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March 2015 Monthly Newsletter

Entrepreneurship Minor Set to Launch in Fall 2015

TorchbearerStarting this fall, UT will offer an interdisciplinary minor in entrepreneurship as a way to bolster the entrepreneurial culture of the campus and the Knoxville area. The UT Faculty Senate approved the minor Monday, February 2, making it an official offering for UT Knoxville and UT Institute of Agriculture students from all academic programs and fields of study.

This initiative, coordinated by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, will provide students access to entrepreneurship education. The center is based in the Haslam College of Business.

“Establishing the entrepreneurship minor is an important step on our path to developing top-level entrepreneurial talent at UT,” said Lynn Youngs, executive director of the Anderson Center. “The strong support we’ve felt for this initiative is indicative of the enthusiasm for entrepreneurship we’re seeing from students and faculty alike.”

The entrepreneurship minor will require students to take 15 credit hours, selecting from entrepreneurship courses taught by faculty across six different colleges. Colleges offering courses toward the minor are the Haslam College of Business; the College of Architecture and Design; the College of Engineering; the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; the College of Arts and Sciences; and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“The prospect of smart, motivated, entrepreneurially minded students from across this wide campus being brought together in classroom and cocurricular settings within this new interdisciplinary minor and openly exchanging and developing their ideas for innovating new products and services is an exciting prospect,” said Steve Mangum, dean of the Haslam College of Business. “We look forward with anticipation for what these students will create.”

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Haslam Supply Chain Program Ranked 5th by U.S. News

Supply Chain RankGraduate programs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business are among the best in the nation, according to the 2016 U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings released on March 10.

Haslam’s supply chain management program climbed to eighth in the nation and fifth among publics. In 2014, the supply chain program was ranked 11th in the country and seventh among public schools.

In addition to the specialty lists, Haslam fared well in the MBA rankings. The Best Business Schools report highlights an upward shift for the college’s full-time MBA program, which ranked 32nd among public institutions, a five-spot jump over the 2014 rankings report. The college’s program is ranked 63rd nationally, up from 65th two years ago.

Steve Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair of the Haslam College of Business, said the rankings reflect the college’s and UT’s commitment to becoming a Top 25 institution.

“Our No. 1 priority at the Haslam College of Business is to educate students in an environment that uses quality research and instruction to transform the world of business for the better and inspire innovation across our state and the globe,” Mangum said. “We are honored to be included among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Business Schools, and are pleased at the continued recognition of our supply chain MBA as among the best of its kind in the country.”

All 453 master’s programs in business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International were surveyed by U.S. News and World Report during the 2013-14 academic year to compile the rankings. Schools were evaluated based on a variety of weighted criteria, including peer and recruiter assessment scores, placement success, mean starting salaries of graduates, employment rates in the full-time master’s programs, student selectivity, mean GMAT and GRE scores, undergraduate GPA and acceptance rates.

Specialty rankings, such as the supply chain rank, are based solely on ratings by business school deans and directors of accredited master’s programs from the list of schools surveyed. They were asked to nominate up to 10 programs for excellence in each of the areas listed. Those schools receiving the most votes in each specialty are listed and numerically ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations they received.

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Haslam Student, Jalen Blue, Appointed UT Trustee

Jalen BlueHaslam College of Business student Jalen Blue has been appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam as the new student representative to the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. He attended his first meeting in Memphis February 25-26.

The student trustee position rotates between the university’s undergraduate campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin, and the Health Science Center in Memphis. Gov. Haslam selected Blue from a list of three recommendations he received from UT student leaders after his predecessor, R.J. Duncan, resigned from the position.

Blue is a junior majoring in public administration with a concentration in economics.

Blue has been active in a number of organizations on the Knoxville campus. He works with UT's undergraduate admissions in the Minority Enhancement for the University of Tennessee program, or ME4UT. The program builds relationships with prospective multicultural students through overnight visits, campus tours and school presentations. He also serves as an executive board member on the Multicultural Mentoring Program, which assists multicultural students in the transition to college life during their first year on campus. He is a member of the SGA Student Life Council, an advisory group to the chancellor's office. Blue is a two-year member of the United Residence Hall Council, which strives to unite students living in UT's on-campus housing through leadership, programming, service and education.

Student and faculty representatives to the Board of Trustees are traditionally non-voting members for the first year of their appointment, but Blue will be eligible to vote at the next board meeting in June since he is assuming Duncan’s term.

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Haslam Students Travel to Charlotte to Meet with Top Corporations

Charlotte TripA group of 22 graduate and undergraduate students travelled to Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this month for a biennial professional development conference. Students met with executives at Dixon Hughes Goodman, Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY and the Charlotte Hornets to learn more about these companies and improve their networking skills.

