Gartner: UT Graduate Supply Chain Program Ranked Third in Nation

KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduate supply chain program is ranked third in the United States, according to a report from a leading industry company.

Gartner Inc. placed UT’s program just behind those at Pennsylvania State and Michigan State universities. UT previously ranked 10th. The program is housed in the College of Business Administration.

Last month, Gartner ranked UT’s undergraduate supply chain program third in the nation.

“This ranking, coming on the heels of its sister ranking for the undergraduate program, solidifies the value of our offerings,” said Steve Mangum, dean of the College of Business Administration. “Our faculty and our students should be very proud of both the impact of their work and the value of the program and their degrees.”

Gartner Inc. ranked 44 universities nationwide using research gathered through surveys and interviews of industry professionals and academics. The surveys identified industry sentiment and recruiting patterns, and included information on the university’s program composition, number of students, professors, and scope of curriculum.

The report praised UT for being a program leader in the areas of supply chain brand, scope, industry value and applied work experience.

“Our offerings continue to be solid investments both for the companies who hire our graduates and the graduates themselves,” said Mark Moon, head of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.

The undergraduate supply chain program also moved up to third among public research universities and fourth in the nation, according to the recently released 2014 U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges” rankings.

UT offers a wide spectrum of supply chain programs, including the global supply chain Executive MBA program, the full-time MBA program with a supply chain concentration and the undergraduate supply chain program.

To learn more about the supply chain program, visit


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Posted in 2014 | Tagged ,

UT Launches Comprehensive Leadership Development Program in Knoxville and Bradley County

KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration is launching a comprehensive development program geared toward current organization leaders or those with potential to be on the fast track to leadership.

Registration is now open for the UT Emerging Leaders Series, which begins January 2015. Participants take classes just two days each month between January and June, which limits work disruption. Two series are being offered; one in Knoxville, the other in Bradley County, TN.

The series includes six modules and is designed for the same individual to take them all. But participants can sign up for individual modules, if desired.

“The 2008 recession delayed retirements of many baby boomers, and organizational training and development budgets were cut,” said Ron Solmonson, the UT leadership series director. “With an improving economy, organizations are faced with a potential leadership void. Companies need to have a strong leadership team ready to take the reins if the companies are to remain successful.”

Solmonson added that a recent study by human resource consulting company, Bersin by Deloitte, revealed that companies with highly developed leadership programs get seven times better business results than companies with mediocre programs, and they are 12 times more effective at accelerating business growth.

The six Emerging Leaders Series modules cover a broad range of leadership and management topics:

Jan. 2015: Foundations of Leadership — focuses on enhancing an individual’s leadership self-awareness and predisposition. Participants learn to leverage their leadership strengths and mitigate potential shortcomings.

Feb. 2015: Building Relationship and Effective Communications — develops and enhances participants’ communication skills so they can build effective relationships within and across organizations.

March 2015:  Talent Management Strategies and Solutions — teaches participants proven performance management techniques that help them deliver effective performance appraisals and set realistic goals for their direct reports. It also explains effective employee retention and engagement strategies that decrease turnover and create more stable workforces.

April 2015:  Making Sense of the Numbers:  Finance for Non-Financial Management — helps participants better understand how their decisions affect overall company performance. Financial statements and metrics, such as contribution margin, working capital and various cost allocations are explained.

May 2015:  The Efficient Manager — teaches participants how to more efficiently use their and their team’s time to improve productivity and employee satisfaction. Participants learn the eight wastes of management and discover countermeasures to reduce their impact and enhance productivity.

June 2015:  Leading for Impact — helps participants deliver impactful results to their organization and articulate their leadership legacy.

The cost is $7,500 for all six modules or $1,600 for any two-day module; includes books, classroom materials, lunch, and break refreshments.

CEU credits are available upon request.

For more information, visit

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UT Business performs well in U.S. News and Gartner rankings

Supply_Chain_US_News_ThirdThe College of Business Administration’s undergraduate business program ranked 31st among all public universities and 51st among all of America’s business schools in U.S. News and World Report’s recently released “2015 Best Colleges” edition.

