By: Tess Santos ’21, a business administration with a concentration in management major and forward for the Women’s Basketball team
Norman Scarborough, the William Henry Scott III Professor of Entrepreneurship, has been a professor in the economics and business administration department for 41 years. After graduating from Clemson in 1978 with a master’s degree, Mr. Scarborough started teaching at PC when he was 22.
During these 41 years of service, Mr. Scarborough has been recognized by many different organizations. He was named Clinton’s Citizen of the Year in 2009, PC’s professor of the year in 2005, and the South Carolina Professor of the Year in 2005.
Setting High Standards for Students
Teaching a wide range of classes from economic classes to Principles of Management to Excel and Business Strategy, the professor focuses mainly on entrepreneurship, statistics, and business law. Known for his tough grading, Mr. Scarborough holds high standards for his students. He puts an emphasis on making students engage in critical, analytical and creative thinking. These are skills that are critical to a student’s success after graduation and what is going to help him or her in the real world. They’re skills employers look for.
Mr. Scarborough does not only set high standards for his students, but also for himself. Being on time for class, having good and organized material, and motivating the students are priorities for Mr. Scarborough. By teaching students why what they learn is important and that there are some real-world applications in everything they learn, the professor successfully encourages students to be lifelong learners.
As an example, in business law classes, students are constantly challenged to solve real-life cases and discuss how they would decide and rule on the cases that have to do with the material they are currently learning. In his Business Statistics and Entrepreneurship classes, real simulations are implemented, where students are challenged to solve statistics problems or shown how other entrepreneurs got where they are today. These methods complement his teaching philosophy of developing the students’ analytical and critical skills.
Adjusting Through the Years
The world has changed considerably since Mr. Scarborough began teaching 41 years ago. Technology, especially, has grown exponentially, but Mr. Scarborough always kept pace to be an effective teacher. He went from using overhead projectors with handwritten plastic slides before moving on to becoming one of the first professors to use PowerPoint. Buying his first personal computer back in the 80s led him to be able to master these tools and even be prepared for the online teaching when the virus Covid-19 started to spread.
Being able to transition from in-person to online classes presented technological challenges for professors. It was also hard for many to find ways to keep students engaged. After creating 155 videos for his three classes, Mr. Scarborough admits that he misses the interactions that he gets with students when the classes are in person.
“My favorite part about teaching is working with the students in the classroom,” he said. “It’s really the interaction with the students that’s the fun part.
“The real benefit of being a teacher is to seeing kids come in as uncertain, scared freshmen, and watch them over those four years turn into confident seniors who are ready to go out there and find a job or start a company and be successful.”
Outside the Classroom
Besides teaching at PC, giving back to the community is one of Mr. Scarborough’s main occupations and concerns. He stays busy with volunteering activities, including working at public service commissions and serving on many boards and nonprofits.
Mr. Scarborough has dedicated much time to writing his own books. After writing for “The Tiger,” the Clemson newspaper, for four years during his college career, Mr. Scarborough took the opportunity to write books when he had it.
After going through the revision book process about 25 times, he continues to revise his books and release new editions from time to time. Mr. Scarborough’s textbooks are used all around the world and have been translated into many different languages.
The Next Chapter
Professor Scarborough is retiring after 42 years of teaching at PC. The Spring 2021 semester will be his last semester in a PC classroom. Along with some feelings of fear, uncertainty and anxiety, Mr. Scarborough also feels excited and looks forward to retirement.
He plans to travel and spend time in the mountains when he retires. Still, Professor Scarborough reminisces of his time at PC and feels blessed for having had wonderful mentors, colleagues, and students from the business department and also from across campus.
“It has been a real blessing,” he said.