The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

College of Business Adminstration at the University of Tennessee e-Newsletters for the College of Business Administration at UT.

January 10, 2014

Message from Steve

Welcome to 2014 and the new year’s first issue of “Pace of the College.”

2014 marks the centennial year for the college…100 years of business education on the campus of the University of Tennessee. We look forward to celebrating this achievement throughout the year. You will soon begin to see signs of celebration and commemoration appearing, beginning with a celebratory issue of Archways.

We begin 2014 with newly endorsed vision, mission and values statements thanks to the leadership of the Dean’s Faculty Advisory Council and the participation of all of you. These statements are worthy of our frequent review, including here:

Vision: To inspire our students, colleagues, business, and society. We challenge the status quo, enhance knowledge, drive change, and transform the world.

Mission: We are a community that serves the citizens and businesses of Tennessee and beyond. We support learning through the creation and sharing of knowledge. We succeed when our work, and that of our students and partners, generates nationally and internationally recognized outcomes that improve the world.

Values: Our core values provide the foundation for a collaborative community and for achieving our mission and vision. They encourage and empower each of us to contribute our most innovative talents and skills. They are:

Integrity. Integrity is essential to our community. Integrity is supported by openness, communication, accountability, professionalism, and the courage to live our values.

Inclusion. We value diversity in its many forms, and we recognize that constructive debate makes us better. Inclusion and respect for all makes our community stronger.

Insight. We value the creation and sharing of knowledge. Support for learning and enhancing understanding is central to all that we do.

Impact. We are committed to excellence, enduring influence, relevance, and creativity. We want to make a positive difference through our ideas and actions.

We begin 2014 with new leadership and a new structure to our graduate and executive programs beginning to take form. We look forward to what will be built on the strong foundation created by other colleagues. Similarly, we begin 2014 with increased investment in our marketing and public relations capability and look forward to what this additional investment will bring to our marketing and communications team. We also begin 2014 in the glow of what has proven thus far to be a very successful recruiting season, with new faculty set to join us later this year in accounting, finance, marketing, and statistics…with some search efforts continuing in other areas.

2014 promises to be a full and eventful year in the college: centennial year celebration; a strategic plan building on the foundation of our vision, mission and values statements; implementation of our new workload policy; academic program advances through review and reassessment of many of our “product lines”; and enhanced capability through continued development efforts, being just a few.

These things, and many others, are attainable only through your creativity, innovation and committed effort. Thank you for all you do and for all that you are. Each of us has the capability of making a positive difference in this organization. I hope that each of us acts on that capability each and every day.

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Executive Committee Meetings

The Executive Committee most recently met on December 17th. Announcement was made of the recent hiring (effective February 1st) of Tanya Brown (currently employed at the UT College of Law) as Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Kudos were given and shared on the successful graduation of CBA students at autumn commencement. Discussion topics included the Century Celebration and review of current changes in organizational structure within our graduate and executive program operations.

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Executive Director for Graduate Programs

Trent Thurman will join the College of Business Administration on August 1, 2014, as Executive Director for Graduate Programs in the College. A Tennessee native, Trent is currently Director of the Working Professional MBA Programs at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

At McCombs, Trent oversees the academic, administrative, recruitment and student services aspects of the Texas Evening MBA, the Texas MBA at Houston and the Texas MBA at Dallas-Ft. Worth programs. Under his leadership, the portfolio jumped to #7 in the most recent U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of part-time programs and is also a ranked program in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Trent was awarded the President’s Outstanding Service Award by the University of Texas in 2012 and received the Student Services Excellence Award by the McCombs School of Business in 2011.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee in 1988 and earned an MBA from the University of Texas in 1994. Prior to his current role, he enjoyed a decade-long career in commercial and corporate real estate, including stints with Dallas-based Trammell Crow Company and Sacramento-based Panattoni Development Company. He was also director of real estate for a regional healthcare system in Memphis, Tennessee for five years.

Prior to graduate school, Trent served on the legislative staff of then Senator Al Gore, where his research focused on legislative and regulatory issues relating to higher education, healthcare and the arts.

Active in the community, Trent served as President of the Memphis chapter of the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association and was later elected to the national Board of Governors following his term as president. He also served on the Board of Trustees for Grace-St. Luke’s School in Memphis. An avid runner, Trent has completed multiple marathons, including four Boston Marathons, and is currently training for a 50-mile trail run in early 2014.

Trent and his wife Francie, the Head of School at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School in Austin, have seventeen-year-old twin boys, Ben and Sam, who are currently juniors at St. Andrew’s High School in Austin.

We will welcome Trent more formally when he joins the college in August, but wanted to announce his pending arrival.

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"Questions from the Hallway"

Question: “Does the college/dean want faculty to be teaching in larger class sizes?

Answer: Yes and no, but probably not in the way that you might be thinking.

No, we are not suggesting an increase in the number of mega sections that we offer as a college. No, we are not suggesting that we take current course section limits and systematically increase these by ten or twenty percent across the board.

Yes, there has been a case or two of multiple section courses where, with consultation, we have sought a modest increase in the section size limit. Yes, we have said, given our resource environment, we should seek to increase the average number of students per section offered. In doing so, we seek “right size” our class sections and maximize our resource utilization in the process.

So, yes, the college/dean is seeking to have us carefully review section size and enrollment management across our program offerings, and where appropriate, for us to reduce the number of underutilized sections we offer. The result will be an ability to spread scarce faculty resources across a larger number of competing uses, more effectively use our classroom space, and free up some financial resources for alternative, higher value use.

If you have a “question from the hallway” that you would like to see addressed in this column, please send it to Tami Touchstone. While not all questions may have answers, we will do our best.

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If you have a news item for Pace, please email it to Tami Touchstone at

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Department ~ 453 Haslam Business Building ~ Knoxville, TN ~ 37996 - 4140
Phone: 865-974-5061 ~ Fax: 865-974-1766 ~

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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System