It started innocently enough. Five years ago, Joe Bailey, research associate
professor of decision, operations and information technologies and director of
the QUEST undergraduate honors program, put on a bow tie in honor of his bow
tie-wearing father-in-law. But then there was another bow tie, and another. And
bow ties seemed to demand a different aesthetic for jackets. And trousers. And
When Bailey walks Van Munching Hall these days, he’s instantly recognizable by
his bright ensembles coordinated around the inevitable bow tie. It’s not a
character or persona — this is how Bailey likes to dress. “Solidly traditional
American,” he describes it. Even the cut of his seersucker suit is pure Brooks
Brothers by way of Nantucket in July.
His students enjoy it, perhaps in part because b-schools tend to be so
straight-laced. Bailey’s signature style brings a welcome element of fun, even
in classrooms where he’s teaching dry courses such as Introduction to Design and
Quality and Managing Digital Business Markets.
“I’d hoped to be in Smith Business because of my ground-breaking research,”
Bailey jokes. Just so you know, he has an impressive research career under his
(ribbon) belt. Bailey has authored books and journal articles that span issues
in telecommunications, economics and public policy, with an emphasis on the
economics of the Internet. He’s also earned 11 teaching awards in his 14 years
at the Smith School. Undergraduates, MBAs and doctoral students have benefited
from Bailey’s teaching prowess. But it’s the Terp pants they will never forget.
And he’s okay with that.