The college’s supply chain management program continued its upward trajectory, ranking third among public research universities and fourth in the nation.

“These rankings reflect both the quality of and our commitment to undergraduate education,” said Steve Mangum, dean of the College of Business Administration. “We are extremely gratified by this recognition of the dedication of our faculty, our staff and our students.”

U.S. News surveyed deans and senior faculty at business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in spring 2014 for the rankings. Participants were asked to rate the quality of programs of which they were familiar on a scale from one to five, with five being distinguished.

The University of Tennessee ranked 50th among all public universities and 106th nationally in the same rankings. The university improved in the ranking criteria in areas including the high school counselor peer assessment, average freshman retention rate, graduation rate and the percentage of freshmen in the top 10 percent of their high school class. UT also was ranked 24th nationally among colleges providing the best support for veterans returning to school.

In addition to the U.S. News rankings, Gartner Inc., a leading industry company, also has recognized the college’s supply chain program recently for the quality of both its undergraduate and graduate program offerings. UT’s supply chain program climbed to third in the nation in both rankings.

Gartner Inc. ranked forty-four universities nationwide using research gathered through surveys and interviews of industry professionals and academics. The surveys identified industry sentiment and recruiting patterns, and included information on a university’s program composition, number of students, professors and scope of curriculum.

The report lauded UT for being a program leader in the areas of supply chain brand, scope, industry value and applied work experience.

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Mackey takes top HR honor

Debbie_Mackey_SHRMDebbie Mackey, a senior lecturer of management in the University of Tennessee’s College of Business Administration, recently received the James House Williamson award as the top human resource professional in the state.

Mackey was presented with the award at the Tennessee Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference & Expo, which was held in Sevierville, Tenn., Sept. 17-19.

The award is presented to encourage the development of sound human resources management and to publicly recognize the work of those who have made significant contributions to that effort.

Under Mackey’s guidance, UT’s student chapter of the SHRM has been recognized for three consecutive years as the most outstanding chapter out of an estimated 600 chapters worldwide. The distinction is based on the chapter’s professional development of student members, student internships, community volunteer work and contribution to the human resources management profession. In May, Mackey was selected as the 2014 SHRM National Faculty Advisor of the Year.

Also at the Tennessee SHRM Conference, two members of the UT chapter were awarded scholarships. Shea Lowe received the Joseph Paul Goddard Undergraduate Scholarship, and Christiana Goode was named the recipient of the James House Williamson Graduate Scholarship.

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Annual MBA Habitat for Humanity Build Begins


Pictures from the build are available on our Flickr account at:
Habitat Photos.

For the 12th consecutive year, the University of Tennessee MBA Program’s Tennessee Organization of MBAs (TOMBA) is teaming with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity to build a home.

This year’s project kicked off with a “blitz day” on Sept. 13.  Clear skies and unseasonably cool temperatures welcomed the crew that participated as part of the UT team.  By the end of the day, four walls were built and raised, and a roof was in place. The MBA-led group will convene for four additional work days with a dedication ceremony to be announced at a later date.

“We’ve had many other UT groups volunteer and work with us, including sports teams and fraternities,” said Mike Ehrhardt, a finance professor in the College of Business Administration.  “In fact, this year, the UT campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity is a co-sponsor of the home.”

Collaborating with Habitat for Humanity has become an annual tradition for the MBA students.  Ehrhardt and his wife, Sallie, have been part of the tradition since its inception.

“It started with an MBA student leader from the class of 2003, JP Peery,” Ehrhardt said.  “JP had volunteered on Habitat building projects when he lived in California before entering our program.” 

Peery and his classmates from the MBA Classes of 2003 and 2004 organized fundraising events and solicited donations from UT faculty and local businesses. 

In Fall 2003, MBA students and faculty became covenant sponsors for a Knoxville Habitat for Humanity home built on Selma Drive. Covenant sponsors raise a third of the cost for a home.  Knoxville Habitat for Humanity provides another third of the funding from general donations, and the homeowner takes out a loan with Habitat for Humanity for the remaining third.

