College of Business
Began in 1984
Retired in 1995
After receiving my MBA from Berkeley and working abroad for a foundation and then the United Nations, I returned to California in 1976 and founded Michael Strategic Analysis which I still operate. In late 1983, my telephone rang and it was my fellow Berkeley business alum Merrill Skeels who had served as Chair of the Department of Accountancy at CSUS. Merrill asked if I would teach courses in applied statistics and management science in Sac State’s new Department of Management Information Science. After grad school, I had completed a fellowship in demographic statistics at Princeton, so Merrill’s offer was a good fit. I taught two courses in spring 1984 and was invited to teach full-time that fall which I did for four years in addition to my practice.
In 1985, the Department of Management asked me to teach international business which was what I had taken my MBA in, and later had me teach the business capstone course, strategic management, which is one of my main practice areas. Late in the 1980s the Dean of what was then still called the School of Business Administration asked me to found its external affairs programs as Director of External Affairs for the School. My staff and I launched the School’s first alumni relations, fund development, publications and public relations programs which have grown into what they are today. I also served two terms in the CSUS Academic Senate representing Lecturers alongside Linda Martin.
I fondly recall the many faculty, staff and student friendships which I enjoyed during my time at Sac State, particularly the warm collegiality among the International Business faculty. I had the privilege of serving under fine department chairs Ed Christenson, Stoakley Swanson and Herb Blake. What I valued most at the university was occupying the indispensible societal role of the transmitter of knowledge, especially valuable I would say at Sac State where, at the time, the vast majority of our students were the first in their families to go to college. It has been a joy since staying in touch with many of my students and seeing them succeed in their careers and personal lives.
When obligations as a single custodial parent and to my clients called for more of my time, I reluctantly took a golden handshake from Sac State in 1995 but taught when needed through 1998. I live on the east coast now and, when I am in Sacramento, always like to visit the campus.
In 2001, my family’s ancestral farm founded in 1768 near Adamstown, Maryland, came on the market and my wife Vicki and I bought it to bring it back in the family. We moved in 2004 and are the seventh generation of Michaels here. As my great-grandparents used the old stone springhouse to shelter Underground Railroad freedom seekers, Vicki and I operate Cooling Springs Farm as a national historic site open to the public. Please Google and visit. For seven years, I have published Underground Railroad Free Press which is now the nation’s top-circulation Underground Railroad news publication. You’ll be interested to know that the largest repository on west coast Underground Railroad activity is the Sac State Library’s very good collection.
This year, I completed my fifth book, Remembering John Hanson, a biography of the nation’s first president under the Articles of Confederation, and headed an effort which in June erected the John Hanson National Memorial in Frederick, Maryland. Because I enjoy it, I also continue to operate Michael Strategic Analysis. If it sounds like I haven’t retired yet, I haven’t, but I guess my retiring from Sac State qualifies me for membership in the CSUS Retirees Association. Maybe I’ll even be able to attend an event some time. Best regards to all.