University of Tennessee

September 2015 Monthly Newsletter

Haslam Programs Ranked Highly by U.S. News

RankThe Haslam College of Business rose one spot in the U.S. News and World Report 2016 rankings of undergraduate programs. Haslam is 30th, up from 31st among public universities last year and 50th nationally, up from 51st last year. The college’s supply chain management program was ranked fifth nationally and fourth among public schools.

“We appreciate the continued recognition by U.S. News of the efforts our faculty, staff and students make here at the Haslam College of Business every day,” said Steve Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair. “We will continue to challenge ourselves and pursue a standard of excellence in business education that improves the world we live in.”

U.S. News determined its rankings by averaging surveys taken in 2014 and 2015 of deans and senior faculty at business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Participants were asked to rate the quality of programs of which they were familiar on a scale from one to five, with five being distinguished.

The University of Tennessee’s undergraduate studies rose three spots to 47th among public universities and 103rd nationally in the same rankings. The heightened status is a result of improvements in graduation rates and average freshman retention rates. Additionally, the university is tied at 85th in a ranking by high school counselors and tied for 84th on a list of best colleges for veterans.

To see the complete list of rankings, click here.

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Jones and Townsend to be Honored at 40th Annual Warren Slagle Accounting Day

Townsend The 40th Annual Warren Slagle Accounting Day is scheduled for Saturday, October 10, at the Knoxville Marriott. The event is hosted by the Haslam College of Business Department of Accounting and Information Management, with proceeds benefitting the Beta Alpha Psi student honor society.

The day will begin with a social hour at 8:30 a.m., followed by brunch and a program from 10-11:30 a.m. Holly Warlick, head coach of the Lady Vols basketball team, will be the guest speaker. David P. Jones (’89) will be recognized as the 2015 Accounting and Information Management Outstanding Alum. Professor Emeritus Dick Townsend will also be honored.

Registration for the event is $30 and includes brunch. Registration and a non-refundable payment must be submitted online by October 5. Dress for the event is business casual.

“Warren Slagle Accounting Day is among the longest running and largest alumni events on the UT campus,” said Joe Carcello, head of the Department of Accounting and Information Management. “This year, we particularly look forward to honoring our alum, David Jones, the CFO of Team Health, and long-time accounting faculty member Dick Townsend. We’re also excited to have the pleasure of hearing from Coach Holly Warlick.”

Jones is executive vice president and CFO of Team Health Holdings, Inc. He graduated from Haslam in 1989 with highest honors and was selected a Torchbearer. He worked in the audit department in KPMG’s Nashville office before moving back to Knoxville in 1992 to work in the audit practice at Pershing and Yoakley. While at Pershing and Yoakley, he had the opportunity to work with several healthcare clients, including the predecessor companies that would join to form Team Health. In 1994, he was hired as the controller for Team Health, a leading provider of outsourced physician staffing solutions for hospitals across the United States. Under Jones’ leadership, the company executed a successful initial public offering of its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2009. The company has grown from a local, privately owned startup to a fully independent public company with a market capitalization approaching $5 billion and projected 2015 revenues of more than $3.5 billion.

Jones and his wife, Jeanne Claire, who is also a UT alum, continue to support their alma mater through an endowed scholarship for accounting students.

Townsend (pictured left) retired from UT in 2010, having served in the Department of Accounting and Information Management since 1969. He taught undergraduate financial accounting courses and was the director of the master’s of accountancy program for 20 years. In addition to teaching courses in the Haslam College of Business, he also taught continuing education for CPAs for more than 30 years.

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Big Orange Give Scheduled for October 19-23

Big Orange GiveBig Orange Give, an online giving campaign for the University of Tennessee, is set for October 19-23, 2015. Fundraising will kick off at 8 a.m. on Monday, October 19, and run through midnight on Friday, October 23. The campus-wide goal is to raise $1 million in online contributions during the event.

Last year, more than $766,000 was donated to UT during Big Orange Give. Gifts of any size are encouraged to fund a variety of projects to benefit students, colleges, faculty and staff, and future UT projects.

