Alumni Profile: Roye H. Cole

Name: Roye H. Cole
MBA Graduation Year: 2011
Current Profession: Sheriff in Webster County, MO

We’d love to share more about your professional success with our current and future students – please describe your career path to this point as well as your current profession:

I was raised in Rogersville, Mo. My career path started at the young age of 16 when I became a Police Cadet with the city of Rogersville. From there I took a job at Drury University as a security guard.  While working at Drury University I attended and completed the Drury University Law Enforcement program and became a licensed police officer in the state of Missouri. 

While still attending Drury University I gained a position with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office as a volunteer. I was a deputy there for many years, until I left to be a Deputy Juvenile Officer with the 30th Circuit County of Missouri.  With the courts, I specialized in Child Abuse Neglect, Delinquency and Status offences.  

In 2008, I ran for the office of sheriff in Webster County.  I won the election winning every precinct in both the primary and general election. Since taking office, the office has up-to-date equipment, more officers, a new radio system, better vehicles, state of the art Records Management System inter-operable with a 911 Communication Center,  lawsuits have fallen by 90% and officer complaints have fallen dramatically. Community Relations have never been better and we have never gone over budget.  I credit an open door policy and a commitment to conflict resolution for the improved relations with the community.   I am starting my second term as Sheriff and all indications are good for the future. 

How did your experiences in the Breech School of Business MBA prepare you for or enhance your professional career?

My undergraduate work was in Psychology and Criminology because I was in law enforcement. I knew if I wanted to be a leader in the field, I needed to set myself apart and I did.  The MBA program at Drury offered me something that no one else in law enforcement had.  It offered me a variety of business experiences such as: networking, leadership development and conflict resolution that I couldn’t get anywhere else.

From the Breech program, I learned, and then applied, the concept of Open Book management. It was a very progressive idea for law enforcement. As you can imagine, officers are not quick to share information.  I wanted my vision known to all members of my team.  In the past, deputies collected information and treated it as a commodity, only sharing when it gave them an advantage. Today officers are quicker to understand my vision because of my willingness to share information with them, empowering them with information and trust. This allows them to act with more confidence and precision.

 Also, every dollar I spend is government money. From the Breech School, I learned political governmental systems and aspects of government revenue (tax dollars) and how to best stretch them. Through negotiations, price matching, and contracts, I have been a fiscal hawk, while still achieving the desired results of a public service office.   

Were there any specific courses that were especially useful to you?

My experiences with Breech were fantastic.  I enjoyed the classmates more than anything else, but I think my most valued experiences would be the leadership class and economic classes.

What advice would you offer to a new student beginning the Breech School of Business MBA program?

In a phrase, “learn fearlessly.” Hold nothing back and let nothing hold you back. I believe a person can do whatever they choose. I am an example.  I am the youngest sheriff in this state. That didn’t happen by accident.  And I have achieved all of my many goals (for now). These goals never would have been realized, if I hadn’t finished my education, lived “fearlessly” and followed my faith in God.