Taking Class in Ireland helps Haslam Students Understand FDI

P1000723Six seniors took their final class as Haslam College of Business students in Dublin, Ireland, this summer as part of a study abroad program focusing on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The class was taught by associate professor of management Russell Crook, who chose Ireland for its unique standing in the European Union.

“Ireland is the only English speaking country on the Euro,” Crook said. “Given this, lots of firms from within the EU take their first international step into Ireland because it is very similar to the United States. They take this knowledge, and then try to move to the U.S.”

Students followed the same business strategy with a project called “Coming Soon to Knoxville.” They used frameworks learned in class to identify international franchises that might be profitable in the Knoxville market, studying the specific industry, franchisor’s track record, start-up fees and ongoing royalties.

Valencia Jennings, a human resource major, found that studying the Irish business environment was actually a self-reflective exercise. “I learned many things about myself that I don’t believe I would have discovered had I taken this class back in Knoxville,” she said, noting that Irish professionals are more conservative in their dress, but more liberal in their timeframes and demeanor.

Students visited Galway, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, a social media monitoring firm called Olytico, Kendlebell and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), which attracts FDI to Ireland.

“The visit to the IDA really helped the students understand what government institutions can do to create a favorable environment for FDI,” Crook said. Ireland’s success in attracting FDI investment from more than 1,000 companies made the IDA visit an educational highlight of the trip.

Ken Finnegan of the IDA explained to Haslam students that Ireland’s appeal goes beyond a low corporate tax rate and stable economic environment, however. “I provided them with Ireland’s unique selling points and value proposition from an investment perspective but also put some of our other great national resources in there too — the beautiful scenery and fun activities here,” he said.


Posted in 2015

Students Partner with Indian Colleges to Clean India’s Streets

Five undergraduate students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business have developed a project called Clean Cycle to help dispose of trash along India’s roadways. The project is a partnership with Manav Rachna College of Engineering in Haryana, India, and the Foundation for Liberal and Management Education (FLAME) School of Business in Pune, India.

CleanCycleTeamClean Cycle is part of a class at Haslam that uses community service projects to help teach business management in a real-world context. Haslam’s Clean Cycle team includes Wilson Waller, Katie Ruan, Manami Murphy, Jason Hinkle and Harmeet Batth, all senior business majors.

Batth, who was born in India and is the project’s field researcher, said the country’s trash problem has developed with its commercialization. “People do not claim responsibility for disposal of western packaged goods,” Batth said. “There is a lot of trash there, and it’s been building up over the last decade.”

The trash accumulates along India’s streets and in empty lots, causing a growing health concern. In October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Clean India campaign encouraging citizens to dispose of garbage appropriately and help clean up litter in their communities.

Clean Cycle contributes to Clean India by providing tricycles and safety gear to independent waste collectors who make their living on refunds from recyclable materials. Tricycles can triple a waste collector’s daily productivity, which supplements their income while reducing the public trash problem.

ManavRachnaGroupHaslam students worked with students from Manav Rachna and FLAME to build business plans for the independent waste collectors to expand their enterprises using the tricycles. Indian students mentor the waste collectors based on the plans and consult with Haslam students to make adjustments as the business plans are implemented.

Jason Hinkle, company director for Clean Cycle, said that the most difficult part of the project has been embracing flexibility. “Where we stared is so different from where we are now,” Hinkle said. “I’ve learned you sometimes have to deviate from a plan no mater how hard you’ve worked on it. I think that’s part of being an entrepreneur.”

The service project began in the fall of 2014 with a different set of Haslam students. Their focus was on creating awareness of India’s waste problem in the United States while participants from Manav Rachna organized community clean up days and distributed public waste bins. Clean Cycle’s entrepreneurial aspect grew out of an effort to make the project self-sustaining.

Ernie Cadotte, Fisher Professor of Innovative Learning, teaches the service learning class and brought India’s trash problem to the attention of his students after travelling there in the summer of 2014. He believes the issue is not culturally specific. “The U.S. was the same way in the 1950s when interstates first came in,” Cadotte said. “We had to educate ourselves not to litter.”

The partnerships with Manav Rachna and FLAME came from Cadotte’s connections during his travels. Students in India and at Haslam researched the Adopt-A-Highway program and anti-litter campaigns in the U.S. as well as current waste management practices in India before developing Clean Cycle.