This year’s house, which is being constructed on Worth Street in Knoxville, will provide a home for Joey Thompson and his three daughters. Thompson, whose profession is construction, worked alongside the volunteers on blitz day.  

While Thompson’s construction skills well suit him for assisting with his own home, all individuals who become homeowners through Habitat for Humanity are required to contribute 500 hours of sweat equity.  The balance of time not spent on their own build may be spent on construction of another Habitat home, volunteering at the organization’s thrift store and taking classes such as budgeting and basic home repair.

The first MBA-sponsored home belonged to the parents of a UT food services employee.  Two additional homes also have been built for individuals with ties to the university.

Each year since the inaugural effort in 2003, an MBA student has taken Peery’s reins as a project coordinator.  Ehrhardt, who has helped each new coordinator settle into that primary leadership role, said the task requires “many, many hours” to make the project successful. Rick Wheeler is the project coordinator for the 2014 build.

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Etheridge Joins UT College of Business Administration

KNOXVILLE—Nathan Etheridge has joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration as director of operations for three executive Master of Business Administration programs.

Nathan_EtheridgeHe will oversee student recruiting efforts, business development initiatives and program delivery for the Executive MBA for Strategic Leadership, Executive MBA for Healthcare Leadership and Executive MBA for Global Supply Chain programs. He also will work with global business and domestic industry immersion seminars for the various executive MBA programs.

“We are thrilled that Nathan has joined our Office of Graduate and Executive Education,” said Kate Atchley, executive director of the college’s executive-level MBA programs. “Nathan brings the leadership skills and expertise to continue these programs’ drive to excellence.”

Prior to joining UT, Etheridge spent more than 10 years in corporate leadership roles. Most recently, he was division finance manager for TruGreen Company in Memphis, Tennessee, overseeing the financial reporting and analysis activities for its two largest revenue-generating divisions. Prior to joining TruGreen, Etheridge worked in corporate finance and commercial banking with firms such as FedEx and US Bank. He also served for six years in the 118th Air National Guard unit in Nashville, Tennessee.

A Tennessee native, Etheridge earned his undergraduate degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, his Master of Public Administration from UT and an international-concentration MBA from the University of South Carolina.

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Ergen, Goodner and Henry Professorships Awarded


Professors Bill Fox, Tom Boehm and Michael Stahl were recently appointed to new and existing named professorships.

The college wishes to congratulate the faculty on these honors and extend its gratitude to the donors who are supporting teaching and research through these generous gifts.

Bill Fox has been chosen as the recipient of the Ergen Professorship. Fox serves as director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee and is a former head of the Department of Economics in the College of Business Administration. In addition to his many national and international visiting appointments and awards, he has served as a consultant in approximately 25 countries and more than 10 U.S. states on a wide range of public policy issues. His current research is focused on improving tax structures and tax policies and enhancing regional economic development.

The Ergen Professorship has been established with a gift from Charlie and Candy Ergen of Denver, Colo. They are founders of Dish Network.

Tom Boehm is now the Goodner Professor of Finance. Boehm has taught real estate finance and investment courses in the undergraduate and MBA programs at the University of Tennessee since his arrival in 1979. Currently, he is the faculty coordinator in the Department of Finance and a core faculty member in the Professional MBA program in the College of Business Administration. Boehm’s research interests include housing economics and public policy, and real estate finance and investment analysis. He received his doctoral degree in economics from Washington University in Saint Louis.

The professorship is generously supported through the estate of David Coleman.

Michael J. Stahl is the recipient of the new Jerry and Kay Henry Endowed Professorship. A faculty member in the Department of Management, Stahl also serves as director of the Physician Executive MBA program. The program is the No. 1 preferred MBA program exclusively for physicians in the world. Stahl’s work is concentrated in strategic management, total quality and healthcare. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his doctorate in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Jerry and Kay Henry of Roanoke, Texas, established the professorship. Jerry Henry is a member of the College of Business Administration’s Advisory Council to the Dean. He retired from Johns Manville as CEO and served in leadership roles at DuPont for more than three decades prior to his service there.

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