University of Tennessee

Haslam Adds 17 New Faculty Members

September 12, 2019

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business welcomes 17 new faculty members. They will join the departments of accounting and information management, business analytics and statistics, finance, management, marketing, and supply chain management, as well as graduate and executive education, this fall.

The new hires bring decades of experience in industry and in the classroom. Coming from China, Germany, South Korea and Turkey, as well as from all quarters of the United States, the faculty members demonstrate Haslam’s growing global reach.

Accounting and Information Management

Jong Seok Lee is now an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Management. His primary expertise lies in researching software development practices and advancing understanding of how to use information and improve decision-making. He received his doctorate in business administration with a major in computer information systems from Georgia State University and worked as an assistant professor in the FogelmanCollege of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis for six years before coming to Haslam.

Yuan Li has joined the Department of Accounting and Information Management as an assistant professor of information systems. He comes to Haslam from the University of Illinois, Springfield. He holds a doctorate in management information systems from the University of South Carolina and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Northeastern University in China. Li conducts research in the areas of online information security and privacy, information and knowledge management, computer-aided decision-making and business analytics. His research has appeared in many journals including Information Systems Research, the European Journal of Information Systems and Decision Support and International Journal of Production Economics. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology as well as Information Systems Frontier.

Winston Smith has been hired as a lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Information Management. Previously, he worked as a senior auditor at the LBMC Knoxville office, where he served on engagement teams performing audits of financial statements and business processes. He earned a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in accountancy from Haslam. 

Business Analytics and Statistics

Jerry Day is now a lecturer in the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics. He earned a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh and held visiting assistant professor positions at The Ohio State University and the UT before coming to Haslam to complete a dual MSBA/MBA in business analytics and statistics. 

Emre Demirkaya has joined Haslam as a lecturer in the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics after earning his doctorate in applied mathematics at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on high-dimensional statistics, big data problems and statistical machine learning. He has been published in Journal of the American Statistical Association and Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B. He has received the CAMS (The Center for Applied Mathematical Sciences) Prize for Excellence in Research with a Substantial Mathematical Component, among other awards.

Justin Jia, who has joined theDepartment of Business Analytics and Statistics as an assistant professor, worked as a faculty member at Purdue University before coming to Haslam. He completed his doctorate in supply chain management at Penn State University. His research interests lie in the areas of prescriptive analytics, healthcare supply chain, e-operations and inventory management.

ChuanRen Liu is now an assistant professor in the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics. He received his doctorate in management (information technology)from Rutgers University, a master’s from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a bachelor’s from the University of Science and Technology of China. His research interests include data mining and knowledge discovery and their applications in business analytics. He has published papers in journals and conference proceedings, such as IEEE Transactions on Data and Knowledge Engineering, INFORMS Journal on Computing and the European Journal of Operational Research.

Yuanyang Liu has come to Haslam as an assistant professor in the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics. He earned his doctorate in management science from the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. His research interest centers on business analytics with a specific focus on labor markets. His current work involves labor market competition for human capital and the effect of skilled immigrants on native U.S. workers’ job turnover. 


Ryan Farley joins Haslam as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Finance and a faculty advisor to UT’s Torch Fund program. Farley received a doctorate in finance from UT in 2019. He also earned a master’s at UT and a bachelor’s from Loyola University. He previously worked as a product developer for Deutsche Bank, managing their business strategy for global execution algorithms, order routing and dark trading. He currently studies the impacts of dark trading and market fragmentation on investor welfare. His research won best paper awards at the 2018 Financial Management Association conference and the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Research Conference.

Graduate and Executive Education

Joe Buckley has been hired as director of Global Supply Chain Institute Executive Education in the Graduate and Executive Education area. Buckley comes to Haslam after 28 years in industry, holding such positions as vice president of procurement services, vice president of finance, and most recently, director of materials management and transportation for TVA. He also is a licensed CPA and has additional expertise in accounting and finance.

Ron Ford, winner of the 2017 Haslam Accomplished Alumni Award, has joined Graduate and Executive Education (GEE) and the Department of Accounting and Information Management as a lecturer. Ford’s background includes a range of corporate officer roles in several different business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies. He most recently served as the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Armstrong Flooring. Ford also served as a faculty member at Pepperdine University and, as the associate dean, led the school to a national ranking for its EMBA program.

Michael Grojean has joined Haslam as director of the Executive MBA-Strategic Leadership and as a lecturer in GEE. He comes to the college from a private consultancy he formed after his tenure as professor of management and executive director of executive education at Rice University in Houston. Before joining Rice, Grojean was a faculty member at Aston Business School in the United Kingdom, where he served as head of executive education and associate dean for corporate activities and partnerships. Prior to his academic and consultancy career, Grojean served for 23 years in the U.S. Army. 

Jim Rosenberg has been hired as the director of corporate engagement for the healthcare division of Graduate and Executive Education and also will serve as a lecturer in GEE. Rosenberg comes to Haslam after running his own business, Workbench Consulting, in Washington, D.C., since 2014. He has worked with faculty from several universities, including Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School and Vanderbilt University, to create custom executive education programs for national nonprofits and government agencies. He also created and taught online courses for the University of Pennsylvania’s executive education programs.


Kurt Jacobs is now an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Management at Haslam. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial services and defense industries, serving as executive vice president of strategy and implementation at Wells Fargo & Company in Oregon and the Silicon Valley, then founding multiple corporations that specialize in leading and supporting Department of Defense policy development, program and financial management services. Jacobs taught in the MBA and Professional MBA programs at Syracuse University and in strategic management and leadership at Stetson University. 


Annika Abell has been hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing. Bell is a behavioral researcher with interests in sensory marketing, digital/social media marketing and healthful consumption. She holds a doctorate in marketing from the University of South Florida and will be teaching strategic digital marketing at UT. Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, she previously co-owned a digital marketing agency specializing in social media. 

Jonathan Hasford has been hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing. He holds a doctorate in marketing from the University of Kentucky, an MBA from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s from the University of Louisville. His research focuses on how emotions influence consumer decision-making. He has published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. He serves on the editorial review board at the Journal of Business Research. 

Supply Chain Management

Thomas Goldsby has been appointed as the Haslam Chair in Logistics and a professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management. He previously served as the Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation Professor in Business, professor of logistics and chair of the Department of Marketing and Logistics at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. Heis co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Business Logistics and former co-editor-in-chief of Transportation Journal. His research interests include logistics strategy, supply chain integration and the theory and practice of lean and agile supply chain strategies. He has published more than 50 articles in academic journals, co-authored five books in the areas of transportation, logistics, supply chain management, lean and sustainability, and he is the recipient of many awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from Supply Chain Leaders in Action.