In 2015, if $500,000 is raised through online donations, two couples have pledged to donate an additional $500,000 to raise the grand total to $1 million.

The Haslam College of Business has set a goal to raise $100,000 during the five-day campaign.

Alumni who would be interested in assisting fundraising efforts can sign up to serve as Big Orange Give Champions. Champions pledge to:

  • Make a gift during the week of Big Orange Give.
  • Share, like, retweet, or forward an email message about the Big Orange Give at least five times during the campaign.
  • Change one of the following — Facebook cover photo, Facebook profile photo, Twitter profile photo or Twitter header photo — to a provided Big Orange Give branded image during the campaign.
  • Use the hashtag #BigOrangeGive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the week.
  • Tag the UT Knoxville Alumni Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account whenever you make a Big Orange Give post.
  • Create a post, tweet or email explaining why you #BigOrangeGive to the University of Tennessee. Those interested in assisting the campaign as champions can complete the pledge form on the Big Orange Give website.

For more information about Big Orange Give, visit

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Two Annual Haslam Fall Events Set to Welcome Alumni and Friends

GalaAlumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the Haslam College of Business will have two opportunities to reconnect and support the college this fall. The Seventh Annual Alumni Awards Gala will be held on November 6, and the annual Haslam Homecoming Tailgate will be hosted on November 14.

On Saturday, November 14, the college will host its annual Haslam Homecoming Tailgate prior to the Volunteers’ game against North Texas. Coach Phillip Fulmer will serve as guest speaker.

The event will begin three hours prior to kick off and conclude one hour before game time. All faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the college are invited to attend the festivities in the Stokely Hospitality Suite, located on the fifth floor of the Haslam Business Building. Cost is $15 per person and includes a meal catered by Buddy’s BBQ and a newly designed Haslam t-shirt.

To register for the Homecoming Tailgate, call 865-974-6083 or email Freda Johnson at Registration is due by November 9.

The awards gala, which will also include the official launch of the college’s Journey to the Top 25 Campaign, will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center on Friday, November 6. A cocktail reception and silent auction will take place at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and awards presentations at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in purchasing a pair of tickets or sponsoring a table should email Meredith Hulette at

The honorees for the 2015 awards gala are:

  • Distinguished Alum: Sharon Miller Pryse
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Dr. John Hajjar
  • Outstanding Corporate Partner: SouthEast Bank
  • Outstanding Young Alum: Marshall Taylor.

A bio for each award recipient appears below.

Sharon Miller Pryse, Distinguished Alum – A 1972 graduate of the Haslam College of Business, Pryse remained in Knoxville, initially working as a life insurance agent and then as a clerk at a local bank. After assuming a management position at the bank, the finance major decided to start her own business in 1986. The Trust Company initially focused on retirement account management but has since expanded to include wealth management for individuals and families, endowments, 401Ks and profit sharing plans. The company now manages nearly $3 billion in assests and employs 60 staff members across three regional offices. Pryse serves on the UT Board of Trustees and was previously a member of the Haslam Advisory Council to the Dean and Finance Advisory Board.

Dr. John Hajjar, Entrepreneur of the Year – By the time he decided to pursue a Physician Executive MBA from the Haslam College of Business, Hajjar owned and managed three surgery centers in New Jersey. “I needed a program to train me in how to look at financial statements, profit and loss, and spreadsheets,” he explains. “I also wanted to learn how to negotiate with insurance carriers. That’s what a value the PEMBA program has been to me.” Using the skills he obtained from Haslam, Hajjar has grown his business to 15 surgery centers on the East Coast, with five additional facilities in the planning stages. In 2005, his company expanded to include a multi-specialty physician group called Sovereign Medical Group, which encompasses 69 physicians from a variety of specialties including primary care, urology, cardiology, orthopedic surgery, and radiation oncologists.

