Faculty Profile

James W. Begun

James W. Begun, white hair and dark suit, leans against a bookshelf.

A commanding and compassionate educator of health professional students, James Begun has helped shift professional degree curricula toward a stronger emphasis on mastering the skills and knowledge that will serve graduates well in their chosen profession.

His students enjoy a wealth of real-life examples to illustrate the work and challenges they will encounter as healthcare managers, and students or former students are co-authors on half his scholarly publications. Begun uses the different strengths of face-to-face, online, and hybrid formats to engage students—and his ingenuity to find financial aid for those in need.

“Dr. Begun always asked us what he could improve on in his own teaching,” says a former MHA student. “This was a striking change for many of us. … I felt valued as a participant in his class and an engaged learner.”

It is an honor to contribute to the growth and development of professionals who can have more purposeful and satisfying careers and make their organizations and communities more humane and effective.

Begun established extracurricular leadership coaching for all Master of Healthcare Administration students and introduced courses in innovation, teamwork, and leadership. When MHA program director, he launched the “Leadership Edge” program, which assesses students’ leadership strengths and potential weaknesses and supplies coaching in the art. He also co-wrote the textbook “Leading Public Health: A Competency Framework,” among other books.

“The MHA program is consistently ranked among the top five in the United States, and his contributions to it are a significant reason why,” says a colleague.