Graduation–a wonderful time of the year–a vivid reminder of the educational mission we serve through faculty research and teaching and through staff-delivered key support services to students and faculty. The sense of accomplishment of graduates and families as they participate in commencement reminds me of this mission. I love the array of individual personalities exhibited as students walk across the stage to the cheers of loved ones in the audience. I love the way that our college ceremony concludes, with the commissioning of U.S. military officers from the ranks of our business students. The reverence of the ceremony and the standing ovation of thmisse candidates’ fellow students inspire me.
Making this year’s commencement particularly special was the presence of Jim Haslam (see below for a summary of his commencement address). His love of youth and the accomplishments of our students were obvious. The vigor and pride with which he belted out the words of the university alma mater is a memory that I will always cherish. If you weren't able to attend, you can watch commencement at this link. Mr. Haslam's speech starts at the 36 minute mark.
Earlier on commencement day, the Graduate School hooding ceremony featured an impressive talk by a doctoral candidate who may very well be the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in plant science. Her talk was a reminder of the power of education in transforming individual lives and bettering human society. We are part of that enterprise. How blessed we are to be in that business!
Earlier this week I attended a meeting of the Chancellor’s Associates, a group chaired this year by one of our alums, Christi Branscom. The main event was a panel of this year’s Torchbearers. I was particularly struck by the comments of one Torchbearer from the Chattanooga area who graduated last week in biosystem ecology. Her story was a passionate statement of the impact of undergraduate student engagement in research. Her research had given her experiences in labs from Sweden to South America and enabled presentations of academic papers from Switzerland to Singapore. These experiences created her ambitions to pursue a Ph.D. from a university yet to be determined.
And so as the academic year concludes, thank you for your personal engagement in our Haslam College of Business community and our collective purpose of supporting learning through the creation and sharing of knowledge. We now enter summer, a time of activity and replenishment. For faculty it is a time of concentrated scholarly activity, whether that scholarship be the scholarship of discovery, of integration, of application, or the scholarship of teaching. For staff, it is a myriad of activities, including supporting students in internship and employment searches, building and engaging the soon to be entering cohort of new Haslam students, preparing for the new launch of co-curricular activities, delivering high quality support to academic programs that run year round and many other things.
It has been an eventful and successful academic year. Thanks for your role in making it so.
Last Thursday was a great reminder of the reason we work in the Haslam College of Business. A total of 685 undergraduates, 69 MAcc students, 18 MBA dual degree candidates and four students from the master's in human resource management were recognized as graduates of the University of Tennessee.
The evening provided an opportunity to honor the top graduates of the Haslam Class of 2015: Nicholas Grisham (supply chain management), Kaitlyn Horner (accounting), Shea Lowe (human resource management), Nathaniel Massey (economics and finance), and Qiqi Ruan (business analytics). Chad Autry and Massey were also presented with the Bank of America Faculty and Student Leadership Awards, respectively.
The graduating class presented Dean Steve Mangum a record-setting check in the amount of $19,141.60 as part of the Senior Impact Gift. Forty percent of the class contributed to this year's gift.
The ceremony was capped by a speech delivered by our namesake, Jim Haslam. Haslam urged graduates to seek three things in their futures – optimism, simplicity and culture. He noted six points that help create a positive culture:
Haslam also left the students with a challenge to learn, earn and return.
We applaud George Drinnon and his entire staff in undergraduate programs for their efforts to make Thursday’s ceremony a smooth and memorable occasion for our graduates. We hope they’ll get some time to recharge their batteries before orientation kicks off in a few weeks. We also appreciate the many faculty members who participated in the ceremony. The event was a fitting end to an eventful 2014-15 academic year at Haslam.
Our annual Haslam College of Business Awards were announced on April 21. We truly enjoy this celebration that allows us to recognize our faculty and staff for their extraordinary achievements. We hope those of you who joined us for the reception in the atrium had a great time! In addition to our college-wide awards, some of you have also been recognized for your contributions to our master’s and GEE programs.
At the Haslam Honors Reception, three staff awards were conferred for excellence in customer responsiveness, professionalism, and innovation and creativity.
Libby Magill received the Outstanding Staff Award for Superior Customer Responsiveness, recognizing her positive attitude and ability to create great outcomes for all stakeholders within Graduate and Executive Education. Magill’s nominators said, “She goes beyond the call of duty every day. She is always stepping up if issues arise and always doing so with a smile.”
The Tim Williams Outstanding Staff Award for Professionalism was awarded to two recipients this year. The award winners who tied for the honor were Kathy Zelem of the economics department and Tami Touchstone from the Office of the Dean. Zelem was said to have “mastered professionalism status” by one of her nominators, and Touchstone was described as “a person who would make Mr. Haslam proud.”