SouthEast Bank, Outstanding Corporate Partner – SouthEast Bank has for many years been a generous contributor to UT, and a few years ago, it also began to lend its support to the Haslam College of Business’s Global Leadership Scholars (GLS) program. John Arnold, who serves as chairman of the bank, says that meeting and interviewing some of the GLS students spurred the desire to contribute to the program. “We were sold on it as something we wanted to support,” he says. “It gave us a connection to some of the top business students at the university. You hear folks say that the younger generation is lacking in various ways, but these students immediately disprove that idea. They’re brilliant.” SouthEast Bank now sponsors six scholarships for GLS students.

Marshall Taylor, Outstanding Young Alum – Taylor earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in accountancy from the Haslam College of Business. He first worked with Arthur Andersen’s audit practice in Nashville before spending five years with EY’s transaction advisory practice. Today, he is the managing director in Alvarez & Marshal’s Transaction Advisory Group. Marshall and his wife, Anne, who is also a Haslam alum, diligently support the college through financial gifts.

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CBER Releases State Economic Outlook for Fall 2015

TN FlagTennessee’s economy performed well in the first half of 2015 and largely followed a similar pattern of growth as the U.S. economy, but the state’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, according to a study recently released by UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).

“Tennessee continues to perform well compared to the nation, but the state’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly higher than the nation’s,” said Matt Murray, assistant director of CBER, who directed the study.

The study, “Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook Fall 2015,” predicts the direction of the state and national economies by examining economic factors and trends.

Between the first and second quarter, Tennessee’s unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 5.8 percent. This was the first time since 2008 that the state unemployment rate has dropped below 6 percent. This rate will continue to trend downward in 2016 to 5.6 percent but will remain above the national rate.

Taxable sales will continue to expand, growing by a projected 5.1 percent this year and 4.2 percent in 2016. In 2015, sales growth was especially strong for hotels and motels, which registered sales tax growth of 10.6 percent, as well as auto dealers, with sales tax growth of 10.2 percent. Strong auto and hotel/motel sales are expected to continue into 2016, but at a slightly slower pace.

Tennessee highlights from the report include:

  • Tennessee’s nominal personal income grew at a slightly faster pace than the nation’s during the first half of the year and will advance 4 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2016.
  • Leisure and hospitality will enjoy a robust employment growth of 2.8 percent.
  • Professional and business services, as well as education and health services, will enjoy stronger employment growth in 2016 than in 2015.
  • Nonfarm employment is projected to increase by 1.8 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2016.
  • The natural resources, mining, and construction sector will see the strongest gains in 2015 at 3.7 percent, thanks to the continued housing market recovery.
  • Tennessee’s manufacturing sector outgained the nation’s manufacturing sector in the first quarter of 2015 but saw a slight contraction of jobs in the second quarter. Manufacturing employment should see strong employment gains of 1.9 percent in 2015 and 1.0 percent in 2016.

Nationally, real consumer spending advanced 3.1 percent in the first quarter and is expected to grow by 3.1 percent for the year as a whole. Consumer spending has been bolstered by solid employment gains and low gas prices. As a result, automobile sales have picked up.

America’s housing market recovery continues to move forward, as residential fixed investment grew by 10.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015 and an additional 7.8 percent in the second quarter.

“It is encouraging that the national economy continues to expand despite global weakness and financial market instability,” said Murray.

Other U.S. highlights include:

  • Inflation-adjusted GDP should increase by 2.5 percent in 2015 and 2.8 percent in 2016.
  • Nonfarm employment is projected to advance 2.1 percent in 2015 and 1.7 percent in 2016.
  • The unemployment rate will continue to trend downward, falling to 5.4 percent in 2015 and 5.2 percent in 2016.
  • Inflation will remain subdued and below the Federal Reserve’s target range through the short-term outlook horizon.

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Student Spotlight: Justin Short

Justin ShortJustin Short is a second year accounting doctoral student with research interests in corporate governance and auditing. He’s working toward his third degree from the Haslam College of Business.

A native ofNashville, Short also earned his bachelor’s (’11) and master’s (’12) degrees in accounting from the Haslam College of Business. “I chose UT for undergrad because it has the best undergraduate business program in the state,” Short says. “UT offers a nationally recognized education for a relatively low cost. I could not beat that value.” When it was time to select the location for his graduate studies, his experiences with Haslam’s faculty influenced his decision to stay in the college. “The accounting faculty is very supportive of its graduate students as far as finding financial aid for them and job opportunities after graduation,” he says.

