and varied challenges they will face in life. A solid liberal arts education provides the best educational platform for any chosen course in life."

At Knox, he brings his philosophy and energy to his classroom and leverages his relationships in the business world thus bringing business leaders to his classroom. "For every topic in my classes, I have personal experience that brings the subject to life." To augment classes, Spittell incorporates not only theory, but also practical skills using a case study approach wherein students are introduced to the reality of decision making including incomplete information, time constraints, and conflicting goals.

This approach has helped Knox students earn cash prizes at the Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester, Early Leaders Case Competition - an annual competition that brings together some of the brightest young business minds in the country to simulate decisions faced by business leaders around the globe.

Spittell accompanied the Knox students and served as a guest judge for the competition. He says the overall caliber of students in the competition, and the competitive environment itself was very high.

"We are very proud of the outstanding performance and demonstrated skill sets brought to this event by the students from Knox." He notes that the Knox College relationship with the Simon Graduate School of Business continues to expand. "More and more MBA Graduate Programs are interested in students who have a strong liberal arts background that gives them a solid foundation for business school and the business of life."

Spittell received his B.A. from Ripon College and M.B.A. from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

View John Spittell's faculty page