Mary Leitnaker, a professor in the Haslam College of Business’ business analytics department, received emeritus status upon her retirement this summer. The status recognizes her longstanding commitment to the college and the fields of analytics and statistics.
“Mary has been a fixture in multiple programs at the college for more than three decades,” says Charles Noble, associate dean for faculty and research and Jerry and Kay Henry Professor. “This emeritus status recognizes her dedication to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and her service in shaping analytics education at Haslam.”
Leitnaker joined UT in 1984 and was one of the first female faculty members at Haslam to reach full professorship. Soon after, she developed one of its first executive education offerings — a statistical process improvement course that was a precursor to Black Belt certification.
Her experience with companies in this course led Leitnaker to found the Institute for Statistical Engineering. As director of the institute, she created custom, on-site training for international companies including Volvo and General Mills. In 2009, Leitnaker took on the role of founding director of the Master of Science in Business Analytics and helped fuel the program’s growth toward its recognition as one of the top 20 programs in the country.
“Mary has seen, and helped drive, so many changes in UT’s statistics education offerings,” says Chuck Noon, head of the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics and the Regal Entertainment Group Professor of Business. “Her service has helped us become one of the premier educators for analytics in the nation.”
Leitnaker officially retired at the end of the spring semester after 34 years of service.