After earning his master’s of accountancy degree, he took a job with the big four public accounting firm Ernst & Young in its Nashville office. Working in the assurance service line for more than two years, Short audited companies in multiple industries including insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and utilities. He earned his Tennessee CPA license while working for Ernst & Young.

Short’s love for the academic environment motivated him to leave the public accounting scene and return to a college campus for a doctoral program. “I think I knew I was an academic at heart all along,” he says. “It just took me a few years to admit it to myself.”

So far, Short is excelling in his third Haslam stint. Upon the recommendation of the accounting doctoral committee, he was designated a KPMG Scholar by the KPMG Foundation as part of its PhD Project program. He has aspirations of becoming a professor at a major public research university where faculty conduct high impact research and truly advocate for their students. He says he hopes to serve students the same way the UT faculty has served him.

Short recently got married and says he and his wife are foodies in their spare time. “We love high quality food, and we have a small collection of fine wines,” he says. “We often travel locally to Atlanta, Asheville and Nashville to try any new notable restaurants that have opened or attend any wine tastings that are occurring.”

His hobbies also include a new collection. “I recently developed a hobby of collecting as much classic jazz music as I have time to consume,” he says. “I love Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk…all the greats.”

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Alum Spotlight: Terry Evans

Terry EvansWhen Haslam alum Terry Evans started working at a Knoxville Kroger in 1973, he wouldn’t have guessed it would lead to a 34 year career with the grocery chain.

Evans is the vice president of real estate for The Kroger Co. He has held that title since 2001. “My duties include overseeing the development of the five-year storing strategy for the company and related capital expenditure needs for that strategy,” he explains. Among many duties, he supervises development of new stores and remodeling of existing stores, all while ensuring that projects meet or exceed the return criteria established by the company.

Evans was born and raised in Knoxville and attended Bearden High School. He says his decision to stay home for college was an easy one. “Having grown up in Knoxville, I really didn’t consider other schools, and UT was the only school to which I applied,” he says. “My sister was three years older than me and attended UT, and I wanted to follow her.”

The same year he graduated from Bearden, Evans took a job at the old Kroger at Walker Springs Plaza on Kingston Pike. He kept the job the entire time he attended UT, sometimes working 40 hours per week. In 1977, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a major in real estate and urban development. He spent four years working in the construction industry in New Orleans before rejoining Kroger in 1981 in the management training program.

In 1984, Evans transitioned into the real estate department of Kroger in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a move that would set the tone for his career for many years to come. After the Louisville assignment, he spent time with Kroger in Dallas and Atlanta, where he was responsible for the real estate, capital investment and storing program in those areas. In 2001, he was promoted to his current role of vice president of real estate and moved to Cincinnati to work in Kroger’s corporate office.

Evans’ array of responsibilities includes supervision of the corporate research department and the GIS department, which assists the company’s decision makers in choosing the best store locations. He also oversees management of the company’s 55 shopping centers, consisting of approximately 5.7 million square feet of retail space and 350 tenants. As if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Evans also handles the real estate needs of Kroger’s manufacturing plants, warehouses and office space.

“I am fortunate to have a staff of dedicated, long term Kroger associates who work with me to accomplish our goals,” Evans says. “It is rewarding to be on the front end of real estate development and see it through until completion with a successful Kroger store open, knowing that this will serve our associates and customers for many years.”

Those who live in Knox County or have visited the area in recent years will likely be familiar with one of Evans’ favorite projects. “Being from Knoxville, I am most proud of the development we opened in 2012 at Cedar Bluff and Kingston Pike,” he says. “I saw that property for years with many real estate developers in the industry wishing to develop the property, and after many years of trying, we were finally able to purchase the property and build a Kroger store with ancillary retail shops and restaurants. It has now become one of the leading grocery stores in the Knoxville area.”

