List of Articles

UT College of Business Administration Receives Prestigious AACSB Maintenance of Accreditation

The University of Tennessee College of Business Administration and its accountancy program have received maintenance of accreditation by the most prestigious international governing organization for business schools, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, also known as AACSB International.

Accreditation signifies business school excellence.

The college has been accredited since 1947; it was the 53rd school to earn this distinguished designation. The college’s accounting department was in the first group of eight schools to receive accreditation in 1982.

Maintenance of accreditation takes place every five years. It is an opportunity for the college to showcase its offerings and evaluate and fine-tune its goals.

At the heart of the AACSB are its rigorous accreditation standards and its dedication to the peer-review process. Accreditation teams include deans (and accounting department heads when accounting programs are being reviewed) from other AACSB-accredited schools. Teams normally include three to four individuals.

The accreditation team visited UT this spring to evaluate the college based on three areas: strategic management, faculty and students, and assurance that students are learning. Within those three areas are 21 different business standards that a college must meet. For accounting accreditation, there are an additional 15 standards that are built on the original 21.

The team applauded the growth in the number of students in the college, noting that a large student population is an indication of a strong program. Although it praised the increase in faculty and staff since the last review, it cautioned that the number of students remains large relative to the size of its faculty and staff.

“This attention to detail protects the integrity of the AACSB’s mark of excellence and provides invaluable feedback to the college on its direction, goals, and focus,” said Jan Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration. “AACSB visits are very consultative. Feedback may be about an accreditation standard or simply be the sharing of a ‘best practice’ that the team member has been exposed to.”

AACSB International, founded in 1916, has accredited 649 institutions in 43 countries on six continents. Accreditation in accountancy has been awarded to 178 programs.

For more information or to learn about the accreditation process, visit

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The UT College of Business Administration is Coming to a City Near You!

In May, Dean Jan Williams will visit Washington, D.C., and Dallas, Texas, to meet alumni and friends of the College of Business Administration. Alumnus Dave Snapp, ’79, will host a reception in his home on May 8 for those living and/or working in the Washington, D.C. area, and Joe Crafton, ’84, will host a reception at CROSSMARK, Inc., near Dallas on May 16. All alumni and friends of the college are welcome, and these are great opportunities to meet fellow Vol fans living near you!

The Office of Development & Alumni Affairs has mailed invitations to all of the alumni living and/or working in these areas. If you did not receive an invitation, or would like more information about these events, please contact Meredith Hulette at

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Video Game Idea Wins UT Vol Court Business Competition

A video game idea designed to get children interested in energy sciences and technology has won this semester’s Vol Court pitch competition at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Vol Court is a speaker series and pitch competition presented by the College of Business Administration’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The goal of the program is to help people develop new business ideas and gain entrepreneurial skills. It is sponsored by UT Federal Credit Union, UT Research Foundation, and the Terry Adams Law Firm.

A second-place $500 prize went to Anthony Smith, a junior majoring in public relations, who is developing a low-cost marketing package for small companies. Sarah Hurst, a doctoral student at the UT Institute of Agriculture, received honorable mention for a new Type 2 diabetes treatment.

Chin, an energy science and engineering fellow in the new Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, said his winning idea was a result of his love of video games and his experiences in the energy program.

“I wanted to create a product that could not only highlight the challenges of energy sciences and technology, but also garner the interest of kids in primary education,” he said. “I’ve long thought that educational games often take themselves too seriously, so instead of just talking about it, I am making games people want to play.”

“I’m from an engineering background,” Chin added, “so the business side of the world is completely new to me. Vol Court gave me a great crash course on what challenges and hurdles I would have to deal with, and it also gave me more confidence in this idea. Having the judges see the value in this project has really given me the push to take this through to the end.”

Vol Court’s popularity has been increasing, with more than 30 percent growth this semester in both number of attendees and number of teams that pitched the idea.

“We had some business and non-business participants pair up to pitch their ideas, which often helps accelerate the time it takes to bring ideas to market,” said Joy Fisher, Vol Court managing director.

Vol Court is offered every fall and spring semester and is open to students, faculty, and the general public.

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Farm Bureau Insurance Executives Share "Charlie" Campaign with UT Marketing Students

The real-world came to the Integrated Marketing Communications class at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee showed senior-level marketing students how classroom learning translates into the real world.

In 2006, Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee (FBITN) knew they had a marketing challenge. Awareness of the company was really low, particularly in urban markets, and research showed that a significant percentage of Tennesseans thought that you had to be in the farming industry to purchase the insurance.

“That was a real concern for us,” said Neal Townsend, chief marketing officer for FBITN. “We insure more than 650,000 family members, and Tennessee is the largest Farm Bureau group in the nation. Yet, no one knew about us. We needed to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.”

Joining Townsend in the classroom were Dan Batey, VP of corporate communications for FBITN, and Brooke Duncan, senior vice president of the Tombras Group. They shared its success with FBITN’s now-famous “Charlie Campaign.”

