U.S. News ranks Haslam College of Business supply chain program No. 3

The undergraduate supply chain management program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business is third in the nation according to rankings released today by U.S. News and World Report.

Haslam’s supply chain management program rose two spots in the 2017 rankings from fifth last year. The college’s overall undergraduate programs retained their position of 30th among public universities and rose two spots to be ranked 48th nationally this year.

“Continued recognition of our top-notch supply chain program by U.S. News and World Report underscores similar honors by industry rankings such as Gartner,” said Steve Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair. “The successes of supply chain, and the gains achieved by the Haslam College of Business broadly, are a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and students. We will continue to strive for high standards in business education and outcomes that improve the world.”

U.S. News averaged surveys taken in 2015 and 2016 of deans and senior faculty at business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business to arrive at their 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’s overall undergraduate programs rose one spot to 46th among public universities while retaining its rank of 103rd nationally in the same rankings. The heightened status is a result of improvements in graduation rates and average freshman retention rates. Additionally, the university was ranked 66th nationally and 31st among public institutions on a list of best colleges for veterans.

To see the complete list of rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/education.

Posted in 2014

UT Business Analytics Forum to Discuss Leveraging the Internet of Things

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business will gather analytics experts from across the country Sept. 15–16 to address how to leverage data from new sources at its semiannual Business Analytics Forum.

Estimates suggest that by 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet and to each other. Used properly, machine-to-machine communication built on cloud computing—popularly known as the Internet of Things—can do more than connect devices: it can automate action.

“Analyzing retrospective data to make business decisions becomes antiquated when devices are interconnected,” said Julie Ferrara, director of the Business Analytics Forum. “With the proper architecture in place, an organization can program its data sources to communicate and make predictive decisions—like avoiding delivery routes that have the potential to be iced over or flooded.”

Bill Schmarzo, chief technology officer at EMC Global Services Big Data, will lead the keynote address on how to take an organization from being connected to being smart.

Jeff Huckaby of Tableau Software will reinforce Schmarzo’s discussion of big data leverage with a case study. On the second day of the forum, Khuram Zaman, CEO at Fifth Tribe, will discuss how he used analytics to model and combat ISIS propaganda on Twitter.

Forum participants will tour Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus and Research Park and conduct breakout discussions on how their companies are analyzing and using new data sources as well as the challenges they face.

The forum will take place at the Hilton Knoxville and cost is free for forum members.

Companies interested in joining the forum can attend once as a guest. Forum members meet twice a year to develop competitive strategies and share best practices. For inquiries about membership and benefits, contact Julie Ferrara at 865-974-1659.


Julie Ferrara (865-974-1659, jferrar@utk.edu)
Katie Bahr (865-974-3589, katiebahr@utk.edu)

Posted in 2014

1,000 UT Freshman Business Majors to Participate in “Haslam Engaged”


KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business will host nearly 1,000 first-year business students Sept. 9 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Thompson-Boling Arena for “Haslam Engaged,” an experiential team building and learning event.

The event will begin with students gathering on the arena floor before dividing into smaller groups. Upperclassmen in the Haslam College of Business will lead the team building exercises.

One of those exercises, the blind lineup, asks students to line up by height with their eyes closed and without speaking. Another asks them to cross an imaginary river using only one pair of “magic shoes.” The exercises become progressively more challenging as the program goes on.

“The inaugural event is intended to make first-year students feel welcomed, included and valued,” said Lane Morris, associate dean of undergraduate programs and student affairs. “We are extremely excited about offering this rewarding experiential learning event for our first-year business students. Our faculty and staff will be in attendance as well to show their support.”

The event is part of the college’s required first-year course—Business Administration 100—Inclusion: Becoming an Engaged Leader in a Diverse Community.

“The course is a critical component of our retention and graduation efforts that also provides an opportunity for first-year students to be in a class comprised entirely of fellow business students,” said Morris.

Goals of the first-year seminar include integrating students into both UT and the Haslam College of Business, helping students develop strategies for success in both college and life, and enabling students to become engaged leaders in a diverse community.