Evans is a member of the board of trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He previously served on the University of Cincinnati Real Estate Roundtable.

Evans and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Matthew, who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and, Lindsey, who resides in Brentwood, Tennessee. His hobbies include golf, scuba diving and traveling.

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Faculty/Staff Spotlight: Kathy Coleman Wood

Kathy WoodAs a senior lecturer in the Department of Management at the Haslam College of Business, Kathy Coleman Wood provides her students with a unique blend of business experience and international perspective.

Wood began teaching in the college in January 2006 following 27 years in the corporate world, primarily in human resources roles. “I had the opportunity to teach one night class at UT as an adjunct,” she recalls. “I thought it was just one class. Soon, I was teaching two classes, then three, and four, and then I was involved in a variety of other activities here in the business school. I’m now finishing my 10th year!”

Prior to finding her niche as a lecturer, Wood spent 10 years as vice president of human resources at ImagePoint (formerly Plasti-Line). She had also served seven years as vice president of human resources and support services for CTI, Inc., now part of Siemens Medical Systems. She began her career in HR roles with Union Carbide and Martin Marietta in Oak Ridge. “I was always involved in a variety of other activities beyond human resources,” she says, “and I enjoyed working with companies of different sizes and in different kinds of industries.”

In 2004, Wood and her husband, Charley, made a bold decision that continues to influence their family’s life today. They decided to take a sabbatical from life in the United States and travel throughout Europe. “I had lived abroad as a child and wanted our daughter (then 10) to have a meaningful international experience, too,” she recalls. “Quite honestly, I was burned out from demanding jobs and wanted to spend more time with my family and to experience more of Europe than was possible in a 10-day vacation. We ended up going to Europe for 14 months, traveling to various countries and living for six and a half months in the countryside in Provence, France. It was a life-changing experience for all three of us.”

Shortly after the family returned to the U.S. in August 2005, Wood began teaching, but she and Charley also decided to parlay their love of European travel into a tour group company, European Experiences. Now in its 10th year, the company has led more than 60 weeklong tours in France, Italy, England, Austria and Germany. “Our groups stay one week in one place and get to know the surrounding area and local culture,” Wood explains. “We’ve had people in our groups from 40 U.S. states, as well as other countries. Many people have joined us on more than one trip, and many of our tours are fully booked a year in advance.” In 2012, the company’s tour in Provence, France, was named one of the top 50 tours in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine.

In addition to co-leading tours with her husband, Wood handles the marketing, customer service, accounting and coordination with international partners for European Experiences. She founded a trade association of other small group tour owners called Slow Travel Tours. “It’s a lot of fun to not just teach international business, but to develop and lead a small international business of my own,” she says.

Wood’s vast experience is reflected in the courses she teaches in Haslam: international business strategy, managing people in the global environment, and a human resources master’s class called international human resources. “There’s definitely an international theme to my teaching work here,” she says.

In addition to instruction, Wood has been very involved with the college’s Global Leadership Scholars (GLS) program since its launch in 2007. She organizes field trips each year to allow students to interact with business leaders. Over the years, she’s led and participated in more than 60 GLS company visits. She’s also taken faculty study trips to China and India.

Wood comes by her love of world travel naturally, having been born in Munich, Germany, and lived in Australia for four years as a child. She mostly grew up in Laurel, Maryland, before coming to Tennessee to attend Tusculum College. She would later earn her MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Needless to say, Wood and Charley, who happens to be a 1967 graduate of the Haslam College of Business, travel in their spare time. They have made nearly 40 trips to Europe in their 23 years of marriage, and the couple maintains an apartment in a small village of Provence. They also enjoy long distance hikes when they’re exploring the world, having completed nine long-distance treks in Europe, with a tenth planned this summer. In 2014, they hiked 192 miles across England for the second time.

The Woods’ daughter, Kelly, recently graduated from the University of Chicago and is enrolled in a dual-degree master’s program in world history with one year at Columbia and a second year at the London School of Economics.

“Knoxville is home, but we definitely have a family passion for Europe,” Kathy says.

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