Five Questions with Mark Haug

In our Five Questions series, faculty of the University of Kansas School of Business share their insights, experiences and advice for students.

Mark Haug received the Outstanding Educator Award in 2014.

Mark Haug is a multi-term lecturer and director of the Center for Figure Sense in the KU School of Business. He teaches courses in decision sciences and business law.

1. What got you interested in your field, and what has been the most rewarding part of being involved in it?

To financially support my graduate school at KSU, I worked as a GTA teaching undergraduate classes. I enjoyed it and found the course development work enjoyable too. Helping students develop their aspirations is the most rewarding part of my profession.

2. What is your favorite part about being a Jayhawk?

The Jayhawk. Wherever I go in the U.S. and beyond, people know our Jayhawk. It is colorful, cool, and it’s Kansas. It’s an invitation to any stranger who has seen it (and a few who haven’t!) to start a conversation.

3. What would see yourself doing if you weren’t a professor?

Probably practicing law for the indigent and mentally ill. Or, designing and building small aesthetical off-grid homes in the countryside or as tree-houses.

4. If you could require students to read one thing before graduation (outside of your class reading), what would it be and why?

“Death Comes for the Archbishop” by Willa Cather. Why? For so many reasons:

  • There is no better example of what it means to be a man in America.
  • Cather is one of the finest — if not the finest writer — in America. Her prose are effortless paintings of people and places that kindle the heart. As all business professionals must write, any contact with Cather’s writing is sure to raise the bar for graceful writing.
  • Courage, determination and perseverance are exemplified in this true story of how one properly lives out these virtues, which are essential to our profession.
  • Here is a book where you will find two friends and authentically feel their loss when you have finished the book.

5. What advice would you give your college self?

Spend more time discerning my vocation.


Haug holds a juris doctorate from the University of Kansas, a doctorate from the University of Colorado, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State University.

By Casey Gamble