Brian Zinser, associate professor of marketing in Northern Michigan University's College of Business, is the 2020-21 recipient of NMU's Faculty Leadership Award. He also serves as an assistant department head responsible for management, marketing, entrepreneurship, ski area business management and the bachelor of applied science (BAS) programs.
Zinser is credited for his creative, forward-thinking ability to reduce barriers and assist transfer students. He represented the college in the Michigan Pathways Program, meeting several times with community colleges and university registrars to map out a reasonable and seamless pathway for business transfer students.
He also developed the BAS in Management program, the only such program in Michigan specifically designed for employed adults. It gives those with a technical associate degree the opportunity to complete a bachelor's in two to three years while working, with the flexibility of taking online courses.
Zinser said he owes the award to the success of many individuals. These include traditional students he has helped launch promising careers or given a second chance because of mishaps they encountered; transfer students who will earn a degree in four years, saving thousands of dollars as well as the opportunity costs of delaying a career; and the first recipient of the BAS in management degree, who proved traditional programs do not work for nontraditional working adults to need a bachelor's degree for upward mobility in their profession.
“I am honored with the award and also owe it to new faculty members in the College of Business, who I assisted in acculturating them to the Wildcat way,” he said. “And finally, I owe it to our dean, [Carol Johnson], who can advance the mission of the college and university by focusing her time on strategic issues while I successfully manage the day-to-day operations of half the college in my role as assistant department head.”
Zinser's leadership extends to the College of Business Executive Committee and Evaluation Committee. He is also commended for his service on NMU's General Education Committee.
Prior to joining the faculty in 2014, he had previously served as an adjunct instructor for the college while working as director of marketing and co-director of NMU Communications and Marketing from 1998-2004. In between the two assignments at Northern, he taught at Lake Superior State University and across the border at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Zinser holds a doctorate in business administration (DBA) from the Falls School of Management at Anderson University, an MBA in marketing and finance from the J.J. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.