All students will receive lunch and a T-shirt.


Gerhard Schneibel (865-974-2894, gschneib@utk.edu)

Tyra Haag (865-696-1941, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)

Posted in 2014

Easler Joins Haslam as Director of International Programs

sara easler

Sara Easler

Sara Easler has joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business as director of international programs and study abroad. She began the newly created role at the beginning of August.

Easler comes to Haslam from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, where she was director of business study abroad and managing director of the international business undergraduate major. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in higher education administration at the University of South Carolina.

Easler’s responsibilities at Haslam will include identifying international options for academic exchanges, internships and community service, said Lane Morris, associate dean of undergraduate programs and student affairs.

“Sara will provide leadership in assisting us to develop a new international programs unit,” Morris said. “She will build on existing global partnerships to create a new portfolio of international programs and services that will enable our students to achieve higher value-added educational outcomes and career progression opportunities.”

Easler will collaborate with Haslam faculty and departmental leaders as well as UT entities such as the Center for International Education to leverage resources and better serve students, Morris said.

Posted in 2014

Italian Experience Fosters Understanding of International Economics


Fourteen Haslam College of Business students returned from Italy Aug. 3 after spending three weeks living at the Santa Chiara Study Center in Castiglion Fiorentino, a small walled city perched on a hilltop in Tuscany.

With the fall semester now underway at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, supply chain management major Katie Keirstead says she looks back fondly at her time spent in Italy, which she shared with 14 students from the University of North Carolina.

“Our trip to Assisi to see the Basilica of St. Francis was particularly awe-inspiring and simply not the kind of experience you can get in the United States,” said Keirstead.

While the setting may have been bucolic, Keirstead and her classmates rolled up their sleeves during two 400-level courses on international business and management taught by Don Clark, professor of economics at Haslam, and David Woehr, professor of management at the UNC’s Belk College of Business.

The students also participated in two conversational Italian language sessions, as well as cultural lectures and tours.

“Our program gives students a true international cultural experience,” said Clark. “It requires living and studying in a foreign country with a different language, culture and business practice, as well as different economic and legal systems.”

Keirstead said international economics takes on a new light when, for instance, the effects of international currency exchange become part of daily life.

“Many things that feel theoretical in a classroom carry a lot more weight abroad,” Keirstead said. “Management case studies about how best to work with employees from other countries feel a lot more real when navigating cultural differences in person.”

One of the courses Keirstead took, International Economics for Business Majors, focused on economic strategies and tactics firms can use when competing in the global marketplace, while the other, International Human Resources Management, introduced issues facing organizations managing human resources at home and abroad.

Clark pointed out that, in addition to the knowledge gained through coursework, students exercised their skills in understanding Italian culture.

“Understanding culture is a prerequisite to successfully conducting business in a foreign country,” Clark said. “The coursework related to our daily Italian experiences, especially as students observed the excessive business regulations, oppressive taxes and unrestrained immigration that contributed to the British exit from the European Union. They gained an understanding of different tax rates, work ethics, business practices, lifestyle choices and advertising practices.”

During the program, cultural lectures and tours were conducted in the cities of Siena, Assisi, Florence, Orvieto, Civita, Arezzo, Cortona and Venice. Students took guided tours of the Medici Chapel, Opera di Santa Croce, Guggenheim Museum, Accademia Gallery in Florence, Basilica di San Francesco and La Pievuccia winery, which is eco-friendly and self-sustaining.

Posted in 2014

Nestle and Gerber/Taylor Professorships Awarded

Professors Christian Vossler and Rhonda Reger were recently appointed to two new endowed professorships established within the Haslam College of Business effective August 1, 2016.

Rhonda Reger was named the Nestle USA Endowed Professor of Business Administration. She serves as the doctoral studies director for the Department of Management and the director of research for the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“Tennessee is a wonderful and welcoming state in which to study entrepreneurship and to observe how the local entrepreneurial ecosystems develop,” Reger said. “The Haslam College of Business really understands the value of evidence-based management and entrepreneurship education.”