The Office of Diversity and Community Relations worked with the National Association of Black Accountants and Diverse Organizations of Business Students to organize the trip. Janice Branch, coordinator of diversity initiatives for the Haslam College of Business, says the goal was to expose students to multiple careers and the professional environment.

“We wanted students to polish their 30-second elevator pitch, practice networking and learn that there are a variety of paths they can take to get where they want to be,” says Branch. “Charlotte is the financial capital of the South, and the Haslam College of Business has formed many professional relationships and partnerships with organizations there. This was a wonderful opportunity to expand our students’ career passion and purpose.”

Students used the trip to build personal contacts with potential future employers and get their foot in the door at some of the organizations. In addition to their informational sessions, they also attended a social event hosted by the National Association of Black Accountants and a Charlotte Hornets basketball game.

Participants were selected based on their leadership skills. They represented a variety of majors and ranged from first year undergraduates to MBA students. Faculty member Randy Bradly, of the marketing and supply chain management department, also was a facilitator and organizer of the trip.

Fore more information about future professional development opportunities, contact Janice Branch, Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives, Haslam College of Business, 865-974-8835, jbranch2@utk.edu.

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Haslam MBA Students Take Third Place in Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge

DeloitteStudents from the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business recently placed third in the second annual Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge, an event testing the business skills of MBA students. Teams of four students from eight of the nation’s top supply chain MBA programs met in Knoxville at the Haslam Business Building to compete in the case competition.

Prior to the event, each school held its own preliminary competition to determine the students who would represent its program in the finals. The Haslam team was comprised of Matthew Armstrong, Priyanka Singh, Catey Hunter and Graham Gilley. Georgia Institute of Technology’s team took home top honors, while Pennsylvania State University placed second.

Deloitte’s top executives also judged teams from Carnegie Mellon University, Rutgers University, Michigan State University, Arizona State University and Brigham Young University.

Each team was presented with a mock company facing several challenges at noon on Thursday. Throughout the afternoon and evening additional issues were introduced. The teams developed a strategy to address the issues and maximize company profitability by their Friday morning deadline. They presented their findings to the judges, and Deloitte executives determined the strongest action plans.

Students who participated benefitted not only from applying their education to real-world scenarios, but also from questioning professionals currently working in the field. They learned from each team’s approach to the case and made decisions in real time.

Following the award ceremony, faculty from each school, along with Deloitte partners, held a roundtable to discuss trends in MBA curriculum.

Watch a short overview video of Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge on youtube.

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Student Spotlight: Emiliano Zuniga

Emiliano ZunigaHaslam College of Business senior Emiliano Zuniga credits the work of some of the University of Tennessee’s admissions outreach programs with his enrollment as a business student.

He particularly lauds Minority Enhancement for the University of Tennessee (ME4UT) as a catalyst in his decision to attend the Knoxville campus. The ME4UT program, which is coordinated through UT's Office of Undergraduate Admissions, builds relationships with multicultural students by promoting diversity through overnight visits, campus tours, school presentations and other on-campus programming.

“If it wasn’t for ME4UT and their overnight visits to campus, I would not have attended UT,” he says. “Those overnight trips were the most memorable experiences that persuaded me to attend here.”

Zuniga grew up in East Nashville and attended Maplewood Comprehensive High School. Upon his high school graduation, he was able to get a jump-start on his college experience when he was selected to participate in UT Lead. “It’s a summer program where about 80 freshman are admitted to take summer classes before their actual freshman year begins,” Zuniga explains. “I lived in Massey Hall and took Math 119, English 101 and a first-year studies class. It definitely eased my transition from high school to college.”

Zuniga came to UT with a goal of working for the FBI, but he wasn’t sure of the best route to help him achieve that aspiration. With some research assistance from Tyvi Small, Haslam’s director of diversity and community relations, he found that accounting was a good springboard into the FBI. “I was already good with numbers, so I decided on an accounting major," he says.

While his childhood dream of an FBI career remains a goal, Zuniga has a variety of interests he may pursue once he completes his degree. “My future plan is to work in the accounting field for a while," he says, "but I also have dreams of owning my own business, perhaps even my own restaurant if I go to culinary school."

For the remainder of his time on campus, Zuniga is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity. He also gives back to the program that played an integral role in bringing him to campus, serving as a co-captain for ME4UT.

“The people here at UT have truly made my experience the best,” he says. “I love UT and everyone who has had an impact on my life while being here.”

