Columbia College–Lake of the Ozarks faculty Q&A with Jim Pasley

Columbia College—Lake of the Ozarks instructor Jim Pasley recently took some time to answer questions about himself and his time at the Lake Campus.

Faculty Member Name: Jim Pasley

Pasley speaks to Cub Scout Pack 6 In Jefferson City
about the  history of the city and its role in the Civil War.

Alma Mater, Date of Graduation: Columbia College, May 1987

Family members: Wife Karen; Sons Jimmy and Scott

Years at Columbia College: 20 years

Hobbies: Boating. I own a 32’ sailboat that I keep docked at my home.

Favorite Movie and/or TV Show:
Movie: Kelley’s Heroes TV Show: Criminal Minds

Favorite kind of music/favorite artist/song: Genre: Rock, Blues. Artist: Moody Blues. Song: “Melancholy Man”

Favorite Book: Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

Favorite Food: Pizza!

Favorite subject in college: History, of course.

When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be a ... ? Pilot

What is the best part about working at Columbia College – Lake of the Ozarks?Great co-workers and fun students. The administration gives me the latitude to choose what to teach and how to teach it. The small class sizes allow instructors the chance to really work with the students and get to know them.

What moment in your life are you the proudest of? The day I married my best friend, Karen. Close behind that would be the births of my sons.

Best excuse you have heard from a student who was late with their work? “I’m not going to lie to you, my mind took a dump on me and I didn’t do the work.”

What piece of advice would you impart to a student prior to graduation?You are not finishing, you are just beginning. Make us proud of you!

Talk about your journey and what led you to Columbia College–Lake of the Ozarks: 
I was a 30-year-old unemployed construction worker and decided to take one class. Of all things it was Western Civ II. I really enjoyed the class, and the faculty and staff were great to work with. They were always there encouraging you and helping you. I graduated in 1987 and then went on to get my master’s in American and European history while working full time for the Missouri Department of Transportation. It was also at this time that I took a position teaching at Columbia College—Jefferson City. My employers eventually found out about my teaching job at Columbia College and offered me a position in the training division at MoDot. I worked my way up through the training division while still teaching for Columbia College and eventually was appointed Corporate University Manager. In that position, I was responsible for all managerial and technical training of 6,000 Department of Transportation employees. I had a staff of 50 instructors and a $3 million/year budget. It was during this period that I transferred to teaching at the Lake Campus.

Like all state agencies, we went through a series of budget cuts in the ‘90s, and it was at that time I took a position with the State Emergency Management Agency. That position eventually led to work with the office of Homeland Security, where I continued to teach and develop programs for the state.

I retired from the state in 2008 and started teaching additional classes at the Lake Campus, where I continue to teach today.

Students John Lavanchy and Roy Roark talk
with Pasley at the Lake Campus' 2010 Community Day.

Pasley live on the air with KRMS radio's Kevin Burns.