Academic Conference to Honor Professor Emeritus Harold A. Black

The conference will focus on scholarship related to discrimination in the financial industry.

September 7, 2022

An upcoming academic conference will honor the accomplishments of Harold A. Black, professor emeritus of finance at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business.

The Probasco Distinguished Chair of Free Enterprise at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Haslam College of Business and Middle Tennessee State University’s Political Economy Research Institute will present the conference, which is set to showcase papers that directly examine, extend or build on Black’s scholarship.

Black’s research focuses primarily on discrimination in the financial industry. A paper he co-authored in 1978 was one of the first to quantify bias in lending decisions. His empirical work illuminates how some regulations that are intended to help minority groups can end up harming them.

Black lectures and consults extensively on topics related to financial institutions and the monetary system, and his consulting clients include some of the nation’s leading law firms and financial institutions. His articles have been published in numerous leading journals, including the American Economic Review; the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking; the Journal of Finance; the Journal of Banking and Finance; the Southern Economic Journal; the Journal of Financial Research and the Journal of Monetary Economics, among others.

A Trailblazing Legacy of Leadership

Black earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from the Ohio State University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia (UGA), where he was the first African American student to enroll at UGA’s Terry College of Business. Terry has established the Dr. Harold A. Black Professorship in his honor, and UGA has named a new residence hall for him and two other students who integrated the university’s incoming class in 1962.

His many honors include being appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the first National Credit Union Administration Board, being a visiting scholar at both the Federal Reserve and the Congressional Budget Office and serving as chairman of the Nashville branch of the Federal Reserve of Atlanta and on the boards of two of the nation’s largest financial institutions. 

Before arriving at UT in 1987, Black held faculty appointments at the University of Florida, Howard University, American University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His time at UT included serving as head of the business college’s Department of Finance and being named the James F. Smith Jr. Professor of Financial Institutions. He retired in 2011. 

“Some people think budgets are tight now, but Harold guided the department with a steady hand during some truly lean years,” says Ramon P. DeGennaro, Haslam College of Business Professor in Banking and Finance, who has been with the college since 1990. “He did so with honesty and integrity, plus a penchant for terrible puns.”

 The Dr. Harold A. Black Academic Conference will take place at the Read House in Chattanooga on Sept. 8-10, 2022. Tax-deductible gifts toward the conference can be made through UT’s Office of Advancement.


Stacy Estep, writer/publicist,