Faculty Impact - Dr. Daniel Chaffin

Posted: September 30, 2016 12:00:00 AM CDT

Dr. Daniel Chaffin is an important part of UNK's Entrepreneurship Center. He instructs students on how to be innovative thinkers and how to approach business from the perspective of an owner. He also recently hosted an economic event that brought together community stakeholders and business professionals to learn how the Tri-City Area has dealt with economic growth and what can be expected in the near future. Read below to learn more information about Dr. Daniel Chaffin, a professor in the College of Business and Technology at UNK!

Tell us about yourself:

I started at UNK in the fall of 2015 teaching Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. Originally, I am from Idaho where I grew up working in my father’s Napa Auto Parts Store. I attended BYU-Idaho studying Organizational Communication, completed an MBA at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and completed my PhD in Strategic Management at Michigan State University. I have five great kids and enjoy serving in our community. 

Daniel Chaffin

What do you like about teaching at UNK?

The focus on experiential learning is one of my favorite aspects of teaching at UNK. Looking back on my educational and professional experience, it was in the application and practice of what I learned in class that essential to my growth. In addition, I really appreciate the quality of the students and the encouragement of the faculty to be a great teacher. 

Before teaching, what type of industry did you work?

I worked five years for Pulte Homes in Colorado Springs as a process improvement coordinator and strategic marketing manager. It was a fascinating industry to work in during the financial and housing crisis. With the sharp drop in demand, layoffs and sharp drop in housing prices I felt like I gained 10 years of business experience in five. 

You recently hosted a successful Economic Forum through UNK-CBT, can you describe the event and what you think were some positive outcomes?

The economic forum was an opportunity to bring together business and policy leaders in the Tri-City Area to discuss local economic trends and issues. The event was attended by 130 people and featured Ernie Goss an economist from Creighton University, the three local mayors and a panel of local industry experts. We explored issues such as interest rates, agriculture, housing and the labor market as they relate to our local area. We also discussed what can be done from an education, policy and business standpoint to move our economy forward. Overall, the feedback from the event was very positive with several attendees expressing interest in this event to happening on an annual basis. Other business leaders mentioned that they plan to our economic data analysis for their future business plans. 


You have created a very engaging activity for your entrepreneurship students. Will you share more about the business activity and the impact it has?

This year for our entrepreneurship class we are facilitating an experiential learning experience. The class has been divided into eight teams with each developing and executing a small business on campus. The businesses will operate for five weeks and then close. The University has been very supportive of the class project with support from the finance department, risk management, business services and the College of Business and Technology. The student groups had to vet their businesses through an approval and financing process and will donate their profits to various organizations or scholarships on campus. It has been a delight to work with various departments on campus to provide a rich experiential learning experience in entrepreneurship.

Dr. Daniel Chaffin

What do you envision for entrepreneurship education at CBT in the next few years?

UNK has a fantastic opportunity to be the entrepreneurial hub in the Tri-City area. Specifically, with the CRRD, the Business Development Center and other resources I hope to see UNK become a broker of information, resources and support for local entrepreneurial activity. Going forward I hope that UNK will continue to play a valuable role in entrepreneurial activity at every level. I am just grateful to be a part of the faculty. 

By: Lisa Tschauner

Category: Entrepreneur, Business and Technology