UHV Katy professor exemplifies passion for marketing, leadership
During the course of his 29-year career, Jeff Blodgett has taken advantage of leadership opportunities to help advance the marketing discipline, improve his home institutions and encourage others to get involved in shaping the higher education landscape.
Blodgett has taught at the University of Mississippi, the University of Illinois at Springfield, North Carolina A&T State University and now the University of Houston-Victoria, where he also served from 2011 to 2015 as associate dean for graduate programs and external affairs for the School of Business Administration.
When asked what makes UHV stand out from the other institutions on his resume, Blodgett pointed out the university’s commitment to diversity.
“Not only are we a Hispanic-Serving Institution, but our students come from all parts of the world,” he said. “It makes for a culturally rich experience and a vibrant learning environment. For me, it’s been very rewarding.”
In 1986, Blodgett earned a Master of Business Administration from Illinois State University, and he earned a doctorate in marketing in 1992 from Indiana University. Throughout his career, he has led undergraduate and graduate courses in subjects that include international marketing, consumer behavior, brand management, and field studies and internships. He also has co-authored dozens of articles in leading journals such as Journal of Retailing, Psychology and Marketing, Journal of Advertising Research and Journal of Service Research.
Blodgett emphasized that marketing is the essential, core element of any business, whether it is public, private or nonprofit.
“Marketing does not exist in a vacuum,” said Blodgett, explaining that marketing decisions impact company operations, which in turn drive revenue and expenses. “What I enjoy most is bringing all of these elements together in teaching students how to make business decisions.”
Apart from marketing, Blodgett exemplifies a passion for meaningful leadership. He has served extensively on university committees, councils and task forces, as well as on editorial review boards for several scholarly journals.
At UHV, Blodgett has served on committees for the School of Business Administration, assisting in program revisions, marketing efforts and policy review. Most recently, he was elected as the incoming vice president of the UHV Faculty Senate after serving from 2016 to 2019 as a faculty senator.
Blodgett enjoys getting people involved, working together for a common goal and the greater good.
“The greatest sense of accomplishment comes from ensuring that all faculty and staff are treated fairly, in creating opportunities for our students and helping the organization thrive,” he said.
Blodgett’s leadership endeavors also extend beyond the university. In February, he was nominated and elected incoming president of the Texas conference of the American Association of University Professors.
Dating back to 1915, the AAUP works to ensure academic freedom for higher education faculty. The Texas conference represents members from 77 public, private, large and small institutions across the state.
Stepping up to the conference presidency was a natural progression for Blodgett, who since 2016 has served as a regional vice president for the organization. With guidance and encouragement from the current AAUP president, Jim Klein of Del Mar College, Blodgett agreed to take on the role’s numerous responsibilities.
One of Blodgett’s goals is to help educate Texas faculty at large about the basic principles of shared governance, as well as to encourage them to be active participants at their own institutions.
One of the things he stresses is that strong leadership and faculty involvement are vital during this time when the COVID-19 pandemic has caused UHV classes to transition to online through the summer and businesses to close their doors.
“With the recent coronavirus situation, everyone is facing uncertainty,” Blodgett said. “It is now more important than ever for faculty and administration to collaborate and work together to meet these challenges.”
During the next few years as Faculty Senate vice president, Blodgett will work closely with UHV administration on these and other key issues.
“We have a lot of highly talented faculty at UHV,” Blodgett said. “As I wind down my career, I hope to make a positive difference for the newer faculty members, who will be here for years to come.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.
Victoria Hudgeons, Special to UHV