ESPN, Google Featured in OBU J-Term Courses

OBU's January Term classes will delve into big sports and big business with business administration courses featuring the inner workings of ESPN and Google, taught by Dr. Keith Harman, OBU professor of business.

Harman also will teach an "Introduction to E-Commerce" course during J-Term. Each course is worth three credit hours and includes assignments (mini-projects) that let students tailor the course to personal interests and needs. Each course is open to all majors. He said the courses also are open to working professionals, especially those in executive and mid-level positions who want to learn more about best practices in business strategy and development.

The online course titled "All About ESPN" will examine the key management and leadership concepts exemplified by ESPN. After completing the course, students will have a deeper understanding of ESPN's creation, its development and evolution as an organization, its corporate culture, its evolving corporate strategy, and its social responsibility and corporate ethics. The course is a blend of projects and case studies.

"ESPN is often cited as the most successful media company in history," Harman said. "ESPN is also generally regarded as one of the most innovative and well-managed companies in the world. Consequently, the course will focus upon ESPN's founding, its unique corporate culture, fierce commitment to its brand and its relentless quest to be the worldwide leader in sports coverage."

Students who take the special topics course titled "All About Google" will learn about Google, Inc., its founders and their key business strategies; explore selected issues related to Google's social responsibility, impact and future; and gain practical knowledge of Google's services and applications. The three-part course will be conducted online.

"Introduction to E-Commerce" is a survey course of electronic commerce, focusing on e-commerce business models, technological infrastructure and social issues. Students will explore the experiences of end-users (customers, clients and account holders) from a marketing perspective. The course also will include the development of the preliminary portion of an e-commerce business plan.

A native of Oklahoma, Harman attended OBU from 1970-72. He later completed a bachelor's degree in social studies, a master's degree in vocational education and a doctorate in higher education management at The University of Oklahoma. He also earned a master's degree in finance and operations management from Webster University. He participated in a post-doctoral study program at MIT and later at the U.S. Army War College.

Harman's career includes service in higher education as a faculty member, department chairperson, dean, campus director, academic program director and university trustee. He spent six years in the U.S. Army, eventually serving at HQ level in logistics and strategy. He has served at the executive level in a private foundation, a community property and land development association, and in a government agency. He began his career in the commercial banking business, later spending 10 years as a consultant with Fortune 100 organizations through his work with the Juran Institute. Today he serves as an advisory board member to an IT consulting firm, a university executive MBA program, an insurance company and as a consultant to a local arts organization.

For more information about the courses offered by Harman, contact him at (405) 878-3283 or