Don Proctor: Great professor, inspiring human being

Don Proctor
In a few days we will be done with year 1 at Haas and it’s been a memorable experience with its ups and downs. One of the best parts of my B-School experience has been meeting inspiring professors and lecturers. I wasn’t so sure about the professor when I elected for ‘Introduction to Management of Technology’ (MOT) earlier this sem but I took it as the course content really interested me. It was an opportunity to understand innovation in technology broadly divided into product, process and business model innovation.

Am I glad that I selected this elective, for not only was I exposed to some of the most interesting and contemporary issues in the field, I also had the privilege to be taught by one of the most inspiring people I have met.

Meet Don Proctor, SVP and GM of the Voice technology group at CISCO which includes some of the most exciting areas including Webex. It was difficult for me to believe that with the scale of his responsibilities that Don would be able to make it to class every Thursday morning at 8am to teach a bunch of 60 engineers and MBAs! Not only did he make it to class, his teaching was involving, insightful and entertaining. What made this more inspiring was that Don has been diagnosed with cancer towards the end of the 15 weeks and he still hasn’t missed a beat despite his chemo or loss of hair (which he jokes about).

Don brings his rich experience as well as wealth of knowledge to each class and I have been able to learn more from this one class than many others put together. Today was the last class and we made our final presentation (SkySails) at the end of the course. Don seriously considered ending his teaching stint earlier this year as he felt it wasn’t possible for him to continue given his increased responsibilities. Rashi Glazer (the head of instruction at Haas)convinced him to give it one more shot. It was a nice moment when he said that he was actually glad that he took Rashi’s advise.

To conclude I wish Don the very best of health and hope that he continues to teach at Haas. I’m hoping the future batches at Haas turn out as lucky as us. Thank you for agreeing to teach us Don and we hope to stay in touch with you!

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