1-800-4-ALFRED (425-3733)

Karla M Back

Position Title: Professor 10 Months
Department: Business
Office Location: EJ Brown Hall
Office Phone: 607-587-4296

1985 –1990 Texas A&M University College Station, Tx.

Ph.D., Adult Learning & Educational Human Resource Development; major areas of study included Leadership, Organizational Behavior and Development, and Managerial Change

Presented with Outstanding Graduate Qualitative Research Award 7/90

1983 –1985 University of Houston – Clear Lake Houston, Tx.

Advanced study in the Study of the Future (including coursework on Strategic Planning, Visionary Futures, Systems Thinking, & Futures Studies Seminar)

1979 –1982 University of Houston – Clear Lake Houston, Tx.

M.A., College Teaching & Educational Administration & Human Resource Development

1977 –1979 University of Houston – Central Campus Houston, Tx.

Texas Teachers Certification - in Marketing & Business Education

1972 –1976 University of Houston – Central Campus Houston, TX.

B.A., Major – Political Science Minor – Psychology
Teaching Overview: 

2004 – Present Alfred State College (State University of New York) Alfred, New York

2005 – Present – Professor in School of Management & Engineering Technology

Develop, deliver and evaluate undergraduate Business students courses.

Focus on course delivery, student achievement and program development for current and future Technology Management courses and programs

Develop and implement partnerships and engage with community and professional organizations to ensure that business courses

Develop and deliver online learning courses in the Technology Management BBA Program

Create, write, and implement grant opportunities for a variety of Business, Project Management, and Technology Management programs.

2004 – 2005 Vice President Academic Affairs

Provide leadership and supervision to all instructional functions across the college

Provide the strategic direction for all academic programs ensuring alignment with all academic initiatives to the overall college Strategic Plan, vision, and strategic imperatives.

Provide guidance and leadership for all new program development, review of existing programs, and alignment for program and accreditation review and approval.

Provide leadership, development, and feedback to all academic leaders including deans, directors, and department chairs of the college.

Work closely with other Vice Presidents and serve the President of the college as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Responsible for all policy, regulations, and academic alignment to the State University of New York (SUNY) System.

2002 –2004 University of Houston Houston, Tx

Professor and Program Coordinator

Designed, developed, marketed, and taught in our new Masters Degree Program in Technology Project Management in the College of Technology.

Lead faculty member responsible for ensuring that all adjunct faculty and other full time faculty are aligned, scheduled, and classes are successfully offered.

Conducted research and developed numerous grant applications in the area of project management leadership and style requirements for technology leaders.

1987–2002 Back & Associates Inc. The Woodlands, Tx

President & Principal Consultant

Led diverse innovative teams of 3- 20 people in collaborating with clients on learning projects that led to performance solutions. (Key clients included Shell Oil and Chemical Companies, Equiva Services, American Express Travel Related Services, and numerous non-profits.

Utilized Peter Senge’s Learning Organization Model in conducting needs assessments, designed, developed, delivered, and evaluated hundreds of learning programs across a variety of industry settings.

Developed large curriculum models for clients such are Shell Oil Company and Equiva Services in the following areas: Trainer & HR Curriculums; Sales Curriculums, Administrative Services Curriculums, Leadership & Supervision Curriculums, and High Performing Work Teams (HPWT) Curriculums.

Partnered with business and industry, as well as educational clients to create performance solutions through learning and development.

Won Small Business of the Year Award from the Houston Chapter of American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) 1991, Consultant of the Year 1992, and Mentor of the Year 1993.

1979 - 1985 Galveston College Galveston, Tx.

1981 - 1985 Assistant Dean for Business & Technology

Led teams that developed new curriculum and programs in the Culinary Arts and Hotel Restaurant Management Programs. Worked with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to receive approval for these new degree and certification programs.

Managed 10 full-time faculty and 40 part-time faculty per semester

Worked closely with VP for Academic Affairs and a cross functional team to realign the college and reorganize departments and program offerings.

Served on the Gulf Coast Colleges Consortium as a representative for Galveston College.

