Bill Hinkle is an adjunct professor of advertising in TU’s Communication department. Adjunct means that he is a part-time professor who has a full-time job working in the Tulsa community. He takes time out of his work and life to share his extensive knowledge of the advertising industry with us, his students.
This is Hinkle’s 22nd year teaching at The University of Tulsa. He now teaches Principles of Advertising, Media and Concept Strategies, and advises the annual National Student Advertising Competition. But he started in 1994 teaching just one class.
He described his first ever class to me. He came without a syllabus or book and planned to just wing it for the whole two hours and 45 minutes. He said, “I’m standing on the third floor of Oliphant in this giant room with 42 students. There are 84 eyes staring holes through my forehead, waiting for me to tell them something they haven’t heard before. So it’s six o’clock and I talk for a few minutes and I’m not making any sense, so I decide to call roll.” He continues, “Well that took about five minutes and then I talk some more. I talk and talk and talk and I think that about nine days have gone by, but I look at my watch and it’s only 6:15. I talk some more, and when I check again it’s only 6:25. So I said, “Okay, well that’s it for today and we’ll see you next week!” I got home and walked through the door and my wife looked at me and said, “It’s 20 minutes until seven! What are you doing home?” I told her, “I just told them everything that I know about the advertising industry in 20 minutes!”
Hinkle spent the next week putting together a lesson plan and luckily, he had much more than he realized at the time to share about advertising. He spent the following years perfecting his lectures and projects. He worked in both the college of Arts & Sciences and the Business College. He set out to create a program that truly offered integrated marketing communication, everything from advertising, to public relations, to broadcast production, to graphic design. In other words, all of the vital parts that make up an agency. About seven years ago, he finally saw his goals realized.
He called it the TU Ad Program.
This program was created, in large part, due to the aspirations and hard work of Bill Hinkle. Little by little, it has added more professors, students and special topics. The program encourages applicable knowledge and experiences that are realistic and can help build our portfolios. Many of the professors in the Ad Program are adjuncts, which means they have clients and connections in the Tulsa community and beyond. Our adjunct professors, and especially Hinkle, are the first to make a call for the students that work hard and show great passion.
When asked his favorite thing about teaching, Hinkle’s response is instant and automatic: “the students.”
“I love being around people like you. It keeps me young[er]. I learn just as much as you all do, maybe even more. I love to see the lights come on. Like in that very first Principles class, you have people that don’t even want to stand up and say their names, and now, they are doing amazing things! That’s the fun. I also like the camaraderie. I like the social engagement. And above all, I like to see students move on and do well, whether they go into advertising or not.”
Bill Hinkle is the best advocate for students that I know. He devotes an inordinate amount of time, money, and effort ensuring that his students are successful both in and out of the classroom. He encourages passion, personality, and boldness. In his classes, we are allowed to be daring and bold. He also lets us know that sometimes, our bold ideas will fail. This does not mean that we fail. It is simply an opportunity to try again.