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Meet AIU Alumnus David Allen Bassham

AIU Alumnus David Allen Bassham
David Allen Bassham
BBA - Enterprise Management '05
MBA - Business Management '06

David Allen Bassham is Executive Director of Facilities and School Services (Auxiliary Services Department) for the Fort Bend Independent School District (ISD) in Sugar Land, Texas. He is responsible for child nutrition, transportation and operation of facilities for all of Fort Bend County. With over 70,000 students (grades K-12), Fort Bend County is one of the largest school districts in the country.

Bassham has over 30 years of management experience in auxiliary services for education, healthcare, and business. Prior to his current position, Bassham worked at ARAMARK (a leading provider in food services, facility management and apparel for institutions and organizations), as the Operations Systems Manager for the East Baton Rouge Parish School District in Louisiana.

Bassham reached a point when his career began to plateau. He recognized his intense professional and managerial experience was lacking one fundamental element: education. It was at the time he entered his daughter, Jessica, into a Florida medical university when he made the decision to go back to school. She said to him, "You need to go back [to school] and finish your degree now." It was her encouraging words that inspired him. Bassham and his daughter were both very studious, straight A students; they would often study together.

"Don't be ashamed to let folks know you went back to school for the purpose of improving yourself. The discipline of study taught me how to be a better manager and director. It was the confidence factor that I needed. Education has taught me how to think. I learned how to be a good student and I became more accepting of other people's opinions."

Bassham attended AIU in 2003 and acquired his BBA in Enterprise Management in 2005 (Summa Cum Laude) and his MBA in Business Management in 2006 (Honors).

"AIU was a huge time commitment for me," he says. "It was a struggle getting into the habit of pacing myself. I had no family life. I had to focus on school seven days a week. I gave up one-hundred percent of my spare time."

Bassham had to push himself harder after being hit with substantial damage to his home by a Louisiana hurricane. He was reluctant to fall behind on his studies. "When you fall behind, you're behind," he says. "It was a discipline that I had to relearn." Bassham committed to studying wherever he went. He found himself completing assignments even while camping when he was a director for a local youth group.

Bassham urges current and future students pursuing a degree, "Be patient. Make sure that you are willing to commit to 2-3 years of rigorous study. If you get to a point that you want to quit, find someone that you trust to help you; Don't give up."

Although AIU consumed a majority of his time, solidifying his self worth and legitimizing what he accomplished was of tremendous value to him. "My experience at AIU was the best 3 year investment of my life," he expresses. "The discipline of study was a nice reward." Bassham often references his textbooks and the AIU website.

Bassham greatly benefitted from his MBA credentials; he was able to negotiate his salary and receive a master's stipend from FSID. In the future, Bassham plans on acquiring a PHD in Education Management. "I would love to be a professor teaching business classes. I've always migrated toward teaching; it would be a feeling of contentment," he says.

Bassham is certified in FEMA Incident Command System and CPMM and CPS - AFE (Association for Facilities Engineering). He was given the Performance Excellence Award at ARAMARK for accelerating in organizational outcomes.

Bassham was born and raised in Norwalk, CA. Bassham and wife, Grace, sold their house in Baton Rouge, LA and will soon be relocating to Fort Bend County, TX. They have been married for 36 years and have one daughter who resides in Fort Meyers, Florida.