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Business Graduates

Michael T. Ferrell

What I do now:
Since April 1, 2017, I have been enjoying retirement - having served as Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs and CFO for LSU Shreveport for 40 years! I am continuing as the Treasurer and a Member of the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana. I am a member of the Rotary Club of Shreveport. I am also a former President and Treasurer for the Shreveport Little Theatre and a Charter member of the Southeast Shreveport Kiwanis Club.

My work/job consists of:
At LSU Shreveport I was the Chief Financial Officer for the University with direct oversight over the following departments: Accounting Services, Budget, Facility Services, Financial Aid, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Purchasing, University Police, and Auxiliary Enterprises (Bookstore and Food Service).

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
I worked as an accountant in private industry for two years, then accepted the Assistant Director of Accounting Services position at LSUS. At LSUS I held several management positions, each one with greater responsibilities. These positions were Assistant Director of Accounting Services, Director of the Bookstore, Director of Auxiliary Enterprises, and Director of Accounting. For 23 years I served as the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs and CFO.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
I was born and raised in Oakland, California. Upon graduation from high school, I volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy (Vietnam Era Veteran). Upon completion of my service to the U.S. Navy, I moved to Shreveport in 1971 with my parents who had just retired. I realized while being in the Navy that I needed an education in order to be able to be "in command" and to be able "to give orders rather than take orders!" In 1971, LSU Shreveport was still a two-year institution, and I thought it would be best if I stayed with my parents while I went to school. I planned to transfer to a four-year institution after I gained my Associate's degree. However, soon after I arrived at LSUS, the students, faculty, and community clamored for something better for LSUS. We all wanted a four-year university for Shreveport! The political winds changed, and with the help of our students, faculty, and the Shreveport/Bossier community, LSUS became a four-year institution. I am a PROUD member of the graduating class of 1975, which was the FIRST GRADUATING CLASS for those students receiving a bachelor's degree at LSUS.

Fond memories of LSUS:
Basically 4 things:
1. The "Snack Shack" which included the metal buildings on campus that served as our student union, bookstore and food service.
2. Student Involvement - Two of my Classmates (SGA President and Vice President) lobbied Governor Edwin Edwards and received funding for an LSUS "Student Union" which is now the "University Center." During a campus visit by Governor Edwin Edwards, I witnessed a fellow student asking the Governor for an additional parking lot. After understanding the issue, the Governor responded to the student, "You Got It"! Three weeks later, the North Blacktop parking lot was constructed.
3. The interaction between faculty and students. Faculty were really involved in Student Organizations then as now. From the Business Club (Asst. Professor McPherson), to the FIRST fraternity on campus, Delta Omicron Mu (DOM) - a Veteran's Fraternity, with Dr. Carlos Spaht and Dr. Donald Smith serving as faculty sponsors.
4. Crazy and wild Student Activities to intramural sports to events like the "Crazy Crawfish Beer Bash Boogie" which featured 800 pounds of crawfish, 20 kegs of beer, and a fabulous band - all at the American Legion. The crawfish and beer were gone in 20 minutes! 

LSUS faculty who helped me:
The faculty provided me the tools and knowledge that I needed to succeed in the field I chose to work in. In taking classes and being involved in student activities, I became more aware of things around me. My coursework made me think from a "logical point of view" to defend my opinions, to appreciate the differences of others, and to appreciate other things that surround us - like history and the arts! There are so many faculty members that influenced me, and as I list the names, I will miss someone: Dr. D.L. Butler, Dr. Wilborne, Todd Tillman, (Mac) McPherson, Dr. John Berton, Dr.Glenn Bollman, Dr.Loretta Lamkin.

How LSUS helped me succeed:
LSUS provided me with the tools and training to be successful in Accounting. The University provided me the opportunity to be engaged in the classroom and in other area of the campus like student activities, student clubs and organizations, and fraternities (DOM), and to provide volunteer service to the community in which we live.

Advice to college-bound students:
Discover what interests you as an individual. Then go after it. It takes work to achieve anything, be it sports, business, science, etc; but find that passion, for it really defines you!

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
Accounting, Middle Management, Senior Management are worth all the hard work and effort. In this field, you will be a part of the adventure and will enjoy the success of goals that are achieved.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Identify within yourself, and ask yourself a question: What interests you and what do you want to be? Then, go after it. Success will not happen overnight, but if you work hard enough, you will succeed in reaching your goal.

My toughest professional challenge:
Coming up with options to issues. For every issue (problem) that arises, there are always options (always more than one) to solving the issue (problem). Think logically about the issue (problem) and select the best option for solving it.

My toughest personal challenge:
Balancing family and business lives. This is always an issue, and keeping these two major issues in your life balanced is always a challenge.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
-Former Board Member and Treasurer LSUS Alumni Association 1976-1995
-LSUS Alumni Circle of Excellence Award for Leadership and Professionalism 2014
-LSUS Outstanding Service Award 1996
-LSUS Volunteer Campus Beautification Award 1986-2000
-LSUS Foundation President's Distinguished Service Award 2003 & 2017
-President of Shreveport Little Theatre 2013-15
-Lt. Governor Division IX Kiwanis LaMissTenn District 2009
-President S.E. Shreveport Kiwanis Club 2002
-Distinguished President S.E. Shreveport Kiwanis Club 2007
-Board of Directors and Treasurer Goodwill Industries of North La. 2009-Present
-Rotary Club of Shreveport
-Paul Harris Fellow
-President River Cities Corvette Club (multiple terms),

I've learned this from life:
Look for beauty in life. It's there, but sometimes you have to look hard to see it. Treat all people with dignity and respect. Say "thank you," and "please." Always treat a man as a "Gentleman" and a woman as a "Lady."

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
Traveling, exploring history, reading, producing artwork, being more involved in the arts.