Other projects of Cadotte’s class have included a 5K run benefitting senior citizens in Knoxville and a bike rally benefitting the Legacy Parks Foundation. This is the class’s first international project.

Posted in 2015

Randy Bradley Recognized for Paying it Forward to Underrepresented Students

PayItForwardRandy Bradley, assistant professor of information systems and supply chain management at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, has been featured in a book entitled “Paying it Forward.” The book outlines the growth and success of The PhD Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of doctoral candidates from underrepresented ethnicities.

Since The PhD Project’s founding in 1994, the number of African-, Hispanic- and Native American business professors with doctorate qualifications has quadrupled. Randy Bradley joined the organization while he was a doctoral student at Auburn University in 2001 and still participates as a speaker and faculty advisor.

“I haven’t missed their annual conference for 14 years,” Bradley said. “When students come to me struggling and having challenges, I can relate because that is the life I once lived. When I share my story with them, they recognize that if I did it, so can they.”

“Paying it Forward” describes one instance in 2005 when Bradley’s story inspired Martin Dias, a successful information technology professional, to pursue his inclination to become a professor. Dias recalls that hearing Bradley speak at The PhD Project conference is what gave him the courage to give up his six-figure salary and enroll in a doctoral program at Bentley University.

“Here I see someone who looks like me,” Dias, one of more than 400 potential students that Bradley spoke to that day, remembered thinking. “He has a family like me. He is active in the ministry like me. He is focused and determined like me. He’s acknowledging this will be a challenge, but he’s saying the end result will be worth it. He basically took all my excuses away.”

Bradley has spoken at The PhD Project’s conference several times since. He also mentors African-American undergraduates students at Haslam and is involved with the Business Education for Talented Students program, which gives high school youth a taste of life at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville each summer.

“Paying it Forward” was written by Ned Steele and published by The PhD Project. Visit http://www.phdproject.org/ for more information about The PhD Project and “Paying it Forward.”

Posted in 2015 | Tagged , ,

Haslam College of Business MBA Program Named a Top 50 Best Value

An MBA from the Haslam College of Business was named as one of the top 50 best values in the country earlier this month. Haslam’s MBA program was ranked 29th by Value Colleges, a website dedicated to examining college affordability.

The website specifically noted that the program packs a large amount of coursework, as well as a study abroad experience and internship, into a 17-month format. These aspects paired with the shorter, and there fore more affordable, duration make the Haslam MBA a good value.

All business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International in the United States with program costs at or below $100,000 were considered in the ranking. Schools were evaluated according to their complete cost, educational prowess and the average
starting salary for graduates.

The full rankings list is available on the Value Colleges website at http://www.valuecolleges.com/rankings/best-value-mba-programs/

Posted in 2014, 2015

Summer Research Program Recognizes 11 Faculty

In its second year, the Haslam Summer Scholars research awards program has more than doubled its support for faculty led, high quality, research in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville..

“These awards allow us to promote strong scholarship while recognizing and supporting outstanding faculty in the Haslam College of Business,” said Annette L. Ranft, senior associate dean for academic affairs. “The program itself and the individual faculty awards are possible because of the generous financial support of our donors, most of whom are also Haslam alumni. We are grateful for their support as we congratulate all those selected on their promising work.”

A total of 11 faculty will carry a research fellow designation for the coming academic year. These faculty members conduct research across a broad spectrum of topics exploring areas of corporate governance, supply chain management, finance and accounting, executive behavior and entrepreneurship.


Autry_ChadChad Autry
Kinney Family Faculty Research Fellow; William J. Taylor Professor of Supply Chain Management; Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management



Chyz_JamesJames Chyz
Jeff & Janet Davis Faculty Research Fellow; assistant professor; Department of Accounting and Information Management



Crook_RussellRussell Crook
Roy & Audrey Fancher Faculty Research Fellow; associate professor, Department of Management



Munyon_TimTim Munyon
Ray & Joan Myatt Faculty Research Fellow; assistant professor, Department of Management



Puckett_AndyAndy Puckett
Kinney Family Faculty Research Fellow; associate professor and Massingale Scholar, Department of Finance



Schaur_GeorgGeorg Schaur
Stewart Bartley Family Faculty Research Fellow; associate professor, Department of Economics



Tate_WendyWendy Tate
Charlie & Caroline Newcomer Faculty Research Fellow; associate professor; Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management



