Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Harold Black

Bill NeilsonHarold Black, James F. Smith Jr. Professor of Financial Institutions, joined the UT College of Business Administration faculty in 1987.  However, he made history over 20 years earlier when he was the first African American student to attend the University of Georgia’s College of Business and live in an on-campus residence hall.  You can read about Black’s experience in the 1960’s at

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Black earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. His work since has including lecturing, consulting, and publishing extensively in the areas of financial institutions and the monetary system. 

Black served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and the University of Florida before joining the faculty at UT in 1987.  He has had an extensive background in government service, including his service as deputy director in the Department of Economic Research and Analysis, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He was appointed by President Carter to serve on the board of the National Credit Union Administration, has served as a director and chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and was a public interest member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Savings Association Insurance Fund Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C.

Black served on the board of directors of the New Century Financial Corporation in Irvine, California—the nation’s largest real estate investment trust. He was on the board of directors of Home Savings of America, one of the nation’s largest consumer banking organizations, and its parent company, H.F. Ahmanson & Co., prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank.  He is the past president of the Eastern Finance Association.

Among Black’s many honors, he has received the Department of Treasury’s Special Achievement Award, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Georgia’s College of Business Administration, and the National Credit Union Administration’s Exceptional Service Award.  At UT, he has received the Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Achievement, the Chancellor’s Award for Extraordinary Community Service, the Bank of America Leadership Award, and the John B. Ross Outstanding Teacher Award.  Black was named by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions as one of the most influential figures in credit union history.

In his free time, Black has biked on the Four Corners Motorcycle Tour, in which motorcycle riders travel from Key West, Florida, to San Ysidro, California, to Blaine Washington, and Madawaska, Maine….twice.  He is an avid bow hunter and has traveled to South Africa for hunting excursions.

“I am retiring at the end of this semester, and my years here at UT have been truly great,” said Black. “I will miss the university and hope in a small way that I will be missed as well.”

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