Faculty Spotlight: Nolan Taylor

Nolan Taylor built his first computer in 1989.

That’s when dial-up was the norm and instead of websites, you used a modem to connect to bulletin-board services (BBSs).

“I’ve always had a love of the hands-on aspect of technology. It’s just fascinating,” said Taylor, clinical assistant professor of information systems. “And how rapidly it changes is fascinating as well. The fact that all these things you saw on science fiction shows when you were growing up are coming true in our lifetime is somewhat of a shock.”

Taylor grew up in Alabama, receiving his undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Alabama. He served in the United States Air Force for nine years, focusing on management of technical projects.

During his time in the military, Taylor also pursued his MBA through California State University, with a focus on management information systems. After receiving his MBA and completing his time in the military, Taylor pursued his PhD at the University of Georgia.

He started at the Kelley School at IUPUI in 2000. He now teaches in the Evening MBA Program, for Kelley Direct, and the undergrad technical accounting and IT audit classes.

“I didn’t know if I would like a big city when I first moved to Indianapolis,” Taylor explained smiling. “I had taught and lived in smaller college towns before moving here. But the city has grown on me in every way. I love Indianapolis.”

“I am truly impressed with our students, especially those non-traditional students going back to school and those working while in school. It’s rewarding to teach them,” said Taylor. “I also love that you can see the fruits of your labor each and every semester as a faculty member at the Kelley School. In the military, we often conducted years-long projects that you likely would never see the end of. As I teach, I see the impact I’m having on students over the semester, and I appreciate their hard work and determination to learn.”

I am truly impressed with our Kelley students, especially those non-traditional students going back to school and those working while in school.

Nolan Taylor, clinical assistant professor of information systems

In addition to his teaching duties, Taylor is an active member of various IUPUI committees, including Technology, Distance Education and Sustainability.

Taylor’s passion for sustainable living is reflected in his role as a beekeeper, maintaining hives in his spare time. He also runs road races and obstacle courses, like the Spartan Race.

With his continued passion for technology and information systems, Taylor recommends everyone have some basic understanding of technology.

“More and more, every job has a technical component to it,” he says. “Whether you work as a truck driver, for FedEx, in an office, a warehouse or elsewhere, jobs are becoming more and more technical. That training and understanding of technology will provide you with job opportunities and advancement you may not have known were there.”

With the rapid pace of technology change, Taylor says he imparts this advice on his students.

“Embrace change,” he explains. “Some things you learn today won’t be the same in five years -- even a year from now. Students sometimes express frustration that they learned a tool, and suddenly, it’s not useful anymore. I remind them – you weren’t learning how to use that tool; you were learning how to learn to use that tool, so you could do it all over again. We are constantly learning and adapting.”

Taylor stands with his parents during his US Air Force commissioning in 1985 at the University of Alabama.
Taylor helps a student at the Kelley School of Business on IUPUI's campus in 2007.
Taylor also is a beekeeper, maintaining hives in his spare time.
Photo from the Spartan Race, an obstacle race.