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Terry McGovern

Associate Professor of Accounting/Business
Office: 314 CBH 
Mail Stop: 1743 
Phone: 6563 


Degrees earned: Doctorate of Management (D.M.); M.S. Management; M.H.S.

Professional experience: Terry served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. In this role, he was the Chief of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Executive Briefing Team in the Pentagon and Speech Writer for United States Strategic Command’s Director of Global Operations. In these positions, he provided research and advice to senior leaders on a wide range of operational issues. Additionally he served in managerial positions in the areas of Nuclear Missile Operations, Satellite Operations, and the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Terry has taught at Iowa State University, the United States Air Force Academy, and National Defense University prior to joining Clarke University.

Teaching philosophy: My military career consisted of education and training. Mark Twain once quipped “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” This insight certainly applied to my many experiences in the military and my maturation as a professor. In teaching undergraduates, I strive to help them learn basic concepts and use a variety of means to ensure this happens including quizzes, real world site visits, case-based homework, hands-on activities, and assignments where students teach chapters to the class and present findings on their interactions with businesses. With graduate and TimeSaver students, I focus on the adult learning theory and center my teaching to help them make sense of experiences they have had and how the advanced concepts they are learning apply to the real world. Graduate programs go into detail on specific models whereas TimeSaver courses focus on foundational concepts. I help non-traditional students connect their experiences to the content. Typically I do this by requiring job-related assignments, journaling, essay questions, and giving graduate students choices in the types of projects they wish to accomplish that best align with their educational goals. Analytical, creative, ethical and systemic thinking are part of every course I teach at each level.  I do not just preach life-long learning. Through my consulting work, writing, conferences and traveling, I aim to lead by example the importance of learning as a way of being.

Clarke’s impact on Terry: I love Clarke, its values, and the BVM heritage. It is ironic to me, as someone who once gave serious thought to the priesthood, that I should find my vocation on a Catholic campus surrounded by women of faith. A part of me believes the founding sisters of Clarke would approve of the demands I put on my students while maintaining a respect for each as an individual.

Terry’s impact on students: My teaching journey matured during my military service, and continues to develop the more I teach. I am grateful for Clarke, and what it offers our community and its businesses. I see the classroom as sacred space and education as light. Education is a gift that reveals not just the possibilities of how to make a living, but also reveals the riches that come with learning how to live. I let students know they belong here, they are fortunate to be here, I expect their best, I will give them my best, and their development is of the utmost importance to me. I push them, I give them a lot of work, I hold them accountable for attending class and delivering projects on time. This is not an easy way to teach, it is demanding on me and requires my full effort. I do this with deep-felt respect for education and a sincere concern for the students I teach.

Terry’s favorite:

Movie – Gattaca
Book – Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Quote – "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." Nietzsche
Class in college – Leadership theory
Place traveled – Paris-Montmartre
Hobby – Running

  • Support Clarke - Spring
  • Arts at Clarke 2016
  • Transfer Fall 2015