In 2007, FBITN joined forces with the Tombras Group to launch one of the company’s most successful campaigns. “Charlie has become a celebrity in his own right,” laughs Duncan.

Similar to what the students are challenged to do in the classroom, FBITN and Tombras conducted research to determine the best branding for the product and positioning for the campaign. “We knew our creative couldn’t overpower our message, but we needed to reinforce that any Tennessee resident —farmer or not—could purchase Farm Bureau insurance. We’ve stayed consistent with that message, and it’s been working for us. Awareness of the company is amazingly high, and business has grown every year. That’s happened despite a recessionary economy when many insurance companies have lost market share due to the extremely competitive environment.”

Charlie also has gone viral. “We have seen the character at weddings and even as a Halloween costume. There are even Charlie sightings on Facebook.” Batey is proud to add. “When you’ve become a cultural icon, you know you are doing something right.”

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Phillip & Jinny Furlong Establish Two Business Scholarships

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration has two new scholarship endowments thanks to two of the university’s young alumni.

Phillip M. & Jinny B. Furlong have established one scholarship to be awarded to a U.S. veteran dependant who was raised overseas and one for a Tennessee native. Phillip credits his professional motivation to the College of Business Administration faculty—especially Dr. Harold Black and Dr. Cary Collins—who mentored him and gave him confidence.

“I knew I’d be successful by-in-large due to the preparation and the challenging curriculum (I received at UT),” said Phillip.

The Furlongs felt called to donate to the university after the birth of their first child.

“We were motivated to give for three reasons,” explained Phillip. “First, we recently had our first child, and we want to see education opportunities for his generation. Second, we see the college costs becoming higher, and we want to help in this place of need. Third, we love the University of Tennessee---Go Vols!”

The couple encourages other alumni to follow in their footsteps in making gifts to the College of Business Administration, and Phillip pointed out that many companies offer matching gift programs that create an even larger impact with your gift dollars.

“Keep in mind that our children and communities need our help. Give when you can---there is a need,” said Phillip. “Your employer may match the funds, which would make your gift twice as generous. Pay it forward!”

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UT Professor Testifies Before Congress about Financial Regulatory Initiatives

Joseph V. Carcello, Ernst & Young and Business Alumni Professor in the UT  Knoxville, College of Business Administration, testified before U.S. Congress recently about regulatory initiatives being considered by several federal agencies and corporations.

Carcello appeared before the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He testified about mandatory audit firm rotation and reporting on internal control over financial reporting. These initiatives are being considered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board. 

“Mandatory audit firm rotation would require all public companies to change auditors after a certain number of years,” Carcello said. “This proposal is designed to make auditors more independent of their clients. Internal control audits are designed to assess whether a public company’s controls are adequate to provide reasonable assurance that financial statements provided to the public are accurate. This was an outgrowth of the frauds at Enron and Worldcom.”

This is the first time Carcello has testified before a Congressional oversight committee. He previously testified before a committee of the U.S. Treasury Department.

Others who testified at the same hearing included the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, chairs of the oversight and standards boards, the chief executive officer of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Carcello is part of the college’s Department of Accounting and Information Management. He also is director of research for the college’s Corporate Governance Center.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to testify before a Congressional oversight committee,” Carcello said. “Very few accounting academics have this opportunity and, in my view, this opportunity showcases the fine business programs in UT’s College of Business Administration.”

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Student Spotlight: Kevin Guice

Kevin Guice has immersed himself in the university culture at UT. The senior, who is majoring in accounting with a collateral in logistics and supply chain management, is an active leader in the College of Business Administration, on the UT campus, and in the Knoxville community.

“Throughout my college career, I have had the opportunity to hold many leadership positions,” said Guice. “I think being involved in a diverse range of activities and organizations really motivates individuals to explore new areas of growth.”

In the College of Business Administration, Guice served as a teaching assistant for the BA 100 Peer Mentor program in 2011. He is an active member of the college’s chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and was the chapter’s reporting chair in 2011, a position that serves as liaison to the organization’s national office. He has been on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council for two years, participating in the AACSB accreditation meetings as a student representative and giving feedback on business curriculum from a student’s perspective.

As a student ambassador for the College of Business Administration, Guice has represented the college during prospective students’ campus visits and at local high school college fairs. He served as a student host at the college’s annual alumni awards gala this past fall, calling the event “one of the biggest highlights of (his) college career.” He has interned the past two summers for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will return there this summer to intern in their assurance group.

Across the UT campus, Guice has been active with numerous organizations. He is on the university’s Black Cultural Programming Committee and served as the committee’s treasurer last year, receiving an award from the committee for having organized its best program. He participated in the Minority Achievement Program for the 2010-2011 academic year, working as a mentor for three freshmen students and helping them transition to collegiate life.