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Alum Spotlight: Dr. Ram Raju

Dr. Ram RajuDr. Ramanathan (Ram) Raju, a graduate of the Haslam College of Business Physician Executive MBA program, is the president and CEO of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal healthcare system in the nation.

Raju was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in January 2014 to lead the 37,000 employees of the $6.7 billion corporation, which includes 11 acute care hospitals, five nursing homes, six large diagnostic and treatment centers, more than 70 community-based health centers, a large home care agency and one of the New York area's largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlus Health Plan. Last year, HHC facilities served 1.4 million New Yorkers, including more than 475,000 uninsured.

Prior to accepting the role of president and CEO at HHC, Raju was the CEO for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) in Chicago, the third largest public health system in the country. During his tenure, Raju turned around the financial status of the system, improving the cash flow by more than $100 million. His proposed healthcare delivery model secured the 1115 waiver to the Social Security Act, enabling the creation of CountyCare, an Illinois Medicaid program providing coverage for low-income adults in Cook County. Its creation led to health coverage for more than 82,000 Cook County residents.

Under Raju’s leadership, CCHHS received meaningful use designation for advancement in information technology, specifically the electronic medical record. Improvements made in supply chain management are expected to yield millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers in years to come.

A major focus of Raju’s leadership at CCHHS was a positive patient experience. Positive strides were reflected by improved Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAPHS) scores and in the reduction of wait times in the emergency department. Clinical improvements at CCHHS included The Joint Commission accreditation for both public hospitals and the ambulatory clinic network. Raju's recognition that patients are more likely to use care they can access near their home resulted in the development of a network of more than 130 primary care access points through partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers, safety-net and community hospitals, academic medical centers and private doctors.

He has received significant national recognition for his work. Modern Healthcare Magazine named Raju a Top 25 Minority Executive in Healthcare in 2013 and 2014. The publication also listed him among the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives & Leaders. Also in 2013, he was recognized as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, and Becker's Hospital Review designated him as one of 20 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Follow on Twitter.

Raju began his medical career at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and went on to serve as chief operating officer and medical director at HHC's Coney Island Hospital. In 2006, he became the HHC chief medical officer, corporate chief operating officer and executive vice president. During his tenure, HHC continued to climb and reach great heights in quality, patient safety and healthcare data transparency.

Raju attended Madras Medical College, where he earned his medical diploma and Master of Surgery degree. He underwent further training in England and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. He continued his education with an MBA from UT’s Physician Executive program and became a Certified Physician Executive through the American College of Physician Executives.

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Faculty/Staff Spotlight: Sharath Ashwin Sriman

SharathSharath Ashwin Sriman is an assistant director with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at the Haslam College of Business. Prior to joining the marketing team, he was working as the assistant director for digital marketing and technology for the college’s Graduate and Executive Education (GEE) programs. He has been with GEE in various capacities since 2010.

In his new role, Sriman focuses his efforts on two primary areas. He aims to establish the college’s brand and global reputation among key stakeholders and target audiences. He also continues to work with GEE program directors to develop and strategize marketing and recruitment initiatives across multiple mediums. He was presented the dean’s award for excellence in executive education for his contributions in GEE in 2012 and 2013.

Sriman holds two degrees from UT. He obtained a master’s degree in biomedical engineering before graduating from the MBA program in 2009. He had previously earned his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Anna University in India.

His transition from a healthcare focus to marketing took place over several years. “My grandfather always wanted me to either become a doctor or teacher because he saw those two as being jobs that will have a positive transformational impact on society,” Sriman explains. “My initial choice was healthcare so I could still do something close to what he wanted me to do, but I thrive on innovation and creativity, which are my strengths. I had difficulty finding my niche in healthcare.” He decided to delve into the education industry and saw advertising and media as the best mix for his skill set and what he had hoped to accomplish as a child motivated by his grandfather’s advice to make an impact in others’ lives.

Given that desire, it’s little surprise that Sriman says the best part of his job is the satisfaction he gets from knowing that his work is impactful. “My work will bring someone to school at UT, and that will have a transformational impact on not only them, but also the people around them,” he says.

Sriman also enjoys the people he works with in the Haslam College of Business. “They are truly amazing and inspiring and have instilled a sense of family at the work place,” he says. “This is my home away from home.”

Outside the office, Sriman spends his time learning and experimenting with the latest digital technologies. Born and raised in India, he is an avid fan of Indian cricket and his local club, the Chennai Super Kings. Despite his array of interests, Sriman confesses that, once fall arrives, they narrow significantly. “When it’s football time in Tennessee, everything outside of work is about football,” he says.

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