A “Valentine’s Day” focus on our Kelley faculty

You know them from class and pass them in the halls. They’re renowned faculty, experts in their fields of supply chain, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, management and accounting, who conduct research on important topics and establish business trends. But what do you know about each professor as a person? Did you know some of your favorite Kelley professors work just down the hall from their spouses?

The Kelley Biz Blog shares some personal insight about these power couples. Happy Valentine’s Day, Kelleys!

Dena Cox, OneAmerica Foundation Endowed Chair, Professor of Marketing, and Anthony D. Cox, Faculty Chair of the Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program, Professor of Marketing, Venture Fellow

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you meet?

Professor Dena Cox: Tony and I were both assistant professors at Georgia State when we met. Our offices were next to each other, and we became friends and eventually started dating. We had a very small, non-traditional wedding, and a big party in Atlanta six months later, followed by a honeymoon in Maine.

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you both end up working at Kelley Indianapolis?

Professor Dena Cox: We were both hired at the same time as assistant professors at Kelley in 1988. We came to Indianapolis with two young boys, a one year old and an 8 year old. We were hired and both received tenure in the Kelley Bloomington Marketing department. Back then, we did not have the current system we do now (Indianapolis as a separate unit).

Kelley Biz Blog: Are you able to conduct research or work on specific projects together?

Professor Dena Cox: Because Tony had an undergraduate degree in history and I had a master’s degree in microbiology, we approached research differently. We have worked together almost exclusively while at Kelley. When we first arrived, the Kelley Indianapolis faculty was very small with very few research colleagues, so we worked together. Later, we started collaborating with researchers in the IU School of Medicine. We generally talk about the project, jointly generate hypotheses and map out the design of the study. From there, I usually take the lead in writing the questionnaire, gathering the data and taking a first look at the data. I generally write up the first draft of the paper, and Tony does additional analysis to fine tune it as he is such a good writer.

Kelley Biz Blog: What is your favorite thing about working at Kelley?

Professor Dena Cox: Kelley has provided us with many opportunities to conduct our research and present it around the world. For that, we are grateful.

Barb Flynn, Richard M. and Myra Louise Buskirk Professor of Manufacturing Management, and Jim Flynn, Clinical Professor of Management

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you meet?

Professor Barb Flynn: We met as PhD students in what is now the Kelley School in Bloomington. Jim was the old, grizzled veteran, and I was a brand-new student. We met at a welcoming party for the new PhD students. The first words that I heard him say were, “I don’t believe in marriage.” We were married about a year and a half later. Being in a PhD program can be challenging, so it worked out well that we were both very busy with our own studies. We had a lot of fun as well, however, and we made many life-long friends while we were students.

The image caption follows
Professors Jim Flynn and Barb Flynn pictured with their grandchildren.

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you both end up working at Kelley Indianapolis?

Professor Barb Flynn: We had been on the faculty at Wake Forest University for 10 years and were looking for a change. We loved living in the south and didn’t really want to move north again, but when we discovered the openings at Kelley Indianapolis, it sounded like going home again. We had always kept in touch with IU and attended the Indy 500 every year, no matter where we were living.

Kelley Biz Blog: Are you able to conduct research or work on specific projects together?

Professor Barb Flynn: We have done some research together in the past, and it has been very rewarding. Because we are in different areas, we have both learned a lot about approaching the same research question from different perspectives. Much of my operations management research builds on a foundation of organization theory, which I learned about through working with Jim. 

We have also been able to travel all over the world collecting data for the High Performance Manufacturing project, which we are both part of. We’ve been to many interesting places and have enjoyed seeing how comfortable our boys (now ages 28 and 30) are with travelling internationally.

Kelley Biz Blog: What is your favorite thing about working at Kelley?

Professor Barb Flynn: I really enjoy my colleagues here, our interdisciplinary focus and the way we all work well together.

Cathy Bonser-Neal, Associate Professor of Finance, and Rob Neal, Professor of Finance

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you meet?

Associate Professor Cathy Bonser-Neal: We met in the first week of our PhD program at the University of Chicago. Students form study groups to prepare for the summer ”core” exams (which you have to pass to continue in the program). Rob was one of the first people I met, so I asked him to be in my study group. The rest is history!

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you both end up working at Kelley Indianapolis?

Associate Professor Cathy Bonser-Neal: We had been working in the research department of the Federal Reserve when Kelley Indianapolis approached us about joining the faculty. We both came for a visit, presented our research and received offers to join the faculty.

Kelley Biz Blog: Are you able to conduct research or work on specific projects together?

Associate Professor Cathy Bonser-Neal: We have collaborated on projects together, and we also work independently. The projects on which we worked together blended our two fields of expertise—mine in international finance and Rob’s in asset pricing and market microstructure.

Kelley Biz Blog: What is your favorite thing about working at Kelley?

Associate Professor Cathy Bonser-Neal: The people! We are surrounded by talented colleagues, and we teach interesting and bright students.

Kim Saxton, Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing, and Todd Saxton, Hatfield Venture Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you meet?

Clinical Associate Professor Kim Saxton and Associate Professor Todd Saxton: We were both kidnapped by aliens and happened to be on the same ship. Together, we were able to overcome our captors and escape. Or maybe we both were hired by the same DC consulting firm as our first job out of college. It’s hard to remember that far back. It was like 31 years ago!

Kelley Biz Blog: How did you both end up working at Kelley Indianapolis?

Clinical Associate Professor Kim Saxton and Associate Professor Todd Saxton: As we all know, Kelley spelled backwards is Yellek. This happens to be the name of the alien tribe who were our captors. We vowed to always do the opposite of what is evil and oppressive. So, symbolically Kelley was a great fit. 

In addition, over our 30 years together, we have tended to work together several different times, although we have also each explored our own career opportunities. We share a passion for understanding the science behind business success. We also love sharing this understanding through teaching. It was natural that we would both teach at the same school. We are honored that Kelley gave us the opportunity to teach and research together.

Kelley Biz Blog: Are you able to conduct research or work on specific projects together?

Clinical Associate Professor Kim Saxton and Associate Professor Todd Saxton: In truth, it means that we can always be working. But it’s a lot better than being on an alien ship. Actually, we embrace the “work hard, play hard” approach to life. Doing research together means that we can follow our inspirations whenever and wherever they occur.

Kelley Biz Blog: What is your favorite thing about working at Kelley?

Clinical Associate Professor Kim Saxton and Associate Professor Todd Saxton: We really appreciate our colleagues and students locally and around the world who inspire us. Kelley is a learning-minded community that is engaging to belong to. Plus, we’ve successfully avoided the Yelleks, a welcome relief.