Ms. Cynthia Lanphear
Assistant Professor of Management and Business
M.B.A., University of Central Arkansas
B.A., University of the Ozarks
Office: 110 Boreham Business Building
"To be successful, students need to understand that everything in the world is connected to everything else. They also need to cultivate a high tolerance for change." Cynthia Lanphear's words are as true today as they were when she joined Ozarks as adjunct in 2000, or during the 15 years before she spent working in the private sector training everyone from CEOs to production workers to bank tellers. "Management is a craft that consists of two elements - people and systems," she says. "I really believe management is the most exciting field in business because it does deal with that most unpredictable of elements: people."
A Clarksville native, Professor Lanphear says it was "a natural thing to come back to my alma mater to teach." Previously she had taught at Westark in Fort Smith, and before that for 15 years trained on the corporate arena "in all sorts of industries," as she puts it, "both union and non-union."
She says teaching at Ozarks is "worlds different" from corporate training. "For one thing, the students are younger," she says. "I like the demands of my work. Here you get to teach the broad strokes, rather than modules on this-or-that, pieces and parts of the picture. Here at Ozarks I feel like I can educate the whole person." She says because the students are younger, "you get to watch that moment when they come out of the cocoon and fly. It's like finishing school. You have four years to get them ready to feed themselves, to succeed in the world."
Management is a craft, Professor Lanphear says. "Get your degree and then learn the craft of it." She says students should consider studying in this field because "you do well in your job, and hopefully you will get promoted, thus making whatever current skills you have instantly obsolete and new management skills critical to further success. This is where you get those management skills." She adds she personally believes every person ought to have at least one management class. "At least something so if you get promoted you'll know what to do," she says.
Professor Lanphear says her students have taught her that there's a great responsibility in being someone else's role model, that doing so has made her reflect and become a stronger, more patient, more tolerant person.
"Ozarks is better because it's a Christian based organization," she says. "I can say 'God' in the classroom and not be afraid. Teaching at a private institution is so much freer. Here I can address the whole person, not just train another robot manager. And I don't have to be afraid to address values and ethics - such a big part of leadership. How can you do that so thoroughly in a public institution?"
Away from work, Professor Lanphear loves being home with her husband on the farm, playing with her grandchildren, riding horses, and making jewelry.
"I don't have a whole lot of secrets from my students," she says. "If they can see me as a real person, it gives me an avenue to their soul. To me that's part of being their mentor. The reward of my work is watching students internalize the principles they learn, when they call later and say, 'You were so right,' when they have had an experience where they had a competitive advantage, because they were here, at Ozarks. That makes me happy."