Vossler_ChristianChristian Vossler
Nancy & David McKinney Faculty Research Fellow; associate professor; Department of Economics



Wanamaker_MarianneMarianne Wanamaker
Kinney Family Faculty Research Fellow; assistant professor; Department of Economics



Williams_DavidDavid Williams
Stanley Bowden Faculty Research Fellow; assistant professor, Department of Management



Woidtke_TracieTracie Woidtke
Charles & Dorothy Duggan Faculty Research Fellow; David E. Sharp/Home Federal Bank of Tennessee Professor in Banking and Finance; Department of Finance



The Haslam Summer Scholars program is a primary component of the college’s strategic plan aimed at increasing the visibility and impact of knowledge-creation activities. The awards recognize the scholarship of tenure-track faculty members based on their research productivity over the prior three-year period.   In addition to private support, the program also is supported by the Chancellor’s Faculty Support Challenge.


Posted in 2014

UT Study: Volkswagen Plant Expansion to Add 9,800 Jobs to State Economy

KNOXVILLE— The expansion of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing facility to produce a new midsize sport utility vehicle could add about 9,800 jobs to the Tennessee economy, according to a study released today by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The expansion includes the opening of a North American Engineering and Planning Center. Volkswagen currently employs 2,400 Tennessee workers.

The study, from UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research, shows that Volkswagen’s $704 million investment in the plant would:

  • Generate $217 million in new income and 5,400 jobs in Tennessee during the construction and development phase.
  • Be responsible for $373 million in additional annual income once the plant is fully operational.
  • Increase state and local tax revenue by $35.1 million annually once the plant is fully operational.

The UT study shows the facility would add 9,800 full-time permanent jobs to the Tennessee economy, including 1,800 jobs at the production plant, 200 engineering jobs at the new North American Engineering and Planning Center, and other positions created indirectly throughout the state as a result of Volkswagen-related spending associated with its new hires.

“Some of these new jobs will be with Volkswagen suppliers, while others will be associated with the multiplier effect and will be jobs in many industries such as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls and construction,” said Bill Fox, CBER director and the study’s author.

Construction for the expansion project is underway and is expected to be completed in summer 2016. Production of the Volkswagen midsize SUV is scheduled to begin later that year. New employees will be added over a five- to eight-year period.

The North American Engineering and Planning Center will open in a temporary facility in the next few weeks, while the initial hiring of the first 130 positions is starting now.

To read the UT study, visit http://cber.haslam.utk.edu/pubs/bfox309.pdf.

In 2013, CBER prepared an economic impact report about the earnings and employment impact from the direct operation of Volkswagen’s current assembly plant in Chattanooga. At the time, Volkswagen had 2,415 employees and spent $159.2 million annually in income for its employees. The study found that Volkswagen Chattanooga operations created 12,400 full-time jobs in Tennessee and was responsible for $643.1 million in annual income. Operations of the facility also increased state and local tax revenues by $53.5 million.

To read the previous study, visit http://cber.bus.utk.edu/pubs/bfox291.pdf.

To view an infographic describing the impact of Volkswagen’s expansion, visit http://media.vw.com/release/982.

For more on the Center for Business and Economic Research, visit http://cber.bus.utk.edu/.

C O N T A C T :
Bill Fox (865-974-6112, billfox@utk.edu)
Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)

Posted in 2015

Haslam Student Attends Capitalism Seminar

James-McDowellJames McDowell, a senior in finance and economics, recently attended the Communicating Capitalism seminar in Clemson, South Carolina, on a full scholarship. McDowell received the scholarship after submitting a short essay to the Foundation for Economic Education on the financial impact of corporate ethics.

McDowell was alerted to the seminar by Ray DeGennaro, Haslam College of Business Professor of Banking and Finance, after writing a paper on the same topic for his financial theory and practice class.

“I found it very interesting that even though companies are punished financially for unethical actions there are still large enough incentives for a rational person to cheat,” McDowell said. “I was interested in the opportunity to discuss my ideas with industry professionals, especially as an undergraduate student.”

The Communicating Capitalism seminar, held this year on May 21-24, is aimed at young adults ages 18-25 and features speakers on various topics surrounding the moral justifications of capitalism. The seminar was sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education Young Leaders program and the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism.

For more information about the Communicating Capitalism seminar, please visit: http://fee.org/seminars/detail/communicating-capitalism

Posted in 2014