Todd Barnum

Senior Lecturer

Management & Human Resources


Todd Barnum serves as Senior Lecturer at the Max Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, having joined the faculty in 2008. Mr. Barnum teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in the subjects of new business creation and entrepreneurship.

Professor Barnum developed his courses through current literature as well as extensive experience in the business arena. After graduating from Michigan State University with a BA in business he began his business career as a department store buyer with the F&R Lazarus company in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Barnum, while running the largest volume women’s department in the chain, left Lazarus after 6 years. He teamed with a local entrepreneur and they bought a small bar in German Village in Columbus. In 1970 they converted the bar into a successful restaurant named Max & Erma’s. While experimenting with other restaurant concepts such as fine dining and fast food they began to grow the Max and Erma’s concept. Mr. Barnum assumed the title of President in 1977. They took the company public in 1983 with sales of approx. $10,000,000. During that period of time, Mr. Barnum attended Harvard University, Smaller Company Management program. Mr. Barnum bought out his partner and became CEO and Chairman in 1986 when the company had 13 restaurants. He and his team began an aggressive growth and in 2006 he sold the chain. At that time system-wide sales were $225,000,000 with 77 corporate restaurants and 20 franchise locations. Shortly after his retirement from the company he began his teaching career. Mr. Barnum has had considerable business experience with his membership on numerous boards.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Development
  • Value Creation
  • Team Development
  • Ethics
  • Financial Managemetn
  • Governance
  • Franchising
  • Planning


  • B.A. Business, Michigan State University
  • Harvard University, Smaller Company Management Program