Participated as a member of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce Sponsored Leadership Galveston Class.

1980 - 1981 Department Chairperson for Management

Worked closely with Galveston Chamber of Commerce members to develop program offerings in downtown Galveston – day and evening courses.

Expanded Program Advisory Committees and developed new cooperative education learning sites for students

Continued the expansion and recruitment efforts to build the department. Added new AIB Banking Program and expanded the Real Estate Development Certification Program in partnership with the Galveston Board of Realtors and Galveston Chamber of Commerce.

Served on a state-wide Curriculum Development team to identify expected learner outcomes for Management programs in Texas

1979 - 1980 Management Development Faculty Member

Coordinated move of the Business Division to a new campus in downtown Galveston – with the idea to increase enrollments and course offerings to evening students and professionals who work downtown or at the UTMB Medical Center.

Partnered with Continuing Education Department to create new Leadership & Supervisory Training

Classes for local community. Piloted first class with the Galveston Fire Department

Doubled the student enrollment in Management Development Program first year

Taught full-time classes, including Leadership & Supervision, Small Business Development, Marketing, and Budgeting & Finance.

1977 - 1979 La Marque ISD La Marque, Tx.

Marketing Teacher & Cooperative Ed Coordinator

Taught 44 bright creative high school juniors and seniors

Created a district wide Senior Advisory Board that worked with district personnel to pilot new TEA Curriculums.

Served on a school-wide vocational education team of teachers (8) and identified ways to retain more students

Served on a statewide Advisory Team in conjunction with TEA representatives to realign the occupational programs in Texas for the future.

1976 - 1977 Houston ISD – Jesse H. Jones H.S. Houston, Tx.

Marketing Teacher & Cooperative Ed Coordinator

Taught 45 incredibly talented young people

Served in a culturally diverse school and piloted a mentoring program for youth.

Developed 20 new cooperative education learning stations

Served on a district-wide team to design, develop, and pilot new business curriculums in HISD



Seaker, R.F. and K.M. Back (2003) The Intuitive Learner: Making Sense of Ambiguity, The Learning Conference 2003: What Learning Means, Institute of Education, University of London.

Gulf Coast of Texas School-to-Careers Program – Final Program External Evaluation Report – North Harris Montgomery Community College – School-to-Careers: Making a Difference for the Future of Young People, (May 2001).

An Evaluation of Computer Assisted Instructional Systems Used to Delivery Literacy Services for JTPA Programs at Houston Community College - Written through Texas Center for Adult Literary and Learning, Texas A & M University, (March, 1989).

Back, K., et al., Preparing for the Future of the Workplace - Vol. 1 - 3 , funded by Carl Perkins Federal Funds for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board - Community Colleges and Technical Institutes Division, (June, 1988).

National Girl Scout Training Institute — Palm Beach, FL. Leadership Training for Non-Profit Organizational Leaders, (October, 1988).

University of Texas (Conference on Adult Education/Human Resource Development) — Galveston, TX. Identifying Innovative Training Paradigms in Business & Industry, (September, 1988).

North Harris County College — Houston, TX. A Needs Assessment of Future Business Program Needs at North Harris County College, (January, 1988).

State of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board — Sherman, TX. Competency-Based Program Development: Meeting Present and Future Program Needs, (October, 1987).

Back, K., et al., Three Working Papers on Office Automation and Displacement of Secretarial and Clerical Workers, prepared in support of Coordinating Board Project PVEP-1040-1-Galveston College, (June, 1985).

Back, K, et al., A Preliminary Identification of Planning Issues for Technical, Vocational, and Post-Secondary Education - A Working Paper, prepared for the Coordinating Board Staff, Texas Colleges and University System - Community College and Technical Institutes Division, (April, 1985).

Publications and Events: 

Honors Convocation Speaker for Alfred Almond High School – Almond New York – Celebrating the Future with Integrity and Excellence, (2005).

Graduation Ceremonies for Third Ward Seniors Program – University of Houston & Third Ward, Houston Texas - Seniors Can Compute! (2004).

