William “Bill” Neilson, J. Fred Holly Chair of Excellence, became head of the Department of Economics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration on January 1. He succeeded Robert Bohm, who retired December 2012 after being department head for 10 years.
“As we celebrate the college’s 100th birthday, it is an exciting time to become head of the department,” Neilson said. “Bob left the department in wonderful shape, and I am looking forward to joining the leadership team of the College of Business Administration.”
Jan R. Williams, dean of UT’s College of Business Administration and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair, said that the college is fortunate to have a faculty member with Neilson’s background and talent to assume the department’s head position. “Bill follows Bob Bohm’s successful time as department head and has two former department heads, Matt Murray and Bill Fox, to advise and support him,” said Williams. “I have coordinated this appointment with incoming Dean Steve Mangum, and we are both looking forward to working with Bill as he assumes this important position.”
Neilson joined the UT economics faculty in 2006 after teaching at Texas A&M University for 18 years. He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and his bachelor’s degree in both mathematics and economics from Rice University.
Neilson is an economic theorist; he uses mathematical tools to answer questions relevant to economics. His primary research areas include game theory (the study of interactions among small numbers of individuals or firms), behavior toward risk, and the now-popular field of behavioral economics. He also is interested in issues related to pricing, collusion, social networks, education and law.
Neilson has published more than 40 papers in academic journals. He has also published two textbooks, including the recent Personnel Economics, which discusses how compensation structures can be used to motivate workers, maximize profit, and attract the right applicant pool. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, which handles more than 700 academic papers each year.
At UT, Neilson teaches macroeconomics, international economics and the economics of strategy in the Executive MBA for Strategic Leadership program. He also teaches game theory and mathematical economics in the economics doctoral program.
The full-time MBA program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is one of the nation’s best, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest biennial ranking of U.S. full-time MBA programs. UT’s program ranked # 60 in the nation and #26 among U.S. public universities.
“The Businessweek ranking recognizes the overall quality of our full time MBA program and reflects the program’s contribution to the university’s goal of becoming a top-25 institution,” says Annette L. Ranft, associate dean for academic programs and Reagan Professor of Business in the College of Business Administration.
Businessweek recognized the program’s ability to assess a student’s overall professional promise. Vetting a unique and customized admissions process, the program considers student strengths—such as academic record, career history, and professional maturity—in addition to standardized test scores. As a result, the program received a special mention as one of only four schools in the country to be recognized as a “Good School if you Didn’t Ace the GMAT.”
The 24-year-old Bloomberg Businessweek ranking evaluated 82 schools globally. The top 30 U.S. schools and top 10 international programs was highlighted in the November 19-25 print issue of Bloomberg Businessweek; the complete ranking of full-time MBA programs can be found at www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings.
“We are honored to be recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as having one the finest MBA programs in the country,” said Jan Williams, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair of the College of Business Administration. “The UT MBA program is designed for students who want to develop their careers in areas that are valued by industry, such as business analytics, entrepreneurship and innovation, finance, shopper marketing, and supply chain management. Rankings such as this one reinforce that our students and employers are confident in our ability to graduate individuals with the skillsets that students want and employers need.”
The Bloomberg Businessweek ranking is based on three elements: a survey of 18,640 newly minted MBAs at 114 business schools, a poll of 566 corporate recruiters, and an evaluation of faculty research output. The MBA survey, which measures satisfaction with all aspects of the business school experience, is combined with two previous MBA surveys. The corporate poll, which asks recruiters to identify the schools that produce the best graduates, is also combined with two previous recruiter surveys. Finally, Bloomberg Businessweek tallies the number of articles published by each school’s faculty in 20 top journals and reviews of their books in three national publications. The total for faculty size is then adjusted and an intellectual-capital rating is assigned for each school. The MBA surveys and the recruiter polls each contribute 45 percent to the final ranking, with the intellectual-capital ranking contributing the final 10 percent.
