Dr. Tawnya Means is the Assistant Dean and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center for the College of Business at the University of Nebraska. In this role, she provides vision, leadership, and management for a Center focused on serving the needs of students and faculty as it relates to teaching and learning. Her team develops and implements a comprehensive and effective learning support structure for students and creates faculty development programs and resources to assist faculty with instructional innovation and adoption of pedagogical best practices. In addition, her team supports the college Assurance of Learning process for maintenance of accreditation through AACSB. She is a professor of practice in the Management department, teaching courses in strategy and pedagogy for the college.
Previously, Tawnya spent more than 9 years as the Director for the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida and before that, as an instructional designer for the University of Missouri's School of Information Science and Learning Technologies and a consultant leading a team of instructional designers for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Dr. Means received her B.S. in Education, M.S. in Educational Technology, and Ph.D. in Information Science and Learning Technologies with an emphasis on learning systems design, all from the University of Missouri. She completed the AACSB Post-doctoral bridge program in Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida. Her research interests are in online and blended learning, active learning, learning space design, technology for teaching, access to digital learning resources, and faculty preparation to teach. She has long been a leader in campus initiatives and committees and actively presents at conferences and other institutions and organizations on technology-enhanced learning.
Kitchens, B., Means, T., Tan, Y. (2018). CAPTIvatE: Building Blocks for Implementing Active Learning. Journal of Education for Business, 93(2), 58-73. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08832323.2017.1417232
Darnell, J. A., Darnell, M., Means, T. (2017). Resistance is futile: using Team Based Learning (TBL) to teach change and create an Idea Champion collective (3rd ed., vol. 17). American Journal of Management.
Strategic Management and Business Policy (GRBA 853)
As you near the end of your MBA program, you have learned quite a bit in various functional areas such as accounting, finance, economics, marketing, organizational behavior, supply chain and human resource management, and business analytics. Each of these courses individually has provided you with information and opportunities to apply that functional knowledge, mostly independently of other topics. You may even have had opportunities to apply what you have been learning on the job in your current career or an internship. This course will give you opportunities to integrate knowledge that you have learned previously, which will give you a deeper appreciation of how the functional areas you studied before come together.
Strategic management concepts help explain why some firms outperform others. Strategy is the task of the general manager and upper-level management teams; it relates to both business- and corporate-level decisions that are aimed at sustaining competitive advantages over rivals. Many critical decisions made by management will stretch beyond specific functional areas of expertise and the comfort zone of the people involved. Companies need managers who are skilled at thinking in an integrative manner and also skilled at making decisions based on this thinking (Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (Links to an external site.), Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, Charles Burck; 2002). Through this course, you will improve your skills in thinking strategically from the perspective of a senior executive in the way that you identify strategic challenges, analyze the competitive and firm environment, formulate alternative courses of action, convey your strategic thinking to others, and justify your recommendations in ways that are firmly grounded in strategic theory and supported by strategic logic. Senior managers have daily responsibilities for examining critical assumptions, discerning hidden values, evaluating evidence, accomplishing actions and assessing conclusions. You will practice these skills as an essential component of this course.
To accomplish these goals, we will use a combination of textbook and case readings, discussions, and simulation to explore the basic direction and goals of an organization, the environment, industry and market structure, and organizational strengths and weaknesses. This is a fully online course, with all work completed online. Included in the course are several synchronous meetings. These online web meetings will help us to connect to each other and make sure that everyone has what they need to be successful in the course.
Leadership, Communication, and Teams in the Virtual World (MNGT 470) - This course will help students build skills for working successfully in the virtual world. The course will focus on issues and skill development impacting leadership, communication, interaction, and teamwork in the virtual world. The emphasis will be on the effective practice of these skills. This is a blended course, which means that some work will be conducted online, while the class will also meet in person to debrief and discuss the issues, challenges, and rewards of working in a virtual world.
Department of Management Curriculum Committee, Committee Member
Executive Committee, Committee Member. (2017 - Present)
Faculty Fellows for Student Success, Fellow. (August 2019 - Present)
FLAIR (Faculty Leadership in Academia: from Inspiration to Reality) Fellow (2020)
N|150 Strategy Team (Student Experience subcommittee member)
Nebraska 2025 Strategy Team (2019)
Center for Transformative Teaching Advisory Board, Board Member. (August 2018 - Present)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Fellows for Student Success (August 2019-present)
NU Online Steering Committee (August 2018 - Present)
AACSB Online Learning Affinity Group, Chairperson (2016 - Present), producing Third Thursday webinars (see playlist)
Educause Conference Proposal Reviewer (2014 - Present)
Academy of Management Teaching and Learning Conference, Proposal Reviewer (2017 - Present) and planning committee member (2020)