Guice has been a member of the Alpha Phi alpha fraternity since 2010, serving as treasurer for the Mu Lota chapter and being the East area assistant director of all Tennessee chapters. His chapter recently was recognized as chapter of the year in the state, and he was honored in 2011 for having the second highest GPA in the state among members. Additionally, he served on the Black Issues Conference Committee for the Office of Multicultural Student Life in 2011 and represented the committee at various recruitment events for high school students. He received the office’s Carl Cowan Scholarship last year and is a Promise Land Heritage Award winner, an award that recognizes young African American leaders for their achievements in academics and philanthropy in his hometown of Dickson, Tennessee. Guice has been recognized by Chancellor Jimmy Cheek for his numerous leadership roles on campus and has attended two of the chancellor’s leadership dinners for exemplary students on campus.

Guice’s service over the past four years has reached outside of the university to the local community, as well. He has participated in service projects across Knoxville, working for the Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Club, Fulton High School Enrichment, Montomery Village, Boo Fest with NAACP, Amachi Kids, and the MLK Day of Service.

“Although I enjoy all community service, the one program that really means a lot to me is the Men of Valor Program,” said Guice. “The program was designed for brothers of my fraternity to mentor inner city elementary school students once a week. I really felt a connection with the students, and it meant a lot for me to develop a personal relationship with them.

“One of my organizations, NABA, has the motto, ‘Lifting as We Climb.’ I try to take this motto and apply it to my everyday life.”

Guice plans to continue his accounting education by pursuing a Master of Accountancy degree. Upon graduation, he plans to sit for the CPA exam and work in public accounting for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“As I continue to strive for excellence and pursue success, I will never forget the valuable educational experience I had at the University of Tennessee.”

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Alumni Spotlight: Lieutenant Cameron J. Burnette

Lieutenant Cameron J. Burnette considers himself a Tennessee native, although he was born at Castle Air Force Base in Merced, California. His family moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, when he was three months old, and still calls Tennessee “home” as he travels for his distinguished military career.  Burnette joined the Navy in 1997, training in naval nuclear power before being assigned to a submarine and selected for the officer training program called Seaman to Admiral. As part of the program, Burnette attended the University of South Carolina, where he completed his undergraduate degree in political science, serving as student body treasurer and interning for the governor of South Carolina for two years. Upon graduation, he received his commission as an ensign in the Navy.

For the next several years, Burnette served in increasing leadership roles on numerous assignments. He worked as an electronic warfare officer and a communications officer and was deployed to the Horn of Africa, the North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean. During his next assignment, Burnette went to Iraq, where he was stationed in Haditha and ran missions on the Euphrates River. He eventually made his way back to the U.S. and was a part of Task Force Energy, the Naval team that led the flight of the Green Hornet, the first ever U.S. warship powered by bio-fuel. He served as an admiral’s aide and traveled frequently, however he was still motivated to return to school.

“It had always been a dream of mine to go to school (at UT),” said Burnette. “The Aerospace & Defense MBA program was perfect …Having been in the Navy for 13 years at the time, I wanted to find a program where I could utilize my experience.”

Burnett completed the 12-month Aerospace & Defense MBA (ADMBA) program in December 2010, and, in the same month, volunteered and was selected as an individual augmentee to return to Iraq for a year. He worked for the United States Forces Iraq, performing planning, assessments, and strategy. However, before leaving, Burnette wanted to give back to the University of Tennessee. He established the Cameron Burnette MBA Endowed Fellowship, which will benefit a future student in the ADMBA program at UT.

“Since I was a kid, it was my dream to attend UT,” said Burnette.  “The things I learned and the people I met while in the ADMBA program changed my life. Once I had my degree, it became one of my top priorities to do my part to help others be able to accomplish their dreams of also going to UT. This was my way of saying ‘thank you’.”

As an experienced Naval officer, Burnette has been honored with numerous awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with one gold star); the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with three gold stars);  Joint Merit Unit Award;  Navy Unit Commendation (with one bronze star); the Navy Battle ‘E;’ the Good Conduct Medal (with two bronze stars); the National Defense Service Medal; the Iraqi Campaign Medal (with Fleet Marine Force, three gold stars); the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal; the Global War on Terror Service Medal; the Navy Sea Service Ribbon (with one bronze star); the Navy Overseas Ribbon; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal Article 5 (Active Endeavour); the Navy Rifle Expert Medal; and the Navy Pistol Expert Medal.

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Faculty Spotlight: Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth E. Anderson is the Pugh & Company Professor of Accounting and the director of the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program in the Department of Accounting and Information Management. He earned his Ph.D. at Indiana University in December 1983 and has been at UT ever since.  During his time at UT, Anderson has taught federal income taxation at the undergraduate level, and in the MAcc program, has taught tax policy, corporation taxation, and partnership taxation.  He has published articles in various academic and professional journals and has presented various topics to local CPAs and financial planners. 

Anderson is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  After high school, he spent six years in the U.S. Navy, serving three of those years on the USS Belknap, a guided missile frigate.  After the Navy, he earned his undergraduate accounting degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and then spent six years in public accounting, ultimately attaining the position of tax manager with Arthur Young (now part of Ernst & Young) in Philadelphia. 

Anderson is married to Ellen Anderson, who is a lecturer in the Department of Accounting & Information Management, and they have one child who is a high school history teacher in Knoxville.

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