Departmental News

New Professor to Teach Business Law and Ethics at USU

By Klydi Heywood

At first, John Ferguson wanted to be a preacher.

But at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, Dr. Ferguson found a mentor who had something else in mind. This mentor encouraged Dr. Ferguson to go to law school. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts, Dr. Ferguson chose a place where he could pursue both a law degree and be involved with the ministry. He selected Vanderbilt University.

There he received his Masters of Theological Studies and a law degree in 2000.

Dr. Ferguson’s research has focused on ethics, First Amendment rights, and law.

John Ferguson will teach business law and ethics

In 1997 he started out as a First Amendment education coordinator for the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. While he held that position, he mediated First Amendment controversies in school districts. There he would work with the schools and communities to help them better understand their legal rights and First Amendment laws.

Dr. Ferguson was also a practicing attorney for more than nine years. He provided legal advice and services to clients on First Amendment issues, as well as estate planning. During those years, Dr. Ferguson was also a First Amendment consultant for Ferguson Consulting.

When the mentor who had suggested Dr. Ferguson go to law school passed away, the school asked Dr. Ferguson to come and fill his position.

“And that led me into the academic world,” he said. “Working with students is definitely my calling. It is so fulfilling.”

He hopes to bring what he learned through his outside experience into the classroom.

“When you’re dealing with peoples’ religious beliefs, children, and schooling, it is very emotional and controversial,” Dr. Ferguson said. “I want to teach my students how to deal with some of those real-life applications and emotions.”

Having been a lecturer at Baylor University for the past four years, Dr. Ferguson says he has enjoyed working with students.

“The thing I am definitely most proud of is my students,” Dr. Ferguson said. “The things they go on to after school and the growth and I see in them are things I am proud to be a part of.”

He and his wife Meredith have two boys. As a family they like to go hiking, bike riding, and have recently picked up rock climbing. Meredith will be an assistant professor teaching human resources classes starting fall 2012. Both Drs. Ferguson strive to stay physically fit by being each other’s running partners. They have participated in various half marathons but hope to compete in a full marathon one day.