Gary Flotron, senior lecturer of finance at UMSL

Gary Flotron, senior lecturer of finance at UMSL, will receive the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for a Part-Time Faculty Member on Sept. 17 at the State of the University Address. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Gary Flotron is a part-time faculty member, but a full-time expert in the field of estate and financial planning.

His combination of real-world expertise and passion for teaching has earned him the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence to a Part-Time Faculty Member. Flotron is a senior lecturer of finance in the University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Business Administration, teaching financial planning, including estate and trust planning, and life insurance and employee benefits. He will receive a plaque and $1,000 honorarium at the Chancellor’s State of the University Address on Sept. 17.

Estate planning and life insurance are subjects that are often far from most college students’ minds, but Flotron uses his personal style to make the subject matter relevant and fun. As an instructor, he uses classroom interactions like role-playing to engage his students and make them think critically about the material.

“My objective is to stretch their minds,” Flotron said. “I don’t want them to paw parrot the material; I want them to think.”

Flotron has always considered himself an academic type, even though he worked in the industry for many years. Before joining the UMSL faculty in 1997, Flotron gained national renown in the field of estate and financial planning. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

In 1982, he founded G.L. Flotron & Associates, a firm that primarily works with small businesses to develop executive and employee benefits. He also has a schedule that’s busy with speaking engagements, competitions and leadership positions in professional organizations. He is chair emeritus of Synergy Summit, the past president of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, and a past national board member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. He is also the editor of the estate planning section of the journal for the Society of Financial Service Professionals. And he’s a member of UMSL’s Planned Giving Advisory Committee.

Flotron’s success in the business world has also led to success for UMSL. For two years, Flotron’s students have dominated in the Financial Service Professionals National Industry Issues Competition.

“Gary is very focused in his teaching and has demonstrated measurable results,” said Hung-Gay Fung, chairman of the Department of Finance and Legal Studies. “He mentors his students, hoping they will be successful in their career.”

Flotron considers his successes to be indicative of the quality of instruction provided by UMSL’s adjunct faculty.

“The adjuncts here make significant contributions to the university, and most are very dedicated folks with excellent experience,” Flotron said. “I’m accepting this award on behalf of all the other adjuncts who are so dedicated to their students.”

The UMSL Experience

Rachel Webb

Rachel Webb