“Rhonda Reger is a globally recognized scholar in the areas of managerial cognition and identity,” said Anne Smith, King and Judy Rogers Professor in Business and head of the management department. “She has recently extended her research to entrepreneurship which is a strategic focus of the management department.”

Reger has won numerous awards for teaching and research both within and outside the university. Her research interests include strategic management and entrepreneurship, and her published work includes articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review and Strategic Management Journal. She has taught strategic management and entrepreneurship courses at the undergraduate and graduate level since her arrival at UT in 2013.

Christian Vossler holds the new Gerber/Taylor Endowed Professorship.

“I am proud to be a member of the economics department at the Haslam College of Business,” Vossler said. “I attribute much of my success to the talented colleagues and the generous support I have received since my arrival. I am honored to receive this professorship.”

Vossler currently serves on the Faculty Senate and Student Life Council, is director of the UT Experimental Economics Laboratory, a fellow of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the director of graduate studies in the Department of Economics. He joined Haslam in 2003, after earning his doctorate from Cornell University.

“Christian stands out in many ways, including in his roles as the department’s graduate program director and as co-editor of two major academic journals,” said William Neilson, J. Fred Holly Chair of Excellence and head of the economics department. “Most importantly for us, though, he has built an international reputation as one of the world’s foremost experts on techniques for eliciting valuations for environmental goods and natural resources.”

Vossler is an applied micro-economist whose research primarily focuses on environmental and public economics issues. He has published in the RAND Journal of Economics, American Economic Journal, Journal of Public Economics and other prestigious academic journals. His research has been supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also currently serves as a co-editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and a co-editor of Environmental & Resource Economics.

Posted in 2014

UT College of Engineering, Haslam College of Business Work with IBM to Tackle Big Data

KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and IBM have announced a new computational lab and education initiative devoted to analytics that will enable the university to store large amounts of unstructured data in a security-rich environment while providing students and researchers the processing systems necessary to analyze it.

Established with technology donated by IBM, the “Advanced Analytics Lab, IBM Enabled” has been developed as a joint resource for UT’s College of Engineering and the Haslam College of Business.

It will provide enterprise applications and systems processing to analyze big data from corporate partners. Students and researchers in both colleges will benefit from the new computing and analytics lab, which will be located in the university’s Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building.

“With this donation, we will be able to develop research applicable to both colleges that will ultimately help businesses such as IBM that rely on the successful development of students in those fields,” said UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek.

Approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students in the business, electrical engineering and computer science programs will work in the lab, which officially opens Aug. 25 in an event featuring IBM executives.

“This lab will facilitate research at the crossroads of engineering and business and begin an evolution of research and education that positions UT faculty and students to be more influential and relevant in academia and industry,” said Steve Mangum, dean of the Haslam College of Business and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair.

Both colleges will be using the lab for classes including big data and streaming data analytics, database management and design, supply chain analytics, marketing analytics, information technology (IT) audit and audit systems security, and supply chain IT.

“Any opportunity to combine learning with aspects of real-world experience is a plus for students,” said College of Engineering Dean Wayne Davis. “IBM is allowing students from both of our colleges to have the opportunity of a lifetime, to take part in something that can elevate them from their peers at other institutions.”

Students in the Advanced Analytics Lab will conduct research in the analytics of large data sets from the financial and health care sectors, including social media data, business-to-business transactions, Medicare claims data and real-time streaming data from the Internet of Things.

Based on an IBM PureApplication® system, the technology solution incorporates servers, storage, software, network devices and virtual machine managers that can be operated through a single console. The solution can recognize patterns even across video and audio files, and simplifies creation and reuse of applications using Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform.

“The workforce of the future needs the skill sets to draw insights from big data that can transform businesses,” said Mike Ray, IBM’s vice president of business architect and transformation. “By working with the University of Tennessee to develop the Advanced Analytics Laboratory, we are working to bridge the skill gap when it comes to analytics and helping prepare the next generation of workers for the business challenges of the future.”


David Goddard, College of Engineering (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)

Katie Bahr, Haslam College of Business (865-974-3589, katiebahr@utk.edu)

Posted in 2014