University of Tennessee

Thurman Joins UT Business College as Director for Graduate Programs

August 3, 2014

KNOXVILLE—Trent Thurman has joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration as executive director for graduate programs.

He will oversee the college’s five non-executive-level, full-time master’s programs: master of business administration, accountancy, business analytics, economics and human resources.

Prior to joining the business college Thurman was director of the working professional MBA programs at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He oversaw the academic, administrative, recruitment and student services aspects of the Texas Evening MBA, the Texas MBA at Houston, and the Texas MBA at Dallas programs. Under his leadership, the portfolio jumped to No. 6 in the most recent “U.S. News and World Report” ranking of part-time programs, the highest rank in the history of the programs.

Thurman was awarded the President’s Outstanding Service Award by the University of Texas in 2012 and received the Student Services Excellence Award by the McCombs School of Business in 2011.

Prior to his role at McCombs, Thurman enjoyed a decade-long career in commercial and corporate real estate, including working with Dallas-based Trammell Crow Company and Sacramento-based Panattoni Development Company. He also was director of real estate for a regional healthcare system in Memphis for five years.

A Tennessee native, Thurman earned his undergraduate degree from UT and MBA from the University of Texas. He also served on the legislative staff of then-Senator Al Gore, where his research focused on legislative and regulatory issues relating to higher education, healthcare and the arts.

Thurman was president of the Memphis chapter of the UT National Alumni Association and was later elected to the national Board of Governors. He also served on the Board of Trustees for Grace-St. Luke’s School in Memphis.  An avid runner, Thurman has completed multiple marathons, including four Boston Marathons.


Tanya Brown (865-974-1570,