The Texas Tech University School of Banking, established by the Rawls College of Business in 1973, recently wrapped up its 45th annual session. Designed for banking professionals, the school consists of a unique blend of traditional academic coursework and interactive lecture sessions hosted by industry experts and Texas Tech faculty.
To successfully complete the School of Banking, participants must attend for two years, each year consisting of one week-long session. Upon completion, graduates will have been exposed to many new perspectives about bank management that will help them advance in their careers and help their banks prosper.
"We know that bankers attend the Texas Tech School of Banking because they're reaching a point in their careers where their executives want and need for them to take on greater responsibilities as a current or future member of the leadership team of the bank," explained Dr. Jeff Mercer, Director of the School of Banking. "Because of this, our curriculum is specifically designed to expose the bankers to all aspects of managing a commercial bank. The curriculum has substantial depth and breadth, with an appropriate and reasonably high level of rigor." Mercer added that the rigor of the program will benefit participants as they return to their banks. "At times I suppose attending the sessions can be like drinking from a firehose, but our first priority is to help our participants become better bankers."
To kick-off the week, Dr. Scott E. Hein, professor of finance emeritus, and former Director of the School of Banking for almost 30 years, addressed participants at a welcome reception held at the Overton Hotel. Hein, who is also a member of the graduate faculty at the School of Banking at Colorado and the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University, spoke about his support of a two-tiered banking regulation system in which community banks would be recognized as unique and regulated independently of non-community banks.
"Community banks, the banks for which many of you all work, are an important engine in our economic growth," shared Hein. "These community banks focus on relationship building, their decision making is more local and better informed, they are the most generous to our communities, and they know more about their customers than non-community banks."
As the week progressed, 37 "year-one" participants focused on foundational concepts through interactive lectures led by industry professionals. Year-one classes covered a variety of topics including: Accounting, Auditing of Banks, Fraud Management and Managing Bank Performance Analysis: Risk and Return.
Scott Byler, a year-one banking student from Fayetteville Bank in La Grange, Texas believes the sessions helped him understand all of the different areas of operations within a bank.
"The information I learned here this week has made me realize why my bank operates the way it does and why certain decisions are made," Scott explained.
Back for their second and final year, 34 "year-two" participants spent the week applying the techniques and concepts they learned in year one to simulated real-world situations.
"The bank simulation sessions with Brad Olson were very eye opening," said Colby Whitten, a year-two student from American Heritage Bank in Clovis, New Mexico. "You really got to see how the choices and decisions you make in your position affect the rest of the bank's operations and bottom line."
Part of the mission of the School of Banking is to equip participants with up-to-date knowledge of all major areas of banking, a fresh network of colleagues, and the ability to anticipate and respond to changes in the dynamic banking industry.
"Every fall, at the conclusion of that year's school, the school's Advisory Board members and I spend a good bit of time reviewing the content of all sessions, participants' evaluations of the speakers and the sessions, and discuss the changing landscape with regard to customer needs, technology innovations, compliance and legislative developments, and 'best practices' that our advisory board members are seeing and implementing themselves as bankers," said Mercer. "We then modify the curriculum to provide the greatest benefit possible for our year one and year two participants."
To wrap up the week, participants were treated to an evening with Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt, who commended participants for making career development and professional growth a top priority.
"Believe in your opportunities and believe in what you can accomplish as a professional. Your investment in yourself and what you have done over the course of this week, and some of you two years in a row, is so critical," said Hocutt. He also encouraged participants to network and maintain the relationships built throughout the week. "As you advance and move forward in your career you will find out that these same colleagues around your tables here will be the ones that you do business with, you grow with, you face challenges with, and you will experience success with."
The week concluded with the presentation of certificates to the 34 year-two individuals who have now successfully completed the program and are considered School of Banking graduates.
The School of Banking Advisory Council congratulates the 2018 School of Banking graduates:
|Tracie Ashlock, City Bank|
|Brad Blount, First National Bank Paducah|
|Kris Cartrite, Happy State Bank|
|Mary Chumbley, TIB The Independent Bankers Bank|
|Cesar Conde, First National Bank of Dumas|
|Roger Corral, Western Bank|
|Troy Curl, PlainsCapital Bank|
|Ashley Endres, First State Bank|
|Stacie Evans, First State Bank|
|T.K. Farris, First National Bank of Floydada|
|Spencer Flint, First State Bank|
|Clay Hale, BTH Bank|
|Thea Hernandez, First Financial Bank, N.A.|
|Justin Hess, First State Bank|
|Kristen Holcomb, Sage Capital Bank|
|Evan Hughes, Legend Bank|
|Kira Kunkel, Happy State Bank|
|Tucker Lee, Happy State Bank|
|Jessica Longoria, AimBank|
|Lisa Martinez, Happy State Bank|
|Tabor McMillan, Centennial Bank|
|Jeremy Monteith, Amarillo National Bank|
|Evy Puente, First State Bank|
|Austin Reiter, TIB The Independent Bankers Bank|
|Mark Rosenberg, PlainsCapital Bank|
|Kim Shoquist, Austin County State Bank|
|Jonathan Traves, Herring Bank|
|David Vaughn, Centennial Bank|
|Evan Venghaus, Industry State Bank|
|Brian Wallis, BTH Bank|
|Jeffrey Ward, State National Bank|
|Colby Whitten, American Heritage Bank|
|Michael Worley, American Bank of Commerce|
|Christopher Young, First National Bank of Eagle Lake|