Michael Oyster '77
Chair of the Business Department; Associate Professor of Business Administration
Professor Michael Oyster, a 1977 Olivet College alumnus, led a storied career before returning to his alma mater in 2012. He is currently chair of the Business Department and associate professor of business administration. Professor Oyster is responsible for the business programs, including computer science and information technology as of 2020, the Risk Management and Insurance Center, the Global Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Master of Business Administration program. His expertise lies in business and corporate strategy, leadership and organizational performance.
As a former CEO of publicly traded and private companies, a multinational corporate executive and entrepreneur, Professor Oyster brings a wealth of experience to the College’s Business Administration Department. Professor Oyster sums it up like this: “I was a business guy.” He worked for AT&T, the world’s largest corporation at the time, for 20 years, and has worked for mid-size businesses, both established and start-ups, and experienced all facets of the business world including helping them through IPOs and significant financing transactions. He went on to build and run a small software company and became the CEO of a public corporation, becoming experienced in mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate restructuring. Finally, he started his own company as an entrepreneur, making use of the learning and relationships gained throughout his career.
It’s that corporate and entrepreneurial experience that prepared Professor Oyster for his most recent venture: teaching. He thrives on seeing others achieve their goals, passions and dreams. Professor Oyster believes investing in others’ achievements is key to individual fulfillment and hones your own skills and abilities as a leader. Professor Oyster says that part of his investment includes sharing with students the important skills of becoming an effective and successful business leader. In return, he says, students must be willing to work hard toward their goals.
To students hoping to pursue a business major at Olivet College, Professor Oyster’s advice is simple: “Work hard with me, be confident, ask questions, discuss and share with others and engage. It might not always be apparent how the pieces connect, but they all do lead to a better understanding of the topic or skills of any given course. I delight in helping each student find, pursue and achieve their dreams. In the classroom, on campus and continuing through their lives, my commitment is to mentor each individual in their journey to success.”