MBA CLASS OF 2012 GIVES BACK
The UT College of Business Administration’s full-time MBA Class of 2012 recently gave back to the college, pledging almost $17,000 (additional pledges were received after the class check presentation). Over half of the class’s 73 graduates participated in the giving campaign, making the class gift the largest in the program’s history. Pictured here are Mary Cathey and Ken Bulthuis, who led the campaign effort.
For more information on the UT MBA program, please see mba.utk.edu.
UT alumna and Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles has been named as one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry. Miles is an active alumna of the UT College of Business Administration and a member of the college’s Advisory Council to the Deans.
Click here to view her profile story featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel: www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/dec/11/regal-ceo-amy-miles-makes-hollywood-power-list.Return to Top
The University of Tennessee's full-time MBA program collaborates with not-for-profit organizations to provide an applied-learning experience for students while contributing to community outreach and development. This course, Innovation in Practice, is supported by the college's Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. During 2012, five MBA students worked with Downtown Crossville Inc. (DCI) in developing plans to revitalize Crossville's aging downtown district.
The group included project managers David Mann, Kelvin Fernandes, Jeremy Fournier, Chris Inklebarger, and Bret Schumacher, with oversight and guidance from faculty adviser Austin Lance. Their client partners included Frances Carson, president of Downtown Crossville Inc.; Tonya Hinch, director of economic restructuring; and Sally Oglesby, Crossville city clerk.
Situated on the Cumberland Plateau, Crossville is the county seat of Cumberland County, one of the fastest growing counties in Tennessee. Crossville has a number of assets, including a large and affluent retiree population, 12 golf courses, a medical center, a community college campus, and easy access from Interstate 40. However, much of Cumberland County's recent growth and development have bypassed Crossville's downtown area.
A group of citizens formed DCI in 1994 to save the community's historic Palace Theater, which was threatened with demolition. The group preserved the theater and then turned its attention to other issues facing Crossville, including revitalization of the city's downtown district.
The students collaborated with DCI in shaping a strategy to enhance downtown retail and commercial business, generate increased sales tax revenues from residents and tourists, and maintain and preserve Crossville's historical elements and charm.
The students began the seven-week project by touring downtown Crossville and interviewing elected officials, business leaders, developers, retirees and other stakeholders. Then they benchmarked cities of similar size that had flourishing downtown areas, including Abingdon, Virginia; Commerce, Georgia; and Hendersonville, North Carolina. Students and faculty devoted more than 460 consulting hours to the project.
Based on their research, the students recommended the following.
The creator of Credit Virgin, an online platform that helps students build good credit scores, has won the fall Vol Court session at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
About 1,000 Facebook users cast their votes and selected Nate Buchanan, an MBA student from Hendersonville, Tennessee, as the first-place winner. Second place went to Mitchell Poythress, a junior from Antioch, Tennessee, who is developing a mobile application to help shoppers locate food items in a grocery store.
Vol Court is an entrepreneurial education series that ends with a competition between aspiring entrepreneurs for cash prizes to launch their business. The series is held both in the fall and spring and is open to students, faculty and the general public.
Buchanan received $1,000 to launch his business, space at the UT Research Foundation (UTRF) business incubator, consulting services from Pershing Yoakley and Associates, and mentoring from the College of Business Administration’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI)—a prize package worth more than $5,000.
Poythress received $500, space in the UTRF business incubator and mentoring from ACEI.
“Vol Court was a great experience because it forced me to get outside my comfort zone by approaching potential customers to vet the true viability of your business,” Buchanan said. “It forces you to put your business strategy to the test with seasoned entrepreneurs who can easily spot the flaws.”
He plans to use the money to refine and test market the platform.
Vol Court is sponsored by the Anderson Center, UT Federal Credit Union, Pershing Yoakley and Associates, and the UT Research Foundation.
For more information on Vol Court, visit www.andersoncei.utk.edu.Return to Top
UT College of Business Administration alumnus Jay Cobble is a native Knoxvillian and the principal broker for Providence Commercial Real Estate Services. He has worked on all facets of transactions for various clients ranging from small entrepreneurs to multinational corporations and even with local and federal government and. First Tennessee Plaza is among the many notable properties Cobble works with.
