Brian Fraser in his Dominguez Hall office
Brian Fraser, assistant professor of finance and director of CMU's Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative


Equities and Ethics with Brian Fraser

Assistant Professor of Finance Brian Fraser was 16 years old when he asked his grandfather about the letters and numbers scrolling below the commentators on CNBC. Fast forward four years, after Fraser completed his service in th U.S. Marine Corp, and the interest in finance that sparked that day ignited.

Fraser began taking business courses at what was then Mesa State College.  During his undergraduate days, Fraser decided he would stay with finance until he became bored with the subject. Fortunately for CMU, that hasn't happened yet.

Fraser began teaching at CMU in fall 2011 while working part-time as a commercial lender. Although he enjoyed his time as a credit analyst, Fraser said he found teaching to be much more satisfying.

“When you teach someone to do something, and they actually get it, you get that kind of internal good feeling. Whereas when you finish a loan, you just start a new loan,” Fraser said.

Approachable-but-tough is how Fraser described his teaching method. He said he has high expectations for his students and challenges them to look at problems differently.

“My hope is that they start to learn that even though they don’t understand or know anything about something, they have the ability to go acquire that knowledge,” Fraser said.

He said  education is a long race, not a sprint, and he believes it is those who never stop learning who are truly successful. Fraser is furthering his own education this spring by completing part three of the Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

“It’s surprising when you study something for so long you think you have all the answers,” Fraser said, “but every semester I hear myself saying ‘I don’t know. I will have to get back to you on that one.’ I think that’s good because it means I have a lot of room to run and grow myself. The CFA is pushing me to that growth.”

When he is not teaching finance, Fraser works on expanding the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative. CMU is beginning the third year of the five-year grant.

“Our goal is to continue to expand campus wide and start involving the community a lot more,” he said.

With the grant, CMU has been able to host a variety of speakers, start a Student Center for the Public Trust (CPT) club and better educate students on how to handle a variety of ethical situations with integrity.

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