"What impact are you having over the horizon?"
Ed Chambliss poses this question for his students as a School of Journalism and Mass Communications adjunct professor, author and former CEO.
“If you lift students view and gaze beyond products and profits, you can make students think about why they are doing what they are doing,” said Chambliss.
Chambliss’ aim with this philosophy is to teach students the way to help a company improve itself by focusing on shared needs and what humanity wants. From his time as a student in the SJMC he recalls a rich environment of learning.
“Experiences that don’t feel educational but are, are the most important learning,” said Chambliss. “The J-school is all about understanding other people and communicating with them, and being exposed to an environment where everyone is talking and learning.”
Ed Chambliss has helped build many kinds of brands and businesses since graduating from USC in 1989. Chambliss worked on everything from electronics to food to tourism, based on what they meant to people. During his 35 years in marketing, he has seen many smart clients hurt the foundation of their companies by making short-sighted decisions.
Seeing these repetitive mistakes inspired Chambliss to write “A One-Legged Stool: How Shareholder Primacy Has Broken Business (And What We Can Do About It). This business book kick-started a four-year journey for Chambliss which culminated in a national book tour.
After Chambliss finished up his book tour in October 2022, he met with Dean Reichert at a Starbucks in downtown Los Angeles. A meeting that was supposed to be 30 minutes turned into an hour and a half long conversation, leaving Ed Chambliss with a job opportunity.
“I’ve always had one leg in teaching, one leg in marketing,” said Chambliss. “I have always been a teacher.”
In January 2023, Chambliss began teaching two online courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications: one asynchronous course for senior advertising majors and an asynchronous course in data planning.
“Asynchronous education is like courting someone in Victorian England,” Chambliss said on his experience thus far. “Maybe in a month you’ll get some correspondence back.”
Despite the problems of technology with online learning, Chambliss expressed he has had a great and relatively seamless transition into his new position.