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People Matter, Not Profit

November 30, 2004

“Relationships have always been my foundation,” says Professor of Business Robbie Mullins. Growing up in Oklahoma as the daughter of a small town grocery store owner, Robbie experienced first hand the importance of “people-oriented” business. “The experience of working in a small community prepared me to work in the business world,” she says, “and the impact people had on my life through education drove me to commit my career to preparing business students to focus on people rather than profit.” 

Robbie came to OBU in 1990 and now holds the title Peitz Professor of Business. Raised in a Christian home in a “sheltered” small town, she says that going to college proved a “shocking” experience. “I found that people had not grown up with the same advantages, that many had no idea about Christian love,” she says. “I felt a responsibility to show the difference, to demonstrate that “better life “ as a Christian. “This responsibility extends today. “As a teacher, “she says, “I serve as a small piece of the puzzle in a student’s life.”

Her classes make up the marketing-related courses in the business school. “There are many good schools of business around the country,” Robbie says, “but the uniqueness of the OBU program is the time spent between faculty and students. Education is about much more than knowledge. It’s about cultivation. It’s about building strong Christian business leaders.” 

As board member of various companies and social conscious groups, Robbie provides a context for marketing to gain footing not in simply projecting the image of an institution but working in tandem with the whole picture of business. Certainly the variables remain important price, product, promotion, and place but the “inner core” as Robbie says, remains relationships.