Winter 2008 Faculty Files
Recruitment and Promotions Coordinator
There is no doubt that during the past few years at Xavier, Thomas Ruthemeyer, clinical professor with the graduate program in health services administration, has made an impact on the lives of his students. He only needs to poke his head into the room to provoke smiles from the students he teaches. It is no wonder that all of his students enjoy being around him; Ruthemeyer takes the time to relate to each of them within his classes. "Each class has its own personality, down to even the specific sections of each course," notes Ruthemeyer as he reflects on interaction as one of his favorite aspects of teaching. To him, each new semester not only brings a new mix of students, but a new level of knowledge regarding health care. This allows more of a challenge within the walls of the classroom. The concept of getting out of the office and interrelating with others is something he began during his time as an executive at Mercy Health Partners.
At Mercy, Ruthemeyer liked the challenge of building new things and constantly exploring different perspectives and ideas. He was also well aware of the need to get out when something is past its prime, a thought he contemplated as he considered retiring at the age of 55, getting a PhD and teaching. He successfully retired as an executive vice president, only to have a friend tell him about an opening at Xavier. "They knew I wanted to try teaching and figured this would be a good way to see if I liked it." Ruthemeyer was brought on under the impression he would only be here for one year. Four years later, he remains a critical part of the faculty.
When he is not interacting with young minds here at Xavier, Ruthemeyer spends time teaching at NKU and assists with their healthcare informatics master's program. He also enjoys walking, reading and—ever the finance professional—making money.
"I don't follow the standard," he says when referring to an interaction regarding finance outside the classroom. He doesn't follow standards within the classroom either; he surpasses them. It's this approach that has lead to stories of success and fostered a positive student environment. When asked about executive work versus teaching, he responded simply: "I don't enjoy one or the other more, I enjoy the now."