Among a number of his other honors, Cobble was named to the Greater Knoxville Business Journal “40 under 40” list in 2013; won the 2010 CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Deal of the Year award; was previously deemed a “Power Broker” by the nation's leading commercial real estate information service, CoStar; and was named a dignitary for long-term service at the Knoxville Chamber.
Prior to joining Providence, Cobble worked for Highwoods Properties in Memphis, Tennessee, and Blue Ridge Companies. He is currently the president of the Knoxville CCIM chapter and serves on the Economic and Community Development Committee for the Knoxville Chamber Partnership. He has served on the board of directors for local organizations, including 4 Market Square and the Dogwood Arts Festival. He is co-founder and current chairman of the Knoxville Fellows Program, a leadership development program for recent college graduates focused on the integration of faith and work. Each year, twelve Fellows live on Market Square, work internships around the city in their various fields, and take graduate level seminary courses, among many other program activities. Cobble also devotes much of his free time towards various ministries and non-profits in Knoxville, including Emerald Youth Foundation, Young Life of Knoxville, Young Professionals of Knoxville, and the UT Young Alumni Council.
During his college years, Cobble was active in the Executive Undergraduate Program, the College of Business Administration Leadership Team, the Financial Management Association, VASF Orange Nation, and Reformed University Fellowship. He graduated from the University of Tennessee magna cum laude with a major in finance and collateral in management; he then spent a post-graduate year in the 2PC Fellows Program in Memphis, Tennessee.
Cobble is a diehard Volunteer fan, having missed less than a handful of home football games since he was only ten years old, and he rarely misses a home basketball game. He and his wife, Rebecca, will soon celebrate their second wedding anniversary.Return to Top
Franz W. Kellermanns is a professor of management in the UT College of Business Administration and holds a joint appointment with the INTES Center at the WHU–Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany. He joined the UT faculty after five years with Mississippi State University.
Kellermanns’s research interests include strategy process and entrepreneurship with a focus on family business research, and for this he is ranked as the world’s third most productive German-speaking business researcher under the age of 40 by the Handelsblatt, the German equivalent to the Wall Street Journal. He also ranked 20th as the most productive German-speaking business scholar over the last five years and 55th most productive German-speaking business scholar (no age restriction) based on overall lifetime research output. The study included over 3,000 German-speaking business scholars worldwide from the disciplines of management, accounting, finance, and marketing.
Kellermanns is the editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and former associate editor of Family Business Review. He has published in numerous journals and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Family Business Review, Journal of Family Business Strategy, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. He is a co-editor of the recent books “Handbook of Strategy Process Research” and "Innovating Strategy Process."
As the director of the organization and strategy PhD program in UT’s Department of Management, Kellermanns works closely with doctoral students in developing their dissertations and teaches both at the graduate and undergraduate level.
Kellermanns received his PhD from the University of Connecticut. He is married to Laura Stanley, an assistant professor in the College of Business at East Carolina University. If not working or ballroom dancing with his wife, he is an avid deer and bird hunter.Return to Top
Jianyin (Jian) Roachell is a native of Nanning, China, and moved to the United States at the age of nine. He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, attending Memphis University School, before moving to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee. Roachell draws upon his heritage and travels as he meets fellow students at UT Knoxville.
“I love meeting international people and learning foreign languages and traditions,” said Roachell. “I am currently serving as president of the Diverse Organization for Business Students and as a student assistant at the university’s International House.”
Roachell is a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program and a student ambassador for the College of Business Administration. He also is a member of the college’s Global Leadership Scholars (GLS) honors program.
“I decided to apply for GLS because it is a program that is dedicated to academic excellence and at the same time focuses on the development of well-rounded global leaders,” explained Roachell. “I believe GLS is the right fit for me because I have always enjoyed being a servant leader in my community and love learning about other languages and cultures.”
Roachell plans to major in supply chain management with a dual concentration in international business. He is fluent in Chinese, and he interned this past summer in Shanghai, China, serving as a marketing research assistant. In the future, he plans to use his leadership skills and diverse background to pursue an international career that allows him to better his community and make a difference in others’ lives.Return to Top
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