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College of Business Administration Faculty
Chosen for Prestigious Positions


UT Business Dean Jan Williams is Board Chair-Elect of
Premier Business College Accreditation Body

Jan WilliamsJan Williams, Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair and dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been elected chair-elect of the board of directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premier accreditation body for business colleges. Williams becomes chair in 2011.

"I am honored to hold this esteemed position in such a prestigious organization," Williams said. "Chairs are elected from AACSB's membership across 70 countries. Recent chairs have heralded from the University of California, Purdue and the University of Warwick (England)."

AACSB was established as an accrediting body for business schools in 1916. Currently, AACSB accredits 579 business schools, 469 in United States and the remaining 110 across 35 countries. "Less than 5 percent of the world's business schools achieve the elite distinction of having AACSB accreditation," Williams said. "UT's College of Business Administration has been accredited since 1942, almost 70 years."  In 1982, AACSB began accrediting accounting programs.  "UT's accounting program was AACSB-accredited that first year and has remained accredited since," Williams said. Currently, only 170 accounting programs worldwide are accredited; 166 of those are in the United States.

Securing accreditation is a very rigorous process. For more than 20 years, William has been involved in evaluating business schools and accounting programs for accreditation across the U.S. as well as in China (Hong Kong), Australia and Singapore.  As chair-elect, Williams' 2010 responsibilities include serving as a member of the AACSB Executive Committee, chair of the Committee on Issues in Management Education and a member of the Compensation Committee and Accreditation Coordinating Committee. In addition, he remains chair of the Accreditation Quality Committee, which determines accreditation standards for business schools worldwide. Williams' involvement in AACSB over the years has been extensive. He has chaired or been a member of the Accounting Accreditation Committee, Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation Quality, Business Accreditation Committee, Finance and Investment Committee, Impact of Research Implementation Task Force, Impact of Research Task Force, Southeastern Conference Business Schools Affinity Group, Special Committee on Global Accreditation Strategy and Strategic Directions Committee, as well as serving as a speaker at a dozen conferences and seminars.

Williams joined UT in 1977, and, before becoming dean, was head of the Department of Accounting and Information Management and associate dean for the college's academic programs. He is an internationally renowned author in the field of accounting, publishing textbooks for both students and practitioners. For five years, he was the outstanding discussion leader for continuing education for the Tennessee Society of CPAs. Williams also was awarded Outstanding Accounting Educator by both the Tennessee Society of CPAs and American Institute of CPAs.

UT Vice Provost Appointed President of MBA Roundtable Board

Sarah GardialSarah Gardial, vice provost of faculty affairs at the University of Tennessee (and former associate dean of the College of Business Administration), became board president of the MBA Roundtable, the premier organization that provides guidance and leadership for MBA curriculum worldwide. Her term runs from January 2010 through December 2012.

“I am honored to be appointed board president of this prestigious leadership group and to be associated with such an esteemed group of colleagues,” said Gardial. “Being involved with UT’s MBA program has been one of my most valued academic experiences, and it will be great to share my learning at this new level.”

The MBA Roundtable establishes MBA curricula worldwide; member schools benchmark against one another, establish best practices, and work to identify educational trends. The Roundtable collaborates with students, educators, and employers to identify skill sets that MBA graduates must have in order to be productive members of the business community.

“Having the University of Tennessee represented at the highest levels of this organization reinforces the progressiveness, innovativeness, and leadership of UT’s full-time MBA program,” said Amy Cathey, full-time MBA program director.

Gardial joined the University of Tennessee in 1986 as an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Logistics. She began teaching in the full-time MBA program in 1992 and maintained that role even when she became associate dean of the college’s academic programs and university vice provost.

“Sarah has been an inspirational leader to our MBA students and the entire MBA community,” continued Cathey. “The impact she’s had on our students’ lives is immeasurable. She will now be able to apply her skills and knowledge on a much more global scale.”

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