Jeannie Goodman of the Department of Finance was honored with the Innovation and Creativity Award for her commitment to efficiency and constant evaluation of how departmental resources may best be utilized.
Two awards were given for research: the Vallett Family Outstanding Researcher Award and the Michael J. Stahl and Gregory M. Bounds Graduate Research Award.
The Vallett Award was given to Georg Schaur for his prolific publication in economics. Schaur has nine journal publications since 2010 including a piece in the prestigious American Economic Review. He also is editor of the Journal of Economic Education.
Dallin Alldredge, a finance doctoral student, received the Graduate Researcher Award for his work addressing issues across disciplines. As a third-year student he was published in the Journal of Financial Economics, one of the top three journals in finance.
The Allen H. Keally Graduate Teaching Award went to Doug Ayres of the Department of Accounting and Information Management. Ayers’ nominators said that he “takes his teaching responsibility very seriously, often meeting with students outside his appointed office hours. His students value him as a teacher and a source of good advice for their careers.”
Phillip Daves was presented with the Richard C. Reizenstein Outstanding Commitment to Students Award for meritorious service to students beyond the classroom. Daves is an associate professor in the finance department, leads the college’s Global Leadership Scholars program and still finds time to mentor students.
Jackie Jacobs was recognized for her excellence as a teacher of management with the Allen H. Keally Outstanding Teacher Award. The presenters lauded Jacobs’ enthusiasm and use of technology and current events to demonstrate the relevance of material.
The Martin and Carol Robinson Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service Award recognizing Haslam’s best “all around” faculty member was presented to Ted Stank, the marketing and supply chain department’s Bruce Chair of Excellence in Business. Besides being a great teacher and researcher, Stank serves as the chair of the board of directors for an international supply chain professional organization with about 90 percent practitioners as its membership. He regularly confers with the industry’s top professionals and has become a thought leader in the field.
The final award of the evening, the Diversity and Inclusion Award, was presented to Randy V. Bradley, an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Students wrote comments noting their gratitude for Bradley’s dedication and support, his confidence in their potential, as well as his guidance as a mentor and advisor.
We would again like to thank the members of our selection committee, which combed through more than 100 nominations to choose the deserving winners. The committee was chaired by Don Bruce with members Cheryl Barksdale, Missie Bowers, Laura Cole, Kay LittleJohn, Nate Massey, Susan McGee, Clay McManus, Lloyd Rinehart, Keith Stanga and Mark Willoughby.
Back in December when many of our master’s students graduated, five faculty members were acknowledged for excellence. Neeraj Bharadwaj was presented with the Outstanding First Year MBA Faculty Award, while Chad Autry received the Outstanding Second Year MBA Faculty Award. Missie Bowers was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Commitment to Students Award. Michel Ballings and Adam Petrie were lauded with Excellence in Teaching honors.
On Monday, GEE hosted a reception and handed out some awards of its own. Four honors were presented to staff members. Stevie Shumate was given the Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Service. James Cody received the Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Results. Julie Ferrara was awarded with the Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Innovation, while Libby Magill received the Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Teamwork and Collaboration.
Two other awards were also presented for contributions to the GEE program. Retired executive director of GEE John Riblett received the George Miller, Jr. Award for a lifetime of achievement in executive education. Missie Bowers was given the Richard Sanders Award, which recognizes leadership qualities including mentoring faculty, field research focused on business issues faced by GEE partner organizations, and creating and validating new knowledge integrated into student curriculum.
So what’s been happening in meetings of the Executive Committee? Quite a bit. Topics of discussion and activity of recent meetings include:
1) Strategic impact hire initiative. The goal is to add to the college’s existing number of prominent faculty to the strategic benefit of the college as a whole. EC members recently developed and unanimously adopted a statement describing the goal of this effort and the approach that will be used.
2) Undergraduate tuition differential. The college, with the full support of the provost and chancellor, will propose an increase in the undergraduate tuition differential rate to the Board of Trustees, the incremental revenue to be used to support the undergraduate program initiatives of our strategic plan.
3) Nashville concept. The college is contemplating offering the ProMBA program in Nashville beginning in Fall 2016.
4) Summer research awards program. Awards have been determined and will be announced soon (within the next couple of weeks). Thanks to the generosity and support of alumni donors, and the quality of faculty research, the Haslam Summer Research Program has grown in both the number of awards and the size of awards this year.
5) Journal lists. The recommendations of the Dean’s Faculty Advisory Council in its recently released report (led by Ted Stank) continue to guide the EC’s discussions.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to connect with department heads and other members of the Haslam Executive Committee for additional information and answers to any questions.
Office of the Dean ~ 453 Haslam Business Building ~ Knoxville, TN ~ 37996 - 4140
Phone: 865-974-5061 ~ Fax: 865-974-1766 ~ Email:Haslam@utk.edu
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System