University of Tennessee

Thurman, Graduate Programs Executive Director, Departs for Texas

September 28, 2016

Trent Thurman, executive director for graduate programs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business, recently announced his departure for the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business. He will serve as director for McCombs’ master of science in technology commercialization program and a management lecturer.

After Thurman’s last day on Oct. 7, Amy Cathey, division lead for aerospace and defense graduate and executive education programs, will step into the vacated role on an interim basis.

According to Bruce Behn, associate dean for graduate and executive education, Thurman brought “energy and innovative ideas to help move the needle on the quality and demographics of our master’s students.

“We’re going into this academic year with a class that has the strongest work experience, the highest GMAT scores and the most diversity we’ve experienced in recent years,” Behn said. “I want to thank Trent for all his efforts and personally wish him and his family the best.”

Thurman, who is a 1988 alumnus, said he has loved being back at UT.

“I was given a tremendous gift to spend a few more years on a campus that changed me in so many ways, and it was especially moving to be here when my twin boys began their college careers,” Thurman said.

Thurman also pointed out the significance of having been at the college during 2014, when the Haslam family gave $50 million dollars in honor of James A. Haslam II, an alumnus and the founder of Pilot Flying J.

“Seeing the impact that gift has made on attracting top students from around the world has been tremendous and sets the MBA program on a path to significant success,” Thurman said.

“For me, looking back will always be focused on the students,” he added. “I’ve loved playing a small part in their MBA journey, discussing their goals and dreams during the interview process, and then watching them achieve those goals. That’s been the best part of my job and is what I will remember the most.”