The Alliance Companies (Shell, Texaco, and Aramco) to leaders and facilitators – Convent Louisiana – Facilitating and Developing Effective Leaders and Their Training, (2001).

Gulf Coast of Texas School-to-Careers Program – Final Program External Evaluation Report – North Harris Montgomery Community College – School-to-Careers: Making a Difference for the Future of Young People, (May 2001).

American Society for Training & Development (ASTD Southwestern Regional Conference) — Houston, TX. Getting Started in Training: Introduction to Instructional Systems Design, (August, 1999).

American Society for Training & Development (ASTD workshop for new consultants) — Houston, TX. How to Be an Effective Consultant to Your Clients, (Fall, 1993).

International Federation of Training and Development Organizations — Taiwan, Republic of China. The Role of Evaluation in Training, (September, 1992).

American Petroleum Institute ( Gulf Coast Region) — New Orleans, LA.ISD — A System for Trainers, (Fall, 1991).

American Petroleum Institute ( Gulf Coast Region) — San Antonio, TX. Training Evaluation, (Spring, 1990).

Neighborhood Centers Inc. (Executive Board Seminar) — Houston, TX. The Role, Scope and Responsibilities for New Non-Profit Board Members, (June, 1989).

University of Texas - Medical Branch — Galveston, TX. Train-the-Trainer, (March, 1989).

University of Houston-Clear Lake — Houston, TX. Strategic Planning and Higher Education, (February, 1989).

Changemasters — Houston, TX. Our Future and Space, (February, 1989).


Example of Community Service include:


College Service Currently

Presently serving on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (Chairing the Pomotion Alfred Committee)

Chairing the Alfred Promotion Committee

Serving as the Co-Chair with Jane Vavala on the Faculty Senate Task Force on By Law Revisions

Serving on the Academic Integrity Committee


Local Community Service

Serving in the Alfred Lions Club Organization

Currently serve on the Board for Alfred 21 st Association – A community-based association formed to focus on the restoration and revitalization of Alfred village New York.

Community Service - served on the Montgomery County Youth Services Board of Directors

Program developer and Facilitator for a local youth program on Developing Respect for Self & Others (OPP) – jointly sponsored with the South Montgomery YMCA and local schools

Lamar Elementary ( Conroe ISD) Executive PTO Board and Yearbook Chairman

Served as Vice President for Professional Development, President, and Past President of the Houston American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) Chapter

Honors and Awards: 

2003 - Outstanding University Faculty of the Year - College of Technology, University of Houston, Houston Texas

1993 & 1990 - Selected to represent the USA by IFTDO in Germany and Taiwan at International Learning Conferences

1993 - Top Small Business of the Year Award SBA - Houston

1991 - Outstanding Consultant & Trainer from Texas ASTD Chapters

1989 – Texas A&M University – Outstanding Doctoral Student Qualitative Research Award

As a teacher with more than 36 years of experience, Dr. Back expects a lot from her students, but she gives a lot in return. “My teaching philosophy was developed early in my career as an educator and is based on a deep and abiding commitment to the learning process. I have always envisioned my classroom and students as part of a larger learning community—a college. My approach is based on creating an open, engaged environment for adult learners.”

Dr. Back teaches business management, including courses in principles of leadership, organizational behavior, international business, and managerial communications. She is also a mentor in Alfred State’s Emerging Leaders Program. And she recently received a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

A native of Houston, Texas, Dr. Back holds a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree from the University of Houston—Clear Lake, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Houston’s central campus.

Dr. Back has also worked with Shell Oil Company, as a faculty member at the College of Technology at the University of Houston, and as a consultant to international teams—from Shell to Exxon to American Express. She has presented at conferences for the International Federation of Training and Development Organizations in Taipei, Taiwan and Hamburg, Germany.

“My students should be prepared to be open to change and learning in nontraditional ways. Online learning is not the same as a correspondence class. We expect you to participate actively. Remember, most of the benefits of learning are really up to you.”